Education Critical For Those With Kidney Disease

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DaVita Inc. announced the addition of a "First Day on Dialysis" video on its companyÂ?s educational website. The video helps prepare first-time dialysis patients for what to expect at their treatment.

By offering important information, unique services, and a forum for people to discuss their concerns, the DaVita website is the premier online resource for learning about kidney disease and dialysis

El Segundo, CA (PRWEB) March 22, 2005 — DaVita Inc. (NYSE:DVA) announced the addition of a "First Day on Dialysis" video on its company’s educational website. The video helps prepare first-time dialysis patients for what to expect at their treatment. DaVita.com is currently the number one online resource for information on dialysis and chronic kidney disease and is designed for people with kidney disease, their family members, caregivers and friends.

In an aging and increasingly overweight population, chronic kidney disease has become a growing epidemic. It is estimated there are 20 million Americans with kidney disease. Over 400,000 have kidney failure and require dialysis or a transplant to stay alive. That number is expected to double in the next decade, as it has in the past two. The growing number of people with kidney disease is attributed to a dramatic rise in diabetes—the number one cause of chronic kidney disease—as well as hypertension, which is the second most common cause.

"Over the last several years there has been a rise in chronic kidney disease," states Kent Thiry, DaVita’s CEO. "We want to help educate people so they can make changes in their lives to delay or stop the progression of kidney disease."

DaVita.com provides hundreds of informational articles on how to delay or stop the progression of kidney disease, in addition to discussing lifestyle changes and the process of dialysis treatment. A favorite feature of the site is free recipes for people at every stage of kidney disease. Hundreds of recipes are now listed by food category as well as displayed by type of diet: CKD non-dialysis, dialysis and diabetic dialysis. More articles and recipes are added to the website weekly.

In addition to new content, the updated website design features a larger text-size option for vision-impaired visitors and a more powerful search tool. Easier to locate articles are categorized either under "chronic kidney disease," "dialysis" or "diabetes." Online tools are also displayed on every page for immediate access.

Easy to understand and navigate, DaVita.com has been a growing success since launching in January 2004. Educational and inspiring articles together with animated learning modules including "How Kidneys Work" and "How Dialysis Works," the new video and online presentations help people understand about chronic kidney disease using many learning methods.

Each month over 100,000 visitors go to DaVita.com to use features such as the Discussion Forum, which enables visitors to communicate with each other. Online services such as the "Find a Dialysis Center" tool locates over 4,000 centers throughout the U.S. and checks availability for patients who are beginning dialysis or those traveling and needing dialysis away from home.

Other unique offerings include free interactive kidney education classes hosted by DaVita professionals, and online insurance consultations to answer questions about insurance and billing.

"By offering important information, unique services, and a forum for people to discuss their concerns, the DaVita website is the premier online resource for learning about kidney disease and dialysis," says Mr. Thiry.

DaVita.com also features a GFR Calculator (for determining the glomerular filtration rate (GFR), which is the best measure of kidney function to ascertain a person’s stage of kidney disease), postings of the most recent kidney-related articles from a dialysis and CKD news feed and a monthly e-newsletter announcing new articles and features at the website. There is also a toll-free number for website visitors to call for more information and services.

About DaVita

DaVita is a leading provider of dialysis services for those diagnosed with chronic kidney failure. We serve over 54,000 patients in 37 states and the District of Columbia from approximately 660 affiliated outpatient dialysis centers. DaVita also provides acute inpatient dialysis services in approximately 370 hospitals across the country.

All this makes DaVita one of the largest providers of dialysis services in the United States. Though we're proud of this standing, we have set our sights on a higher goal. We want to be the greatest dialysis company the world has ever seen. And we're accomplishing this through a shared commitment to our mission and values.

About DaVita.com

DaVita.com is the premier online resource for information on dialysis and chronic kidney disease. The website was created to answer questions and provide education for people with chronic kidney disease, diabetes or on dialysis, their caregivers, family members and friends. DaVita.com is a trusted, easy-to-understand source featuring a user-friendly design that includes large-size type that can be increased or decreased for the best viewing.

From informative articles and animated learning modules to recipes for the renal diet and other useful tools, DaVita.com is always adding to the wealth of information it offers website visitors. You are invited to discover how kidneys work and how dialysis works, plus take advantage of special features including our: Discussion Forum, dialysis center locator, Insurance Consultation, GFR Calculator and more.

Sign up to receive the monthly DaVita.com newsletter and we'll keep you posted on what's new on the website.

For more information, please visit http://www.davita.com or contact Ernie Barojas at 310-536-2520.

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Ernie Barojas
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