Work begins today, Jan. 15, on the design phase for a new satellite dialysis unit at Glace Bay Hospital. “We are excited to be taking these first steps toward making a new satellite dialysis unit at Glace Bay Hospital a reality,” says Connie Gregory, senior director for renal programs with Nova Scotia Health Authority. “Our planning committee will be working with the design team and architects to help build a satellite unit that meets care standards and the clinical needs of the renal team and most importantly, our patients.” The planning committee is holding its first meeting today. This group includes representatives from the authority’s renal program, staff and physicians and the authority’s building infrastructure team. Staff members from the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal and Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness are also part of the group. The province announced plans for the new unit in April 2017. A tender for preliminary design and consulting services was awarded to William Nycum and Associates of Halifax valued at $526,025. The new six-station unit will help enhance renal care in Cape Breton. It complements the main dialysis unit at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital in Sydney as well as satellite units in North Sydney, Inverness and Evanston near Port Hawkesbury. Patients from Glace Bay and area now travel to Sydney for dialysis. The new unit will mean less travel for many of those patients. “This new unit reinforces our ongoing commitment to enhance access and provide quality care to our patients,” says Dr. Tom Hewlett, nephrology medical lead for Cape Breton. “The unit will also help improve the quality of life for many patients in the Glace Bay area. “Being able to provide service closer to their community will make a huge difference in the lives of local renal patients and their families.” There are about 180 people on dialysis in Cape Breton. About 50 of those patients are from the Glace Bay area. “The dialysis unit will be a great addition to the hospital and the community,” said Business Minister Geoff MacLellan, on behalf of Lloyd Hines, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. “This is an important service and I know patients have been waiting a long time. I’m happy to see the work continue on this project.” Funding for part of the project will come from the estate of the late Thomas Peach of Glace Bay, who left $1.9 million with the intent of helping establish dialysis services in the community.