New dialysis facility breaks ground in Thomasville -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

New dialysis facility breaks ground in Thomasville

February 21, 2008

Thomasville--  For 3 years Micahel Burns, pastor and father of two, has depended on dialysis.   "Once you get over the initial shock of everything you look at the positives.  Its a way to extend our lives," he says.

Burns, like nearly 95 other patients, gets dialysis 3 times a week at Southwest Georgia Dialysis. Education Coordinator there, Marnie Wilson says, "Dialysis is hard, its a hard lifestyle.  The kidneys don't work anymore that's the reason people have to do dialysis. The main reasons are diabetes and hypertension in the United States."

The number of people on dialysis in southwest Georgia is higher than the state average, and Georgia's rate is higher than the national average. The growing number of patients is evident here.  "We've outgrown our space. The patient population is large, we don't have enough room," Wilson says.

 Fortunately a new facility, is on the way. At 15,000 square feet, the new facility will be twice as large.  "We're really falling over ourselves in the current facility. We run 3 shifts a day and its really a tremendous burden on both the staff and the patients," says Archbold Hospital's Chief Operating Officer Kevin Taylor.

Expanding from 18 to 32 dialysis stations, they'll be able to go to 2 shifts, and ease the tight scheduling, something that makes Burns feel more secure.  He says, "Nurses don't have to rush. You've got the time.  And its more organized that way."

An upgrade to flat screen tvs and wireless internet for that patients is also a bonus.  "Well I have my laptop because I'm in school. So I'm going to enjoy the wireless internet. That's going to be a very big plus for me," Burns says.  "I think this will make it easier from the standpoint that they'll be more comfortable," adds Wilson.

Construction on the facility will start in 2 weeks, and will open in February of next year.

Southwest Georgia Dialysis and the Georgia Kidney Foundation will offer free screenings this June. You can contact them for more information. The number is 229-228-2783.



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