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Friday, September 30, 2011 - Kalkaska Dialysis Center Takes Care of Patients, Business


A patient undergoes dialysis at the center during its initial year of operation.

Kalkaska Dialysis Center Takes Care of Patients, Business
After three years in operation, the center exceeds financial expectations
 
Three times a week, more than 40 patients from the Kalkaska region pull into the parking lot at Kalkaska Memorial Health Center’s Dialysis Center to find welcoming smiles and safe, efficient care.
 
Three years after the doors opened to the center, hospital officials report patients served by it have exceeded expectations.
 
“What makes the program stable is the number of people using it, including those who are coming from long distances because they have decided this is the best program to go to,” said Jim Austin, Administrator for Kalkaska Memorial Health Center. “Our hospital board originally projected it would take longer before the program would become financially stable. This is good news for continuation of this program.”
 
Dialysis Center Director Janine Diebel, RN, said the 5,500-square-foot facility is serving 40 patients a week, with capacity to add more.
 
“This summer we were able to serve tourists who came to the area in addition to our 40 patients,” she said. “We’re open six days a week, 12 hours a day.”
 
The center uses six stations and has patients from Kalkaska, as well as those who travel from communities such as Alba, Mancelona, and Bear Lake. One patient travels from Alpena because of the service and care. “They prefer Kalkaska’s dialysis which Munson Healthcare has brought to Kalkaska,” Diebel said.
 
Best practices for management, as well as for dialysis, have produced positive outcomes for patients.
 
“The board is pleased that the program is growing faster than expected,” Austin said. “We knew it was needed and it’s become very clear that it is attracting people from the local community and beyond, which makes it financially viable.”
 
The center, located adjacent to the hospital, opened in 2007 in an effort to bring quality care closer to home for residents in the Kalkaska area. Austin said he continues to receive comments from the community, thanking the hospital for the bringing dialysis services to Kalkaska.
 
“I’m very proud of our staff members who function at a very high level on behalf of our patients and deliver high quality dialysis care,” he said. “We appreciate the confidence patients have shown in our service.”

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CONTACT:
Dale Killingbeck
Munson Healthcare Corporate Communications
(231) 935-3393