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St. Joseph's increases capacity of Kidney Center

St. Joseph's has received the green light to increase the number of patients that could be treated at the Kidney Center of St. Joseph's. The New York State Department of Health recently approved St. Joseph's request to expand from an 8 to 16-station chronic dialysis unit. Opened in 2008, the 3,300 square foot Kidney Center of St. Joseph, located in St. Joseph's Health Services Building, provides chronic hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, pre end stage renal disease education, transplant referrals along with dietary and social work support for patients with kidney disease.

Mark Dworsky, St. Joseph's Vice President for Clinical Services, said the Kidney Center's eight dialysis units have been operating at full capacity. "St. Joseph's is making a significant investment to address a growing community need," said Dworsky. "Initially we will be investing approximately $200,000 in additional equipment, while adding over $100,000 in the Kidney Center's annual operating expense."

Luis Tapia, MD, Clinical Director of the Kidney Center of St. Joseph's said diabetes and uncontrolled high blood pressure are the two most common causes of kidney disease leading to the need for dialysis. "With our ever growing senior population in Chemung County, I believe St. Joseph's Kidney Center will improve access for those patients needing dialysis and provide them with a choice for their dialysis treatments," furthermore said Dr. Tapia.

The risk factors associated with kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, and obesity, along with certain genetic factors and age. According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention, kidney disease is the ninth leading cause of death in this country. The National Kidney Foundation of Upstate New York reports that 26 million people have chronic kidney disease, while another 20 million are at risk for chronic kidney disease.

Sabrina Neal, RN, CDN, Nurse Administrator at the Kidney Center of St. Joseph's said the staff at the Kidney Center is committed to providing quality care. "With the ever growing population in need of dialysis, we are excited to provide increased treatment availability to Chemung County," said Ms. Neal.

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