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St. Joseph's to Open Chronic Dialysis Unit

The New York State Department of Health has given its approval for St. Joseph's to construct a chronic renal dialysis clinic in St. Joseph's Health Services Building located on the Hospital's campus. The 3,300 square foot clinic will provide chronic hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, pre end state renal dialysis, transplant referrals along with dietary and social work support for chronic dialysis patients.

The cost associated in building the clinic will total approximately $1 million. Hospital officials anticipate treating patients in the clinic by the third quarter of this year.

The clinic expects to provide over 6,200 procedures over the course of a year for those patients suffering from kidney disease. The risk factors associated with kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, and obesity, along with certain genetic factors and age. According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease and Prevention kidney disease is the ninth leading cause of death in this country. Nearly 26 million people have chronic kidney disease, while another 20 million are at risk for chronic kidney disease.

In 2004 St. Joseph's opened the Kidney Center of St. Joseph's in order to treat those hospital inpatients needing dialysis. St. Joseph's President/CEO, Sister Marie Castagnaro, SSJ said opening a chronic dialysis clinic addresses a community need while at the same time offering patients a choice for this service. "Diabetes is often the most frequent diagnosis leading to the need for renal dialysis," said Sister Castagnaro. "With our ever growing senior population in Chemung County we determined that a chronic renal dialysis clinic was a must for our organization and the community because of the increased demand for dialysis."

According to the Chemung County Health Department's Community Health Assessment Report (2005-2010), for the 10-year period from 1993-2003 the death rate per 100,000 Chemung County residents dying from diabetes registered at 20.6. That figure exceeded the New York State death rate for the same time period. Meanwhile according to data from the Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System (SPARC), hospitalizations for diabetes related conditions also increased. In fact during 2003, 172 Chemung County residents, the largest number of residents during that 10-year period, were hospitalized for diabetes.

"Our chronic renal dialysis clinic will improve access for the many dialysis patients who wish to be dialyzed during the daytime, while at the same time enhancing the quality and continuity of patient care in our community," said Sister Castagnaro.

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