Q&A: Victoria Page of the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii

Victoria Page has served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer for the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii. Since she joined in 2004, she has focused on building strategic partnerships and enabling the innovative growth of the organization to support Hawaii’s kidney patients across the continuum of care. Recently, she announced her departure from the organization. The State of Reform talked with her about the growth of the Kidney Foundation under her leadership and its continuing vision for the future.

Marjie High: Hello Ms. Page. We here at the State of Reform heard that you are going to be leaving the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii after 15 years and we wanted to check in with you about your direction, how far you have brought the Foundation, and its plan to move forward upon your departure.

Victoria Page: Certainly. Well, I have another mainland opportunity within the health care arena that I will be leaving to pursue. I have been with the Kidney Foundation for 15 years which is a long, long time, but it has been wonderful work. Over the years that I have been with the organization it has gone through a lot of growth and development, but it has had a tremendous impact in the wellbeing of our community. I can honestly say it has been extremely meaningful opportunity and experience.

In my time with the Kidney Foundation, it has expanded from working directly with the community, serving as patient advocates for kidney patients and other people affected by chronic conditions, to providing innovative services to transform and improve the quality of care being delivered.

While the Foundation remains extremely dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of the individuals they serve in the community, it also has evolved as a stakeholder within the health care industry and care delivery system by enabling process redesign and carrying out programs aimed at improving clinical outcomes, containing and reducing costs, and enhancing the overall experience for patients and providers. I am really proud to have been involved in developing the strategy and building the business model for this innovation work. It is exciting to see the patient engagement services that grew out of this paradigm shift as well.

MH: Are there any initiatives or services that you provide that you are particularly proud of or want to highlight?

VP: Yes, so the mission at the Kidney Foundation is to prevent kidney disease, support individuals affected by the condition, and increase awareness around organ donation, but the broader overall vision to improve the quality of life and the health status of the people we serve in Hawaii.  Our community programs like patient advocacy, screening, education and patient support, serve as a foundation to accomplish the mission. We have reached many people affected by kidney disease and other related conditions through our programs and our statewide awareness campaigns.

We are excited to have been able to advance our efforts on a systemic level through our innovation initiatives. I am honored to have been able to participate in quality care delivery transformation that supported providers moving into the new value-based payment model. We understand that the people we serve sit at the center that care concept and our involvement at this level of reform will have a long standing sustainable impact. The clinical services that have evolved from this endeavor is positioned to play a critical role in patient engagement as the landscape continues to change.

I am very proud to have been a part of this effort for the last 15 years. I am grateful to have been able to exercise my strategic business development, operational capacity building, and community collaboration skills within this organization. It has been very rewarding!

MH: And with your departure, what do you see as the future of the Kidney Foundation?

VP: They are going through a transition now as you can imagine with a change in leadership, but with the vision of the current CEO and the new leadership that will come on board, I am very hopeful for their future. I think what’s wonderful about the Kidney Foundation is that this change will be taken as an opportunity because the commitment to serve the community runs strong.

Additionally, the Kidney Foundation has the unique advantage of being a neutral entity that can provide a much-needed connection amongst other organizations and partners. It is a community-based patient advocacy organization at its core. The Kidney Foundation has a special perspective on patients’ needs, barriers within health care, and how to help voice these issues.

Patients don’t just live in one portion of the health care system, they transition throughout the whole continuum. The Kidney Foundation is dedicated to being there for the patients along the entire journey.

MH: Are there any particular changes that we should expect as the Foundation moves forward?

VP: At the moment, the Kidney Foundation is doing a lot of reflection around how to best make the next step forward. Right now, I think that they recognize because of the position that they have within the community, they are able to facilitate a solid community-clinical linkage and serve as resource hub within the clinical health care system which should bridge the gap to better support the patient along the continuum.

Everyone is sorting out the best ways to optimize this new dynamic. What’s wonderful about Hawaii is that because we are so small and so remote we are finding ways to do this together. Collaboration is not always easy. It can be very difficult to figure out where our objectives truly align and how manage our agenda in an ever-changing changing multi-faceted environment.

That’s what I am really grateful for everything we have been able to accomplish together. I am really hopeful that the Foundation can continue on this path.

MH: What will you miss most about your time with the Foundation?

VP: Of course, I’m going to miss all of the wonderful people that I have had a chance to work with over the years and being part of all that wonderful growth and creation. I am grateful for the privilege of working with the team at Kidney and our many community partners. I know that there will be opportunities for our paths to cross again because health care reform is a national endeavor.

I think that’s why your organization has created a presence in Hawaii. You know there’s going to need to be broad-based support to move forward in this new dynamic. I am excited to be an active participant in my new role on the mainland and I hope this brings awareness around the amazing efforts taking place in Hawaii. Thanks for letting me share this with you.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.