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You’re invited! Open house at our new Richmond Beach center is June 20

Please join us on June 20 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. for an open house celebrating the opening of our new kidney center in Richmond Beach! We are thrilled to be serving this community in such a beautiful, state-of-the-art space.

About the center

We are delighted to open the doors of this facility that will allow us to better serve the people of Richmond Beach and surrounding areas. We completed the final construction phase of the new dialysis center this spring and our first patient was treated on April 1.

When operating at full capacity, this 8,400-square-foot center will be able to serve up to 132 patients. This beautiful, modern dialysis center offers patients a welcoming, safe and comfortable environment for their care, and is very much in line with our mission to enhance the quality of life of those with kidney disease through outstanding dialysis care, education and community support.

New Puget Sound Kidney Centers campus

This new dialysis center is the heart of our new Richmond Beach campus. In addition to the center, the building is also the new home of the Puget Sound Kidney Centers Foundation, our Human Resources department and a contemporary community education space.

Open house details

All are invited to join us at the open house June 20. Come along to take a tour, enjoy some light refreshments and meet our incredible staff.

Location
355 Richmond Beach Road NW
Shoreline, WA 98177

Date and Time
Thursday, June 20, 2024
12 to 2 p.m.

Ribbon cutting and program beings at 12:30 p.m. so make sure to arrive before then!

It’s National Kidney Month! See five simple ways to promote kidney health every day.

March is National Kidney Month, a time to raise awareness of the kidneys—how they work, how to keep them healthy, and what to do if your kidneys start to lose function.

Your kidneys are oh-so-important, filtering waste and keeping your body in balance. A lifestyle that promotes kidney health will help you feel better and keep your kidneys functioning well. So what does a kidney-healthy lifestyle involve? Read on to see our top five ways to promote kidney health.

1. Stop smoking.


Smoking increases your risk for kidney problems—it can damage your heart and blood vessels over time, resulting in poor blood flow to your kidneys. Talk to your doctor to create a plan that works for you to stop smoking.

2. Watch your blood pressure.


High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a leading cause of chronic kidney disease. High blood pressure can lead to the narrowing and damaging of blood vessels, which reduces blood flow to your kidneys. Keep your blood pressure in check—take your medications and see your doctor regularly to ensure your blood pressure is being managed properly.

3. Follow a low-sodium diet.


The kidneys are master filterers, cleaning your blood and making sure there is balance in your body, especially in terms of sodium and potassium. A diet high in salt can affect this balance, reducing your kidney function and increasing your blood pressure—and when your blood pressure stays high for a long time, it can lead to chronic kidney disease. Cut the salt from your diet by avoiding salt-heavy restaurant meals and cook from scratch instead to help protect your kidney function.

4. Exercise regularly.


Not only does exercise help you feel better but it keeps your body working well too—and that includes your kidneys. Exercise helps prevent risk factors for chronic kidney disease, like high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. Talk to your doctor about an exercise plan that works for you. And remember, exercise doesn’t have to require an expensive gym membership—walking, gardening or at-home yoga can have a big impact on your health and how you feel!

5. Watch your blood sugar.


Diabetes is the leading cause of chronic kidney disease. If you have diabetes and your blood sugar stays high for a long time, it can damage the tiny blood vessels and filters in your kidneys, and they simply won’t work as well. If you don’t have diabetes, continue to live an active lifestyle and get checked regularly, as catching diabetes early is key. If you do have diabetes, work with your doctor to help manage your blood sugar to preserve your kidney function for as long as possible.

Follow the above tips to promote kidney health—your kidneys will thank you! And make sure to follow us on InstagramFacebook and Twitter for more tips on how to keep your kidneys healthy!

5 Fiber Rich and Kidney Friendly Foods

Everyone has heard they should eat more fiber. But what is fiber? And why is it so important? Fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate, which means your body cannot break it down. Most carbohydrates give our body energy, but fiber does not. Instead, fiber helps with bowel movements and helps lower blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol. This is important for your kidneys! Diabetes and high blood pressure are hard on the kidneys. Eating more fiber can help keep you and your kidneys stay healthy.

1. Blueberries

One cup of blueberries has four grams of fiber! Blueberries are also low in potassium. This makes them a delicious way to increase fiber without eating too much potassium.

2. Asparagus

A half cup of cooked asparagus has about two grams of fiber. Asparagus is also a low-potassium food, making it a good for people who need to watch their potassium levels.

