County Dialysis Center Hosts Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to Mark Official Opening
The County Dialysis Center, the only kidney dialysis service in Aroostook County and the only not-for-profit center in Maine, held a ribbon cutting and open house Thursday with patients, health care providers and business and community leaders at its expanded and updated facility located at the North Street Healthcare in Presque Isle.
A number of board members from the Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce, donors and other community leaders, joined TAMC officials including Glenda Dwyer, interim president of the hospital; Dr. Jay Reynolds, chief medical officer; and Aron Chalou, manager of the County Dialysis Center to cut the ribbon for the new center which currently treats 53 patients from every corner of Aroostook County.
One in three Americans is at risk for kidney disease and the number is growing both nationally and in Maine. The County Dialysis Center, a department of TAMC, provides treatments three times a week to patients from every corner of Aroostook County some of whom travel over 345 miles each week for their critical care.
Founded in 1997 with 12 patients, the County Dialysis Center has provided over 104,000 vital treatments since it opened and the number of patients has more than quadrupled in less than 20 years.
Last summer, TAMC began the quiet phase of a $750,000 capital campaign to update and enlarge the kidney dialysis center to accommodate the growing number of County patients. Not only was the space no longer adequate to serve patients, but critical equipment which had operated consistently six days a week for nearly 20 years had far exceeded its useful life. The upgrades to both facilities and equipment were desperately needed.
“Without the Center, patients would have to travel to down state for treatment, move from The County or go without treatments altogether. Having a dialysis center close to home allows patients to receive local care with the support network of their families and friends,” said Glenda Dwyer, Interim President of TAMC.
Local individuals and companies including The County Federal Credit Union, Katahdin Trust, Machias Savings Bank, MMG Insurance and Northeast Packaging have helped the campaign reach 70% of its goal and annual proceeds from TAMC’s Country Heart Gift Shop have been allocated to the effort. The campaign needs to raise the remaining 30% of its goal in the next eight weeks. Donations to the County Dialysis Center campaign can be made online at tamc.org/dialysis or by calling 207-768-4350.
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