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Patients Support Building New Dialysis Center in Former WGGG Building
By: Dialysis Clinic, Inc.
"The building has been there forever and it's not being used. Most people who pass by it don't even know what it was," stated Garry Kendrick, Gainesville resident and dialysis patient. "It's fine with me if they build a dialysis center there."
When considering the placement of their new dialysis facility, DCI considered the impact on the dialysis patient population. Many dialysis patients utilize public transportation to take them to and from their dialysis center. Building a center closer to where they live will facilitate patient treatments, reduce travel time, and save the patients money.
Ironically, those who know the history of the old WGGG building know that the former radio station's call letters, WGGG, were accompanied by the slogan, "Watch Greater Gainesville Grow." However, it appears that preservation efforts may unintentionally be hindering much needed medical services growth in the area.
"We need to develop the east side of Gainesville. It is an underserved area," claimed Craig Mattox, Gainesville resident since 1975.
Joe Gordon, current DCI dialysis patient, explains, "Many patients live on the northeast and southeast side. They don't have cars, so they rely on the bus to take them around town. Having a dialysis center on Waldo Road will make it easier for many of these patients to get to their dialysis. It can cost around $18 dollars per week to get to and from dialysis. Many patients can't easily afford that."
DCI, a non-profit dialysis provider, currently operates two dialysis centers in the Gainesville area. The first clinic is a 12-station in-center hemodialysis unit at 3850 NW 83rd Street caring for three shifts of patients, six days per week. The other clinic at 3750 NW 83rd Street, is a chronic kidney disease and home therapy program that teaches people with kidney disease how to better live with this disease, how to slow its rate of progression, and explore the varied treatment options if disease progression necessitates future dialysis therapy. If needed, it then trains the patients to perform their dialysis at home as compared to having to go to an in-center treatment clinic three times per week. Adding the third dialysis unit on Waldo Road will allow patients on the east side more convenient access to dialysis.
Patricia Smith, a DCI dialysis patient for two years, stated, "I would highly recommend DCI to people with kidney failure. If the new center opens on Waldo Road, it will be right down the street from me and save me a drive across town. I would definitely use it!"
Craig Mattox's current dialysis schedule is 3pm – 7pm. He said the new facility would make life more convenient for him. "I drive across Gainesville and sometimes get bogged down in traffic. The new unit would cut my travel time in half. I leave the dialysis unit around 7:30pm or 8pm. Just being closer to home would save me time and allow me to be home earlier and have dinner with my wife."
Along with improved convenience and quality of life for patients, building a new DCI dialysis center on the eastern side of Gainesville will also bring jobs to the community.
"We will be hiring local staff to operate this dialysis facility," stated Dwight Morgan, DCI Area Operations Director. "I anticipate initially hiring five to ten positions for this facility. As the patient population grows, so will the need for staffing."
Construction on the new dialysis center on Waldo Road is expected, pending permit approval, to begin in the fall with plans for construction completion in mid-2019. The clinic will then open for patient care immediately following Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and state certifications.
To learn more about Dialysis Clinic, Inc. visit http://www.dciinc.org/