Paulette Lewis, a Nephrology Nurse Practitioner at The Scarborough Hospital (TSH) and founding member and secretary of the African Caribbean Kidney Association (ACKA), is this year’s winner of the Kidney Foundation of Canada’s Central Ontario Chapter’s Renal Professional Award.
The award recognizes Paulette’s outstanding contribution in supporting patients and the Foundation through volunteer commitment, patient care and advocacy, and public awareness.
“I am very happy to receive this award. I was surprised when I heard I had been selected, and I think we all deserve it,” says Paulette, in reference to her fellow ACKA members.
ACKA is a volunteer chapter of the Kidney Foundation of Canada consisting of nurses, physicians, and pharmacists, and provides supportive programs to individuals living with or at risk of kidney disease. The group also aims to help individuals of African and Caribbean origin understand and manage their risk for kidney disease, as this population is considered high risk and tends to have an earlier onset and a more rapid progression of the disease.
With ACKA, Paulette travels around the Greater Toronto Area and Southern Ontario to conduct educational sessions and screening events, and raise public awareness of risk factors. These screening sessions are important for early detection and intervention, encouraging patients with risk factors to see their primary care physician sooner.
At TSH, where she has worked for 15 years, Paulette works closely with end stage renal disease patients, helping them to preserve their kidney function as long as possible, as well as prepare them for dialysis to ensure a smooth transition.
“I love that my job involves teaching, and helping patients to understand how the disease process affects their kidneys, as well as how to slow down the process,” adds Paulette.
Congratulations on your Renal Professional Award, Paulette!