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Dialysis center gets addition
SIKESTON, Mo. -- In 1974, Missouri Delta Medical Center opened its dialysis center -- the first between Memphis and St. Louis -- with four stations.
"It's the oldest dialysis unit in Southeast Missouri," said Charles Ancell, the medical center's chief executive officer.
For dialysis patients who at the time had to sit through treatments lasting between eight and 10 hours each, three times a week, the local facility eliminated hours of travel time each week.
Since that time, the dialysis unit has continued to grow to address the area's need for dialysis treatment.
Now, nearly 30 years later, the center is again responding to the region's need for dialysis treatment facilities with plans to move the services to its own freestanding building on the east side of the hospital near ReStart.
The new Sikeston Jaycee Renal Dialysis Unit, which the center's officials hope to begin construction on next spring, will be among the hospital's more important additions.
"It's a significant addition in terms of community service," said Ancell. "It improves the quality of people's lives."
"There is a huge need for nephrology in this town and the surrounding area," said Dr. Mowaffaq R. Sai. "This area is extremely underserved."
Said came joined the center's staff in December 1999 to fill the growing need in this area for nephrologists, joining Dr. Marcos Rothstein, a nephrologist from Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis who has commuted to the center once a week for more than 10 years to serve as the unit's medical director.
Since Said's arrival, the number of dialysis patients receiving treatment at the center has grown from about 35 to between 55 and 60.