Once contested Fresenius dialysis center quietly opens in Chestnut Hill

Fresenius Dialysis Center and Delaware Valley Nephrology at 10 E. Moreland Avenue quietly opened its doors in Chestnut Hill on March 11. The new facility replaces the former Fresenius location at 6656 Germantown Avenue which closed operations the same day. The Mt. Airy property is currently unoccupied and listed for rent by Martin Elfant Inc.

The new Chestnut Hill location holds both a dialysis center run by Fresenius, a German company, and the medical offices of Delaware Valley Nephrology & Hypertension Association. DVNHA, consisting of three local physicians, provides medical consulting services to Fresenius’ clinic. The new clinic has 37 dialysis stations, an slight increase from the 31 stations that were present at the Mt. Airy site. Jonathan Stone, spokesperson for Fresenius, said that for the time being the employee count of 28 will remain the same as it had been for the previous clinic.

Although the dialysis center had obtained the support of the Chestnut Hill Community Association, a separate neighbor group came forward to voice opposition during the zoning process. The Chestnut Hill Residents Association was upset by the removal of a proviso that was part of the original rezoning variance, which allowed for the industrial property to be rezoned for C2 commercial use. Neighbors wished to see facility hours limited to 6pm while Fresenius wanted the ability to remain open for patients services until 9pm. A compromise came in the form of a proviso that limited the center’s hours of operations to 6pm three nights a week, however that proviso was removed from the final bill passed by City Council in December 2010 by then Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller.

Fresenius is currently open for patient treatment Monday, Wednesday and Fridays from 6am until 9:30pm and also on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 6am until 5pm. The facility is closed on Sunday.

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Stone stated that since dialysis patients arrive at the clinic through various means, a total number of ambulance or medical transport vans which come to the clinic daily is “difficult to estimate.” “Patients are often elderly and have co-morbid conditions that might require ambulance transport depending on their health condition at the time,” Stone said. Fresenius has a large parking lot on Winston Road.

DVNHA had applied for EnergyWorks funding to retrofit the former Kurtz Construction building, but Stone confirmed that funding was not received. The building originally was home to the Glen Willow Ice Manufacturing from 1923 to 1938. Last year, CHRA sought to have the building designated as an historic structure in a failed attempt to block Fresenius after City Council approved the project.

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