November 4, 2009

Construction Underway For New Dialysis Center

By Genesis Health System

For more than four hours at a time, three days a week, Lewis Bell sits in a chair while a machine does the work his kidneys can no longer do. He stays upbeat despite the 14 hours a week he spends at the Edwin A. Motto, M.D. Renal Dialysis Center undergoing hemodialysis, a life-sustaining procedure that filters toxins out of his blood.

“I’m here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and I’ll usually read or watch TV to pass the time – whatever the mood calls for,” said Bell of the dialysis center located on the Genesis, East Rusholme Street campus in Davenport.

If the 45-year-old hears the occasional sound of construction overhead, he doesn’t mind. Next summer, the dialysis center will move one floor up from its lower level home, to a newly renovated and expanded one on the ground floor of Medical Office Building 1.

The estimated $2 million construction project began Sept. 28, and completion is set for July, 2010.

Patients are excited about the future move and are charting the construction’s progress through photos on the center’s bulletin board, said Sue Cain, RN, BSN, CNN, who is Manager of the dialysis center.

“End-stage renal disease is a chronic disease. Our patients come here three days a week, and many have family members who come with them for treatment,” Cain said. “With our new center, our patients and families will enjoy more comfortable surroundings, with new furniture and an up-to-date, pleasant decor.”

“There will be more space around the 24 dialysis stations so our patients will have more privacy. They will have windows and be able to enjoy the natural lighting. Now, we’re on the lower level, and we can’t see outside.”

Bell, who can’t get cell phone service in the building’s lower level, hopes to be able to use his cell phone to pass the time during treatments once the center moves one floor up. “I’m looking forward to being upstairs. It’ll be nice to see the sun, and can I suggest putting in a pool, a swim-up bar and palm trees, too?” he joked.

On a more serious note, Bell says, the improved setting will help make the time spent at the dialysis center more enjoyable for patients and staff, who share a unique camaraderie that comes with seeing each other multiple times a week.

Dedicated entrance and parking

A significant enhancement of the new dialysis center will be a dedicated entrance and parking area for dialysis patients, many who are elderly with mobility issues or who need wheelchairs, said Bill Myers, Project Management Specialist at Genesis.

“The new center will have easier access, with its own dedicated entrance on the north side of the building,” Myers said. “As part of the project, we will relocate dialysis parking to a portion of the physician’s parking lot off of Denison Street.”

Myers added, “When the dialysis patients leave from treatment, they’re often pretty tired. Although we have dedicated parking for them now, they have to deal with other traffic as they get in and out of their car or someone has to help them at the door. The new center’s dedicated entrance and parking will make it safer for them.”

Having the patient treatment center on the ground level also will be beneficial – and safer – if there should ever be the need to evacuate patients, such as in the event of an emergency. Many are elderly and can’t take the stairs, Cain said.

Dialysis is a life-sustaining treatment that removes impurities or wastes from the blood when the kidneys are unable to do so. People on dialysis must receive treatments three times a week, for three-to-four hours at a time.

The dialysis unit at Genesis, Davenport is named for Edwin A. Motto, M.D., who was among a handful of physicians who pioneered the availability of community-based renal dialysis west of the Mississippi with the opening in 1970 of the hemodialysis unit at St. Luke’s Hospital. Dr. Motto, who died in 1998, was the unit’s medical director for more than 20 years.

Today, his son, Edwin V. Motto, M.D., is medical director of the dialysis center that bears his father’s name and practices internal medicine on the East Rusholme Street campus. He also is on the Genesis Health System Board of Directors.

Show your support

The community gifted its support to the dialysis construction project via a portion of the net proceeds from the 2009 Genesis Health System Gala. The foundation continues to welcome charitable gifts toward the project. Gifts to the dialysis unit would help fund the capital project and also apply to other patient needs as well, such as transportation to and from dialysis appointments for people in need. For more information, contact the Genesis Health Services Foundation at (563) 421-6865.

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