Dialysis services returned to Harlan ARH Hospital this week


Dialysis services returned to Harlan ARH Hospital this week.

Following the recent recruitment of Dr. Mohammad Samih to the medical staff as a specialist in nephrology, or kidney function, dialysis is now available to serve the needs of hospitalized patients who previously were being transferred.

“The Harlan area has a large population with chronic kidney disease and this service has been a long-standing need,” Samih said. “I’m very pleased to see this project accomplished and now we can continue our work to improve the health and well-being of so many people in this community who need dialysis.”

“The outpatient service through the Fresenius clinic has been available for some time, but without a full-time physician in Harlan we were unable to provide inpatient care,” said Dr. Jyotin Chandarana, a nephrology specialist from Hazard who also operates a Harlan clinic. “The successful recruitment of Dr. Samih makes it possible now for us to again take care of these patients at home.”

Drs. Samih and Chandarana are available for appointments through the ARH Daniel Boone Clinic.

“This service would not have happened without the support and hard work from ARH’s leadership as well as that from our colleagues on the Harlan medical staff,” said Dr. Chandarana. “I want to express my thanks to (Harlan ARH CEO) Dan Stone and his administrative colleagues for pulling together the resources for this project.”

“Also, we appreciate the very positive and strong working relationship between ARH and Fresenius on this project,” Samih added. “Our patients are very satisfied with the quality of care they are receiving in the community dialysis center. For the past two years we have been working to solve the problem of having to send patients out of the community because they needed to be hospitalized. This service will now definitely address that.”

The inpatient service consists of two dialysis machines that will be kept in the hospital for use when needed. According to the physicians involved in the treatment program, the service is for patients needing treatment for chronic conditions as well as those needing it temporarily while recovering from a major wound, infection, seriously high blood pressure, or other such condition that can damage the kidneys and restrict their function.

With the high rate of diabetes and hypertension among the population in southeastern Kentucky, the medical community has been dealing with “a huge population” suffering chronic kidney disease, Chandarana said. Those highly prevalent disease conditions lead to circulatory problems and an eventual failure in kidney function, he added.

Harlan ARH is a part of the Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) system. ARH is a not-for-profit health system serving 350,000 residents across Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia. Operating 10 hospitals, multi-specialty physician practices, home health agencies, HomeCare Stores and retail pharmacies, ARH is the largest provider of care and single largest employer in southeastern Kentucky and the third largest private employer in southern West Virginia.

The ARH system employs nearly 5,000 people and has a network of more than 600 active and courtesy medical staff members representing various specialties. Firmly committed to its mission of improving the health and promoting the well-being of all people in Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia, in the past 12 months alone, ARH provided nearly $133 million in uncompensated care for the uninsured and underinsured.

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