Tom Pullia spends up to 30 minutes driving to and from a dialysis facility in Schaumburg. But starting Monday, his drive will be cut to less than five minutes.
"It's going to be close; I could walk there if I have to," the 69-year-old Streamwood resident said.
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U.S. Renal Care is opening its first dialysis facility in Illinois at 149 Irving Park Road in Streamwood Monday, July 9. U.S. Renal Care will also open dialysis facilities in the fall in Bolingbrook and Oak Brook.
The Streamwood center will be open Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., and medical director and nephrologist Dr. Gordon Lang said in time the center will add Saturday hours to the schedule.
Dialysis patients usually visit a facility three times a week for four to five hours, Lang said. There isn't a place in Streamwood for dialysis currently; the closest facilities are in Hoffman Estates, Schaumburg and South Barrington.
"I knew people needed it in Streamwood, so this gives them a closer option," Lang said.
With a staff including a social worker, nurses, dietitians and technicians, the facility has 12 chairs with heat and massage settings, and TV stations equipped for watching cable or DVDs.
"It is something else," Pullia said of the facility. "I was impressed even by the waiting room." There is a fish tank and fireplace in the waiting room.
Lang said the smaller space and friendly environment will make patients feel comfortable.
With the diabetes epidemic and an aging baby boomer generation, Lang said "there is a need for dialysis." Diabetes increases the risk of kidney disease, and as people age, their kidneys age, which can lead to problems.
The Illinois Health Facilities Service and Review approved plans for the facility, which has its required certificate of need, in October 2011.