In recognition of World Kidney Day, a global campaign aimed at raising awareness of the importance of our kidneys to our overall health and to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease, we acknowledge the amazing work of Olga Charnaya, M.D. (’10). Dr. Charnaya is a Pediatric Nephrologist and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Dr. Charnaya, along with her colleagues, staffs the only pediatric hemodialysis unit in the state of Maryland. The unit is unique because in addition to providing expert dialysis care from nephrologists and dialysis nurses, the focus is on comprehensive care of the patient and family with a dietician, social worker, and behavioral psychologist who are all actively engaged with each patient.
Dr. Charnaya cites her education at MSIH as an experience that greatly prepared her for caring for patients from different cultures. She shared, “MSIH prepared me to work easily across multiple settings, and with people of different cultures. My time in Israel helped me develop critical communication skills that have allowed me to easily connect with families and garner their trust as I care for their children who have life-threatening diseases.”
As a faculty member at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dr. Charnaya dedicates her time to research and teaching in addition to clinical care. Her research focuses on optimizing immunological matching to improve long-term allograft survival in pediatric kidney transplant recipients, especially focusing on the racial disparities in allograft outcomes. She was recently awarded a KL2 Clinical Research Scholars Award from Johns Hopkins, a career development award that will enable completion of a PhD in Clinical Investigation and fund her research.
Dr. Charnaya has numerous publications in the field of pediatric nephrology and kidney transplant. Her most recent publications include, “Ethics Rounds: Access to Transplantation for Undocumented Pediatric Patients” in Pediatrics, “Effects of COVID19 Pandemic on Pediatric Kidney Transplant in the United States” in Pediatric Nephrology, and “Promoting Cardiovascular Health Post-transplant Through Early Diagnosis and Adequate Management of Hypertension and Dyslipidemia” in Pediatric Transplantation.
Between eight and ten percent of the adult population have some form of kidney damage, and every year millions die prematurely of complications related to Chronic Kidney Diseases (CKD). Untreated kidney failure can be life-threatening. If CKD is detected early and managed appropriately, the deterioration in kidney function can be slowed or even stopped, and the risk of associated cardiovascular complications can be reduced.