3. Pears

One medium pear has just under five grams of fiber! A tasty treat with lots of fiber!

4. Green Beans

A half cup of cooked green beans has about 2 grams of fiber. This makes green beans a good addition to your kidney-friendly diet.

5. Brown Rice

A half cup of cooked green beans has about 2 grams of fiber. This makes green beans a good addition to your kidney-friendly diet.

Eating these fiber-rich foods, along with others, can help you get enough daily fiber. Want to learn more about kidney nutrition? Check out our free classes here.

Always talk with your dietitian or doctor before making significant changes to your dietary habits, then reach out to us on InstagramFacebook and Twitter to let us know your favorite fiber rich food!

Register today for our annual Gift of Life dinner & auction!

Our annual Gift of Life dinner and auction is next month! We’re heading back to Tulalip Resort Casino on Sept. 16, 2023 to raise much-needed funds for our kidney patients—and we hope you’ll join us!

The event, hosted by the PSKC Foundation and the Kidney Auxiliary of Puget Sound (KAPS), is a chance for members of our community to gather, hear inspirational stories from our patients and staff, and raise money for the vital care and education services we provide.

Proceeds from the Gift of Life event make a huge difference in supporting quality care at PSKC by providing:

  • KAPS patient bags and blankets for new patients
  • Nutritional supplements to help patients maintain a healthy balanced diet
  • Kidney health education in our community, teaching people about kidney disease and ways to prevent it
  • KAPS support of patient comfort and emergent needs
  • Equipment and furnishings to support quality care environments

We simply couldn’t put this event on without our amazing sponsors, gracious table hosts, generous donors, and incredible volunteers.

Thanks to all who made our 2022 event a success (see photos below!) and register online today for our 2023 Gift of Life dinner and auction–you won’t want to miss it!

How to Protect Your Kidneys This Summer

An incredible 33% of adult Americans are at risk of developing kidney disease which, when it reaches stage five (also called end-stage renal disease), requires regular dialysis treatments or a kidney transplant for survival.

The good news is, there is a lot you can do to prevent kidney disease from developing in the first place. Most of these lifestyle changes are especially doable in the summer, when the days are longer and it’s easier to spend time outdoors.

Here are our top five ways to protect your kidneys this summer:

1. Cook at home. Eating at home is one of the best ways to ensure you’re eating kidney-healthy food. While restaurant and some fast food establishments may seem healthy, most meals out are packed with salt—not good for the kidneys. If you cook at home, you can control the amount of sodium you consume (aim for 2,000mg or less a day) and thus keep your kidneys healthy. Remember, it’s not the salt shaker that’s usually the problem—it’s pre-packaged, processed, and restaurant foods that are loaded with salt, with many meals exceeding the entire daily sodium limit. Cook at home and flavor foods with spices and herbs instead of salt.

 

2. Exercise every day. Exercise is so important for kidney health. Even a little bit every day will make a big difference in your health and how you feel. If you haven’t exercised regularly, make sure to build up slowly. Start by walking,  stretching or lifting light weights. Gardening or taking an online yoga class are also great ways to work exercise into your daily routine. Make it a social outing as well by inviting friends over to walk around your neighborhood, or join a tennis or pickleball club. It’s never too late to learn a new sport! Working exercise into your day helps boost your mood and keep your kidneys healthy.

 

3. Stop smoking. Smoking can lead to many health problems, including chronic kidney disease. Smoking causes damage to your heart and blood vessels, which in turn leads to decreased blood flow to the kidneys. If this happens over time, it could cause irreversible damage to your kidneys. Quitting can be challenging but there are a number of resources available that can help. Help keep your kidneys healthy—talk to your doctor to help create a plan to stop smoking.

 

4. Manage blood pressure and diabetes. High blood pressure and diabetes are the two leading causes of chronic kidney disease. Controlling your blood pressure and managing your blood sugar are key to keeping your kidneys healthy. Keeping your blood pressure in the range set by your doctor, and keeping your blood sugar levels in your target range as much as possible, can help prevent damage to the kidneys.Talk to your doctor to make sure your diet and lifestyle choices and/or medication is helping you do this.

 

5. Reduce stress. Stress has a huge impact on our lives and our health. Research shows that spending time with people in the community helps lower stress, as does exercising, getting enough sleep, practicing breathing and meditation, and laughing. Lower your stress levels by spending time outside, joining a community group, spending time with family and friends, and focusing on living life in the moment.

