Nationally Ranked Pediatric Nephrology Division

By Hillary Eames
Tuesday, November 3, 2020
Specialty: 

U.S. News & World Report ranks Penn State Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Nephrology division as 48th in America.

Several of Penn State Children’s Hospital’s specialties have been recognized by U.S. News & World Report for the past nine years. Most recently, this includes the Division of Pediatric Nephrology and Hypertension, which once again made the 2020–2021 list of top specialties in the nation, ranking as No. 48 in the nation for pediatric nephrology. Specifically, Penn State Children’s Hospital was noted as being above average in success in managing dialysis patients, having high numbers and outcomes for pediatric kidney transplantation. These results are particularly important when considering that dialysis, while an effective form of management, is not a cure for kidney disease, and the goal for pediatric patients on chronic dialysis is almost always kidney transplant.

“We always strive to provide high-quality, safe and effective care for the children and families that we see,” says Deborah Kees-Folts, MD, FAAP, Professor of Pediatrics at Penn State College of Medicine and Division Chief of Pediatric Nephrology and Hypertension at Penn State Children’s Hospital. “We are pleased that these efforts have been recognized by U.S. News & World Report.”

Provider Expertise and Patient Education

Each pediatric nephrologist at Penn State Children’s Hospital is board certified or board eligible in pediatric nephrology and is trained to recognize and meet pediatric patients’ unique concerns. While the processes of hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis are similar in children and adults, children’s needs require a level of specialized care most adults do not. For example, pediatric patients on peritoneal or hemodialysis require extra attention to growth, development and nutrition. For peritoneal patients whose dialysis is performed at home, the Pediatric Nephrology Division focuses on patient education and resources to reduce the risk of infection.

“Our peritoneal dialysis nurse is superb,” Dr. Kees-Folts says. “She does an excellent job training patients and families how to perform dialysis at home, and she is careful to coach them through the appropriate techniques.”

As kidney transplants are always the ultimate goal for pediatric patients requiring chronic dialysis, the pediatric nephrology and transplant teams work closely together to provide a high quality continuum of patient care.

“Our greatest strength is that we have a team of providers dedicated to providing excellent care to children with all forms of kidney disease. We believe in working as a team, and we do it well.”
— Deborah Kees-Folts, MD, FAAP, Professor of Pediatrics at Penn State College of Medicine and Division Chief of Pediatric Nephrology and Hypertension at Penn State Children’s Hospital

Multidisciplinary and Collaborative Patient Care

Physicians and nurses in the Division of Pediatric Nephrology also work with a specialized dietician and social worker to offer comprehensive care. In addition, providers work closely with patients, families and referring physicians, even collaborating with schools to help teachers and other school staff members better understand their students’ medical needs.

“We work to be as accessible to our referring healthcare providers as we possibly can,” Dr. Kees-Folts says. “Referring providers are always welcome to contact us if they have questions or concerns about their patients.”


Call 717-531-6807 to refer a patient to the Penn State Children’s Hospital’s Division of Pediatric Nephrology and Hypertension.