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Fresenius Medical Care, a leading provider of products and services for individuals who receive dialysis for kidney disease, celebrated the grand opening of its newest center in the northern part of Richland County last week.
The newest Fresenius Medical Care clinic off of Farrow Road (photo by Kelly Petty)
“They do not have to travel as far as they used to,” said Cassandra Rhodes, clinical director of operations. “It was important for us to be here and available for the northeast community. We want them to have less stress in regards to transportation from home to dialysis.”
Rhodes said many patients had to travel long distances to receive dialysis treatments. The new facility allows Fresenius to shift some of its patient load and serve more clients.
“We have so many patients that need us three days a week who have had chronic end stage renal disease that travel from the northeast, sometimes upwards of 24 miles to, our other dialysis clinics,” Rhodes said.
Fresenius has 14 dialysis clinics, including a home dialysis facility for patients who want to receive their treatment in their home. The new location at the corner of Hardscrabble and Farrow roads can serve up to 100 patients a day.
Rhodes said the Midlands has a diverse and growing population of individuals who have been diagnosed with kidney disease. The region is expected to experience a 4 percent increase in the number of people with end-stage renal disease, according to the Southeastern Kidney Council.
Kidney disease is defined as the loss of renal functions and can be recognized by feeling generally unwell and having a loss of appetite.
The demographics vary, according to Rhodes, and can include patients who are dealing with kidney problems associated with diabetes and high blood pressure, those suffering kidney problems because of a cardiac surgery or women whose bodies have not fully recovered from pregnancy and need temporary dialysis.
“Unfortunately the choice is either come see us or possibly pass away,” Rhodes said. “So we want them to come see us, but we have those preventative talks and preventative measures in place in order for our patients to have a healthier life in our dialysis chairs or in the end-stage renal disease community.”
Rhodes said education is a priority for Fresenius. The clinic offers its Treatment Options Program, which are free classes for patients with chronic kidney disease or kidney failure to teach them about choices to improve their quality of life.
Patients will get information about in-center hemodialysis, home dialysis and kidney transplants. They’ll also learn preventative measures so they can continue their daily activities.
“Many people do not realize that kidney disease for the most part is chronic and they have to do something to support life which is dialysis or transplant options,” said Samondra Carter, the clinic’s TOPs Specialist. “Our ultimate goal is for patients to have a plan with managing their kidney failure.”
Rhodes said patients should expect a comfortable experience under the leadership of clinical manager Kimberly Craig and her staff.
“The customer service will be superb,” said Rhodes. “Our patients who are here with us, whether it’s temporary or permanently, until they transition to transplantation, I feel that they will be very satisfied.”