LAWRENCE, Mass.—NxStage Medical, Inc., a leading manufacturer of innovative dialysis products, today announced that the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) has honored NxStage System One patient Brian Hess with the Samuel J. Orenstein Award. The award is presented each year to the AAKP member who consistently provides extraordinary service in helping the organization achieve its goals to educate and improve the health and well-being of chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients.
An impassioned and dedicated patient advocate, Hess has lived with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), or kidney failure, since the age of six. Hess was recognized during the AAKP 39th Annual Patient Meeting held in Atlanta in August.
Since 2007, Hess, 31, has been a member of ESRD Network 13, a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting dialysis facilities and kidney transplant centers in their efforts to provide quality care for patients with ESRD in the states of Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. On behalf of AAKP, Hess serves as a volunteer speaker and as a liaison to the patient community, while also sharing his insights with physicians and other care providers to foster collaboration that will improve dialysis care. Hess also spends time with young patients to help ease their transition from pediatric to adult dialysis centers.
Hess is committed to empowering patients through education so that they can make fully-informed choices about their lifestyle management and therapy options, including home hemodialysis (HHD). Kidney Failure Won’t Stop Me, an informative guide that Hess authored on the therapy options available to patients and what to expect when starting dialysis, was published this past July.
“I am truly honored to be recognized by the AAKP,” Hess said. “I feel fortunate that my care providers informed me about the benefits of home hemodialysis and NxStage, but too many patients lack this education. This needs to change and I hope that through sharing my story and knowledge that I can create awareness and help as many fellow patients as possible to live their lives with better health and freedom.”
Hess has undergone three kidney transplants. He began dialysis treatments at age 10, utilizing conventional in-center dialysis and peritoneal dialysis (PD) at home. In February, he transitioned to more frequent HHD with the NxStage System One. Throughout his health challenges, Hess kept a positive attitude and remained active. He graduated as a co-valedictorian of his high school class and recently graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in biology and English. He currently has a career in the healthcare field, is an avid bicycler, and is authoring his second book.
“Brian’s voice and insight is inspirational to care providers, patients and their families and the renal health community as a whole as we work to increase awareness of all of the therapy options available to patients, including home hemodialysis,” said Jeffrey H. Burbank, chief executive officer of NxStage. “Brian is a worthy recipient of this prestigious award and we commend his achievements and commitment to helping educate dialysis patients.”