The Hastings Macleay Renal team has taken the opportunity during Kidney Health Week, April 8-14, to kick-start a conversation with the community about kidney health.
Manning information stands at Port Macquarie Base Hospital and at Kempsey Community Markets, the renal team has been busy talking about diet, reduced sugar and salt intakes, smoking, exercise and drinking plenty of water.
And while the public has been happy to learn about the importance of good kidney health, two community groups have decided to give something in return.
The Beechwood Hotel has donated $925 to the unit - the proceeds from its annual Ladies Salad Toss fundraiser on St Patrick's Day. The funds will be used to provide Kidney Kare Kits to home dialysis patients, along with an $800 donation from Sienna Grange Retirement Village residents and management.
Sienna Grange's dedicated renal support fundraiser Adele Miller recently helped organise a trivia night which raised $400 towards the Kidney Kare Kits project. When Sienna's manager and trivia night co-organiser Alicia Clark mentioned the donation to her boss, Australian Unity CEO Kevin McCoy, the gift was matched, dollar for dollar.
The evening attracted almost 40 participants answering questions on 10 topics, with the winners, Rocky Beach Team, represented at the donation presentation by Tina and Peter Domjan.
Mrs Miller, whose husband Alan had been a dialysis patient at the hospital, has been raising funds in support of kidney research and patient support since 1995.
"We are so pleased to be able to help in this way as the Kidney Kare Kits are a great help to patients receiving dialysis at home, and to their carers."
Hastings Macleay Renal Services Nursing Unit Manager Trish Campbell said the kits varied depending on the individual needs of each patient but they typically included digital weigh scales, a blood pressure machine, small weigh scales and hooks for PD (fluid) bags, and other miscellaneous equipment such as disinfectant.
"We are so very lucky to have the support of the community, such as the Beechwood Hotel and Sienna Grange Retirement Village, who help us provide practical support to our patients," Ms Campbell said.
"Adele has helped advise us, from a carer's perspective, about what items should be in the Kidney Kare Kits and she is always happy to talk to newly diagnosed patients and their loved ones about care and treatment.
"Every member of the renal team feels privileged to know such wonderful people and to receive their support so we can work together to make things a bit easier for our patients.
"This very practical assistance makes a big difference in the lives of our patients, so on behalf of the team, we want to thank everyone who contributed to the success of Beechwood's big Salad Toss and Sienna Grange's Trivia Night. Your support makes it possible for us to continue to roll out our Kidney Kare Kits to newly diagnosed patients."