The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

November 4, 2013

New dialysis center

OTTUMWA — Another choice has become available for Ottumwa kidney patients.

DaVita Dialysis has opened a facility at the medical clinic building on Pennsylvania Avenue. They're asking the public to come check out their state-of-the-art unit.

"DaVita is a Fortune 500 company best known as a provider of ... dialysis to patients with chronic kidney failure," said Brenda Jeffers, RN, who is the facility administrator.

Their new operation has 12 dialysis chairs, so they can serve a dozen patients at a time. But this isn't assembly-line medicine: personal care is one of the keys to the company's success, Jeffers said.

"One of the things that we really try to do at DaVita is improve patients’ quality of life," she said. "If you are on dialysis and you need to go, for example, to Denver, we’ll contact a sister facility there. We want to provide service excellence to our patience … so they can have the desired quality of life."

The public in general may not realize how important their kidneys are. Their function, or lack of function, will affect multiple parts of the body. Visitors at today's open house will learn about the importance of this organ, can tour the facility and see a demonstration of the machines.

They can also have a snack — a kidney-friendly snack.

When the kidneys fail, the nurse explained, certain processes are no longer possible. So, for example, the body doesn't process potassium like it once did. Bananas are not a kidney-friendly snack.

"When you are on dialysis, you have to change your diet," Jeffers explained.

The facility is up and running, but when Medicare does their site survey, DaVita will be able to accept even more patients, she said.

— To follow reporter Mark Newman on Twitter, see @CourierMark

DaVita Dialysis will host an open house from 4-7 p.m. today on Pennsylvania Avenue. There will be special guests, dialysis demonstrations and refreshments.

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