New North County Dialysis Center Opening


Marcos Rothstein, MD

“Serving the population where they live” is the impetus behind the new Washington University dialysis facility about to open in North St. Louis County, according to Dr. Marcos Rothstein, Professor of Medicine, Nephrology, and one of the initial advocates of the project.

“Missouri has over 9,000 patients undergoing dialysis, and that puts our state in the top ten for incidence and prevalence of End Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD),” says Dr. Rothstein. “Within both the state and our city, North St. Louis County has by far the highest number of patients suffering from this condition.”


Tingting Li, MD

Opening in early January 2018, the North County Dialysis Center is a 16-station, in-center hemodialysis unit that will have the capability for home hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis training and support. The unit has the potential to eventually accommodate 90 in-center hemodialysis patients and up to 40 home modalities patients.

The center, designed to exude a warm and inviting esthetic, has an open atmosphere with lots of windows in the treatment area, and boasts easy accessibility with regard to parking.

The intake of patients at this top-of-the-line facility will begin gradually under the leadership of Medical Director Ting Ting Li, MD and Nurse Practitioner Lisa Koester-Wiedemann, along with a dedicated nursing staff, all bringing a wealth of experience to the endeavor. In conjunction with the new unit, Rothstein and Koester-Wiedermann will see patients in a new WU Nephrology CKD clinic located nearby in the Doctors’ Building at Christian Hospital Northeast.

Lisa Koester-Wiedemann, NP

The Washington University North County Dialysis Center will join the existing Renal Network of dialysis units – Chromalloy American Kidney Center (the oldest dialysis unit in operation in the St. Louis area), Washington University Dialysis Center at Forest Park, and South County Dialysis Center (Home Dialysis South). These dialysis units are independent, not-for-profit facilities, welcoming all patients under the care of nephrologists throughout the community.


Brent Miller, MD

“This certainly complements our ability to provide dialysis throughout the Metro area,” says Brent Miller, MD, Professor of Medicine and Medical Director of Home Dialysis. “We now have units covering South, West, Central and North locations in the St. Louis area.”

Dan Coyne, MD, Medical Director, Chromalloy American Kidney Center, says, “The opening of a Washington University Dialysis Center in North County reflects the commitment of the Division of Nephrology to provide state-of-the-art services and care across the entire Metro St. Louis area.”


Dan Coyne, MD

“For over 50 years, Washington University Nephrology has been committed to caring for and providing kidney replacement options to patients in our region,” says Dr. Rothstein. “Extending into North St. Louis County is the natural continuation of that mission. I’ve seen firsthand the need for a dialysis unit in North County, and it fills me with pride that Washington University Nephrology is fulfilling the needs and expectations of our patients.”

The North County Dialysis Center is located at 272 Mayfair Plaza in Florissant, MO, 63033, near the intersection of highways 367 and 270.

Mangia! Ravioli Dinner Fundraiser

RoseMarie Bianchi, a dialysis patient at Chromalloy Dialysis Center and co-founder of The Sick and Elderly Program of the Hill, is getting ready for the foundation’s annual fundraiser – a big, Italian, ravioli dinner.

The Sick and Elderly Program of The Hill is a volunteer home health care foundation that provides free medical equipment and supplies to the residents of The Hill neighborhood in St. Louis, which proudly celebrates its Italian heritage.

RoseMarie and her husband, John, founded the program over 40 years ago. Today, RoseMarie is Chairwoman of the Board, John is President, daughter Debbie Hilderbrand is Vice-President, and sons Bob, John, and James are on the foundation’s board.

The Bianchi’s generosity extends well beyond the boundaries of The Hill. It is not uncommon for the foundation to provide patients in the Chromalloy Dialysis Center with much needed medical equipment. See here for a previous Division of Nephrology news article featuring RoseMarie and her son Bob.
All proceeds of the Ravioli Dinner fundraiser benefit the foundation. Click here for the flyer.

You can follow The Sick and Elderly Program of The Hill on Facebook.

WU Nephrology Awarded Grant to Reduce ESRD Patient Readmissions

“One of our core values in the Division of Nephrology is to improve the health of our patients,” says Benjamin Humphreys, MD, PhD, Joseph P. Friedman Associate Professor and Chief of the Division of Nephrology.

The Division of Nephrology  has been awarded a two-year grant from the Barnes Jewish Hospital (BJH) Foundation for a proposal to reduce 30-day hospital readmissions for ESRD patients.

On average, a dialysis patient is admitted to the hospital twice a year and over 30% of those admissions will have an unplanned recurrent hospitalization within 30 days. This is double the readmission rate of non-dialysis Medicare beneficiaries.

Frequent hospital readmissions contribute to high mortality rates and poor health-related quality of life of ESRD patients, and are costly, as well, to the dialysis unit and hospital involved. Improving readmission rates is beneficial to all involved.

The two in-center dialysis centers operated by Washington University – Chromalloy American Kidney Center and Forest Park Kidney Center – manage approximately 400 patients, as well as another 200 patients in the community. In 2016, of the 771 hospital admissions for these patients there was a 28% rate of readmission within 30 days.

Humphreys states that improving the readmission rates “will require direct monitoring, enhanced communications between providers and patients, specific and focused patient education, and interactive provider interventions”. The plan is to establish a robust transitional care program to target dialysis patients admitted to Barnes Jewish Hospital for intensive follow-up to prevent readmission.

Humphreys notes, “I am excited that this grant from the BJH Foundation will allow us to test new ways of keeping our dialysis patients out of the hospital, and in so doing, reduce costs, improve outcomes and enhance patient quality of life.”

Specific aims of the program are:

  • Create a 30-day readmission risk-assessment tool that will allow optimal communication between the provider and the patients. Patients will be categorized as a low, medium, or high readmission risk based on criteria such as the patient’s social support system, laboratory parameters, adherence record, discharge destination, and dialysis modality.
  • Once the readmission risk is assigned, an intervention plan will be developed to meet the challenges of each patient’s individual needs when discharged. The plan will focus on matters such as reviewing medication and discharge instructions with both the patient and caregiver, providing dietary support and counseling, scheduling visits by nurse coordinator/physician during first week post discharge, following-up with phone calls to the patient/caretakers, and ensuring appointments are kept with non-renal outpatient providers.
  • Develop patient education tools to target clinical problems that affect readmission rates. This will include development of patient-friendly tool to manage medication, diet, and fluid restriction at home and one-on-one education with patients and families.
  • Monitor and track patient outcomes.