Kidney CARES (Comprehensive Advanced Renal Disease and End Stage Renal Disease Support) Program at NYU Langone Nephrology Associates

The renal supportive care program at NYULMC (Kidney CARES Program, Comprehensive Advanced Renal disease and End stage renal disease Support Program, funded by the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation) provides an interdisciplinary team approach to care for patients with advanced renal disease and end stage renal disease. The program will be fully integrated with NYU’s nephrology practice and in close contact with the inpatient palliative care consultative service. Staffed by myself, a dually trained palliative care and renal physician, an RN educated in advance care planning, and a psychologist who focuses on patients with advanced serious illness, the Kidney CARES team will focus on the following:

  • Symptom control: Management of physical symptoms such as pain, itch, restless legs syndrome and insomnia
  • Psychosocial and spiritual support: Expert counseling for anxiety and depression
  • Advance care planning and seamless transitions of care: The goal of the program is provide the right care for each individual patient in accordance with their personal values and goals.
  • Aid in treatment decision making, particularly the decision to initiate or to withdraw renal replacement therapy.

The current epidemiology of renal disease in the United States shows a high prevalence of disease in older adults. These patients often have a high symptom burden, a pattern of high healthcare utilization, and die in a hospital rather than in a hospice. The United Kingdom and Australia are currently publishing data on the value of integrated palliative care for vulnerable patients with kidney disease. There is presently limited data from the United States that looks at the illness trajectory of patients who choose not to initiate dialysis, or patients with serious kidney disease who have liberal access to palliative care services. To our knowledge, the Kidney CARES program is the first of its kind in the United States. Our goal is to not only provide optimal comprehensive patient concordant care to those with serious kidney disease, but to provide valuable and novel data that describes the clinical impact of integrated renal and palliative clinical care.

Jennifer S. Scherer, M.D.
Assistant Professor
Division of Palliative Care and Division of Nephrology
NYU School of Medicine

For appointments:

Email: or call: 212-263-0705

Link for the patient web-site for palliative care: