CHUBBUCK — A new kidney dialysis center going up in Chubbuck will be named for a former medical employee who died in a motorcycle crash, according to Dr. Fahim Rahim, who’s building the center with his brother Naeem Rahim.
The Pocatello residents together own the Idaho Kidney Institute locations in Pocatello, Blackfoot and Idaho Falls. But they will close the current 15-year-old site in Pocatello and move into the new structure at 333 Knudsen Boulevard in Chubbuck when it’s done in about four months.
And they’ll call the new 14,000-square-foot structure Matt’s Pavilion, after larger-than-life dialysis technician Matthew Lee. Those who know him say he made a huge impact on everyone he met.
“We just loved Matt,” Fahim said. “Every one of us.”
Matt in turn found his calling working at the Idaho Kidney Institute in Pocatello, which treats people who have kidney failure.
“He loved his job,” Fahim said.
And the dialysis patients loved him, too, he said.
Dialysis technicians play a key role for kidney patients. Of the three levels of dialysis personnel — nurses, technicians and physicians — the technicians are the most hands-on, he said. They generally monitor four or five patients. And the patients will see the technicians three times a week for the rest of their lives.
“So that becomes a very close relationship and a bond,” Fahim said, “as someone they can trust.”
Lee, who died in May 2018 after working for nearly five years at the Idaho Kidney Institute in Pocatello, was known for his engaging personality.
“He liked to make people laugh and always had compassion,” Fahim said. “He loved helping people.”
Lee also wanted a new place for patients and had some great ideas for it, he said.
“This was his dream and we kept adding onto it,” Fahim said.
So after he died the Rahims decided to dedicate the new dialysis building to Matt and call it Matt’s Pavilion, Fahim said. It will feature a plaque and garden in remembrance of Lee.
“Matt is really who inspired us for this project and with him being gone it’s obviously not the same,” Fahim said. “But we wanted that message and that dream to stay alive.”
Lee’s wife, CharLee Lee, said he was always looking for his next adventure. For instance, he swore he’d jump out of the first plane he ever got into. And he did — when he went skydiving. And he was always up for other adventures.
He leaves behind three children with CharLee — Matte, Aidyn and DestiNee. CharLee says when their infant daughter gets old enough she can tell her that Matt’s Pavilion was named for her dad. He also had two other children: Ryker Lee and Analisa Marie Lee.
The new Pavilion in his honor will be part of the Chubbuck Medical Campus now under construction. It will consist initially of Matt’s Pavilion dialysis center, a medical office building and an urgent care building, Fahim said.
Urgent care is for illnesses or injuries that need prompt attention but aren’t so serious they require expensive emergency room care.
Work on the urgent care structure will start in about two months along with the multi-specialist medical office building, Fahim said. He hopes they can both be done in about 12 months.
Meanwhile, he notes that Matt’s Pavilion will stand out for its design and lighting.
“It will be phenomenal,” he said. “You will see it from the freeway.”
Matt’s Pavilion will also feature the new Garden of Healing. It will be a public area between Matt’s Pavilion and the coming medical building. It will have a sitting area, shade trees, plants and a lot of art.
“We want people to just come and walk through it,” Fahim said.
The first part of the multimillion dollar Chubbuck Medical Campus, which will create good-paying jobs, will include 10 to 15 doctors. And others are welcome to join.
“There is room to absorb many more,” Fahim said. “The area is growing and the need is growing.”
He said the project overall will take about five years to finish and may include the addition of other facilities. And all of it was inspired by the tragically short life of a man who lived to give to others — Matt Lee.
“He was truly a symbol of empathy, compassion and hard work,” Fahim said.