The Kidney Foundation of Ohio is dedicated to providing a broad-based program of direct assistance to those with kidney disease and promoting and providing educational programming for the general public, renal professionals, and patients and their families. It is our goal that all people with renal disease or transplant recipients will be accepted in the community and have a measurably improved quality of life and function as a result of the services provided by the Kidney Foundation of Ohio.
The Foundation serves a thirty-two county area in northern and eastern Ohio and supports two affiliate chapters in Lake and Summit Counties. There are five counties supported by the organization in West Virginia to assist individuals who cross into Ohio for treatment.
What began as a small group of families and physicians has become the premier agency in Ohio for providing direct assistance and education to those suffering from the effects of kidney failure. The Kidney Foundation remains the only health and human services agency in Northeast Ohio which continues to provide direct dollars to patients to assist through the devastation of kidney disease. The Foundation remains an Ohio-based organization and all funds raised in Ohio, stay in Ohio to help our patients.
The Cleveland-based organization was founded in 1950 by a group of parents whose children suffered with nephrosis and physicians from Mount Sinai and University Hospitals. As medical advances were made in the renal field, the Foundation’s scope of services and coverage area grew. Initially, the small group of parents and physicians sought to provide services for patients suffering from kidney disease and to encourage and assist basic research. The organization began to develop educational programs to create professional and public interest.
In partnership with the Cleveland United Labor Agency, mobile clinics were integrated into the community to provide dialysis to patients needing treatment in the 1960s. By 1969, Committee on Donor Enlistment (CODE) was established by the organization to encourage the public to carry organ donor cards and to donate kidneys upon death. CODE was one of the first seven original, independent organ procurement organizations in the United States.
The Foundation maintains a strong commitment to both professional and public education, which led to the creation of the Nephrology Fellowship for Northeastern Ohio researchers. It has worked closely with Eversight Ohio (formally Cleveland Eye Bank) and Lifebanc to promote awareness of the need for organ donations. In the late 1970s, the Organ Recovery Fund was established to support organ donation.
In the 1990s, direct assistance programs were created to support patients with medication, transportation and emergency needs. For children ages 5-18, dialysis camps held at Red Raider Camp (Novelty, Ohio) and Camp Cheerful (Strongsville, Ohio) provided kids the ability to attend a week-long camp that delivered the necessary onsite dialysis treatments.
The work we do would not be possible without the generous support of our donors. We would like to thank all of the individuals, corporations, organizations, and foundations that have supported us in the past and continue to support us in the future. To learn more about sponsorships and partnering with the Kidney Foundation of Ohio, contact the Foundation’s Development Department at (216) 771-2700.
- Michael F. Needham
President & CEO
- Kelly Dowling
Vice President and Director of Development
- Annette Fetter
Assistant Development Director
- Molly DeBrosse, LSW
Client Services and Community Manager
- Angel Neal
- Carolyn Henretta
Executive Director, Summit County Chapter
- Preston Moss
President, Lake County Chapter
board of directors
- Michael Bongers - Chairman
- Stephen J. Roberts - Treasurer
- Gregory W. Klucher, Esq - Immediate Past Chairman
- Robert A. Grossman - Secretary
- Marilyn R. Bartucci, RN - Vice Chair
- Jack Burke - Vice Chair
- Rick A. Chiricosta - Vice Chair
- William F. Christensen - Vice Chair
- Deborah A. Damas, RN - Vice Chair
- Gary D. Penny - Vice Chair
- Jeffrey R. Schelling, MD - Vice Chair
- John R. Sedor, MD - Vice Chair
- Donald P. Shury - Vice Chair
- Leslie A. Wazbinski - Vice Chair
- Richard A. Fatica, MD - Medical Advisory Chairman
- Sally Balch
- Sheri Beck-Eyssen
- Sarah Beidelschies
- Jennifer Czerr
- Ron Flauto, DO
- Robert T. Glickman, JD
- Lynn Kalinowski
- Romeo S. Miclat, MD
- Charles Smith
- Jamie Stanos
- Diane P. Wish, MBA, RN