The renal community lost a long tenured patient advocate last month with the death of Bill Litchfield. He was 74.

Bill was born in Pittsburgh, Pa. on June 1, 1940 and started dialysis when he was 28. He was truly a pioneer in patient centered dialysis, having done dialysis at home for more than 20 years and had renal replacement therapy for more than 46 years. An engineer by training, he started as the first home patient in Texas and was one of the patients who testified before Congress for the passage of Medicare legislation to cover dialysis in the 1970s.

The original vice president for legislative affairs for the National Association of Patients on Hemodialysis (now called the American Association of Kidney Patients), he understood very early the importance of patient efforts and patient advocacy in chronic diseases. He is the author of several publications, holding several patents in the renal field, and has been honored by many renal organizations such as the National Kidney Foundation, ESRD Network of Texas, and the University of Texas Medical Branch. He was given tribute several years ago by Davita, who developed a video of his experiences available at

He spent more than 30 years in the oil and gas industry including international operations posts in Asia and beyond, and retired from Ariel Corporation.

His life will be celebrated at a memorial service at 11:00 am, Saturday, October 4, at St. Philip Presbyterian Church, 4807 San Felipe in Houston. No flowers please, but contributions can be made to Dialysis Patient Citizens  or St. Philip Presbyterian Church, 4807 San Felipe, Houston, TX. 77056 at

–– Terry Foust Litchfield