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All the live conferences are cancelled! Now what?

Updated: Jun 3, 2020

Written by: Therese Wykoff

Many of the key conferences that bring together dialysis access colleagues to learn from one another have been cancelled due to COVID-19. How do we continue to educate collectively and collaborate on solutions during this time?

We've been developing a solution - Kidney Academy, Inc. Kidney Academy is a nonprofit 501c3 organization with a mission to join dialysis access colleagues in various specialties and various world regions in one place to exchange knowledge and share solutions. Kidney Academy is well-positioned to offer a solution to enable continued learning and connection for the dialysis access community.

Kidney Academy is a virtual platform modeled after a live conference structure. The website provides 4 key sections:

  1. Online ACCME-Accredited Learning platform with 15 foundational modules focused on various aspects of dialysis access.

  2. Online Community. In addition to being able to chat with colleagues, students will be able to participate in discussions with subject matter experts, access the dialysis access resource library, and post images, videos and documents to share with others.

  3. Societies, Meetings, Publications – Links to related resources and organizations in dialysis access.

  4. Virtual Exhibitor Hall – A designated place to learn product-specific information from the manufacturers.

Kidney Academy is the premier web-based CME-accredited education platform dedicated to dialysis access and available 24/7 to a global audience. Kidney Academy brings the content relevant to the practitioners in this field together in one place, making it a real solution for continued learning during the COVID-19 period. Research suggests that web-based learning is an effective modality for adult students because they have more control over the learning process and the opportunity to review the material as needed. The modules are geared towards the educational needs of international vascular surgeons, interventional radiologists, nephrologists, general surgeons and physicians who perform open and/or interventional dialysis access procedures. Content is also appropriate for adjunct healthcare professionals, including nurses, technologists, and care coordinators, and for Primary Care Physicians in understanding appropriate specialist referral.  

The specialties delivering dialysis access are equipped with different training backgrounds, experience, and expertise. This variation leads to diverse perspectives for optimal solutions and how to get to those solutions for the same problem in the same patient. Global disparity exists regarding factors such as patient characteristics, available resources, cultural attitudes for Renal Replacement Therapy (RRT), and international variation in availability and approval for interventional devices and pharmaceutical agents. By inviting everybody to the table to engage and discuss, Kidney Academy aims to cross the boundaries that exist between medical specialties and also between geographic regions.

We must be agile and adaptable during this time. Rethink how you learn and connect. Open your perspectives to a new way. See you in the classroom!


Even though the CME module content of the Kidney Academy website is only partially built out, we believe this online platform is a strategic tool for learning and connecting, and given the current challenges presented by COVID-19 we have decided to launch the platform early to support the global dialysis access colleagues.

For a Limited Time Kidney Academy is Offering:

Therese Wykoff leads the operations of Kidney Academy, Inc., overseeing the development of this high impact project. Her educational background in organizational development and executive leadership support her role of interfacing with stakeholders to create an innovative educational and collaboration resource to collectively raise the level of knowledge and ultimately impact patient outcomes on a global scale. Her systems thinking approach appreciates the diversity of perspectives that need to be acknowledged in making this program a success.

To inquire about supporting Kidney Academy, Inc.via an unrestricted educational grant to support our mission of delivering education and collaboration to the global dialysis access community, please email directly at

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