Dialysis center opens this week
By Anna Erickson
DaVita dialysis center is opening this week at Park Avenue Plaza.
Dr. Jeff Skogen, a kidney specialist with Essentia Health, said the motivation in working to bring a dialysis center to Park Rapids was his patients. Dr. Mahendra Gupta, a cancer specialist with Essentia, partnered with Skogen on the project.
Both doctors travel to Park Rapids to see patients and saw the need to open a dialysis unit.
A lot of people from Park Rapids are getting dialysis in Detroit Lakes or Fargo and Skogen has been working for many years on bringing the dialysis center to Park Rapids.
“We did this for the patients,” Skogen said. “I was seeing the numbers and knew it could work.”
Patients will no longer have to travel to receive dialysis. Skogen has already heard from someone in the Twin Cities who is looking to move to the area but was waiting to see if the dialysis center was happening.
“A lot of calls are coming from out of town,” he said.
The three-story building is about 15,000 square feet. DaVita will be on the first floor. Skogen said he is working on leasing the second and third floor.
A modified Tax Increment Finance District was approved to help developers with the cost of construction.
DaVita is a nationwide dialysis company. The clinic will add several jobs to start and has room for expansion based on the number of patients. To start, the clinic will be open Monday, Wednesday and Friday and up to 24 patients can have dialysis each day.
To start, only a few people will be able to receive dialysis until the state completes certification. The certification should take a few weeks.
Skogen and Gupta said the project wouldn’t have happened without support from city leaders and the community.
“I think this is a great project for the community and it will allow for more opportunities for patients,” Gupta said.
An open house for the dialysis center and Park Avenue Plaza is Thursday, Aug. 29. A brief program and ribbon cutting is at 3:30 p.m. with public tours of the facility from 4-6 p.m. the same day.
Park Avenue Plaza is located on the south side of Seventh Street West between Main Avenue and Highway 71 in Park Rapids.