To improve access to kidney dialysis for patients, Wake Forest University Health Sciences soon will open new dialysis centers in King and in western Iredell County.
The King Dialysis Center, at 140 Moore Road in King, will have 11 dialysis stations, accommodating up to 44 patients per week. It is expected to open within the next few days.
The West Iredell Dialysis Center, at 115 Westbrook Lane in Statesville, will have 10 dialysis stations, serving up to 40 patients each week. It is expected to open within 10 days. It will be the second center in Statesville and the third in Iredell County operated by Wake Forest University Health Sciences. The third center is at Lake Norman.
Another new center, Thomasville Dialysis Center, is under construction and is expected to open in April. It also will have 10 stations. The buildings housing all three new centers are 9,305 square feet.
The three new centers will bring the total operated by Wake Forest University Health Sciences to 13. John M. Burkart, M.D., professor of internal medicine (nephrology) is medical director for all 13 centers.
Patients at the centers will be under the medical supervision of nephrologists at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Forsyth Memorial Hospital or other hospitals from throughout the area.
The number of patients who need dialysis is rising at the rate of more than 6 percent a year, the result of an explosion in the number of people with uncontrolled diabetes or uncontrolled high blood pressure. Much of the diabetes, in turn, is the result of obesity. Both diabetes and high blood pressure disproportionately affect African-Americans. Barry I. Freedman, M.D., professor and head of the Section on Nephrology, pointed out that the dialysis centers also offer the opportunity for nephrologists to try to find ways to provide better care for patients with irreversible kidney disease. "We aim to improve dialysis outcomes for kidney disease patients worldwide," he said, adding that all Wake Forest dialysis centers are currently conducting a number of research studies.
The centers are managed by Health Systems Management of Tifton, Ga., which also manages the other 10 Wake Forest centers.
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