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Yasui Center expansion takes shape

Submitted photo

JasonCrone, construction foreman for the Ray T. Yasui Dialysis Center, builds frames for the new center’s walls. The view behind him is what patients will see from the center’s top floor location in the addition to the Providence Health Services Building at 11th and May streets.

News staff writer

August 10, 2005

Construction is ahead of schedule for the Providence Health Services’ Ray T. Yasui Dialysis Center building, which will open in mid-December and will include 12 dialysis stations, four more than in the current center.

“The people on our waiting list right now are having to drive to Portland three days a week for their dialysis,” reports Jean Sheppard, associate administrator for special services. “We look forward to seeing them at our center in just a few months. We built the first center to help local people dialyze locally and it’s why we’re building an even larger one now.”

The current Ray T. Yasui Dialysis Center, opened in 1998 and located inside Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital, is dedicated to the life of Hood River Valley orchardist Ray T. “Chop” Yasui, who suffered from kidney failure and rather than move to Portland, chose to use home dialysis, with his daughter-in-law, Maija, as his aide.

“Chop made me promise I would do whatever I could to get a dialysis center in the Gorge,” Maija remembered. She and then-hospital administrator Tim Simmons worked together to make that wish come true. A Gorge-wide fund-raising campaign brought in money donated from bake sales, car washes and a winter carnival, together with major gifts from many individuals, businesses and organizations throughout the area.

The campaign goal, $585,000, was reached and exceeded, allowing enough money to fully equip the center, to train local health professionals and to provide scholarship money for uninsured or underinsured patients. The Ray T. Yasui Dialysis Center is considered to be the most beautiful center with the most spectacular view of any center in the United States. The new center will continue that reputation.

For more information about dialysis or the Ray T. Yasui Center, call Providence Hood River Community Relations, (541) 387-6342 or check the Web page at:

www.providence.org/hoodriver

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