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Sunnyside dialysis center director afforded honors by DaVita Inc.

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Dr. Hamilton Licht (standing at left) and RN Heather Morse monitor Reynaldo Barragan as he receives hemodialysis at the Mt. Adams Kidney Center in Sunnyside. Licht has been ranked No. 6 by DaVita Inc., which manages more than 1,300 medical facilities in the United States. The clinic is ranked 17th among DaVita-managed health centers.

Dr. Hamilton Licht, medical director of Mt. Adams Kidney Center in Sunnyside and the Union Gap Dialysis Center in Union Gap, has earned the ranking of No. 6 among doctors working at medical facilities managed by the DaVita Company.

DaVita manages the medical facilities in Union Gap and Sunnyside, along with 1,300 facilities in the United States.

Licht said he treats 70 patients at the Mt. Adams Kidney Center, with most of them on hemodialysis.

DaVita measures all of its facilities on the DaVita Quality Index, a tool that evaluates multiple factors concerning patient outcome. Out of the more than 1,300 centers, Mt. Adams is ranked 17th and Union Gap is ranked 55th.

Out of 600 physicians working for DaVita with more than 50 patients, Licht is ranked sixth.

"DaVita sets a goal for its patients and then the doctors are graded by how many patients meet these levels," he said.

The patients are ranked on their quality of life, calcium levels, parathyroid hormone levels, phosphorus levels, hemoglobin levels, albumin levels, which is an index of the patients' nutritional status, and urea reduction percentages that occurs with each dialysis treatment.

The doctors are graded every six months.

"It really reflects the quality of care provided by the doctors, nurses and technicians where I work," Licht said of his and the center's rankings. "I'm extraordinarily pleased for my patients that they are able to get that high quality of care."

Licht explained that patients are offered two types of dialysis at the clinics, hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Both are methods of filtering excess fluid and toxins from the blood when the kidneys have failed.

Washington area regional director Ray Follett credits Licht with the high caliber of personal care the two centers provide.

"He puts in so much time with patients and with DaVita teammates," he said. "His attention to specific patient needs is outstanding. He really understands the importance of the holistic approach, he engages the dietitian, the social worker and the clinical teammates."

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