The dialysis patient experience is about to transform at St. Joseph’s Health Centre.
This May, the brand new Bachir Yerex Family Dialysis Centre will be opening at St. Joseph’s, thanks to generous donations by Salah Bachir, his husband Jacob Yerex and other donors, and funding from the Ontario government.
The new dialysis centre will feature new patient chairs with individualized entertainment systems, controls for light and temperature, new technology and facilities for staff, and beautiful natural light. While dialysis services are currently occurring in two separate spaces at St. Joseph’s, they will be amalgamated in the new area, which will improve workflow and streamline patient care.
“Patient comfort is a huge priority for dialysis patients because they come in at least three times a week, for three to four hours at a time,” explained Solita Crispin, patient care manager with the St. Joseph’s Regional Renal Program.
“When patients are already not feeling well during dialysis, we want to make sure that they are comfortable, in a big space and surrounded by natural light. These are the things that make a space relaxing and conducive to a healing environment.”The new centre contains 21 individual dialysis stations, with space for increased capacity in the future. Dialysis services at St. Joseph’s include inpatient dialysis, emergency dialysis and scheduled outpatient dialysis. The average outpatient hospital-based dialysis patient receives 150 dialysis treatments per year.
Bachir’s dialysis journey at St. Joseph’s started through the health centre’s satellite clinic on Islington Avenue. He was then sent to dialyze at St. Joseph’s main hospital site a few times and found that the space needed improvement.
“I believe in the dialysis clinics at St. Joseph’s. There were things at the satellite clinic that you could fix quickly, but not at the hospital dialysis clinic. It was clear that a new clinic was necessary,” explained Bachir.
Bachir and Yerex started a successful fundraising campaign that helped make the Bachir Yerex Family Dialysis Centre a reality.
“I think it’s lovely to give back to people who give so much, which is why I really wanted to do this. St. Joseph’s takes care of me and my family. The response to our campaign from friends and supporters was quite heartwarming; we were totally thrilled with it. I think at the end of the day, it makes us feel better to be able to help or make a difference.”
Bachir and Yerex are also donating some of their art collection to the new centre because Bachir believes in the influence of art on changing the look and feel of a space. Bachir is also the donor behind the Share Your Light Festival, which lights up St. Joseph’s in festive colours every holiday season making it impossible to miss from the Gardiner Expressway.
“I’ve done dialysis all over the world and I think the health care that we have here is second to none. There is a true family feeling at St. Joseph’s every time I visit. I feel very safe, I feel very loved and I feel very well taken care of,” said Bachir.
The Bachir Yerex Family Dialysis Centre will also include an education room for patients and family, four private treatment rooms for patients requiring greater privacy, and a separate waiting area for patients requiring isolation. The new and expanded clinic helped create key spaces that ensure dialysis services are individualized, safe and dignified.
“It’s going to be a more comfortable environment for our patients. Dialysis patients really become like family because they’re here so often in a week throughout their dialysis care journey,” said Crispin.
“The bond we have with our dialysis patients is nothing like I’ve experienced in my past nursing career. I can’t thank Salah enough. We can’t thank him enough.”
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