Hospital gets donation to start dialysis center

Posted: Thursday, July 03, 2003

JUNEAU (AP) Bartlett Regional Hospital Foundation has received a $200,000 donation to start a dialysis center in the Mendenhall Mall.

The donation was made by Pat Reifenstein, whose husband, George, died from emphysema in 1999.

Bartlett Regional Hospital Foundation, a nonprofit group that raises money for hospital-related causes, has been working for three years to start a dialysis center, said Executive Director Charlotte Richards.

With Reifenstein's seed money, the foundation was able to attract the support of Renal Care Group, a corporation that provides dialysis. Renal Care agreed to supply the extra funds, possibly close to $800,000, to equip the center, Richards said.

Dialysis is used to treat people with complete kidney failure. Some need treatments three times a week.

Some people who suffer from kidney failure in Southeast use a portable machine at home for the treatments. Others, who need a type of dialysis that removes and cleans their blood a bit at a time, have been forced to go to Anchorage or Seattle for treatment.

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