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Dialysis center to open new facility in early 2012

Shown is an artist’s rendering of the new facility.

For 20 years, dialysis patients have had the convenience of receing treatments here.

On Thursday, Fresenius Medical Care took a step toward expanding the much-needed service in Covington County and the surrounding areas by holding a ribbon cutting ceremony announcing plans for a new facility.

Area Manager Ingrid Jackson said a new facility will be constructed on the current property that houses the Andal-usia Area Chamber of Commerce, and is expected to be completed in early 2012.

The Chamber is relocating to the old Alatex headquarters.

“We’re building a brand new, state-of-the-art facility to better serve the dialysis community,” she said. “It’s going to be beautiful and in a more convenient location, only a mile from the hospital.”

Jackson said once completed, the facility will offer heated massage chair and individual entertainment centers for its patients.

“Our patients spend three to four hours, three times a day at our facility, and we want to make sure they are comfortable,” she said. “We also want to have a beautiful place for our staff.”

In addition to the hemodialysis, a new home program will be available, which allows patients more freedom and flexibility in that they can receive their dialysis in the comfort of their own homes.

Jackson said the facility currently serves 48 patients, and those numbers are growing.

With the new facility, they hope to double their staff of 10, along with Dr. Chris Reid, a nephrologist, who came to Andalusia six months ago.

“I knew it was my calling to be here six months ago,” he said. “I look forward to building a practice in this community.”

“We’re very excited,” Jackson said. “We’ve been wanting to do this for quite some time, and we thought this was a pretty site.”

Andalusia City Councilman Terry Powell said they city’s last three administrations have spent a lot of money to bring in quality medical facilities.

“I hope I don’t ever need their services,” he said. “But I’m glad if I do that I don’t need to leave town.”