Hospital breaks ground for kidney disease center

By JOHN WALKER - jwalker@shelbynews.com

More than 800 people in Shelby County have Stage 3 kidney disease, said Major Health Partners CEO Jack Horner.

About 60 people in the county have the final Stage 5 kidney disease.

“My own dad finally succumbed to kidney failure,” Horner told a crowd of about 100 people late Monday afternoon gathered at a site near the MHP Medical Center, 2451 Intelliplex Drive in Shelbyville.

Right after he spoke, the hospital’s board of directors took shovels and turned dirt in a ceremonial groundbreaking for the new MHP Intelliplex Professional Building, which will house the Sue Ann Wortman Nephrology Center.

Nephrology is the science of treating kidney disease.

Kidneys clean toxins from the bloodstream, but they can stop functioning properly. Kidney disease has five stages.

Stage 3-4 is considered advanced. Stage 5 kidney disease typically requires dialysis, cleansing patients’ blood with a machine. The hospital just started offering dialysis treatments in July.

Horner thanked the hospital’s board of directors, the board of the Major Hospital Foundation and staff members for their support to create the new facility.

“People’s commitment, that’s the most important thing we have,” he said.

In particular, Horner thanked Bob Wortman, owner of J.R. Wortman Co. of Morristown, for his monetary gift to establish the nephrology center which will be named for his late wife, Sue Ann, who died in 2015.

With Horner’s arm around his shoulder, Wortman took the microphone to express his gratitude.

“I feel extremely privileged to be a part of this,” he said.

The new building is to be constructed on a site near the main hospital building at Intelliplex, the technology business park located on Shelbyville’s northwest side.

Plans are for the new facility to have the same color scheme as the main building; it will be about the size of the MHP Administration Building at 2325 Intelliplex Drive.

Horner said the MHP Intelliplex Professional Building and Sue Ann Wortman Nephrology Center should be operational by June 2019.

The center will be large enough to treat dialysis patients from outside Shelby County, he said.

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