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Nephrology

Integrated kidney care that makes a difference  

Our pediatric nephrology team handles everything from common conditions, such as kidney infections, to kidney transplants and rare organ abnormalities. We offer life-changing medications and treatments, including dialysis, to help children with kidney conditions. We aim to keep your child’s kidneys functioning at their best and have the proven expertise to help a child facing the complexities of renal failure.  

We focus on integrated care because children who suffer from kidney issues often have other conditions too. Taking a big burden off families, our team coordinates your child’s care all under one roof, bringing in pediatric specialists from urology, rheumatology, cardiology, neurology and more. Your child can see the providers they need during one visit. 

Audrey decorates a box

Providing same-day or next-day access

When your child is hurting, you don’t want to wait for answers or treatments to get them feeling better. That’s why our kidney team is committed to seeing your child within 48 hours of your call. Better yet, we often bring them in that same day. We built our practice to do things how we believe they should be done – and put our patients and their families first.  

With on-site laboratories, imaging tools and other diagnostic resources at our downtown Richmond location, we can often share results during that same visit, starting treatment plans right away and saving you from a return trip. For patients who need long-term kidney care, we can treat them from infancy through their college years.  

Nephrology hypertension clinic 

About 70 percent of our kidney patients experience hypertension (high blood pressure). Our dedicated clinic provides one-stop treatment and tailored services, including:  

  • Screening for underlying causes of hypertension 
  • Medical treatment for confirmed hypertension 
  • 24-hour, at-home blood pressure monitoring 
  • Nutrition education and individualized dietary plans 
  • Referrals to additional services as needed (e.g. Healthy Lifestyles Center) 

Solid organ transplant program 

As part of VCU Health’s Hume-Lee Transplant Center, our team has created one of the nation’s most successful pediatric kidney transplant programs. We help your child prepare for and recover from transplant surgery. 

Audrey has her blood pressure taken

Dialysis

We provide dialysis in a kid-friendly environment in the Children’s Pavilion. We also work with outside providers and train parents for home dialysis treatment, so your child can continue living daily life – including going to school and hanging out with friends.  

Conditions and treatments 

Our kidney and related specialists treat children for conditions including: 

  • Acute or chronic kidney (renal) failure (sudden or long-term failure) 
  • Chronic kidney disease 
  • Electrolyte disorders 
  • Glomerulonephritis (diseases that make it difficult for the kidney to filter blood) 
  • Hematuria (blood in urine) 
  • Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS, damage to kidney’s smallest blood vessel) 
  • Hereditary glomerular diseases and other hereditary kidney diseases 
  • Hypertension 
  • Kidney malformations, including aplasia, dysplasia and anatomical abnormalities 
  • Kidney stones 
  • Kidney transplant 
  • Metabolic acidosis (kidneys fail to pass acid into urine) 
  • Nephrotic syndromes (over excretion of protein in urine) 
  • Obstructive nephropathies (blockages of normal urine flow) 
  • Polycystic kidney disease (cyst growth that can lead to kidney failure) 
  • Proteinuria (protein in urine) 
  • Spina bifida (kidney evaluation) 
  • Urinary-tract abnormalities and infections 
  • Vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels) 

Our team uses a variety of tests and procedures to make diagnoses and treat our patients. Our focus is always on using the least-invasive means to understand and treat your child, because we know they want to quickly get back to being a kid. Our approach includes: 

  • Blood work 
  • Kidney biopsy 
  • Imaging, including ultrasound, CT scans, MRIs, fluoroscopic X-ray and nuclear medicine 
  • Urinalysis 

Helping you care for your child 

Our nurses are your primary point of contact between visits. Our dietitians help develop tailored meal plans and share eating strategies for kids with poor appetites, as kidney disease can hinder growth. To help you navigate your child’s care, our social workers connect you with the right educational tools and other resources so you can be the strongest advocate possible for your child.  

We’re experts in talking with toddlers and young adults (and every age in between), and we help include them in their health discussions. Giving them a voice eases their stress when things are revolving around them. We’re confident in our talented team, but we know that no one cares more for your child than you.  

Audrey laughs with her doctor

Audrey’s story

“The nephrology team is available to us anytime we need them. I sometimes message them and I often have a response within minutes. I feel like they genuinely care about Audrey and our whole family. I couldn't imagine going through this without the team we have at CHoRl.” 

- Tiffany Costa, Audrey’s mom 

 
Timothy Bunchman
Timothy Bunchman MD Nephrology Read more
Shirley Alexander-Das
Shirley Alexander-Das MSW Nephrology Read more
Christina Finotti
Christina Finotti RD Nephrology Read more
Julia Goble
Julia Goble BSN, RN-BC Nephrology Read more
Cristin Kaspar
Cristin Kaspar MS, MD Nephrology Read more
Megan Lo
Megan Lo MD Nephrology Read more

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