As demand for home dialysis grows in North America, Fresenius Medical Care celebrated the groundbreaking for a new distribution center in Knoxville, Tenn., which will help ensure the timely delivery of peritoneal solution to home dialysis patients across the country. The 618,000 sq. ft. facility will be the largest on the East Coast and also supports delivery of products needed for in-center hemodialysis treatment.
More than 60 people, including the mayor and Knox County Chamber officials, gathered at the future distribution center where bulldozers prepared the former farmland for construction. Rice Powell, CEO of Fresenius Medical Care, explained the connection between this construction and the company’s mission to provide patients the highest quality care.
“One of the key pillars of our growth is addressing our patients’ changing needs,” Powell told local community members and partners during the ceremony. “Many patients would rather be treated at home so they can lead a life as normal as possible instead of receiving regular treatment at a dialysis clinic for several hours, several days a week.”
Once completed, the new distribution center will provide the storage capacity needed to expand a manufacturing plant just a few miles away that began operations in 2016. The Knoxville manufacturing facility plans to soon ramp up production of peritoneal solution and start producing a more environmentally conscious, PVC-free Biofine® line of products.
“This is our first peritoneal dialysis solutions plant in the eastern half of the United States and was years in the making,” said Kent Wanzek, CEO for Global Manufacturing, Quality and Supply at Fresenius Medical Care. “The new distribution center will now support the growth of that plant by providing warehousing, transportation, and delivery services.”
By early 2020, the company hopes to see drivers with TruBlu Logistics™ begin making pick-ups and deliveries at the new center. These TruBlu drivers are the company’s critical link to patients who depend on a steady supply of home products to meet their dialysis needs.
"Our patients need us to be there on time and on schedule,” said Powell. “Our expansion in Knoxville supports our commitment to increase access to home dialysis and empower our patients to choose the treatment option that works best for their needs.”
With an increasing number of people living with chronic kidney disease and kidney failure, Fresenius Medical Care is committed to expanding access to life-sustaining treatment and accelerating the adoption of home therapies. For the Knoxville business community, the company’s expansion is a huge boost to local job growth and economic development for the region.
“We are proud to celebrate this milestone and our partnership with Fresenius Medical Care,” said Rhonda Rice Clayton, executive vice president of the Knoxville Chamber. “Today’s groundbreaking exemplifies the long-term, positive impact a collaborative approach to economic development can have on a company and on a community.”