After his training at Yale University, Marcelo Orías developed the idea of a Sister Renal Center partnership with his home institution, the Sanatorio Allende Renal Service in Córdoba, Argentina. He believed that this was a great way to increase growth and collaboration on both sides.
What has been the most successful outcome of this partnership?
The Sister Renal Center (SRC) Program is a fabulous way to open minds and change habits in a short period of time. Medical and healthcare staff at the Emerging Center were touched by this program that stimulates the will to set higher standards. It has trained hemodialysis nurses to understand efficient dialysis and taught renal fellows that every study protocol should be designed to be published. It also demonstrated techniques for a thorough literature review. Publications were long and difficult before this partnership. In three years, we have published two joint papers on the use of aliskiren in CKD patients and on HTN phenotypes in young patients. Another three are about to be submitted. They focus on treating hemodialysis pruritus, and using troponin T as a predictor of morbidity and mortality in hemodialysis patients and a renal variant of Fabry’s disease.
How has this partnership helped doctors and patients in the local community?
Doctors have been exposed to several healthcare workers from the United States. Lectures and hands-on workshops have given them a first-class learning opportunity. For two weeks, Yale Dialysis Head Nurse Mary Zorzanello taught nurses all dialysis techniques. A Continuous Educational Course was developed for the Emerging Center dialysis unit under her guidance. Dialysis patients benefited from hands-on teaching in different areas such as fistula cannulation and hemodialysis catheter care. Aldo Peixoto, Yale staff and SRC liaison officer, also gave lectures to community nephrologists and Sanatorio Allende physicians. Renal fellows attended his daily seminars on developing clinical research protocols and he met with each of them to discuss their research projects. In the upcoming years, we will focus more on kidney disease screening and prevention. This year a Renal Week community screening program was held for World Kidney Day. This will continue to be a priority in the future.
What does the future hold for this collaboration?
This collaboration has blossomed and will continue to excel. Both centers will support each other once the SRC Program guidance is over. Renal fellows and staff will continue to rotate between Yale and Córdoba. The ties amongst staff members from both centers will persist and strengthen over many years. A joint ISN-sponsored Emerging Center and Supporting Center Symposium on Kidney Protection will take place this August in
Córdoba with guest speakers from Yale and Sanatorio Allende. Yale University has also gained an international site for medical student teaching. Fourth year students rotate for a month at the Sanatorio Allende Renal Service. By providing access to the Yale Medical Library, this center now has unlimited access to medical literature and resources.
How are these partnerships helping to make advances in kidney care around the world?
By helping Emerging Centers to become centers of excellence, patients benefit from a higher quality of care. The knowledge that Emerging Center nephrologists acquire spreads to the surrounding medical community like a domino effect.