IPNA Sister Program

IPNA has recently introduced the Sister Centre program with the aim of linking developing pediatric renal units in less resourced regions (EMERGING CENTRE) to experience pediatric renal units in well-resourced regions (SUPPORTING CENTRE). The first pair of centers to be launched in this exciting adventure are the Foundation for Children with Kidney Diseases (FUNDANIER) in Guatemala and the Division of Pediatric Nephrology at the University of Puerto Rico.

In the next two years, FUNDANIER and the University of Puerto Rico will work closely in order to strengthen local research and training capacity in Guatemala. The ultimate goal is to develop a training center at FUNDANIER in Pediatric Nephrology and related disciplines for the region of Central America.

Emerging Center: Guatemala – Dr. Randal Lou-Meda – Guatemala Roosevelt Hospital

Supporting Center: Puerto Rico – Dr. Melvin Bonilla-Félix – University Pediatric Hospital

Program Aim

Linking developing pediatric renal units in less well resourced regions (EMERGING CENTRE) to experienced pediatric renal units in well resourced regions (SUPPORTING CENTRE) on a 1 to 1 basis.

Assist in improving:

  • Clinical training of staff (medical, nursing and allied health staff) involved in caring for children with kidney disease
  • Developing and upgrading services for children and adolescents with kidney diseases
  • Education of the community regarding disease awareness and preventative strategies
  • Clinical research development

NB Educational Grant and not a Service grant – i.e. not to buy medication and equipment.


  • Priority to Host centres from Emerging Countries to be teamed on application with Mentor centre
  • Centres in similar geographic proximity are encouraged
  • Preference to a centre who has a previously trained IPNA fellow
  • Both applicants (EC) and (SC) must be IPNA members

Requirements for paired application

Name and position of Applicant with CV
Centre – Name and geographic region
Support letter from Hospital CEO
Motivation for application including needs and goals for 2 year commitment Motivation for application – How supoporting centre can support Emerging Centre for 2 year commitment
Financial plan – with breakdown of how money will be spent
Existing hospital facilities including: – Number of staff – Number of paediatric beds and any dedicated renal beds – Hospital facilities including radiology – Biopsy and histology capacity

– Dialysis availability and type

Describe assistance in terms of: – Journal subscription or textbooks – Webinars

– Emails/Whatsapp support

Main Language of communication
Past IPNA fellows


2-years paired program.

Financial plan

Up to a maximum of USD 2500 for a 2-years period.

  • 2 x airline flights – 1 to EC and 1 to SC (presumption that EC/SC may be able to provide accommodation for duration of visit)
  • USD 500 for educational meetings: teaching courses (may be able to host a IPNA teaching course) or educational material for staff and parents/patients


  • Reviews with assessments of success and challenges of program at 1 year, 2 years and 1 year post completion of program.
  • Keep developing new programs with a 2-year tenure only.

For any Queries, please contact

office [at] ipna-online.org

IPNA Online