Renal Medicine Associates (RMA) began on July 1, 1973 by founders Drs. Richard Cronin and Glenn Lubash. This was the first independent nephrology practice in Albuquerqueoffering a new medical service to care for individuals in our community with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). The U.S. Congress had just passed legislation allowing national insurance coverage for these individuals, but simultaneously, advances in cardiovascular intervention and intensive care support mandated kidney specialists to care for a growing population of critically ill hospitalized patients.In 1974, RMA partnered with Biomedical Applications (BMA) – a company based in Boston, MA that had arisen to operate free-standing dialysis facilities. BMA, which was eventually purchased by Fresenius Medical Services, has since grown to become the world’s leader in dialysis facility operations and continues to partner with RMA within the greater Albuquerque area along with Los Lunas, Clovis, and Roswell. These early days were not without controversy or opposition, since many physicians feared the growth of outpatient facilities and their impact on academic institutions. The guiding principle however had always been affordable and convenient care for all citizens of our local community.
Dr. Dale Erickson, the third member of the group, had finished his fellowship at the University of New Mexico in June 1974, but was first hired as medical director of the Presbyterian Hospital dialysis facility. After working together, RMA and Dr. Erickson formally joined teams in 1975 as equal partners. By this time, several dialysis facilities existed and there was a growing number of patients with kidney failure depending on dialysis for life extension. Dr. Erickson also started providing service to a new dialysis facility in Clovis and continued to travel to eastern NM every month for the next 21 years. He along with coverage from his partners developed an outpatient nephrology practice and provided inpatient consultation and dialysis care for that community.
In 1978, Dr. Richard Goldman chose to join RMA and promptly became the medical director of this Albuquerque Kidney Center dialysis facility. His interest and knowledge in science and quality control served RMA well as the group began to focus on safety, reliability, and long-term outcomes including patient survival. After Dr. Goldman’s arrival, several members of the group began to serve on national leadership committees and boards, including the post of president of the Renal Physician’s Association, the premiere national organization serving members of the nephrology community. RMA began to work with other national leaders to influence policy and to fight for the rights of ESRD patients within New Mexico.
Over the next decades, this core group expanded services and worked with our surgeon and hospital partners to create the Presbyterian Kidney Transplant Program. The mission of the group grew to include provision of comprehensive care for our community; thus, patients within New Mexico are offered the latest and safest technologies to make sure they have the best opportunity for good health. From 1973 to the present, Renal Medicine Associates has been committed to providing outstanding quality care with integrity and compassion for all individuals affected with kidney disease.