DaVita Inc. announced today that it has reopened six kidney dialysis facilities affected by Hurricane Katrina. DaVita, the largest independent provider of dialysis services in the United States provides treatments to approximately 900 patients and employs 225 teammates in the New Orleans area.
Of DaVita's 16 facilities affected by Katrina, six are now reopened. DaVita is working to supply emergency power and water to four clinics, and six clinics are located in areas where DaVita has not been able to assess the damage. DaVita is also providing acute dialysis services at three hospitals on the Northshore of New Orleans.
Kidney dialysis patients are at high risk during emergencies like hurricanes due to their need for dialysis treatments three times per week. DaVita teammates have been working nearly non-stop, 24 hours a day since Katrina moved out of the area to locate missing patients and employees.
"We've been making slow but steady progress," stated DaVita CEO Kent Thiry. "We have been shipping generators, supplies, and biomedical technicians into the affected areas."
DaVita has been using its nationwide network to take care of patients and their families. Many of the Gulf Coast patients arrived in Houston with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Initially the influx of people looking for shelter was greater than the Red Cross could accommodate, so the DaVita dialysis clinic received approval to become a temporary shelter.
DaVita teammates brought in air mattresses, pillows and blankets. Technicians moved dialysis equipment and set up video games for the children. Employees came by with personal donations of food and clothing and even a birthday cake for one of the refugees, a teenager.
In order to help patients and their families, DaVita has set up a hurricane relief fund. Donations to patients should be made out to "M Brock f/b/o Patient Hurricane Relief Fund" and mailed to Sunsational Divisional Office, Attn: Hurricane Donations, 4949 Grand Blvd, New Port Richey, FL 34652.
DaVita encourages patients and their families to call DaVita's Guest Services Hotline at 800-400-8331 for more information.
DaVita is a leading provider of dialysis services for patients suffering from chronic kidney failure. DaVita operates and provides administrative services to kidney dialysis centers and home peritoneal dialysis programs domestically in 37 states, as well as Washington, D.C. As of June 30, 2005, DaVita operated or provided administrative services at 706 outpatient centers serving approximately 57,200 patients.
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SOURCE: DaVita Inc.
CONTACT: LeAnne Zumwalt of DaVita Inc., +1-650-696-8910
Web site: http://www.davita.com/