Almost two years since Gulf County’s only kidney dialysis provider shuttered their doors, a new kidney dialysis facility will be opening next month.
Fresenius Medical Center of North America is set to begin accepting patients at their Gulf County facility on Feb.6, according to Gulf County Economic Development Director Jim McKnight.
McKnight has been working to secure a dialysis provider since March 2021, when DaVita Kidney Care shuttered its facility at the same location following the loss of DaVita’s contract with Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
“They have completed renovations. They have hired staff. They’re ready to open,” McKnight told the Board of County Commissioners at their Jan. 24 meeting. “They don’t have any internet connection, so they need to make an internet connection, and then that’s good to go.”
At a meeting almost one year ago, the board unanimously voted to allow Chairman Sandy Quinn to sign an agreement with Fresenius, the nation’s largest dialysis provider.
The agreement specifies the conditions of a $100,000 subsidy that will be paid out by the county to Fresenius annually for the next five years.
The half-million dollars paid for out of Gulf County’s health care trust fund, is allocated to offset start-up costs and other expenses at the facility. This includes the lease of space in the building, which is located in the Ascension Sacred Heart complex but is owned by a private entity, separate from Ascension.
McKnight said a grand opening event for the Fresenius facility will be held on March 23.
“It finally all fell into place,” he said.