Interior Health, in partnership with the BC Renal Agency, is pleased to announce that the Williams Lake Community Dialysis Unit has expanded to meet anticipated future need among Cariboo residents requiring hemodialysis.
The community dialysis unit, located on the first floor of Cariboo Memorial Hospital, recently added a sixth dialysis station, providing enhanced patient access to this lifesaving measure for those whose renal needs can be met in a community dialysis setting.
“Hemodialysis saves lives – it’s that simple. I am thrilled that patients in the Cariboo region now have even more access to this service, and as close to home as possible,” says Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett. “This is going to make a tremendous difference in the lives of future patients who need hemodialysis.”
Funded by the BC Renal Agency and operated by Interior Health, the Williams Lake Community Dialysis Unit incorporates an involved care, patient self-management model. By focusing on education, the care providers work to empower patients to become as independent as they are able to be. Patients are encouraged to set their own goals, learn new skills and gain more control over their health.
“With a one in 10 chance of developing kidney disease, it is critical we have the capacity to provide lifesaving dialysis care to patients in the Cariboo area,” says Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes. “This expansion ensures patients get the care they need when and where they need it.”
Dialysis is the artificial process of eliminating waste and unwanted water from the blood – a function normally carried out by the kidneys. When kidneys do not function properly, patients may need dialysis. Those on hemodialysis have this treatment three times per week at the Williams Lake unit.
“Research clearly shows that the more involved a person is in his or her own care, the better the results,” says Dr. Adeera Levin, executive director of the BC Renal Agency. “The expansion of the community dialysis unit in Williams Lake will help future patients access their care in a supportive environment. This will improve their physical and mental well-being, and their overall quality of life.”
BC Renal contributed $25,000 to the community dialysis unit expansion, which included a renovation and facility upgrade, as well as equipment purchase and installation. Interior Health also reallocated a dialysis unit from Kamloops to the Williams Lake unit.
The community dialysis unit currently serves 10 patients per day on five hemodialysis stations. Recognizing that renal patients are at all stages of kidney function, this expansion of a sixth station allows Interior Health to be ready when future demand requires additional service capacity.
“We are building to best meet the needs of current as well as future renal patients,” says Interior Health Board Chair Norman Embree. “Thanks to our partnership with the BC Renal Agency, we continue to develop quality care options that help us provide the right care for patients in the right place at the right time.”