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American Nephrology Nurses Association Weeklong Celebration to Spotlight Health Care Heroes: Nephrology Nurses

Havre, Montana Northern Montana Hospital (NMH) will join the American Nephrology Nurses Association (ANNA) in a nationwide celebration honoring nephrology nurses during “Nephrology Nurses Week,” September 9-15, 2018.

Nephrology nurses care for patients with kidney disease and provide lifesaving care each day. To honor their passion and commitment, ANNA has designated the second full week in September each year as Nephrology Nurses Week.

Nephrology nurses use their vision, knowledge, and skills to take action and improve patient outcomes. They make a positive difference in the lives of patients and their families every day.  Caring for kidney patients requires nurses to be highly skilled, well educated, and motivated, and nephrology nurses cite the variety and challenges of the specialty as fueling their ongoing passion.

“Our Dialysis nurses are invaluable to our organization” said Eric Koch, RN, VP of Patient Care Services for NMH. “Without their services we would be unable to care for Dialysis patients in our facility. This would mean a lot of travel for our Hi-Line community members.”

ANNA launched Nephrology Nurses Week in 2005 to give employers, patients and others the opportunity to thank nephrology nurses for their life-saving work. 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.

The Northern Montana Hospital Dialysis Unit was started in 1995 by the efforts of the Northern Montana Health Care Foundation with only three chairs. As Dialysis is performed three times weekly, this provided treatment for a maximum of nine patients. In 2002 the unit moved to its current location on the 4th floor of NMH with new dialysis machines and additional nurses to enable the extension of the treatment hour, thereby allowing more patients to be treated. The last expansion was in 2008 when the unit added three more machines for a total of six stations treating a maximum of twenty-four patients.

The rising number of individuals with kidney disease is in part attributed to the nation’s obesity epidemic, an alarming trend that has led to more cases of Diabetes and high blood pressure, both of which are major contributors to kidney failure. In the calendar year of 2017, NMH performed 3,009 treatments with their service area from Liberty County to Phillips County, including Blaine, Choteau and Hill counties.

More information about the work of nephrology nurses or the Nephrology Nurses Week celebration can be found at

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