Jan 27, 2023
DaVita Patient Finds Hope and Support From Her Care Team During Her Kidney Health Journey


“When I first heard I would probably end up on dialysis, it was real crushing,” says DaVita patient Melissa.

Melissa was living in Florida at the time, and she wanted answers. Her primary care doctor told her to see a nephrologist. Soon after connecting with a kidney specialist in Florida, Melissa packed up and moved to North Carolina. It meant finding new health care providers, which led her to a greater understanding of her kidney health needs.


Melissa connected with her first DaVita care team in North Carolina. She says they helped her feel more comfortable and confident while she received dialysis treatments in-center—but also explained the treatment options she could discuss and explore with her nephrologist. Through her DaVita care team, she learned about managing her kidney health, she discussed her dietary restrictions, and she even found ways to make her medications more affordable. “They told me just what I needed to do to make sure that my treatment didn’t take away from life,” Melissa says.

It was difficult to leave that dialysis center when Melissa moved again, this time to Georgia. She connected with a new DaVita care team—but the center was farther from home, and the distance made it difficult for Melissa to find energy and balance.

“They told me just what I needed to do to make sure that my treatment didn’t take away from my life.”

—Melissa, DaVita patient

Again, her DaVita team provided answers and support: They encouraged her to discuss peritoneal dialysis (PD), a home treatment option with her nephrologist. Previously, Melissa had concerns about performing the treatments herself, but she and her doctor decided PD would be a good option to try. The concerns quickly melted away as the team from DaVita spent time training Melissa on her new treatment, making sure, again, she felt comfortable and confident.

Now, Melissa also connects with a DaVita Integrated Kidney Care (IKC)[1] nurse whom Melissa affectionately calls Miss Helen. She provides additional care support—checking in on Melissa’s health care needs, with an eye toward her whole well-being. Miss Helen calls Melissa regularly for updates on how she’s doing with her dialysis treatments and to see if she has any other health care concerns she may need help with.

“If you have a need,” Melissa explains, “she’ll try to figure out a way to help you meet it. She’s passionate about what she does. She’s truly concerned about her patients.”

Melissa isn’t the only person DaVita has put at ease when it comes to Melissa’s kidney health. Melissa is close with her children—and they have been with her throughout the journey.

Melissa’s daughter Alexandria remembers, “I wanted to cry when she said, ‘Hey, I’m going on dialysis.’ It was like, is this something that’s gonna help?” Now, Alexandria says the care team provides feels like it’s more than medical care:

“Her motivation, I would say, is the DaVita care team,” Alexandria says. “It [feels] more family than it is a facility.”

Service provider and modality selection are choices made exclusively between the patient and nephrologist.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice.


[1] DaVita IKC provides patients and their care partners support from a team of integrated care practitioners, nurses, coordinators, physicians and more. http://www.davita.com/about/businesses/ikc
DaVita IKC services are dependent on eligibility. For individuals who are unsure of their eligibility, they can inquire with their insurance provider or talk with your dialysis center.