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Dialysis remains high on HAMC priority list

By Staff | May 28, 2009

Kidney dialysis remains on the priority list for Rugby’s Heart of America Medical Center (HAMC), but just when the department hinges on

securing the necessary funds creating adequate space to house dialysis at the medical center, says Jerry Jurena, HAMC administrator.

Cost estimates to remodel space in the existing hospital for a four- to six-station dialysis department and the necessary equipment, including water filtration, would be about $600,000, Jurena said.

The HAMC would need to pursue grants and donations to fund much of the costs.

While securing funds is a challenge in itself, just as critical is space. Currently, there simply isn’t room to add dialysis. Remodeling on the east side of the first floor would be necessary, and architects and HAMC officials have explored some floor plan possibilities.

There is a need

Two years ago the HAMC publicly inquired about how many current area residents undergoing weekly kidney dialysis in Minot and elsewhere would go to the HAMC if the service were provided. Fourteen people responded, and the feedback was positive. Jurena figures at least that number of patients would be needed for the program to be self-supporting.

HAMC would work in partnership with Trinity Health of Minot, which would contract staffing.

Dialysis has been requested by community members over the years, namely those who require weekly treatment and are forced to travel outside the community to receive it. No doubt, it creates a lifestyle adjustment for patients and families. And when travel conditions are difficult due to bad weather, especially in winter, it only makes for more demand for the service to be offered closer to home.

It’s difficult to say just how soon service could be up and running, as there are other issues at play, namely continued discussions among representatives of the medical center, Johnson Clinic and a consultant to discuss future integration of services.

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