8/6/09 - Fresenius Medical Care to Host 100 Free Public Education Classes During ANNA's Kidney Disease Awareness and Education Week

Media contact:
Jamie Ensey, Loomis Group
617/638-0022 / voice

Company contact:
Rosemary Heinold, Fresenius Medical Care
781-699-4171 / voice

Fresenius Medical Care to Host 100 Free Public Education Classes During ANNA’s Kidney Disease Awareness and Education Week

 Company Educates Public About Kidney Disease and Treatment Options

Waltham, MA – August 6, 2009 – Fresenius Medical Care North America, operator of the nation’s leading network of dialysis facilities, is hosting over 100 free Treatment Options Program (TOPs) education classes about chronic kidney disease (CKD) next week. TOPs sessions will be held in numerous locations across the country, including major cities such as Atlanta, Miami, Houston and Pittsburgh, in observation of the American Nephrology Nurses’ Association’s (ANNA) Kidney Disease Awareness and Education Week, August 10-14.

Chronic kidney disease is a progressive, usually permanent loss of kidney function that affects over 20 million Americans. Fresenius Medical Care's TOPs program provides information free to the public about kidney disease management and the treatments available when CKD leads to kidney failure, or end stage renal disease (ESRD).

TOPs classes are especially targeted to late stage CKD patients and their families. The information helps patients actively participate with their physician in preparing for the progression of the disease and selecting a type of treatment.

The majority of people with ESRD are in-center hemodialysis patients who go to a dialysis facility typically three times a week for three to five hours at a time. TOPs sessions include a focus on home therapies because only 6 percent of ESRD patients dialyze at home,* despite evidence that shows health, lifestyle and cost benefits.

"Since Fresenius Medical Care launched TOPs in 2007, more than 20,000 people have attended, and according to patient data we've collected, TOPs participants are at least five times more likely to choose home dialysis treatments," said Debra Mollicone, director of Fresenius Medical Care's TOPs program.

TOPs classes emphasize that people with CKD and ESRD have choices — such as their treatment modality — that can directly improve their quality of life. Many patients can continue to work, exercise and enjoy the same activities they did before starting dialysis.

"We're pleased that Fresenius Medical Care is committed to CKD education, and is hosting events in recognition of Kidney Disease Awareness and Education Week," said Donna Bednarski, MSN, RN, ANP-BC, CNN, CNP, president of ANNA. "Our goal is to educate the public, as well as state and federal lawmakers about kidney disease, treatment options and legislative issues facing the renal community."

TOPs sessions are hosted at least once a month by Fresenius Medical Care facilities within every area of the company’s nationwide clinical network. TOPs sessions are free and open to the public. To find a class near you next week or throughout the year, call: (866) 647-9396 or visit www.ultracare-dialysis.com/TOPS (in English and Spanish).

More information about Kidney Disease and Awareness Education Week is available on ANNA’s Web site: http://www.annanurse.org

Dialysis is a life-sustaining process that cleans waste products from the blood, removes extra fluids, and controls the body’s chemistry when a person’s kidneys fail. Dialysis patients typically require treatment on an ongoing basis unless they receive a kidney transplant. Fresenius Medical Care offers four different types of treatments: in-center hemodialysis, in-center nocturnal hemodialysis, home hemodialysis, and peritoneal dialysis at home.

*American Nephrology Nurses’ Association ESRD Briefing Book for State and Federal Policymakers: A Guide to Kidney Disease Awareness and Education – © 2009

About Fresenius Medical Care North America
Fresenius Medical Care North America is a subsidiary of Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA, the world's largest integrated provider of products and services for individuals undergoing dialysis because of chronic kidney failure, a condition that affects more than 1,770,000 individuals worldwide. Through its network of 2,448 dialysis clinics in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Africa, Fresenius Medical Care provides dialysis treatment to approximately 187,470 patients around the globe. Fresenius Medical Care is also the world's leading provider of dialysis products such as hemodialysis machines, dialyzers and related disposable products. Fresenius Medical Care is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FME, FME3) and the New York Stock Exchange (FMS, FMS-p).

For more information about Fresenius Medical Care's U.S. network of more than 1,700 dialysis facilities, visit the Company's website at www.ultracare-dialysis.com (in English and Spanish). For more information about Fresenius Medical Care, visit the Company’s Web sites: www.fmcna.com or www.fmc-ag.com.

About American Nephrology Nurses’ Association (ANNA)
ANNA is a professional nursing association with over 12,000 members. Its mission is to advance nephrology nursing practice and positively influence outcomes for individuals with kidney disease through advocacy, scholarship, and excellence.