LCGH Breaks Ground on New Dialysis Center

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It was more than just a ground breaking at the Lewis County General Hospital in Lowville. It was the beginning to the end of a long battle.

"Yes, finally. Yeah, we never thought it would happen," said dialysis patient Dan Riley.

The ground breaking is for a dialysis center that will go on the grounds of the hospital. It is the first in the county.

"There was a definite need here, not to have people travel extensive distances when they have to go through this procedure," said Sen. Joe Griffo, R-47th District.

"You do three days a week, you do dialysis for three to four hours, it's nice to have something here locally for those patients and their families so that they don't have to make that travel to Watertown, to Utica, it just saves everybody," said Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush, R-122nd Assembly District.

Despite the obvious need for a center, it was a long battle just to get to this point. A battle fought by the community.

"They raised money, they did bake sales and barbecues, and bowl-a-thons. They did a lot of things in order to try and raise money to help support the effort," Griffo said.

A reason the fight to get the center lasted so long was money. It's costly to build a dialysis center.

"On a unit this size, it will probably be an investment of somewhere between a million and a million and a half dollars," Robert Aroesty of DaVita.

Dan Riley, a dialysis patient, says not having to travel so far for treatment will mean getting some of his life back and more time to spend with his grandchildren.

"This time of the year, like today, we'll be out riding their bikes. Where dialysis day, I wouldn't be able to do it," he said.

The next step for this long-awaited center will be construction, which officials say will start sometime this summer.
 

Thursday, April 24, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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