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Northwest Kidney Centers CEO and President Joyce F. Jackson Named Outstanding Health Care Executive by Seattle Business Magazine

SEATTLE, Feb. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Northwest Kidney Centers is pleased to announce that its president and chief executive officer, Joyce F. Jackson, was one of two people named Outstanding Health Care Executive of the year by Seattle Business magazine. Jackson received the honor at the magazine's annual Leaders in Health Care Awards ceremony held Feb. 24 at the Washington State Convention Center.

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In a tie decision by the judges, Jackson shares the honor with Johnese Spisso, chief health system officer, UW Medicine; vice president medical affairs, University of Washington.

"I am humbled and honored by winning the 2014 Health Care Executive award," said Jackson, who in her 15 years at the helm of Northwest Kidney Centers has burnished the legacy of the world's first out-of-hospital dialysis organization, which was established in 1962.

Jackson's vision has guided the nonprofit to be a model in the field because of high-quality services, community connections and generous donor support—all highly unusual in U.S. dialysis care, where two large for-profit corporations provide two-thirds of all services.

One in every seven U.S. adults has kidney disease—up 30 percent over the past decade because today's lifestyles contribute to precursor conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure.

Given the increasing prevalence of kidney disease, Jackson recognized the need to build internal consensus around a clear mission statement for Northwest Kidney Centers: to promote the optimal health, quality of life and independence of people with kidney disease through patient care, education and research. Although the core service is dialysis, which is life support for people whose kidneys have failed, Jackson's vision is to serve people at any stage of kidney disease—including before they need dialysis and after a kidney transplant.

During her time has CEO Jackson has helped expand patient care. When she arrived in 1998, Northwest Kidney Centers had seven dialysis centers. Jackson has grown the organization to provide dialysis at 15 centers and 11 regional hospitals. In addition, 17 percent of patients give themselves dialysis at home, a number that far exceeds the national average. Northwest Kidney Centers also outperforms the nation on patient survival, hospitalization, transplant referrals and other quality measures. With help from financial donors, the organization pioneered special care for very ill dialysis patients and a renal-specialty pharmacy.

With education as the second pillar of the organization's mission, Jackson commissioned in-house development of an extensive curriculum, offering free classes to the public. In 2013, 1,399 individuals attended classes to learn about nutrition, treatment options and how to prepare for dialysis, how to get a kidney transplant, and how to make sure a transplant stays healthy. The Washington State Hospital Association recognized this program with its Community Health Leadership Award in 2010. On the national level, Jackson is an influential voice on boards of the National Renal Administrators Association and two federal policy advocacy coalitions, and she represents Northwest Kidney Centers in the Nonprofit Kidney Care Alliance.

Recognizing that research into kidney disease long lagged behind other conditions like cancer or HIV, Jackson set out to change that. Years of planning and negotiation resulted in the founding of the Kidney Research Institute, a collaboration between Northwest Kidney Centers and UW Medicine, in 2008. The institute, fueled by $6 million in seed money from Northwest Kidney Centers, has published 477 scientific papers and now has 46 groundbreaking studies underway. It has attracted $46 million in federal grants. About 20 percent of Northwest Kidney Centers patients are research subjects.

Jackson is proud of the maxim among professionals in the field: You never want to have kidney disease, but if you do, Seattle is the best place to be treated for it. That is due, in large measure, to Jackson's leadership at Northwest Kidney Centers.

Northwest Kidney Centers is a regional, not-for-profit, locally run provider of kidney dialysis, public health education and research into the causes and treatments of chronic kidney disease. Founded in Seattle in 1962, it was the world's first dialysis organization. It remains a model in the field because of its high quality services, community connections and generous donor support. Its website is

Read more news from Northwest Kidney Centers.

Cynthia Flash

SOURCE Northwest Kidney Centers

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