DENVER, March 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- DaVita, a division of DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. (NYSE: DVA) and a leading provider of kidney care services, celebrates its more than 3,000 social worker and dietitian teammates during the entire month of March. March is National Kidney Month and also marks both National Social Work Month and National Nutrition Month, recognizing the important roles of dietitians and social workers in kidney care. These teammates provide specialized services to patients undergoing dialysis. During March, in honor of DaVita social workers and dietitians, the company is holding special meetings across the country to bring staff dietitians and social workers together to be recognized for their outstanding contributions to the DaVita community and its patients. "Through their endless support and by helping to ease many of the worries patients and their loved ones face, our social workers are incredible assets to our kidney care team," said Duane Dunn, director of social work services at DaVita. "This month, we're hosting nearly 50 in-person meetings and calls to celebrate and recognize our social workers and the difference they make every day." Social workers take holistic care to heart as they listen to and advocate for patients' emotional, psychosocial and physical health. Social workers help patients help themselves as they adjust to kidney disease, a chronic illness that can require a significant lifestyle change. Teaching patients about kidney disease and their treatment options – including dialysis and possible transplantation – helps patients understand and make informed decisions about their care. In addition, social workers are instrumental in assisting with insurance questions and coordinating travel arrangements for patients. Social workers educate and support patients to help them enjoy a better quality of life with kidney disease. Dietitians work regularly with patients to guide their nutrition choices and create healthy meal plans for specific health needs. Chronic kidney disease requires significant diet modifications, which include limiting fluids and sodium intake and monitoring key nutritional levels such as phosphorus and potassium. By educating patients, dietitians can help patients avoid complications, and improve clinical outcomes and quality of life.