By Robb Murray
Free Press Staff Writer
MANKATO — Come mid-January, Mankato Clinic dialysis patients will have a much more comfortable option for their frequent treatments.
The clinic is teaming up with a company called DaVita on a state-of-the art 12-station dialysis facility in Madison East Center. The facility will accommodate in-center hemodialysis, home hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.
The new center is expected to employ about five people initially and will have up to nine or more by the end of 2013.
The clinic says DaVita is a leading provider of kidney care in the U.S. delivering dialysis services to patients with chronic kidney failure and end-stage renal disease. DaVita operates or provides administrative services at more than 1,900 dialysis centers throughout the throughout the country, including one in Faribault.
Mankato Clinic Chief Financial Officer Steve Hatkin said the clinic was looking for a way to better serve its dialysis patients.
“They were being served in hospital, and we thought we could serve them better away from the hospital,” Hatkin said. “They have a chronic illness, but it’s not an acute illness.”
Hatkin said they looked for a partner who shared their vision and was willing to work with an independent health care organization, and DaVita was receptive.
“The difference is the atmosphere,” said Cari Dock of DaVita. “In a hospital, you’re felt to be a patient versus an outpatient. Here it becomes more a feel of a home environment. ... Patients who have done dialysis at a hospital and outpatient prefer outpatient hands down. It’s a much more inviting atmosphere.”
Construction began several months ago and DaVita is prepared to begin serving patients Jan. 16 three days a week, eventually being open six days a week. Mankato Clinic nephrologist Rolf Storvick will serve as the center’s medical director.
DaVita, a division of a the Fortune 500 company DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc., provides a variety of health care services. As of September, DaVita’s facilities serve about 150,000 patients in the U.S. and around the world.