UC San Diego Medical Center is proud to announce that The Joint Commission (TJC) has awarded the Gold Seal of Approval for health care quality to the center’s Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Program. The program is the first chronic kidney disease program in the nation to receive this disease-specific certification.
To earn this distinction, a program must undergo an extensive, unannounced, on-site evaluation by a team of Joint Commission reviewers every two years. The program is evaluated against Joint Commission standards through an assessment of a program’s processes, the program’s ability to evaluate and improve care within its own organization, and interviews with patients and staff.
“This certification means UC San Diego Medical Center does the right things and does them well for chronic kidney disease patients,” says Jean E. Range, MS, RN, CPHQ, executive director, Disease-Specific Care Certification, Joint Commission.
The TJC also found no requirements for improvements.
“UC San Diego Medical Center voluntarily pursued this comprehensive, independent evaluation to enhance the safety and quality of care we provide,” said Linda Awdishu, PharmD, MAS Clinic Manager and pharmacist at UC San Diego Medical Center. “We’re proud to achieve this distinction.”
The CKD Clinic provides support, encouragement, and education for those dealing with this life-threatening situation—those who are not on dialysis but who are heading toward that possibility. “We can’t cure this disease but, with proper care, we can slow its progression,” said Danuta Trzebinska, MD, nephrologist at UCSD Medical Center and CKD Clinic Medical Director. “Some may never need dialysis or transplantation.”
About The Team
The CKD Clinic at UC San Diego Medical Center is built on a multi-disciplinary approach with a team of five specialists treating each individual patient. The team includes: a pharmacist who adjusts medication doses for kidney function, monitors side effects, counsels patients on new medications and makes sure the patient is complying; a dietician who counsels patients on dietary changes for kidney disease, provides meal options and helps patients eat well while still meeting the goal of weight reduction; a case manager who counsels patients who may be dealing with individual concerns caused by CKD, such as depression, physical disability and issues with work or transportation; and a physician who examines every patient, educates them on treatment options, answers questions and makes final recommendations. Patients also attend free educational group classes given by the team which include an introduction to chronic kidney disease, dietary adjustments in kidney disease and social support networks. The clinic also began a 10 week wellness program that included classes by the team on healthy living, herbal medicines as well as 3 cooking classes by a personal chef at the Moores Cancer Center kitchen and 2 exercise classes by a personal trainer.
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UC San Diego Medical Center is consistently ranked as one of the nation’s best hospitals for the treatment of kidney diseases by
USNews & World Report.
About The Joint Commission: Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve the safety and quality of care provided to the public through the provision of health care accreditation and related services that support performance improvement in health care organizations. TJC launched its Disease-Specific Care Certification program in 2002. It is the first program of its kind in the country to certify disease management programs. A list of programs certified by the Joint Commission is available at
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Media Contact: Kim Edwards, 619-543-6163,