Cheryl Franklin

Grove Sun

Kidney dialysis patients in and around Grove will no longer have to travel to Miami and Arkansas three times a week to get life saving dialysis treatments. The groundbreaking for a dialysis center in Grove was held on Thursday at 1200 NEO Loop. U.S. Renal Care, Inc (USRC) a leading privately held provider of outpatient dialysis services, will be doing the construction. Shamsul Alam, M.D., will serve as the Medical Director of the center and will also establish a nephrology practice in Grove.

“This clinic will provide a vital service to the many dialysis patients in Northeast Oklahoma who are spending time on the road driving to their treatments. We are excited to provide a needed service to the people of this community,” said Alam. State Representative Dr. Doug Cox (R-Grove), who attended the groundbreaking both as a physician and medical director for Integris Grove Hospital and state representative said that the dialysis clinic is “just another piece of the puzzle in being able to provide as many medical services locally as possible.” The dialysis center is in a new building owned by Bryan Sheehan, D.P.M.

Dr. Cox praised Dr. Sheehan for spearheading the project and "working diligently to get Dr. Alam. They don't grow nephrologists on trees and it was Dr.Sheehan's connections with Dr. Alam that actually made this facility possible," Cox said. “I have been working on getting a dialysis clinic in our area for several years. We are lucky to have Dr. Alam and U.S. Renal Care come to town. Looking at several national dialysis companies, the name U.S. Renal Care kept coming up as a first class provider of services,” said Sheehan. Cox said the project is just another step in the plan that Integris Grove Hospital has for providing complete medical services to the community. "I am very pleased that U.S. Renal, which will be the operator and builder of the clinic, has used local subs for much of the work, the heating, air conditioning, the electric and the plumbing, and we're pleased that we have a quality operator like U.S. Renal. "It's important to note that the economic impact on the dialysis clinic should be over a million dollars a year to our local economy," said Dr. Cox. "We know that every physician office has a $1.6 million impact annual to the community and the dialysis clinic should rank right up there with that." Cox also recognized local resident Bill Miller. Miller, as member of the Grove Masonic Lodge and its commitment to helping people, has been driving a Grove patient to her dialysis treatments in Miami three times a week for the last six years.

Cox said Miller had prodded him for the last four years about building a clinic locally. "I attribute all of this to the women of the Cayuga Church. They have been praying for this for a long time," Miller said. Jordan Cash, Integris Assistant Vice President, lauded Dr. Cox for fighting for the facility for years and said that the facility shows the commitment Integris Grove Hospital has to the people of Grove, Grand Lake and the surrounding area. Dr. Zach Bechtol, who has been a physician in Grove for the past 12 years, said that the community is over-represented in cases of diabetes due to the high Indian population. He noted that diabetes is the number one reason for dialysis and it's therefore critical to have a dialysis center here.

"It brings that extra level of care that we are able to provide," said Bechtol. State of the art equipment and furnishings will be included in the 6,000 sq ft facility along with heated chairs for cold susceptible dialysis patients. "This is just a baby that's come to fruition," said Sheehan. "We as a medical community listened to our patients. Our patients told us this is what they need. We opened our eyes. It's a very, very happy day." The clinic will be open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and is expected to be complete in mid November, opening for patients around the middle of December.