U.S. Renal dialysis center opens in Streamwood
By Paul Sullivan For The Courier-News July 17, 2012 5:08PM
Cutting the red ribbon from left, patient Tom Pullia; Streamwood Village President, Billie Roth; patient Keith Barnett; Medical Director Dr. Gordon Lang and patient Kerry Wilson along with Streamwood Village employees in the background.
U.S. Renal Care Streamwood Dialysis
Where: 149 E. Irving Park Road, Streamwood
On the Web: usrenalcare.com
Updated: August 19, 2012 6:08AM
When U.S. Renal Care opened a new dialysis center in Streamwood with 13 treatment stations, a glowing fireplace and a well-stocked saltwater aquarium, it didn’t take patients long to notice the amenities.
“I think I’ll have my treatment here by the fish tank,” dialysis patient Kerry Wilson said at the recent grand opening.
Dialysis treatment can take several hours. U.S. Renal Care is one of the largest providers in the country for kidney dialysis treatment. With 125 clinics and at-home hemodialysis services in 12 states, the firm currently serves 6,200 patients.
Such widespread availability of treatment for kidney disease has not always been the case. In 1943, Dutchman Dr. Willem Kolff developed the first rudimentary mechanical kidney using sausage casings, orange juice cans and a washing machine.
By the 1960s, dialysis technology evolved sufficiently for hospitals to begin offering kidney dialysis clinics. Demand for kidney dialysis far outstripped the capability and supply of machines.
Younger people may not recall this, but life-and-death decisions on who met the criteria for dialysis treatment were made by a committee comprised of anonymous members of the community and two doctors.
Dr. Gordon Lang was once one of those doctors. With more than 50 years’ experience treating patients with kidney disease, Lang is now the medical director of the Streamwood Dialysis Center.
The center is currently awaiting Medicare approval.
Alexian Brothers Medical Center CEO John Werrbach, attending the opening ceremony of the new dialysis center, said his organization partners with health care providers. “We have in-house dialysis, but when we discharge patients, we have to be able to send them somewhere. It’s all about providing and managing better health care for the needs of the community. Government looks at health care as a bundle of money. It’s (health care) broken. Let’s fix it. Ten years from now, it’ll look different.”
Keith Barnett, 35, a patient of Lang’s for 20 years, said, “Dr. Lang came out of retirement and took good care of me. I am grateful and appreciative to this great man.”
Lang said location was important in establishing his new center. “People needed a convenient option. There was nothing (for dialysis) in Streamwood.”
The Centers for Disease Control expects the number of people with diabetes — a leading cause of kidney problems — to grow by nearly 50 percent by 2025.
Speaking with Streamwood Village Trustee James Cecille, Lang said, “We’d like to get a few more handicap parking spaces out front.” Cecille assured the doctor he would address the request with the village.