Skip to main content

About Us


For people receiving kidney dialysis or living with a kidney transplant, planning for emergencies and disasters can be the difference between life and death. Dialysis and kidney transplant patients must take special preparedness measures to ensure their own health and safety during and after disasters.

The Kidney Community Emergency Response (KCER) Program, under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, provides technical assistance to End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Networks, kidney organizations, and other groups to ensure timely and efficient disaster preparedness, response, and recovery for the kidney community. The KCER Program's disaster preparedness resources help save lives, improve outcomes, empower patients and families, educate healthcare workers, build partnerships with stakeholders, promote readiness in the community, and support the ESRD Networks. 

Take a few minutes to browse the information about KCER, KCER Committees, and resources for patients, providers, and ESRD Networks. Also included on the site are resources for emergency management preparedness and response for individuals, patients, staff and organizations (such as dialysis facilities and the ESRD Networks). Feel free to contact us with any questions.

June 30, 2022

The 2022 KCER Virtual Summit featured topics that address the unique needs of the ESRD population during crises or disasters.


KCER Summit Session One: The National Response Framework Public Health and Medical Emergency Support Function (ESF-8)

Health and Human Services (HHS) Assistance Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) provider an overview of the National Response Framework’s Public Health and Medical Emergency Support Function-8 and the local-to-federal process for assistance requests under the Stafford Act’s federally-declared emergencies and disasters.

KCER Summit Session Two: Resilience Through Chaos

Dr. Tania Glenn helps participants to define and understand resilience, and learn ways to build resilience in a no-nonsense, achievable way.

KCER Summit Session Three: Regional Disaster Oversight

The Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council provides an overview of their organization; while the Regional Healthcare Preparedness Coalition illustrates disaster responses of a high-functioning coalition and shares the planning and development of the Mobile Infusion Trailer.

KCER Summit Session Four: Home Dialysis and Transplant Patients Impacted by Disasters

Hear personal stories and lessons learned from home dialysis and transplant patient subject matter experts (SMEs) who have been affected by COVID-19 and other disasters.

March 10, 2021

The 2021 KCER Virtual Summit featured topics that address the unique needs of the ESRD population during crises or disasters.

Slide Decks


KCER Session 1: Ryan Tuchmayer, Director of Emergency Management at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, discusses lessons learned and key considerations for responding to natural disasters during the COVID-19 pandemic.

KCER Session 2: Hear from four End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Patient Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) as they share personal stories and lessons learned from the impacts COVID-19 and other disasters.

KCER Session 3: End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) providers share best practices and lessons learned from the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

KCER Session 4: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discusses updates and information on the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine, specifically related to the End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)  community. Also featured is a patient Subject Matter Expert (SME) on vaccine hesitancy and what led to his decision to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

The information presented in the Dialysis During Disasters video:

  • Addresses the unique requirements for ESRD patients related to emergency preparedness, response, and recovery.
  • Provides an overview of the KCER and ESRD Network Programs
  • Discusses key considerations for ESRD stakeholder community preparedness and planning.  

Watch the presentation here.


Collaboratively develop, disseminate, implement, and maintain a coordinated preparedness and response framework for the kidney community.


KCER serves as the leading authority on emergency preparedness and response for the kidney community by providing organization and guidance that seamlessly bridges the needs of emergency management stakeholders and the ESRD community nationwide.


  • Raise public awareness of the critical needs of individuals with kidney failure and the providers who serve them, and the need to plan ahead to ensure that life-saving dialysis services are available and obtainable in the event of an emergency and/or disaster;
  • Promote and disseminate tools and resources so that these are available to individuals with kidney failure, dialysis facilities, and federal, state, and emergency workers;
  • Test and refine the national response strategy that has been put into place to assist federal, state, and local efforts in the event of an emergency and/or disaster; and
  • Pandemic planning.

The KCER program provides resources to save lives, improve outcomes, empower patients and families, educate healthcare workers, build partnerships with stakeholders, promote awareness in the community, and support the ESRD Networks in disaster coordination efforts.

The first National Disaster Summit for the kidney community was held in Washington, D.C., in January 2006. During the Summit, the Kidney Community Emergency Response (KCER) Coalition was formed in an effort to minimize disruption to life-sustaining dialysis and transplant services. The KCER Program included partners from the entire kidney community, representing: patient and professional organizations; practitioners serving the patient with kidney failure, such as nurses, technicians, dietitians, social workers, and physicians; providers, including independent dialysis facilities, large dialysis organizations, and transplant facilities; hospitals; suppliers; ESRD Networks; state emergency and State Survey Agency representatives; and federal agencies, including the FDA, CDC, NIH as well as CMS. The 2007 Summit was held on March 1 in Baltimore, Maryland. The KCER Program continues to hold annual Summit meetings to promote emergency preparedness in the kidney community.

Effective March 11, 2016, HSAG was awarded the KCER Program contract. The vision for KCER is to build on its current foundation, and to continue to follow the concepts, principles, and best practices of an all-hazards comprehensive emergency management program to support the nation's ESRD organizations during a major crisis or disaster. Our programmatic approach to mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery will be as consistent as possible with national and existing industry standards for emergency management.

KCER Staff

CMS Representative

  • Johannes Hutauruk – CMS Contracting Officer's Representative/CMS Government Task Leader