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Spotlight on Angela Bacchus during National Nurses Week

Courtesy Photos Angela Bacchus, FNP, poses in the dialysis unit in Alpena.

It’s National Nurse Practitioner Week (Nov. 10-16), a time to celebrate these exceptional health care providers and to educate lawmakers about the critical work done by nurse practitioners. There are more than 270,000 nurse practitioners (NPs) licensed in the U.S. who provide a full range of medical services that treat acute and chronic conditions.

One of these conditions is chronic kidney disease (CKD) which is a serious public health concern in the U.S. and is often unrecognized. More than 30 million Americans ages 20 and older suffer from this disease with a cost burden estimated at $58 billion (2014) — 20% of all Medicare dollars. Each year, 90,000 Americans die from kidney disease. Early detection can slow disease progression.

Chronic kidney disease is defined as a structural or functional abnormality of the kidneys. Risk factors for CKD include diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension. Usually a primary care provider refers patients to a nephrologist, who is a physician with additional training in kidney disease.

St. Clair Nephrology group was formed in 1988 and focuses on clinical nephrology, vascular surgery, hypertension, and dialysis. They provide services to many hospitals and dialysis centers in the Metro-Detroit area and now serve Alpena and Rogers City as well.

Angela Bacchus, FNP (family nurse practitioner), has been a full-time provider for this group in Alpena since 2016. She has worked for the University of Michigan (U of M) kidney transplant team in Ann Arbor. She provides service in four locations including Mid-Michigan Medical Center-Alpena, St. Clair Nephrology office, Rogers City, and the DaVita dialysis center.

Bacchus meets with State Senator Jim Stamas at MICNP Advocacy Day in Lansing recently.

She is a member of the Northeast Michigan Council of Nurse Practitioners (MICNP), American Nephrology Nurses Association, and has a specialty certification in nephrology. Bacchus graduated from MSU in 2003 with a master’s degree in nursing and is currently enrolled in a Doctor of Nursing program at U of M Flint. She has lectured on chronic kidney disease and has been involved in clinical research.

Bacchus is joined by two physicians from St. Claire Nephrology who see Alpena patients on a monthly basis and a physician’s assistant (PA) who has recently joined the team.

Her role includes providing care to patients “in all phases of their illness including transplant patients,” Bacchus said. “I split my time between the hospital, dialysis center, and our Rogers City office,” where she travels monthly.

She admits that “some days are very long but we have a good system in place” and assures there is frequent communication between providers.

Bacchus emphasizes that kidney disease can often be slow to progress with few symptoms until it is very advanced “so screening is important,” especially with diabetes and high blood pressure. Lifestyle changes such as smoking cessation and good medication management can make a huge difference.

Bacchus is married with two teenage boys. She is very happy to be in Alpena where she can enjoy nature and avoid the hectic city life.

“We are very fortunate to have Angela’s expertise in Alpena full time and as an active member of the MICNP family,” said Susan Weeks, FNP.

This is very important when immediate access to nephrology services/information is needed, Weeks added. The confidence patients have in nurse practitioner-provided care is demonstrated by more than one billion patient visits every year.