Volunteers Sought For Agnesian HealthCare Beaver Dam Dialysis Center

For 13 years, the professionals Agnesian HealthCare’s dialysis services in Beaver Dam have helped countless individuals experiencing kidney failure to receive quality, ongoing treatment at its Monroe Street facility.

Agnesian Dialysis Services offers two methods of treatment to people with end-stage kidney disease. Hemodialysis is a procedure, which uses a machine to rid the blood of waste buildup and remove excess water.

            The second method, peritoneal dialysis, places fluid into the abdominal cavity to flush out the waste and excess water, which a functioning kidney would normally remove.

            In addition, staff works with patients on renal (kidney) transplant options, including getting them on transplant waiting lists.

Patients and their families benefit from a multi-disciplinary team, including Drs. Bret Pasiuk and Rafal Ciecierski, both board-certified nephrologists. Dr. Pasiuk cares for patients in Beaver Dam and Fond du Lac, while Dr. Ciecierski sees patients in Fond du Lac and Waupun. They are joined by Aleshia Cole, APNP, nurse practitioner.

Working closely with these providers are Diane Posthuma and Sue VanHouten, dialysis supervisors, and a full complement of certified nurses and technicians. In addition, Agnesian Dialysis Services offers patients comprehensive support services from dietitians, social workers and chaplains who understand the special needs of patients on dialysis.

The dialysis center has added a new dimension to its care in Beaver Dam, and has found great success and is working to expand – volunteers.

In May, William Nanney became the first volunteer at the Beaver Dam Dialysis Center, working mornings three days a week. He spends his morning greeting each of the patients coming for dialysis, weighing them before and after treatment, serving them coffee or ice chips, and visiting with them and their family members.

And, patients have taken note of his care and compassion.

“He’s a cheerful face to welcome each of us,” according to Ann Marie Dufrasne. “He always has something positive or nice to say when he greets us. He has lots of empathy for the patients that he helps. He’s always got a cup of coffee waiting for me and knows just what I like in it. He helps me get into my car and puts my walker in for me. He’s a doll and is a big help to staff and patients.”

Carrie Vande Zande, a registered nurse at the Beaver Dam Dialysis Center, says having a volunteer to assist the staff and patients has been wonderful. “In addition to helping the patients, Bill also assists staff by making up patient packets and other tasks. Most important is the relationships that Bill has built with the patients. They look forward to seeing him and the interactions that they have.”

Nanney enjoys volunteering because it allows him to give back to his community. “The people I work with at the dialysis center are wonderful,” Nanney says. “I’ve gotten to know many of the patients and hear their stories. It makes you appreciate how blessed you are.”

Volunteers are needed at the dialysis center on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to noon. The ideal volunteer enjoys being around people, is a good listening and is detail oriented to record patients’ weights. Interested individuals can choose to work one day per week or more. 

For more information or to share interest in joining the dialysis team, contact Karen Gross, Waupun Memorial Hospital volunteer coordinator, at (920) 324-6559 or complete an on-line application at agnesian.com (go to the careers tab and select volunteers).

Photo caption: Ann Marie Dufrasne (left), a patient at the Beaver Dam Dialysis Center, is welcomed by William Nanney who was the first volunteer at the Beaver Dam Dialysis Center. The center is looking for other volunteers to help address patient comfort needs.