The Kidney TRUST

Stemming the Rising Tide of Kidney Failure in the U.S.

Minntech’s Roy Malkin Helps The Kidney TRUST Show the Way

For Roy Malkin, President and CEO of Minntech Corporation in Minneapolis, who brought the TRUST to Minnesota earlier this year for a corporate screening event, the outlook for his Renal Systems business over the next decade is quite strong, but he indicated that he would be more than happy to see a reduction in business growth, if the incidence of CKD could be reduced.

“Unless we take action as a society to step up prevention efforts, the number of people with kidney failure in this country, who will require dialysis or a transplant in their lifetime, is going to go through the roof,” said Roy in a recent interview.  “At Minntech we’re doing everything we can to ensure that kidney disease prevention gets the attention it deserves.”

Roy Malkin

Roy’s commitment to kidney disease prevention is fueled by his own personal experience.  His wife, who has diabetes, is a kidney and pancreas transplant recipient, and so he knows firsthand the consequences of kidney failure.  “The transplants have been very successful,” said Roy, “But it’s been a long, hard road for my wife.  For those of us who live with the consequences of kidney disease, it’s not hard to be passionate about spreading the word to others.”  Roy currently serves on the board of directors of Bridge of Life, which brings chronic kidney disease and dialysis care to underserved areas around the world, and has previously been the honorary Kidney Walk chairman for the local chapter of the National Kidney Foundation.

Minntech manufactures and markets medical devices, sterilants, and blood and water filtration products, many of which are used in dialysis.  The company employs approximately 400 people, most of them based in Minneapolis.

Roy recently was instrumental in bringing The Kidney TRUST’s rapid-screening team to a company wellness event that was attended by almost 200 Minntech employees – as part of the event over 92 employees, including Roy himself, were screened for CKD.

Roy views his own employees as a captive audience, “The point that I want to hammer home with our team members is that CKD is, for the most part, a preventable disease.  With early detection, you can head it off – and perhaps avoid kidney failure altogether.  I personally deliver that message to our employees every chance I get.  I also talk to my peers at other companies about it.”

For Roy and his colleagues at Minntech, kidney disease prevention is part of an overall focus on managing healthcare costs.  “In addition to the human toll, there’s a very practical economic incentive for us all in these types of prevention efforts,” said Roy.  By encouraging our employees to take charge of their health, including making regular visits to their primary care physicians, and supporting efforts to adopt a healthy lifestyle, Minntech has been able to hold the line on health insurance costs on both a company and an individual employee level at a time when health insurance expenses for most companies have been climbing year after year at a rapid pace.

“It’s just good business,” he said.  “Investing money up front in prevention activities helps avoid catastrophic costs down the line.  Major healthcare providers are getting the idea, and I’m hopeful that in the next ten years we’ll see the federal government get on board in a big way.  As a society, we’re going to be spending countless billions on dialysis unless something is done to stop kidney disease in its tracks.”

Roy concluded, “I’ve been so impressed by the innovative spirit of the TRUST team and their very practical approach to kidney disease screening.  In the decade ahead I’d like to see the entire kidney disease community focus on getting the word out that this disease can be prevented.  We need to do for kidney disease what others have done for cancer and heart disease – educate the medical community and the public so that screening for CKD becomes common practice.  We must, at the very least, keep people from crashing into dialysis and help head off the consequences of kidney failure for millions of people in the years to come.”