This week we are spotlighting Andrew Finnegan, a dialysis technician in our acute services program. Although Andy has been employed just five years with Centers for Dialysis Care, his involvement with dialysis spans five decades. His career predates Medicare’s involvement in dialysis payment and his care for dialysis patients began very unusually.
More About Andrew
Beginning in 1972 at Elyria Hospital, following completion of a degree from a local community college, Andy worked as a perfusionist. Very few patients were undergoing dialysis at the time, and there were even fewer locations for patients to receive care. Elyria entered into the realm of dialysis care when approached to provide care to one patient who was traveling long distances for treatments. The hospital agreed to send nurses to train and would dialyze patients in the recovery room of the surgical suite. One day, a machine sprung a leak and Andy sprang into action. His fast thinking corrected the problem and earned him a job caring for dialysis patients, as well as equipment and water systems.
Andy remained at Elyria Hospital for 27 years. He left when approached by a physician, Dr. Miclat, to assist with opening a physician-owned independent clinic. Andy remained with Dr. Miclat for 17 years and was involved in all aspects of the business, including reuse and care of the physical plant.
Once other partners entered the business, Andy then joined Harry Grubbs, who owned a company providing acute dialysis in the hospital setting. Andy traveled and expanded his expertise to 15 hospital arenas, providing acute dialysis, cell-saver, and plasmapheresis treatments. Andy recalls a time in his career when he helped a patient who was receiving both dialysis and plasmapheresis, a process that involved travel to a hospital to receive therapy six days per week. To reduce that commitment to just three days, Andy was able to design a tubing set-up that would allow these therapies to be completed in one session, saving time for both the patient and the staff.
Once Harry moved on from his business ventures in dialysis, Andy joined HSI to continue caring for acute dialysis patients throughout Northeast Ohio. Five years ago, Andy became an employee of Centers for Dialysis Care when the organization re-entered the Acute Care business.
While this is a long and memorable career for Andy, he looks forward to the next chapter of his life, which will begin in June after he completes an unprecedented milestone, capping off 50 years of dialysis service. Andy then plans to travel with friends, visit his family out of state and spend more time with his four children, three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Of course, he expects to continue to do a little dialysis.
Andy would like those in dialysis and technicians specifically to keep challenging themselves. He has stayed in dialysis because there is a “newness” every day, which keeps him energized. He states, “it’s not like putting bolts in a transmission.”
We thank Andy for his lifelong dedication to dialysis care.