The Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) dialysis services are expanding thanks to support from Ontario Renal Network (ORN) and London Health Sciences Centre’s (LHSC) Regional Renal program, as well as endorsement by Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network (LHIN).

Hospital officials say the program expansion supports the addition of three chairs to the existing satellite service’s nine-chair unit located at CKHA’s Chatham site.

At present, the unit supports 54 patients with a wait list of 11 active patients who travel for treatment in London and Windsor up to five times a week.

Initially, the expansion will support six of these patients and is expected to support 12 additional patients within the year. Pending minor renovations the additional chairs are expected to be in use by late spring.

“Through our eight satellite dialysis units across southwestern Ontario, the Regional Renal Program at London Health Sciences Centre is ensuring patients can receive this critical treatment closer to home,” stated Janice McCallum, Regional Renal Director, LHSC and ORN, in a press release.

“We are pleased to support the expansion of hemodialysis services at Chatham-Kent Health Alliance so that more patients can continue accessing this important resource within their community.”

In total, the expansion will support an additional 18 dialysis patients when it is operating at full capacity.

“This service expansion ensures that Chatham-Kent Health Alliance can meet the current and future needs of our community,” says Lori Marshall, President and CEO, CKHA.

“This is an essential step forward in Chatham-Kent Health Alliance’s ongoing commitment to providing compassionate, quality care for patients,” added Dr. Pervez Faruqi, Chief of Staff, CKHA.

Mark Deneau, Patient Advisor for CKHA says this is welcome news to patients who have been waitlisted for local care.

“The ability to receive care closer to home can make treating kidney disease much more manageable,” Deneau said.

For more information on services available through CKHA please visit, www.ckha.on.ca.