Virginia Gay Hospital received the following letter in regards to the closing of the dialysis treatment center at VGH. This was not a VGH decision and options are being researched for a solution at this time. The hospital just received the following letter. Unless there is a miracle, dialysis patients will have to travel for their care to a facility in Cedar Rapids.

"As part of our efforts to offer patents the highest level of Dialysis care, we have made the decision to integrate the Vinton Dialysis Clinic into our main location at the Mercy/US Renal-Plaza Dialysis location in Cedar Rapids. Our last day of service will be April 10, 2021.

The decision was made after a thorough and thoughtful review, which identified several key benefits for our patients, including:

-The opportunity to see their physician in-person weekly (as opposed to once per month now)

-Daily, on-site access to a dietitian and social worker

-Access to more advanced B Braun dialysis machines

-Expanded hours for more flexible scheduling options

-Advanced chairs with heat and massage capabilities for their comfort

-Flat-screen TV's to make their time more enjoyable

Our staff is committed to maintaining our long history of high-quality and safe care as we integrate the patients who were previously served in Vinton. In fact, Mercy/US Renal Dialysis has earned a five-star rating - the highest available - from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) based on the quality of patient care it provides to dialysis patients.

We also offer the state's largest Home Peritoneal Dialysis program, which allows the five patients affected to receive safe dialysis treatment in the comfort of their own home if they choose. This option provides flexible scheduling and fewer dietary restrictions, as well as reducing their visits to the main dialysis clinic to just twice per month. Plus, they would have 24 hour access to our on-call nurse, so they can rest assured that their treatments are safe and provide the highest quality dialysis care available."

One of the local patients who use this service is an 87-year-old lady that was happy to share her thoughts on the closure. "This will be a big change. It will require an extra hour and a half to two hours for the treatment. When you're done you are tired, weak, lightheaded and if you're diabetic you will need to eat and many are concerned about that because they are diabetic and need to eat at a certain time." While this patient is not diabetic, but in kidney failure, she said the treatment takes everything out of you. Because of the change, she is going to move out of state to live with or near her daughter where there are hospitals that can take care of her. She wishes that she could stay here where she's lived since she was a junior in high school, but she can't.

She said that making the trip to Cedar Rapids to receive treatment will cost her $600 a month using the local transportation offered by the county. She is making plans now to sell her house and move.

Virginia Gay Hospital was just notified that US Renal was making plans to close the office here and are trying to find options for the patients that they served.

Like the lady, I talked to said, "I don't really care about massage chairs and flat-screen TVs," what she cares about is the simple things, just her treatment. She hopes that the hospital will be able to find a solution quickly, and feels that US Renal is failing to care about the patient's wellbeing. For her, a solution won't be soon enough. She is moving forward with her plan to relocate.

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Comments (2)

For those patients who are diabetic, they also do not have a cafeteria or any way to offer food.
By: Lisa Rule on March 26th 12:51pm
What a blow for VGH and the Vinton community.
By: Barb Beau on March 26th 1:02pm

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