Construction has begun on a 8,950-square-foot DaVita Dialysis clinic.
RAN Health Services of Modesto won approval from the Ceres Planning Commission in March to build at 1424 E. Whitmore Avenue west of Highway 99.
The project is planned on a 1.29-acre site zoned Community Commercial and located south of Whitmore Avenue, just west of the Rockefeller Drive.
The property had been approved for an office building on July 17, 2006, however the project was shelved and approval expired as the result of the recession. Because the project expired in 2008, the proponents came back for a new approval as a dialysis center.
The dialysis clinic is expected to operate with a maximum of 12 employees, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., with truck deliveries being made to the site approximately once per week.
City planning staff supported the project since it is filling a vacant lot and "improves the balance of commercial businesses that already exist within Ceres."
Dialysis is the artificial process of eliminating waste (diffusion) and unwanted water (ultrafiltration) from the blood. Human kidneys do this naturally however some people may have failed or damaged kidneys which cannot carry out the function properly and may need dialysis.
Ceres has one dialysis center presently in operation. Because the need for dialysis is growing, Satellite Health Care received permission in July to build a third facility. Satellite was approved for a 10,750-square-foot medical office building at 1360-1388 Mitchell Road.
Chronic kidney disease is growing at a rate of 20 percent per year, said Frank Hagaman, CEO and president of Built with Principle, Inc. Because of this rate, treatment times are being extended 30 to 60 minutes.
"Kidney dialysis is an epidemic going on right now," said Hagaman. "It's growing anywhere from 10 to 20 percent annually across the United States. The leading causes are diabetes and hypertension. Just in this area alone just north of you in Modesto, there's four facilities and a proposed fifth facility. Just south of here in Turlock there's also a proposed new facility. It's growing in this area very rapidly."
Dialysis will continue to grow as a need, he said, until an artificial kidney or a new technology is developed or "ultimately people start to take better care of themselves through diet and education."