Thursday, March 10, 2005

St. Francis starts
work to expand
dialysis for Maui

The center responds to expected
growth in kidney disease

A new renal dialysis facility with space for 48 stations is being built in Wailuku to meet an anticipated increase of 4 percent to 5 percent a year in end-stage renal disease on the island.

The St. Francis Healthcare System of Hawaii broke ground yesterday for the new facility on property owned by the Weinberg Foundation on Maui Lani Parkway, next to the new Kaiser Clinic.

The event culminated four years of planning to provide dialysis services to the Maui community in the future, said Maureen Naganuma, operations manager on Maui.

St. Francis has had dialysis services on Maui since 1975 on the grounds of Maui Memorial Medical Center, she said, noting this year is the 30th anniversary.

Its 20 dialysis stations are about 90 percent full, she said. With the anticipated growth in the disease, she said it is felt the new facility will be able to accommodate new patients for a couple of decades.

"Besides the residential population, we also will be able to take care of traveling dialysis patients from all over the world," said Naganuma, who expects the facility to be completed by the end of this year.

Among those participating in the groundbreaking were Sister Beatrice Tom, chief executive officer, St. Francis Healthcare System of Hawaii; Roberta Lovely, director, St. Francis Renal Institute of the Pacific; Senate Health Chairwoman Rosalyn Baker (D, Honokohau-Makena); Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa; and Dennis Iwasaka, representing the Weinberg Foundation.

Others were Wesley Lo, Maui Memorial chief executive officer; Thomas Driskill Jr., chief executive officer of the Hawaii Health Systems Corp.; and Glen Hayashida, National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii executive director.

Naganuma said St. Francis is working with the National Kidney Foundation to see how they can stop the progression of kidney disease and prevent the need for dialysis.

The two leading causes in Hawaii of renal disease are diabetes and hypertension, she said. "We know controlling these two diseases could prevent going into end-stage renal disease. Certainly, with good disease management, patients will be able to stay off of dialysis."

The St. Francis Medical Center Renal Institute of the Pacific is the leading dialysis provider in Hawaii, with a comprehensive program serving more than 1,000 residents with end-stage kidney disease statewide.

St. Francis established the first dialysis center in the state in 1965, and the first kidney transplant in Hawaii was performed at St. Francis in 1969. It is the only health-care facility in the state to perform kidney and other organ transplants.

St. Francis Healthcare System of Hawaii

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