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ECMC's hyperbaric unit on line
Business First - by Tracey Drury
Thursday, February 24, 2011
A year after first announcing plans, Erie County Medical Center has dedicated its new specialized wound care center.
The Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine Center, located in a 3,500-square-foot space on the ground floor, is designed to speed healing for trauma, surgical, diabetes and other slow-healing wounds. The facility, staffed by six surgeons and three podiatrists, includes two hyperbaric chambers.
It was built in response to the closure and consolidation of facilities at Millard Fillmore Gates Circle, and also consolidates wound care clinics previously offered through different services throughout ECMC. The hyperbaric treatment is new to ECMC.
The facility is managed by Diversified Clinical Services (DCS) of Jacksonville, Fla., a national wound center operator, but it is staffed with ECMC surgeons and functions as a hospital department. Manager of the department is Elizabeth Engler.
Since opening in late 2010, the $850,000 center initially handled 17 patients a day on average, which has grown to 30 daily. According to a hospital news release, the goal is to grow to 40 patients, with room at the site for two more hyperbaric chambers as capacity and volume increase. Plans also call for adding a nutritionist to the center’s staff.
ECMC’s center opening follows that of two specialty wound care sites by Catholic Health System, which launched two sites since January 2010: one in Orchard Park at Mercy Ambulatory Care Center; and a second at Sisters Hospital, St. Joseph Campus in Cheektowaga. Both provide evaluation and treatment of chronic, non-healing wounds with treatment options including single-patient hyperbaric oxygen therapy chambers.
DCS has managed similar programs at 300 hospitals over the past 20 years, including treating more than two million wounds. It also has a contract to run a wound care center at Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital, though the ECMC partnership represents its first full center in this region using the monoplace hyperbaric chambers.