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Tag: Elena Rios

During National Kidney Month, Protect Patients by Protecting Their Health Care Choices

By ALLYSON Y. SCHWARTZ and ELENA RIOS MD, MSPH

The recent coronavirus outbreak has millions of Americans thinking carefully about their health and wellness. For the 37 million of our friends and neighbors battling chronic kidney disease, however, health care risks that the rest of us often take for granted are never far from their mind.

Every year, 124,000 patients with kidney disease see their condition progress to end-stage renal disease (ESRD), also known as kidney failure and will require dialysis at least three times per week to survive.

Hannah, an ESRD patient in Henrico, Virginia, describes dialysis as “the most painful thing, physically and emotionally, I’ve had to endure.”

As a physician who represents medical providers in the Hispanic community – a demographic disproportionately impacted by kidney disease (Rios) – and a former lawmaker who worked to reduce the uninsured rate and improve quality of care (Schwartz), we know that stories like Hannah’s are all too common.

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