The Hewell Kids’ Kidney Center at Arnold Palmer Hospital is fortunate to have a support group for patients and their families.

Michael Schwing, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with the Hewell Kids’ Kidney Center at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, recently presented to an international audience at the National Kidney Foundation 2017 Spring Clinical Meeting about the many benefits and challenges of Support Group.

The Hewell Kids’ Kidney Center at Arnold Palmer Hospital is fortunate to have a support group for renal patients and their families. The open group has been providing support for patients for over three years.

However, according to respondents at the Spring Clinical Meeting, approximately 75% of dialysis units do not have a group available to patients and families.


Michael’s presentation was geared to help social workers, nurses, dieticians and physicians with the following
  • define types of groups effective with Chronic Kidney Disease patients,
  • identify benefits and challenges in support groups, and
  • discuss effective strategies for starting a group.
The presentation included testimonials from former patients of Dr. Jorge Ramirez and Dr. Jeffery Johnson of the Hewell Kids Kidney Center. These former patients and their parents shared what the support group has meant to them and how it has helped them overcome extreme psychosocial barriers to care. Support group patients and their parents learn to better understand their daily struggle with a lifelong chronic illness and learn they are not alone.


The Hewell Kids Kidney Center Group meets the last Thursday of each month at Arnold Palmer Hospital. For more information on the Kidney Kids Support Group contact Michael Schwing, LCSW at 321-843-5938.

June 01, 2017