Dialysis Clinic Reopens

by Christa Lollis

After 2 months of investigations by the state health department and Lufkin police, patients were let back in for treatment at DaVita dialysis in Lufkin. However a handful of protestors weren't too happy and want DaVita out of East Texas. "One was too many, when you have 4 deaths and several others in just one month, several other victims in just one month, we don't need that kind of company here," one protestor said.

During the two months it was closed the clinic worked to fix deficiencies identified by the state. DaVita representative Michael Chee explained, "Procedures and administrative protocols have been changed, our staff has been completely retrained and reeducated in appropriate patient care and treatment."

Improvements that satisfied state requirements and allowed them to begin phasing in patients, with nine coming in today.  And DaVita says the alleged spike in deaths in April wasn't connected with those problems, but rather with the criminal actions of one of its former employees.

Protestors aren't happy with that answer. "She should be prosecuted but we also feel like there were a lot of other people that turned their head the other way while she was you know conducting these things on these patients and we feel like someone else should be held accountable, several people should be held accountable if they were watching her," Janiece Metcalf who was protesting explained.

That she is Kimberly Clark Saenz, and so far she's the only person who's been arrested. Saenz has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault for allegedly injecting two patients with bleach intentionally. Both patients survived. Michael Chee says the clinic wouldn't be back open if there were concerns with any other employees.