By Roxanne Squires
WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center officially revealed its newly renovated and expanded Sentara Wound Healing Center during a ribbon cutting on June 21. Those in attendance included current and past Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center Board members, the Potomac Health Foundation Board, administration, physicians, community members and members of the team.
The Sentara Wound Healing Center is known for providing its patients with a comprehensive, specialized team approach in dealing with both non-healing and difficult-to-heal wounds. This recent renovation grants easier access for patients and staff with larger doorways and halls. Most importantly, the expansion includes more storage space and room for the introduction of an innovative treatment approach: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.
According to John Hopkins Medicine, hyperbaric oxygen therapy exposes the body to 100 percent oxygen at a pressure that is greater than what you normally intake. Wounds need oxygen to heal properly and exposing a wound to 100 percent oxygen can, in some cases, speed up the healing process.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used for treating certain types of wounds, including soft tissue infections, thermal burns, crush injuries, delayed radiation injuries, certain skin grafts and flaps, and diabetes-induced wounds. With this state-of-the-art technology, the center will be able to offer new opportunities for patients with slow-healing, hard-to-treat wounds. Dr. Carol Shapiro, medical director of Sentara Wound Healing Center, said it’s a huge advancement for its organization, with the therapy showing prominent results within a shortened length of time.
For example, patients like Larry Boomer, an amputee and diabetic who has been struggling with slow-healing wounds for years, said that hyperbaric oxygen therapy has helped his wounds heal faster, explaining that his foot had an open wound for six months with the treatment helping close the wound in less than six weeks, according to a statement.
The Sentara Wound Healing Center has also formed a diverse team of doctors and specialists who work with a patient’s own physicians to create a tailored treatment plan and provide expert care for wounds. “This advanced technology is an incredible addition to the community and the Sentara Wound Healing Center. It wouldn’t be possible without months of hard work by our dedicated team,” said Kathie Johnson, president of the Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center.
Johnson also explained how the addition of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy aligns with Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center’s mission and vision: to improve health every day and be the provider of choice for the community. The Sentara Wound Healing Center accomplishes this by elevating patient care and providing these important treatment options right in their patients’ own backyards.
“I’m excited about being able to reach more patients and provide expanded services,” said the Healing Center’s Program Director, Jeffrey Browder.