Our commitment to equitable care

We envision of a world where kidney disease no longer inhibits people from living their best lives and believe this vision can only be achieved through inclusive, equitable care.

We work every day to create a world where kidney disease no longer inhibits people from living their best lives through inclusive, equitable care.

Patients who come to Northwest Kidney Centers have the best possible outcomes.

We acknowledge past and present systemic inequities in society and healthcare and are committed to removing the barriers to care that perpetuate disparate health outcomes for those impacted by kidney disease. Through early intervention, education about treatment options and support of transformative translational research we work to increase opportunities for people to live the healthiest life possible, no matter who they are.

Disparities in Care

  • People of color are less likely than white people to enter into different treatment options.
  • White patients with kidney failure are 4 times more likely to receive a transplant than black patients.
  • Black patients are 24% less likely to dialyze at home.
  • White patients are twice as likely to access palliative care services than are black or Hispanic patients.


“We know systematic inequities in society have been a barrier to care for people of color. We are committed to ensuring all people impacted by kidney disease have access to safe, high-quality, dignified care.”

— Rebecca Fox, President and CEO, Northwest Kidney Centers


Making a case for equitable care
Learn how you can support equitable care!

Our approach to Equitable Care

  • We partner with grassroot community organizations to reach Black, Asian and Native American populations that are at higher risk for developing kidney disease.
  • We offer free classes at our locations around Puget Sound to ensure people are informed of all care options, including transplant and at-home dialysis.
  • Our dietitians are trained to provide culturally appropriate nutrition guidance so people from various backgrounds understand how to live better, healthier lifestyles.
  • We provide interpreter services and translate materials so that patients and their families receive critical care information.
  • We partner with local rideshare companies to reduce barriers for patients to get to treatment.
  • Our first-in-the-nation kidney palliative care program gives patients more choice in the care.
  • We are investing in a new downtown Seattle clinic that will allow us to better serve vulnerable patient populations including those experiencing homelessness.

Our social work team fosters equitable, whole-person care for all

Chronic illness can overshadow a patient’s identity, causing depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges. Using trauma-informed care as a guide, our social workers partner with patients and families to address issues that arise, many of which are linked to socio-economic status and race.

Our social workers are integral to the high-quality, person-centered care we are committed to providing. They are key members of our interdisciplinary care teams working alongside physicians, nurses, and dietitians. Their work supports our patients’ mental wellbeing and quality of life. Social workers meet regularly with patients, providing short-term interventions and referrals to community organizations as needed.

Support can include

  • advocating on patient’s behalf for food or housing assistance
  • ensuring patients have reliable transportation to and from treatment
  • helping someone new to the country or someone who speaks a different language other than English connect to local community and cultural organizations
  • removing communications barriers through the use of medical interpreters to ensure patients receive information critical to their care
  • helping patients apply for financial and medical benefits.
Social worker Tim Nguyen at our Kirkland Clinic.

“The individuals we care for are so much more than people on dialysis. They are dynamic and complex. They have families, careers, hopes and dreams, and so much more. It is important to recognize the unique aspects of the whole person, to acknowledge the cultural wealth that each individual brings through connection and community,”
says Sauntia Griffin, Social Work Manager at Northwest Kidney Centers.

Equitable care can mean helping our patients get treatment

Transportation to and home from treatment is a key component to patient health

For our patients, missing even one treatment of life-sustaining dialysis can have dire consequences on their health; that’s why we help ensure patients safely make it to their treatments when their regularly scheduled transportation needs aren’t met, which can happen for a variety of reasons, such as:
  • Waiting for approval of disability transportation services
  • Vehicles are not wheelchair accessible
  • A service does not show up for a scheduled ride

Amy Postal, social worker at Northwest Kidney Centers explains the importance of reliable transportation for our patients.