Social worker finds ways for patients to get dialysis so they can maintain active lives

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 28 June 2019 at 1:56 pm

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Ellen Tynan of Albion holds the plaque which Joe Mortellaro of Batavia received at the U.S. Bowling Conference in Las Vegas for 50 years of bowling. Tynan, the licensed master social worker at Lake Plains Dialysis in Medina and Batavia, arranged for Mortellaro to have dialysis in Las Vegas, so he could attend the event.

As the licensed master social worker at Lake Plains Dialysis in Medina and Batavia, Ellen Tynan of Albion knows it is very important that the need for chronic hemodialysis treatments does not cause a barrier to maintaining a quality of life.

“It is very important that my patients can attend graduations, family reunions, vacations and other events to stay connected with family and friends out of town,” Tynan said.

During her 25 years at the dialysis clinics, Tynan has arranged for hundreds of trips for individuals with chronic kidney failure who must have dialysis several times a week.

Most recently, Tynan learned that one of her patients, Joe Mortellaro of Batavia, wanted to attend the 2019 U.S. Bowling Conference in Las Vegas. Mortellaro, who is well-known in the Western New York area as owner of a trophy shop in Batavia, has been bowling since he was 17. The trip was very important to him, as he was going to be recognized for 50 years of bowling.

Mortellaro has been to nearly every U.S. Bowling Conference in the past 50 years and has 26 USBC championships to his credit. Tynan told Mortellaro nothing should stop him from going this time.

She contacted medical personnel in Las Vegas and arranged for Mortellaro to have a treatment early on Saturday morning, so he could bowl in the tournament with his team of his nephew Todd Mortellaro, Paul Spiotta, Greg Wolff, Joe Trigilio and Mark McVay.

“Doing all the referrals when people on dialysis want to travel is one of the positive things I do in my life,” Tynan said. “I have coordinated treatments for my patients all over the United States, Mexico, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. I also have patients who are snow birds and enjoy traveling to warmer climates every winter. Arranging visitor dialysis treatments is very rewarding for me and enables my patients to have a normal life.”

Orleans Community Health’s dialysis clinics in Medina and Batavia treat 111 patients at their sites, and that number is growing, Tynan said.

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