Queens Hospital leadership on Oct. 13 welcomed Rep. Grace Meng to commemorate her securing of $1 million in federal funding to support the construction of a new, 1,700-square-foot outpatient dialysis/treatment center on the hospital’s campus.
The training site will be in an area of the Queens Hospital N Building where an old swimming pool is located. It will be close to accessible parking and easily reachable from street level. The center will be able to serve approximately 2,400 chronic kidney disease patients annually.
The hospital is awaiting regulatory approvals to finalize cost, design and timeline for construction. Once completed, the center will be the first such facility in the Health + Hospitals system. The project is expected to take a few years to complete.
The $1 million in funding from Meng was secured in the fiscal year 2022 Consolidated Appropriations Act passed by Congress last March.
The center will help ensure better access to crucial dialysis services so that patients can receive the quality and cutting-edge care they need and deserve, Meng said.
“As we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we must make sure that we build back better, stronger, more equitably and with greater resiliency than ever before, and this project underscores how we are doing that here in Queens,” Meng said. “I am excited to see the dialysis center when it opens, and look forward to serving patients for many years to come.”
Neil Moore, CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens, said the hospital is grateful to Meng for the essential funding, which will enable it to provide a state-of-the-art outpatient dialysis center right in the heart of Queens for members of its patient family.
“Many of these patients rely on our hospital for their primary care as well as prefer to receive the services they need right here in their own borough,” Moore said. “As we continue to shift our focus toward prevention and chronic disease management, establishing this new center will demonstrate cutting-edge clinical interventions leading to improved clinical outcomes.”
According to Dave Holson, MD, deputy medical director of NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens, the demand for a new outpatient dialysis center remains strong and specifically focused on the disparate and underserved patient population at the hospital.
“Our overall goal is to provide high-quality, timely and patient-centered care to a chronic care patient population in a single-site setting,” Holson said. “Lastly, in the event of an unlikely adverse reaction, having the hospital as the primary site of care affords our patients the benefits of having emergency response services always close at hand.”
Once established, the center will be staffed with a team of trained professionals who specialize in dialysis, including a nephrologist, nephrology nurses, a nephrology technician, dietician, social worker, clerk-receptionist and an available general surgeon.
The new site will be designed to train patients with end-stage liver disease or kidney failure to safely and confidently do at-home peritoneal dialysis in the comfort of their own homes.
Peritoneal dialysis is a way to remove waste products from the blood when kidneys can no longer adequately perform that job. Unlike the more common procedure called hemodialysis, which removes blood from the body to filter it and return it into the body, this treatment uses the lining of the stomach as the filter to remove excess fluid, correct electrolyte problems and remove toxins. It can easily be done at home, at school, at work and while traveling. The treatment increases the patients’ quality of life as it allows them more independence and lifestyle flexibility.
It is also known to help patients retain kidney function longer than through hemodialysis. Depending on patient confidence, training may range from four to 12 weeks and include instruction ranging from caring for catheter sites, through dialyzing and troubleshooting issues that may arise.