By Amy Roberts
Until recently, patients needing dialysis along the Wasatch Back had to block out a considerable amount of drive time surrounding their treatments. The closest dialysis centers were in Provo and Salt Lake — a burden for both the patients and the people who needed to drive them back and forth for treatment. But now, residents and visitors to the Park City area can receive this life- saving procedure closer to home.
“Before the dialysis center opened in Heber, I had to have someone drive me to and from Provo three days a week,” noted patient Dorothy Baker. “Dialysis took up my entire day – every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Now it takes my daughter five minutes from our house to drop me off at the front door of the center, and about the same amount
of time for a friend to pick me up and have me home by noon. I used to get home from Provo around 6pm each day.”
For Dorothy, the burden she’s taken off her friends and family is just one of the perks to receiving dialysis closer to home. She is also thrilled she’s getting the highest quality care possible.
“I feel so safe and comfortable with everyone on my care team. From my doctors and nurses to the diabetic educator who has helped me better understand how my diet affects my health, everyone here is a compassionate expert in their field,” she added.
Angie Ovard, nurse coordinator at the dialysis center, is pleased Dorothy is so excited about her care. She says Dorothy’s experience is something all patients can expect. “We really focus on the patient’s entire story, not just on the disease itself. The more we know about their medical history and about how they live when they’re not on dialysis, the better and more effective our care will be.”
Angie and other employees believe that as nice as the new facility is, the real value of the new center is in the quality of care that each patient receives. “In some of the larger centers, diabetes care can become fragmented. In a rural hospital such as Heber Valley, we put all of the pieces of care back together,” she noted.
Angie also talked about the improvement she has seen in Dorothy’s health since beginning dialysis treatment at the Heber Valley center. “All of her numbers have gotten better since she began dialysis here.” Angie said.
The dialysis team at Heber Valley Medical Center is made up of experts who provide hemodialysis to adult patients. The team consists of a board-certified nephrologist specializing in kidney disease, registered nurses, specially trained technicians, social workers and a certified diabetic educator. The dialysis center is located in the South Building on the campus of Heber Valley Medical Center and is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 6am-2pm.