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New center offers easier treatment for dialysis patients


Community members were introduced to Fresenius Medical Care at an open house

A new business is making access to medical care that much easier for patients in Sandy.

On Saturday, July 26, employees of the city and Fresenius Medical Care along with members from the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce and the community gathered outside the new Fresenius Dialysis Clinic location in Sandy, 37139 Highway 26, for a ribbon cutting.

City Council President Jeremy Pietzold performed the ribbon cutting and welcomed the new business. by: POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce members and Jeremy Pietzold performed a ribbon cutting outside of the new Fresenius Medical Care center Saturday.

During his speech, Pietzold thanked the center for opening its doors and preventing added costs and hassle to patients with kidney failure who have had to travel to other cities for treatment.

The Sandy dialysis center held an open house from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday, giving tours of the facility and introducing its staff members.

The facility, which is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, has eight extra wide, heated chairs — and one more in an isolation room — that also offer massage.

During treatment, clinic staff check vitals of their patients every 30 minutes, and in some cases, if needed, as often as every 5 minutes.

“I see people who have been through hell,” said Shawna Clark, an RN and the clinic’s manager. “They’ve been sick for a long time, then they come to us and all of a sudden they have this access."

The center also offers an on-site dietician as well as home therapy training and consultations.

During the tour, community members were shown what Clark calls the heart of dialysis — the water and filtration equipment. The back room of Fresenius is filled with filter tanks and backups, pipes and meters. The water is tested every four hours, Clark said. by: POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - During the centers open house, Clinic Manager Shawna Clark handed out roses to honor her staff and support.

While Clark said that at least one of the center’s patients are on the list for a kidney transplant, that course is not an option for everyone.

“It’s sad,” she said. “Often people can’t get a transplant because they can’t afford the copay for their medications.”

Although it may be possible in the future, Clark said there are no immediate plans to open the clinic for Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday treatments because they do not have an adequate amount of trained staff to take on the extra shifts.

Clark said a lot of training goes into becoming specialized in dialysis: sometimes six months in the classroom and then another six months before the staff members are able to handle a treatment shift alone.