Monument Health’s outpatient dialysis clinic is moving to a larger and more accessible location this fall.
The former Kmart shopping center at Dakota Market Square at East North and Cambell streets is currently undergoing renovations for the new clinic, which is expected to be open in October.
It is now located in the Monument Health Medical Clinic on Flormann Street. It has 24 dialysis stations consisting of a chair and dialysis machine. The new location will have 36 stations as well as space for training and support services relating to at-home dialysis.
The region’s largest dialysis provider, Monument also offers dialysis at Rapid City Hospital and at Monument’s Spearfish clinic, serving 204 dialysis patients regularly. Thirty-two patients receive home dialysis treatment, and during tourist season visitors are added to the mix of regulars.
In the current space, this high demand is beginning to cause issues. Sometimes, the high need means out-of-town dialysis patients have been unable to travel to the Black Hills for treatment because dialysis was not available for them.
“Our dialysis needs keep growing. We need more chairs and we need more space,” Mike Thompson, director of dialysis for Monument, said in a press release.
Thompson told the Journal that Monument did not want to put the project off until the clinic became fuller, so they based the new clinic on the projected community growth for the next decade
“This will make us comfortable for the rest of the decade,” Thompson said.
The Dakota Market Square clinic will be 16,000 square feet — double the size of the old clinic — accessible at the ground level so handicapped patients can easily gain entrance. Kyle Treloar, vice president of Dream Design, the company renovating the building, said they leveled the parking lot and added more handicapped spaces to make the location more accessible.
The additional space will allow the home dialysis program to expand and triple in size, Thompson said.
There will also be access to public transportation from the clinic, as well as access to Interstate 90 and S.D. Highway 79. The building’s location makes it more accessible to people coming in from out of town and shortens the commute time.
“The location is one of the best spots in Rapid as vehicles are coming in and out of town on the highways. There have been a lot of infrastructure upgrades to improve traffic around that area, and this is just one of those revitalization projects that makes all the sense in the world — to upgrade and put high-quality buildings in high-traffic areas,” Treloar said.
Thompson added the location is close to stores that patients frequent, meaning family members can drop off the patient and go shopping while they wait for their treatment to end.
Patients themselves are excited for the move, Thompson said. They have been engaged in the process and have been allowed to look at the design plans and make suggestions for the new clinic.
Thompson said the new clinic is exciting in terms of creating flexibility. At the current clinic, there are three shifts of dialysis to accommodate the high levels of patients, so some have to come in early to start their treatment or leave late in the evening.
While Dream Design did some initial renovations to the space Monument’s clinic will occupy, such as upgrading the utilities, water and sewer lines, HVAC system, and replacing the roof, Monument is handling the rest of the remodel internally.
Thompson said on Monument’s side of the renovation, they will be creating the clinic and non-clinical spaces “from the ground up,” which includes installing a new larger water system as dialysis requires ultra-pure water as well as purchasing additional dialysis machines to supplement the current ones.
The two entities have been working together on the new clinic since late last year. Monument began planning for a new space in early 2019.
“It’s a great location and there are good team players. Monument’s got a great plan, and it’s exciting to be a part of projects like that and see this side of town continue to grow and take shape,” Treloar said.
Dialysis is required when a patient’s kidneys can no longer filter toxins and waste out of their blood. Kidney failure is often the result of diabetes, which according to Monument is particularly common in western South Dakota.
A dialysis machine removes the blood, cleans it, removes excess water, balances electrolytes and then circulates the blood back into the body.
Patients spend a lot of their time in dialysis as the process takes around four hours and needs to be done three times a week, so Thompson said it’s important to provide roomy, safe, comfortable places for them to receive treatment.
As for the rest of Dakota Market Square, Treloar said the west half of the building, comprised of seven suites, is already remodeled and fully occupied. As Dream Design finishes each portion of renovations, more suites will become available for lease.