Northwest Kidney Centers wins KidneyX prize to safely transport COVID-19 vaccines to vulnerable kidney patients

Seattle, WA (Feb. 3, 2021): Northwest Kidney Centers has been selected as a winner in the KidneyX COVID-19 Kidney Care Challenge. Its proposal to retrofit freezer-equipped, mobile immunization vehicles to safely get COVID-19 vaccines to dialysis clinics in urban, suburban and rural settings. The Challenge sought solutions from providers, staff, patients, and caregivers to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 coronavirus among people with kidney disease and to reduce the risk of kidney damage among people who contract the virus.

The $20,000 award will allow Northwest Kidney Centers to start work immediately to outfit the transport vehicles, with vaccine outreach following soon thereafter. The project addresses the difficulties of vaccinating populations that should not be exposed at mass vaccination sites or may be physically challenged by attending.

“We are thrilled that KidneyX supports this idea and, more importantly, that this additional support will speed up our ability to deliver vaccines to our many kidney patients spread out across the Puget Sound region,” said Dr. Suzanne Watnick, chief medical officer at Northwest Kidney Centers, and the person behind the winning proposal.

The KidneyX COVID-19 Kidney Care Challenge was particularly interested in solutions that considered patient experience and did not require significant effort, expertise, money, or other resources.