Letter From Our President
LACNA (Los Angeles County Nephrology Associates) was created around 1991. I had started a solo practice in 1989. By 1991 my practice had grown to be able to hire another associate. This was the birth of LACNA.
My new associate and I continued to grow the office, dialysis, and hospital pieces of our practice. We also began our Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) program which slowly grew to about 20 patients. However even though we continued to have growth spurts it was not until 2001 when we were able to add our third partner.
In 2001, we added a third partner to our group. When I interviewed Dr. Chowdhury we talked about PD and I told him that I trained at the University of Pittsburgh that had a very large PD program and that I had a dream of getting to 100 PD patients in our practice. I think he thought I was crazy and probably laughed about my ideas of grandeur.
Finally, in 2007 we opened our first free standing PD center in Montebello, California, Peritoneal Dialysis Center of America. Once we were certified our PD patients started to increase to over 50 patients. Currently this unit fluctuates between 90 and a hundred patients. In 2012 we bought an existing PD unit that was owned by Innovative Dialysis. Which over time we have slowly grown to 35 to 40 patients. I know it has been a long dream, but we have achieved the ambitious goal to care for over 100 home therapy patients. Over my 30 years of practicing Nephrology, providing my patients with a home-based therapy option for them to retain the highest quality of life has been a privilege.
Our current practice of PD puts us with a penetration of home therapy modalities to 23 to 25 % of our dialysis population.
At the end of 2017 my original associate decided to retire so we had now 3 partners, one new associate and have now added 2 more physicians. This makes LACNA one the larger Nephrology groups in the greater Los Angeles area. We have 6 Board Certified Nephrologists, and 2 mid-level providers. This allows us to provide better care to our patients in the office, dialysis units, and hospitals. Dr. Chowdhury and I are able to perform procedures such as placement and removal of tunnel catheters, fistulograms, angioplasties, and thrombectomies of AVF/AVG.
We also currently invest time and effort in clinical research in our office. These are phase 3 studies and usually involve drugs that are coming to market and testing new indications for existing drugs.
LACNA also provides learning opportunities for medical students, and PA students. We frequently take on and provide an opportunity for these students to savor the complexity of Nephrology.
We have started a program in collaboration with Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCUHS). This is a program for Physician Assistants. The goal is to create a program for Physician Assistants to become certified in Nephrology it is our practice doing our part of giving back to the community.
As for our practice today, we have the privilege and honor of taking care of patient’s within an area of 10 hospitals and 14 dialysis centers. We have the clinical capacity to see about 600 patients in the office a month and hoping to expand that as we continue to grow.
Dr. Chowdhury and I perform interventional procedures that include, tunneled catheter insertions and removals, fistulograms, angioplasties, and thrombectomies of AVF/AVG.
We have continued to collaborate with other groups to improve patient care in our local service area and address the growing kidney disease population.
It is my great pleasure and honor to be part of the LACNA organization where everyone has a voice. I consider all our provider’s part of the practice. I would like to thank our staff that have been on the other side of the camera. They help us keep this organization together, Sandy, Lina, Liz, and Dina. Also, all clinical support staff contributes to our success.
LACNA will continue to grow and have a great success in the coming years to come and provide great care to our patient population.
I believe LACNA will continue to grow and have a great success in the next few years.Carlos R. Gonzalez, MD