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Joanne D Pittard MS, RN

Ms. Joanne D Pittard MS, RN; Professor Emerita of Allied Health began here career in hemodialysis in 1971. Ms. Pittard is a consultant for Hemodialysis, Inc. and is the Associate Director of the Hemodialysis, Inc. training program for Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) and Patient Care Technicians (PCTs).

Ms. Pittard taught at Glendale Community College in Glendale, California from 1975 to 2006. During her tenure, Ms. Pittard served as the hemodialysis program director, while teaching didactic and clinical nursing. This hemodialysis program was the only college-level hemodialysis course in California and held the distinction of being the oldest and most well regarded college-level registered nurse and patient care technician dialysis education program in the United States.  California legislation in 1984 used her hemodialysis nursing course syllabus as the model when standardizing the states training and education program requirements for Patient Care Technician (PCT) education and certification by the department of health services (DHS). 

About 1992, at specific request from the publisher and members of the ESRD community, her outlined manual, was made available to ESRD educators by mail. The response was and remains remarkable. That response and the letters asking for more detailed information about dialytic nursing care led to Joanne’s first monograph, "Principles of Dialysis," printed in March 1998. Our advertising consisted of just one direct mailing to RNs in November 1998. Orders for her monographs continue to this time as RNs and PCTs refer their friends to this new source of nursing information.

John R De Palma MD, FACP

John R. De Palma, MD, FACP graduated From SUNY College of Medicine and completed his post-graduate medical education in Internal Medicine and Nephrology at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, Washington. In 1978 he founded the California Corporation Hemodialysis, Inc (Hi) in Glendale, California to fill the growing void of quality hemodialysis care. He is chief executive officer (CEO) of that corporation.

A Federal law which provided Medicare benefits of Americans with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) was passed in 1973. By then Doctor De Palma had demonstrated the success of self-care dialysis. Despite a burgeoning dialysis industry, there was no formal training for hemodialysis personnel. He began an evening lecture series for Registered Nurses interested in learning about this new field. That lecture series was an immediate success, attracting over 100 nurses within the first year.

But… there continued to be a shortage of trained direct care hemodialysis personnel. Because of his success in teaching and using Nurses Aids to teach and do self-care dialysis, he wrote a white paper proposing to the State of California that they acknowledge these individuals and allow a credential and training process for these direct care dialysis personnel. He coined the name Patient Care Technicians (PCTs) to distinguish these individuals from Machinery Technicians (MTs); the latter usually lacking in both interest and knowledge of direct patient care. Out of one of his patient’s gratitude, a special state funded project for this type of training was begun at Glendale Community College.

With community inspired support, he organized, gave the lectures and the didactic portion of this first college level one-semester course for hemodialysis Patient Care Technicians. Ms. Pittard derived her outline from those lectures, data, drawings, and concepts presented at these lectures.