 

That’s it—our five tips for promoting kidney health this summer. How do you plan to keep your kidneys healthy this summer? What lifestyle tips do you have? Let us know on InstagramFacebook and Twitter!

 

 

March is National Kidney Month! See five ways to help keep your kidneys healthy

It’s National Kidney Month, a time to raise awareness of kidney disease and how to prevent it. The kidneys are such important organs, filtering your blood, removing waste and helping your body maintain a balanced state. They help you balance electrolytes, maintain a normal pH level, control blood pressure, produce red blood cells, and maintain healthy bones.

High blood pressure and diabetes are the leading causes of kidney failure. If your kidneys fail, you need regular dialysis treatments or a kidney transplant to survive.

The good news is, simple lifestyle changes can help prevent kidney disease or slow it down. Here are our top five ways to keep your kidneys healthy:

1. Get tested. Ask your doctor for simple urine and blood tests to check your kidney function. Blood tests will give you your GFR, a number that shows how well your kidneys are working. Work with your doctor to get your kidney function checked on a regular basis.

 

2. Control your blood pressure. High blood pressure causes damage to your kidneys. Get your blood pressure checked regularly and work with your doctor on ways to control it. This is vital to keeping your kidneys healthy.

 

3. Manage your blood sugars. Diabetes is a leading cause of kidney failure. If you have diabetes, control your blood sugars to help prevent your kidney function from declining. Managing blood sugars also helps prevent heart disease and other health problems.

 

4. Follow a low-sodium diet. Eating a healthy diet can help keep your kidneys healthy. Too much salt in particular can cause damage. Aim for less than 2,000 milligrams of sodium each day. Avoid fast food and restaurant meals, as many are loaded with salt. Try instead to cook at home from scratch using herbs and spices for flavor instead of salt.

 

5. Exercise regularly. Time to get moving! Exercise can help you control your blood pressure, feel more energetic, and improve your mental health. Work with your doctor to create an exercise plan that works for you. At least 30 minutes of exercise each day is recommended, but keep in mind this can be spread out across the entire day.

 

Keeping your kidneys healthy, or slowing kidney disease down, can help you avoid or delay the need for dialysis. Work with your doctor on the five tips above to create a health plan that works for you. And make sure to follow us on on InstagramFacebook and Twitter for more tips on how to keep your kidneys healthy!

Meet Meg Paulson: overcoming adversity from the day she was born

Born with spina bifida and unable to walk, Meg has always faced challenges. When she started school, she was bussed to a special campus miles from her home and it wasn’t until the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 that she attended the neighborhood school. But even at her local school she was essentially warehoused in special ed programs that didn’t challenge her intellect, as they assumed her cognitive abilities were below average. But when she moved, age 10, to Australia—where children with disabilities were taught alongside “healthy children”— she was finally treated like everyone else.

She eventually moved back to the US, ending up in the Seattle area. After she graduated, finding a job was difficult, as climbing stairs to interview for jobs was not possible. But did this stop her? Absolutely not! Today Meg works for Able Environments, an organization dedicated to linking real estate buyers with mobility, sight, cognitive, or hearing impairments to accessible homes and amenities. Additionally, Meg has been a strong advocate for her community, serving as Miss Wheelchair Washington State in 2008, and has been actively involved with Paralympics and adaptive sports. She’s also served as executive director of the Spina Bifida Association, which prepares families who are new to spina bifida for the challenges that lay ahead by offering support and outreach.

Five years ago, Meg started dialysis and was challenged to balance her diet and fluids while also trying to feel good at the end of the day. She initially struggled with extra fluid weight but now realizes changes in her diet are what keep her feeling good. Meg says the most important way to keep fluid off is carefully planning what you eat and balancing salt intake as much as possible. She has been able to keep her dry weight consistent over the past five years, and attributes this success to keeping her water intake to a minimum. She loves to eat, but good food choices can make the difference, so she strongly advocates reading labels and encourages patients to work closely with available resources, including their dietitian, to devise a plan that works best for them.

When out advocating in the community, Meg says she usually receives three different responses: she’s either ignored, patronized, or accepted. She says people are still learning how to respond or react to people with disabilities, and that’s why educating and being an advocate is important and are major goals in her life.

Thank you, Meg, for all you do to build greater understanding and stronger communities!

How one patient’s love of sports impacts the health of his community

Top to bottom: Jon today, Jon circa 1983, and Jon with his family.

