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Cornwall Hospital Dialysis Clinic Celebrates 20 Years of Service to the Community

2022-09-13

The Dialysis Clinic at Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH), a satellite location of The Ottawa Hospital’s Dialysis Department, first opened its doors to patients in September 2002. Before the opening of the clinic, local patients had to travel to Ottawa for treatment or to be assessed by a kidney doctor.

Today, the Dialysis Clinic at CCH administers nearly 10,000 treatments every year to approximately 30 patients each day, 6 days a week; and a kidney doctor from The Ottawa Hospital visits twice a week to support the team and assess patients. Having a clinic onsite also means the hospital can offer inpatient dialysis treatments as needed.

Typically, patients require 4-hour treatments, 3 times a week, some for years until hopefully a kidney donor is found.

“The impact of partnering with The Ottawa Hospital to bring a dialysis unit to Cornwall has been profound for our community; we’ve saved thousands, if not tens of thousands of trips to Ottawa since we’ve opened in 2002,” said Jeanette Despatie, CCH President and Chief Executive Officer.

Tobias, a local dialysis patient from Akwesasne, recalls when he needed to travel to Ottawa for his treatments. “It made for an extremely long day because I would leave at 6:00 am and get home at 6:00 pm, and I would have to do that a few times a week. I am much happier coming to Cornwall for treatment instead, and the staff take good care of me,” said Tobias.

Some changes to the clinic over the years have included renovating the unit as part of the hospital’s redevelopment project in 2014 and adding additional capacity to enhance access.

Despite some changes, the unit has some of the same dedicated staff that it did in 2002. Krista St-Jean, the unit’s charge nurse, is one of them.

“I’m just happy to be helping patients live a longer and healthier life, and happy to see how this clinic has improved their quality of living,” said Krista, who is proud to say she has been caring for patients at the clinic since the day it opened.