The new Seneca Dialysis Center at 10 St. Lawrence Drive has been caring for patients for about two months, but Thursday evening, the facility opened its doors to a few dozen visitors. The Chamber of Commerce did a ribbon cutting, and the staff was on hand for tours.
Managed by DaVita, the new location has 12 hemodialysis treatment stations equipped with flat-screen televisions and comfortable chairs. DaVita facility administrator Linda Yahn said patients appreciate the amenities the center offers because they spend a good part of a day in treatment.
"Three and a half to four hours is the average, once they get on the machine. But it takes probably another 30 minutes to get them set up and taken down," Yahn said.
Tracy Smith, social worker, emphasized the pre-dialysis education classes available for kidney disease patients who have not yet reached the point of hemodialysis. "Kidney Smart" is a free, one-hour class that includes a video, discussion and worksheets for clients. The instruction helps patients know what to expect when it becomes necessary to begin dialysis at stage 5. Also, it is beneficial for family members to understand what their loved ones are experiencing.
A training room has been set up for peritoneal dialysis, which clients can do at home. A certified nurse trains patients to administer their own treatments. The patients come to the dialysis center once a month to meet with the social worker and dietician to stay on track with their
Smith said clients like the new center.
"The chairs have warmers, and there's a heater above their chairs. Sometimes patients get chilly in here with the blood coming out of their body," she said.
Assistant facility administrator Jessica Wagner said a new dialysis unit also is to be opened in Fremont within the next few months. Because Medicare and Medicaid are expected to bundle renal services beginning in 2014, the dialysis centers will have their own pharmacies to dispense kidney-related medications.
Physicians from Nephrology Associates of Toledo serve the Tiffin facility.
The phone number at Seneca Dialysis is (419) 443-1051.