News and Information

December 21, 2011

Franciscan Will Open Outpatient Dialysis Unit In East Tacoma

Franciscan Health System is making access to its outpatient kidney dialysis services more convenient for patients by opening a dialysis unit at 72nd Street and Portland Avenue in east Tacoma.

Called Franciscan Dialysis Center Eastside, the unit is scheduled to open in mid-February 2012. It will include 12 state-of-the-art dialysis stations with heated recliners for patients, and amenities such as free wireless Internet, flat screen televisions and a spa-like ambiance. Additionally, there will be plenty of free parking, and transportation shuttles can drop off or pick up individuals at the facility's front door. Public transportation is also readily available, with a Pierce County bus transfer station nearby.

This will be the fourth Pierce County location at which the Franciscan organization provides dialysis. The others are St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma (inpatient and outpatient dialysis); St. Joseph Dialysis in Gig Harbor (outpatient dialysis); and St. Joseph Dialysis in Puyallup (outpatient dialysis). Franciscan also provides in-home renal dialysis throughout the region.

"Comfort and convenience are essential for our patients who are undergoing outpatient renal dialysis," said Kevin Jenkins, regional director of St. Joseph Dialysis Services. "Each individual has, on average, three treatment sessions every week, with each session continuing for about four hours."

Dialysis is necessary for individuals who are experiencing kidney failure and whose kidneys have lost 85 percent or more of their ability to function. Like healthy kidneys, dialysis keeps the human body in balance by removing wastes and ensuring safe levels of potassium and other chemicals in the bloodstream.

Franciscan has invested approximately $2.25 million in preparing the new dialysis unit in east Tacoma, which will be in leased office space. About 15 Franciscan nurses, clinicians and other staff members will work there. The new center will create about 10 new jobs overall within the Franciscan organization.

The address of Franciscan Dialysis Eastside is 1415 E. 72nd St. It will serve patients from 6 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday. The phone number is 253-476-5110.

Franciscan Health System is one of the largest sources of renal dialysis in the region, providing more than 65,000 treatments every year. In addition to the dialysis stations at its new clinic in east Tacoma, there are 38 dialysis stations at St. Joseph Medical Center, 12 at the Puyallup clinic and nine stations at the Gig Harbor clinic.

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