On Thursday, August 28, St. Joseph Hospital officially opened its new regional burn center and outpatient burn and wound clinic. Festivities for the evening included a ribbon cutting ceremony and an open house for the general public. Guests toured the new 18,000-square-foot area, visiting the inpatient burn center and outpatient burn and wound clinic and speaking with team members.
Over the past year, St. Joseph Hospital has invested $7 million to relocate and expand its regional burn and wound care specialties to the hospital’s second floor. The move consolidates burn and wound care into one location, resulting in improved resources and enhanced accessibility for patients and families. Combining the outpatient clinics also enables physicians and staff from each specialty to collaborate more efficiently.
“Improved resources and greater accessibility for patients and families are at the forefront of this project,” said Sheryl Mourey, director of burn and wound services at St. Joseph Hospital. “This expansion is an opportunity for us to advance services we already provide exceptionally well. There is no place in the area like this. It is the only one-stop shop for both burn care and wound care with multi-faceted physician coverage.”
“We are always striving for the newest and best treatment options for chronic wounds,” added Philip Rettenmaier, D.O., Indiana Wound Care. “We continue to offer the most advanced wound care available in Fort Wayne. Now, patients also have easier access to other specialties.”
The St. Joseph Regional Wound Care Center began treating patients in 1990 and may be best known for housing Indiana’s largest multi-person hyperbaric oxygen chamber (HBO), which remains on the sixth floor. The types of comprehensive care available at St. Joe for non-healing wounds that persist for more than six weeks is essential to hundreds of patients each year. Some of the wounds receiving care include diabetic ulcers, crush injuries, circulatory wounds, non-healing surgical wounds and infections of the extremities.
Hospital officials and physicians expect this initiative to position St. Joe as a true center of excellence for wound care in the state.
The St. Joseph Regional Burn Center celebrated its 34th anniversary in 2008. It is the region’s only verified burn center and one of only three in the state. The burn center is verified by the American College of Surgeons and the American Burn Association, a rare and elite distinction for a non-university program. It is the only center in Indiana to be verified in adult and pediatric burn care.
Other components of the new space include a larger hydrotherapy area; a new patient activity room allowing for more fulfilling interactions between children and parents; enlarged visitor waiting areas, one for inpatient and a separate one for outpatient; an inpatient room specifically designed for bariatric patients; and an image enhancement specialty area.
“Relocating the burn and wound centers helps us showcase two of the most important service lines we offer,” said Kirk Ray, chief executive officer of St. Joseph Hospital. “What this also does is shine a light once again on the important steps our physicians and associates make throughout the entire hospital to deliver advanced care to patients and their families.”
“The Burn Center has saved countless lives and is a tremendous benefit for this area,” said Jordan Long, a burn survivor. “It holds a special place in my heart, because if it weren’t for this unit, I wouldn’t be here – plain and simple. These people are like a second family to me.”
The space vacated by the relocation of burn center and outpatient wound clinic is currently being assessed to determine the best utilization of the space. Options include, but are not limited to, a step-down intensive care unit, additional transitional care beds or additional orthopedic beds. The outpatient burn clinic will become an outpatient orthopedic center.