Meet Jon. M—Jon dialyzes at our Smokey Point Kidney Center and has been coaching basketball, football and baseball since he was 16 years old. At age 4, Jon was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. He credits his love of sports and his participation in sports for making such a difference in his health.

“I know I am still alive because I ran so much playing basketball,” he says.

Jon has lived his entire life in the Tulalip area and still has a hand in coaching the Tulalip Men’s baseball team, even travelling with them recently for a tournament. Players on the team range in age from 17 to 55 and while his son is “officially” their coach, Jon provides input whenever and wherever needed.

He also stays active by attending local games whenever he gets a chance—he recently went to see the Seattle Storm and the Seattle Mariners, and has also gone to see the Everett Silvertips and Aquasox, despite his busy dialysis schedule.

Jon’s coaching experience started when he was the assistant to the Parks and Recreation Department of the Tulalip Tribes—he had a knack for getting kids into sports, even if they were hesitant at first.

“At one point I had 50 kids show up, and I got every one of them involved in some way.”

Jon stopped actively playing when he was in his late thirties and made coaching his focus—he’s since coached basketball, football and baseball teams, proud that they’ve played some of the best teams in the area and even if they did not win, they always kept it close and competitive.

Jon’s impressed with the Tulalip Tribe’s focus in recent years on building new venues for sports, like baseball and football fields with Astroturf, a step up from the muddy fields where Jon played growing up. Jon also has another interest; his 10-year-old grandson has just started playing basketball. The legacy continues!

A passion for supporting patients: volunteers go above and beyond

When Jeanette Revoir was looking to volunteer for a community organization, a friend invited her to the annual spring social put on by the Kidney Auxiliary of Puget Sound. She remembers taking a flyer at the event to learn more about the organization that raises money to help patients at Puget Sound Kidney Centers. 16 years later, her everlasting dedication continues to make a positive difference in the lives of PSKC patients.

Jeanette Revoir and Michael Himple.

“Being a member of KAPS and supporting patients needing kidney dialysis at PSKC has been a very rewarding life experience for me,” says Jeanette.

Jeanette and her family have been a part of the community here for years. Her parents immigrated from Holland to Everett, where Jeanette was born and raised. Her parents owned and operated a well-known bakery called Broadway Bakery and the family built a wonderful life together in Everett. That sense of community stayed with Jeanette as she raised a family, built a banking career and volunteered with KAPS. Jeanette joined the board of KAPS and currently serves as Treasurer. Over the years she has led and supported the KAPS’ wreath program, spring social and the Gift of Life annual fundraiser. She even recruited her granddaughter Trinity to help with the wreath program.

“I guess you could say I jumped in with both feet!” she jokingly reflects, and when asked what keeps her going, she says, “knowing I’m really helping people.”

In addition to working with KAPS, Jeanette, along with husband Michael, share a love for family, friends, travel and golf.

Thank you, Jeanette, for all you do in support of PSKC patients!

A dedication to helping others

Kidney failure did not come as a surprise for Richard Beach; almost 25 years ago, he was told that his kidneys had begun deteriorating and that one day, he might need treatment. He closely monitored his creatinine levels and was able to put that off for many years.

About two years ago, to learn more about kidney disease and how to live well with it, Richard and his wife attended Puget Sound Kidney Centers’ chronic kidney disease education program, Survive and Thrive. He describes this six-week program as “very concise” and a great way to reteach them how to menu plan, shop, and prepare foods that were tailored to their health needs and, helpfully, how to “cut corners with salt.” Richard really appreciated the PSKC program, taught by various medical professionals, especially the level of detail provided and the amount of time allotted for discussion each week—talking through examples and experiences other patients have had really helped reinforce the impact changing behaviors can have.

Richard is currently retired from the Air Force and a phone company but continues to volunteer his time as a critical member of the Snohomish County Emergency Management team, developing and implementing radio communication for natural disasters, including earthquakes, fires, floods. The team prepares for any situation that communication may be compromised (i.e. loss of internet) so that emergency services can continue to operate and provide help to those who need it. They also look at ways of linking with other networks on the state and federal level, so that key information regarding events can be handled appropriately. He is part of a core group of volunteers who, up until the coronavirus pandemic, were meeting twice a week at Paine Field in Everett. They now still meet once a week but hope to ramp back up in the near future.

These days, Richard dialyzes at Puget Sound Kidney Centers’ Mountlake Terrace facility, having started a couple of months ago, and is feeling better already. Richard, we certainly hope we won’t need your radio skills, though we’re sure glad that you and your team are there in an emergency!