Center Successfully Treats Difficult Wounds
Healing Patients for 20 Years
While summer on Long Island means a return to the beach for many people, those who suffer from non-healing wounds often dread the thought of swimsuits and sandals. However, patients who receive appropriate treatment for their wounds are able to dive right back into their active lives.
For Janice Santacapita, successful treatment at Mather Hospital’s Wound Treatment Center means dancing at her daughter’s wedding.
Diabetes led to a wound on Janice’s foot that just wouldn’t heal. Last April, the wound got infected and her condition deteriorated to the point that she was in serious discomfort. She went to the Emergency Department at Mather Hospital and shortly after arriving was admitted to the hospital, where she remained for three weeks and underwent surgery. Upon discharge, Janice’s treatment plan was to follow up at Mather’s Wound Treatment Center in Port Jefferson.
“The people there are the best I’ve ever dealt with,” says Janice. “From the front desk to the doctors, everyone cared about my treatment and was committed to making me well.”
Dr. Gerard Furst, a podiatrist who specializes in non-healing wounds, treated Janice and not only healed her wound, but identified why it kept recurring. A surgical procedure addressed the cause and Janice is thrilled that she no longer has any wound in the area, or any concern that it will recur.
Santacapita and all of the patients at the Wound Treatment Center are treated through a comprehensive, integrated program. For 20 years, the Wound Treatment Center at Mather Hospital, with offices in Port Jefferson and Melville, has been providing patients a complete case management program, which begins at assessment, follows through extended treatment and includes support with insurance coverage for care and products.
Directed by Michael Petersen, MD, a vascular surgeon who is wound-care certified, the center’s two sites draw on the expertise of 14 physicians, program director, a wound care certified clinical coordinator, lead nurse, inpatient coordinator, nurse case managers, nursing assistants and support staff. Most patients come to the Wound Treatment Center through a referral from their physician or hospital, but they also may contact the Center directly as most insurances are accepted.
According to Dr. Petersen, non-healing wounds can be related to diabetes or stem from poor circulation, pressure ulcers and other causes. Last year, the average treatment time at the Wound Treatment Center was approximately 37 days.
“We know these patients are often older and sicker, and that it’s not so easy for them to deal with wounds,” says Petersen, who has been with the Wound Treatment Center since 2003 and its director since 2008. “That’s why our program is so comprehensive. We want to give our patients all they need to heal.”
Comprehensive care across various medical specialties has proven to be quite beneficial to patients. Their first contact with the staff comes in the form of a “triage” type assessment with internal medicine physicians, who will review the patient’s medical history, examine and categorize the wound, and make a referral to a specialist for treatment. A diabetic foot ulcer, says Dr. Petersen, might well be referred to one of our staff podiatrists.
“In this example, if the podiatrist finds while treating the wound that there is a potential vascular issue, he will then request one of our staff vascular specialists to consult,” says Petersen. “The breadth of knowledge and medical specialties is extremely beneficial to our patients.”
Santacapita’s experience is not an isolated one. Independent patient satisfaction surveys show that 94 percent of patients at Mather’s Wound Treatment Center were satisfied with their treatment and would recommend the center to friends or family.
Mather Hospital’s Wound Treatment Center
Port Jefferson 631-474-4590