Dr. Ebele Umeukeje is a Nephrologist and a Health Services Researcher in the Nephrology Division at Vanderbilt University. Her long-term career goal is to become a successful Independent Physician Scientist with expertise in kidney disease disparities research focused on improving clinical outcomes in vulnerable kidney disease patients. She is specifically interested in reducing the excessive hospitalization and re- hospitalization in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) by intervening upon dialysis treatment non-adherence. Her short-term career goals, with support from this K23, are to gain 1) advanced skills in the development of novel culturally sensitive, multi-level strategies to eliminate disparities by enhancing patient engagement in self-care and 2) practical experience in patient-centered adherence and disparities research, including the responsible conduct of research. Excessive hospitalization and re-hospitalization in ESRD has significant
Excessive hospitalization and re-hospitalization in ESRD has significant public health relevance to patients, providers and health systems due to its costs both financially and to patients' morbidity and mortality, and emerging evidence shows dialysis treatment adherence is an important modifiable contributor. Compared to whites, African American ESRD patients have a four-fold higher ESRD prevalence, an unacceptably high re- hospitalization rate and higher rates of dialysis treatment non-adherence. The goals of this proposal are to 1) identify novel patient and provider-level determinants of dialysis treatment non-adherence; 2) develop culturally sensitive interventions to improve dialysis treatment adherence; and 3) provide the expert mentorship and experience necessary to facilitate Dr. Umeukeje's successful transition to an independent Physician Scientist with expertise in improving adherence, reducing disparities and optimizing outcomes in ESRD.