KINGSVILLE TOWNSHIP — It only took a few seconds for Bob Alessi to pick out the spot where he will spend 1/14th of the rest of his life.
“I think I want that one in the corner,” Alessi said, pointing to a big blue chair with a dialysis machine next to it. “These are nice, really looking good.”
Alessi and his wife, Justine, were among the steady stream of dialysis patients and curious public who attended an open house at DaVita’s new center in the Ashtabula County Nursing Home on Dibble Road. The center, announced nearly two years ago, has been treating a private-pay patient since January and is undergoing its final state inspection this week. John Steen, manager of the Kingsville and Ashtabula DaVita sites, said the final licensing hurdles should be cleared by early May, allowing the center to open its doors to both nursing home residents and outpatients like Alessi.
“He lives in North Kingsville, so this will be nice for us,” Justine Alessi said. Her husband drives 11 miles for his thrice-weekly treatment in Ashtabula; transferring to the nursing home site will cut that drive to about three miles.
Steen said Alessi is exactly the kind of patient that DaVita wants to serve with its Kingsville location. He said there are many patients from the Conneaut, Kingsville and Monroe Township areas who must drive to Andover or Ashtabula for their treatments. The partnership with the county will allow DaVita to cut drive time off a very time-consuming therapy.
Many patients who require dialysis while undergoing rehabilitation service or long-term care in a nursing facility have to be transported by ambulance to a dialysis center, exposing them to the elements, plus the risks and stress of the journey. There are at least four residents of the nursing home that require dialysis. Commissioners hope that having the center based at the nursing home will bolster the census while sparing the dialysis patients the inconvenience and expense of transportation.