TROY — With advanced equipment and specialized wound care, the Wound Care Center and Hyperbaric Services at UVMC opened one year ago to take a leading role battling a growing health care crisis. Chronic wounds affect approximately 6.7 million people in the United States, and the number is expected to increase by 2 percent annually over the next decade.
The Center has treated nearly 290 patients in the past year.
“We are very pleased to be able to offer wound care services locally,” said Becky Rice, UVMC president and CEO. “Since the opening of the Center last summer, the response has been overwhelmingly positive.”
“The Wound Care Center has been good for our community and saves our patients a drive to a larger provider,” said Dr. Michelle Achor, medical director of the Center. “I am truly proud to be a part of a strong team that is very dedicated to our community by providing quality wound care.”
The rising incidence of chronic wounds can be correlated to obesity, vascular disease, an aging population, and radiation treatment side effects which are often underlying causes. If left untreated, chronic wounds can lead to diminished quality of life and possibly amputation of an affected limb.
When such wounds persist, a specialized approach is required for effective healing. The Wound Care Center offers leading-edge treatments including hyperbaric oxygen therapy, negative pressure therapies, bioengineered tissues, biological and biosynthetic dressings, and growth factor therapies.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a non-invasive procedure during which patients receive treatment relaxing on a bed encased in a large, transparent plastic shell as they are surrounded by 100 percent oxygen. Hyperbaric oxygen medicine may be used to treat wounds related to more than a dozen conditions including certain diabetic foot ulcers, radiation injuries to tissue and bone, necrotizing infections, compromised skin grafts and skin flaps, and some types of arterial insufficiency and ischemia.
“We follow treatment protocols specifically established for each type of wound. We utilize leading approaches to wound healing and remain current in new scientific advances in wound care,” said Gena Cornett, BSN, MBA, program director of the Wound Care Center at UVMC. “Our treatment practices and protocols are designed to reintroduce the body’s innate ability to heal.”
“Our center uses an interdisciplinary model of care” said Cornett. “This includes infectious-disease management, physical therapy, occupational therapy, laboratory evaluation, nutritional management, pain management, diabetic education, radiology testing, and debridement to address total patient health.”
The Center is made up of a team of professionals including physicians with advanced training in wound management and hyperbaric oxygen therapy; nursing staff trained in the care of chronic wounds; technicians who perform non-invasive studies and various therapies; and experienced staff to assist with appointments, medical records, and health insurance processing.
The services are designed to complement a primary physician’s care. Patients are frequently referred by their primary care physician, and the program operates by appointment. Based on an extensive evaluation, a customized treatment plan is developed to optimize the therapies best suited to address the patient’s needs. Care is usually administered on an outpatient basis. UVMC offers these specialized services through a partnership with Healogics, the world’s largest wound care management company.
The Wound Care Center and Hyperbaric Services is located at 3130 N. County Road 25-A, Troy, in the UVMC Physician Office Building adjacent to the hospital. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. To learn more or schedule an appointment, call (937) 440-7888.
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