LHSC and The Kidney Foundation of Canada team up to educate the community about kidney health

March 19, 2014

Throughout March, which is Kidney Health Month, Canadians are encouraged to learn more about their kidney health. To help London residents take that step, London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) and The Kidney Foundation of Canada are teaming up for a week of interactive displays and conversation in Westmount Shopping Centre on March 17-21.

The display is located on the first floor of the mall and LHSC’s Kidney Care Centre (KCC) and The Kidney Foundation of Canada Southwestern Ontario Chapter are located on the second floor of Westmount Shopping Centre.

“The interactive display will be staffed from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm the week of March 17 and anyone interested can pick up some reading material and have their blood pressure checked,” adds Linda Downing, Coordinator, KCC. The display includes one of the first hemodialysis machines from the 1950s next to a new home hemodialysis machine with water filtration system that exhibits just how far the treatment has progressed.

“We are committed to helping people avoid sitting in a dialysis chair by promoting a healthy lifestyle to prevent the progression of kidney disease,” says Terri McCallum, Nurse Case Manager, KCC.  

LHSC staff and volunteers with representatives from Kidney Foundation of Canada

From left, Angela Musico, Dietitian, Linda Downing, Coordinator, Terri McCallum, Nurse Case Manager, (back), Michele Ivanouski, nurse, Kim Manchester, volunteer, The Kidney Foundation of Canada and Rizwana Ramzanali, Fund Development Officer, Kidney Foundation of Canada, focus on kidney disease prevention through public education at Westmount Shopping Centre.

One in 10 Canadians has kidney disease, which is one of the top 10 causes of death in Canada. Most Canadians don’t know the vital role that kidneys play and that they can lose up to 80 per cent of their kidney function – without even being aware of it. “Managing diabetes, controlling blood pressure, exercising and maintaining a healthy diet all contribute to fighting the disease,” says Julie Ann Lawrence, Nurse Practitioner, KCC.

There is plenty of dietary information available as the display for those interested. Angela Musico, Dietitian, KCC, recommends that people concerned about their kidney health adhere to a low-sodium diet, which admittedly can be challenging to maintain. “For patients at the KCC we create an individualized diet plan based on their health needs and we try to accommodate the foods they like and are used to eating.”

“For those unable to visit us at Westmount, people can visit http://www.kidney.ca/RiskAssessment to understand their personal risk factors. If the assessment shows they are at risk, we encourage them to talk to their health care provider and find out if they should be tested,” adds Rizwana Ramzanali, Fund Development Officer, The Kidney Foundation of Canada.

See more photos of the interactive displays in Westmount Shopping Centre on LHSC's Facebook page.