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Construction begins on St. Michael’s satellite dialysis clinic in Thorncliffe

Toronto, July 18, 2019

By Selma Al-Samarrai

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Jim McDougall, Joshua O’Neil, Elizabeth Anne Anderson and Fred Kane (L to R) Jim McDougall, operations leader in Clinical Engineering; Joshua O’Neil, project manager in Planning and Redevelopment; Elizabeth Anne Anderson, clinical leader manager for the Multicare Kidney Clinic, Home and Satellite Dialysis Clinics; and Fred Kane, project manager in Engineering, are the key team members overseeing planning and construction of the new satellite clinic space. They are pictured here outside the entrance of the upcoming clinic, located in the East York Town Centre in Thorncliffe. See a larger version of this image. (Photo by Katie Cooper)
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Alison Thomas, Fiona Harrington and Elizabeth Anne Anderson(L to R) Alison Thomas, nurse practitioner in St. Michael’s hemodialysis unit; Fiona Harrington, clinical leader manager for the Hemodialysis and Apheresis units; and Elizabeth Anne Anderson are core members of the St. Michael’s Hospital dialysis care team. See a larger version of this image. (Photo by Katie Cooper)
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Fatima Benjamin-Wong, Sara Hennessy and Sara HennessyOrganizing the operational readiness planning of the satellite dialysis clinic are (L to R) Fatima Benjamin-Wong, care and transition facilitator for the Home and Satellite Dialysis Unit; Sara Hennessy, operational readiness specialist in Planning and Redevelopment; and Elizabeth Anne Anderson. See a larger version of this image. (Photo by Katie Cooper)
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Alison Thomas speaking to hemodialysis patient Paulette CaineAlison Thomas speaking to hemodialysis patient Paulette Caine. See a larger version of this image. (Photo by Katie Cooper)
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The construction site of the St. Michael’s Kidney Care CentreThe construction site of the St. Michael’s Kidney Care Centre. See a larger version of this image. (Photo by Katie Cooper)

Dialysis patients of St. Michael’s Hospital will soon have the option to dialyze in one of two neighbourhoods in Toronto.

Next year, a brand new 20,000-square-foot dialysis centre will be opening in the East York Town Centre in Thorncliffe, expanding St. Michael’s dialysis services that are currently only offered inside the hospital.

The new St. Michael’s Kidney Care Centre, presently undergoing the first phase of construction, will offer 21 dialysis stations for patients, with an additional six for home hemodialysis training, transition and support.

“The value of this satellite centre is that it meets the needs of patients in their own community,” explained Alison Thomas, a nurse practitioner in St. Michael’s hemodialysis unit.

“It also allows us flexibility with new patients. We’re now able to offer them an alternative location for their care, away from the downtown core.”

The space for the multidisciplinary care centre was selected specifically due to its central and convenient location in a neighbourhood that has underserviced dialysis needs, its free parking and TTC access, and its accessible location on the ground floor.

“I think it’s important that we don’t always bring dialysis patients to the hospital for their treatment,” said Elizabeth Anne Anderson, the clinical leader manager for the Multicare Kidney Clinic, Home and Satellite Dialysis Clinics at St. Michael’s, and one of the team members who chose the location of the satellite clinic.

“Dialysis is a life sustaining therapy that often does not need to be provided in an acute hospital setting. We’re hoping that going to an offsite satellite clinic for their treatments will allow patients to view dialysis as a way to maintain wellness, rather than to treat illness.”

Thomas was the first nurse practitioner to join the St. Michael’s hemodialysis team in 2006. She says the longstanding relationship with patients is the reason she has chosen to work in dialysis for most of her career to date.

“Hemodialysis is a long-term commitment for patients. They come in three times a week for four-hour treatments. This creates a major change in lifestyle,” said Thomas.

“If I can help make their experience less of a burden, with better quality of life, then I think I have made an impact.”

St. Michael’s dialysis patients who choose to dialyze in the upcoming satellite clinic will remain connected to their St. Michael’s team. There will be no transfer of care if they choose to dialyze outside of the main hospital site.

The St. Michael’s Kidney Care Centre’s location inside the East York Town Centre means there’s surrounding shopping including a pharmacy, grocery store, banks and other retail hub features.

“We look forward to providing dialysis care in the community in a centre that has been designed with patients, family members, and caregivers in mind,” said Anderson.

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in more than 27 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the Hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael’s Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.

About Unity Health Toronto

Unity Health Toronto, comprised of Providence Healthcare, St. Joseph’s Health Centre and St. Michael’s Hospital, works to advance the health of everyone in our urban communities and beyond. Our health network serves patients, residents and clients across the full spectrum of care, spanning primary care, secondary community care, tertiary and quaternary care services to post-acute through rehabilitation, palliative care and long-term care, while investing in world-class research and education. For more information, visit www.unityhealth.to.


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