Susie Soares-Phillips has built her career making lives better for patients
living with kidney disease. “Wanting to be a nurse and helping others
was clear to me as a young woman. At age 14, I vividly remember spending
a night in the hospital with my grand-uncle and taking care of him.”
Susie moved to the U.S. from Goa, India in 1982 to study nursing. As a
student at Modesto Junior College, she got a job in 1985 as a reuse technician
with Satellite Healthcare, where she processed artificial dialyzers between
Soares-Phillips quickly saw that dialysis offered an opportunity to work
with patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and their families’
over long periods of time.
“Dialysis just wasn’t a treatment you delivered. It was building
a partnership with patients and their families,” Soares-Phillips
says. “I enjoyed getting to know patients over time, developing
a trusting relationship and engaging patients in their care to improve
their quality of life.”
After becoming a registered nurse and earning her certification in Nephrology
nursing, Soares-Phillips transferred to Satellite Healthcare Turlock,
California. She was quickly recognized as a leader and outstanding patient
care professional. Within the year, she was offered and accepted the clinical
manager position for her center. In 2002, she was promoted to regional
director, where she provided operational leadership to multiple dialysis
centers. Today she oversees eight centers as a territory director and
also serves as a co-lead to improve patient experience.
As she built her career at Satellite Healthcare, she’s never lost
sight of putting patients first. Her goal is to help them live the best
life possible on dialysis and it has always been the focus of her work.
“I want to treat each patient as a person first by doing whatever
it takes to give them the best treatment and experience possible. Each
of them had a life before dialysis. Our job is to help them continue enjoying
those things that are most important to them,” Soares-Phillips says.
She encourages patients to keep living their lives as normal as possible
— continuing with their hobbies, travel and anything else they enjoyed
doing. She individualized and personalized patient care, including transitioning
patients to home dialysis. This allows patients to control their own care
with flexible scheduling and a better quality of life.
Soares-Phillips also believes in the power of education to the community
concerning the risk factors of kidney disease, such as diabetes and hypertension.
Inspired and influenced by Satellite Healthcare’s founder Dr. Norman
Coplon, she has been a devoted and active supporter of the National Kidney
Foundation for more than three decades.
“Dr. Coplon was an inspiration and a role model to me and many others.
He led by example with compassion and encouraged us to volunteer for the
NKF. He taught me to always put patients first and employees right next
to them. He fostered a strong partnership with NKF and believed together
we could achieve more in serving the kidney community.” says Susie.
In October, the NKF named Soares-Phillips its 2017 Champion of HOPE Honoree.
This award recognizes people who have made “extraordinary contributions”
to patient advocacy, healthcare, philanthropy, and research related to
kidney disease and organ transplant.
“I was humbled and speechless when I was notified of the Champion
of HOPE Honoree award by NKF Director, Nicole Ringer. It’s truly
an honor to receive this recognition. I will passionately continue to
serve Satellite Healthcare and National Kidney Foundation’s mission
to carry Dr. Coplon’s legacy forward in the kidney community.”