Nephrology Nurses Recognized for Dedication and Sacrifice to Help Patients Survive in Challenging Circumstances

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Fresenius Medical Care North America highlights the incredible stories of nurses who have gone above and beyond the call of duty during natural disasters and helped patients survive

WALTHAM, Mass. — Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA), a division of Fresenius Medical Care (NYSE: FMS) and North America’s largest provider of kidney care, hospitalist services and renal products, is honoring its thousands of nurses during national Nephrology Nurses Week, September 13-19, 2015. During this annual event, FMCNA is highlighting the inspiring courage and selflessness of nurses who braved extremely difficult circumstances to give lifesaving treatment to their patients during natural disasters.

When disaster strikes and many are left without places to receive that treatment, FMCNA nurses have gone to extraordinary lengths to get patients the care they need. Helping patients above all odds, even in the face of dangerous situations, is the ultimate demonstration of a commitment to patient care.

“We’re so proud of all our nurses, who often do so much more than just provide medical care. They form incredible bonds with their patients and make the personal sacrifices to be there for them,” said Bill Valle, Executive Vice President of FMCNA and President of Fresenius Medical Services. “It’s our great honor to be able to recognize their great achievements during Nephrology Nurses Week. These medical professionals are the backbone of our company, and their compassion and dedication are an inspiration to all of us.”

For example, Andrea Ring, at the time a Fresenius Medical Services nurse at the Bay St. Louis clinic, had a harrowing experience in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in her hometown of Waveland, MS, which was the epicenter of the devastating storm. Only days after her home was flooded and she lost almost everything, Andrea returned to work to help dialyze patients. Her story highlights the commitment and dedication of FMCNA employees to their patients, and exemplifies the work of nurses who have responded to different disasters all across the country.

“We just hugged and cried and it was such a good feeling. It was warming and I was so glad I was back at that point, that I had come back to work,” Ring said, talking about when she went to a makeshift clinic in Orange Grove, Miss. and saw patients from her clinic. “I knew I was right where I needed to be; it was familiar. It was a good feeling.”

Kathy Spencer was another nurse who displayed incredible selflessness during Katrina. Working in Gulfport, another city hit hard by the storm, Kathy stayed in the area while her family left for safety, sleeping in the clinic so she could work around the clock treating patients.

“My family was safe. My only concern then was just making sure I was able to function enough for these patients,” Spencer said. “Katrina was something I’ve never experienced before and haven’t since. It totally gave me a new look on life, especially working in healthcare and with patients who depend on dialysis.”

The American Nephrology Nurses Association (ANNA) launched Nephrology Nurses Week in 2005 to give employers, patients and others the opportunity to thank nephrology nurses for their life-saving work. In addition, ANNA also hopes to spark interest in other nurses about the multifaceted career opportunities available in nephrology. One of the most diverse nursing specialties practiced today, nephrology nurses care for patients of all ages who have, or are at risk for, kidney disease.

About 20 million Americans suffer from kidney disease. Of those patients, over 400,000 experience kidney failure. The rising number of people with kidney disease, many of whom are minorities, is in part attributed to the country’s obesity epidemic, an alarming trend that has led to more cases of diabetes and high blood pressure. Both of these diseases are major contributors to kidney failure. To learn more about how our efforts of FMCNA/FMS nurses during Katrina and other natural disasters around the country, please visit

About Fresenius Medical Care North America
Fresenius Medical Care North America is the premier health care company focused on delivering the highest-quality care to people with renal and other chronic conditions. Through its industry-leading network of dialysis facilities, outpatient cardiac and vascular labs and urgent care centers, as well as the country’s largest practice of hospitals and post-acute providers, Fresenius Medical Care provides coordinated health care services at pivotal care points for hundreds of thousands of chronically ill customers throughout the continent. As the world’s only vertically integrated renal company, it offers specialty pharmacy and laboratory services, and manufactures and distributes the most comprehensive line of dialysis equipment, disposable products and renal pharmaceuticals. For more information, visit the FMCNA website at

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Jon Stone
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