The 2023 DaVita Health Tour just hit six weeks on the road, reaching thousands of community members with free health screenings and education focused on kidney health.
As of Oct. 18, more than 700 people have taken charge of their health, participating in screenings across California, Washington, Colorado, Michigan and Washington, D.C., with additional stops on the horizon in North Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
In California, the tour kicked off in Fresno, with stops at the Fresno Flea Market and Clovis Fest, a hot-air balloon festival. During the event spanning three days, more than 100 people received a free health screening, which included measuring glucose, cholesterol and body mass index. Some people also opted into an additional screening: a blood draw to assess their estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), which gives insight into how well an individual’s kidneys may be working.
Patricia Frey, who saw an opportunity to check in on her health at the event, has four siblings who have experienced kidney disease, so prevention is something she has been mindful of in her own personal health. She continues to discuss the topic with her physician, but when she learned the DaVita Health Tour would be in her region, she saw it as an opportunity to get an additional check-in on her health and learn how to take care of her kidneys.
Another participant, Tamara Mulder, was diagnosed recently with stage 3 chronic kidney disease (CKD). At this stage, the kidney function has declined but is still effective: The kidneys can continue to filter the blood without treatment, such as dialysis. However, it can be important to stay connected with a physician to track kidney function and manage kidney health — with the goal of slowing or preventing further decline.
For Mulder, moving to Fresno for her husband’s new job opportunity has resulted in a gap in health insurance. It has also made it difficult to follow her doctor’s orders of having her kidney function tested every three months. She wants to be proactive in managing her health, but until she has health insurance again, she has found the process difficult and complex.
The DaVita Health Tour gave Mulder the opportunity to follow her doctor’s orders and get an updated measurement of her kidney function — and new resources that may help her manage her kidney health into the future. DaVita teammates (employees) who were volunteering at the event gave her resources to learn more about kidney disease, and she signed up for a Kidney Smart® class to further her education on managing her health.
Ferdie Rios, a DaVita regional operating director in Fresno, shared how opportunities to connect with community members provided many of the DaVita volunteers a fulfilling opportunity to share kidney education in a new way.
“We want [everyone] to have that confidence when they speak to their physician,” Rios shared, reflecting on the goal to empower people in caring for their kidneys. The screening can be a first step for those who haven’t before considered their kidney health when talking with their doctors: “They [now] have some awareness.”
Many DaVita teammates work with people experiencing kidney failure, when they require a kidney transplant or dialysis to sustain life. Being able to help people in the broader community better understand the importance of kidney health was an opportunity that many wanted to get involved with. Teammates traveled from centers in the region, with some driving up to 45 minutes to get involved.
They were met with appreciation from the people they connected with, with one community member, Josephine Moreho saying of the informative and quick health screening:
“That was perfect. Short and sweet! You made my day.”
For more information on the DaVita Heath Tour, including where it’s headed next, visit: DaVita.com/HealthTour.