Amit Govil, MD, honored by National Kidney Foundation on World Kidney Day

UC Health nephrologist Amit Govil, MD, (center) was honored by the National Kidney Foundation on World Kidney Day

CINCINNATI – Amit Govil, MD, professor in the Division of Nephrology, Kidney CARE Program and medical director, Kidney Transplant Program in the Department of Internal Medicine at the UC College of Medicine, was honored as a Kidney Community Champion by the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) on World Kidney Day, March 14, 2019. At the Dancing with the Stars Gala held at Rhinegeist Brewery in Over-the-Rhine, Govil was recognized for his efforts in kidney transplantation.

The theme for World Kidney Day this year was “Kidney Health for Everyone Everywhere.” Current estimates show that 850 million people worldwide have kidney diseases from various causes. Chronic kidney diseases (CKD) cause at least 2.4 million deaths per year. In the United States, over 16 million adults suffer from CKD, and over 500,000 patients receive care for end stage renal disease (ESRD), which includes dialysis and transplantation.

“There are currently around 100,000 people on the kidney transplant wait list in the United States and in 2018, a record 21,167 patients received a kidney transplant to be freed from shackles of dialysis,” says Govil, who is the chair of the NKF Cincinnati Board of Directors.

UC Health physicians Charuhas Thakar, MD (left) and Amit Govil, MD (right) lead the Kidney CARE (Clinical Advancement, Research and Education) Program in the Department of Internal Medicine at the UC College of Medicine.

Since 2010, Govil has spearheaded efforts to improve patient access to transplantation by delivering satellite consultations and outreach. These outreach efforts have served the Dayton, Lima and Portsmouth areas in Ohio, and the Lexington and Maysville areas in Kentucky.

“These efforts are rewarding, and are only possible with the support of the UC College of Medicine and colleagues in transplant surgery,” said Govil.

“The impact of these efforts has been tremendous,” says Charuhas Thakar, MD, professor and director of the Division of Nephrology, Kidney CARE (Clinical Advancement, Research and Education) Program in the Department of Internal Medicine. “For instance, in the past few years, at least one-in-three kidney transplants performed at our institution have originated from referrals from outreach service areas. This demonstrates a strong commitment by our health care team to improve kidney health in not only our local communities but also in our broader region.”

The UC Health Kidney Transplant Program, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, performed a record number of transplants in 2018.

“As one of the largest transplant nephrology sections in the region, with faculty trained at leading institutions in the country, we are committed to bringing cutting-edge advances in transplant medicine to the patient’s bedside at UC Medical Center,” says Govil.

At the event, Govil’s work as the chair of the local NKF board was cited as well as his support of the partnership between UC Medical Center and NKF. Also noted was his leadership of the UC Health Kidney Walk team and volunteering for other NKF programs including the Big Ask: Big Give Workshop and the Kidney & Transplant Symposium.

Govil says he is committed to providing direct care to CKD and dialysis patients, in addition to being a national leader in transplantation.

“It allows me to maintain the connection with the continuum of kidney disease, and reminds us of the challenges faced by our dialysis patients,” he says. “It provides even more motivation for us to advocate for our patients and improve their prospects for kidney transplantation.”

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