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Where Healing Happens

Ron Decker
Ron Decker walks three miles a day at the Vandalia Recreation Center.

Ron Decker likes to go for long walks. Any given day will find him walking in the park at the Vandalia Rec Center or strolling its bike path.

Although he enjoys the quiet, Ron is never really alone. The team at the Good Samaritan Wound Center is always by his side.

“If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be very mobile,” Ron says. At 53 and diabetic, Ron visited the Wound Center in August 2010 when antibiotics prescribed by his primary care physician failed to heal two ulcers on his right leg. Without help, they would only deteriorate.

Resolving such difficult-to-treat wounds is the sole focus of the experienced team at the Wound Center, an outpatient service of the Dayton Heart & Vascular Hospital at Good Samaritan Hospital.

In addition to treating Ron’s infections, the specially trained team at the Wound Center traced his wounds to a circulatory problem and connected him with a cardiovascular surgeon. After two surgeries and four months of care from the Wound Center team, Ron’s ulcers were healed.

“They helped me regain my quality of life,” says Ron, who quickly returned to the Wound Center after developing ulcers on his left leg last fall.

Answering a Growing Need

Millions of Americans suffer from wounds requiring this specialized care. And with the aging of the population and the national diabetes epidemic, the need is growing. Between 1.3 and 3 million Americans may have pressure ulcers; another 2 to 3 million risk developing diabetic ulcers. Many more suffer from wounds caused by arterial disease.

Regan
Dr. Michael Regan
Johnson
Dr. R. Michael Johnson
Becker
Jodi Becker, RN
The Wound Center team treats wounds that may stem from disease (such as diabetic ulcers) or from injury, surgery or other treatment such as radiation tissue damage.

Podiatrists Michael Regan, DPM, and Whitney Holsopple, DPM, who specialize in foot and ankle reconstruction, treat chronic wounds which frequently occur on the feet and lower legs. R. Michael Johnson, MD, who oversees the Wound Center’s Plastic Surgery Clinic, treats both chronic and acute wounds and provides specialized hand care including finger tendon repairs and other complex hand surgeries.

“It’s an incredible community resource,” says Ron “They don’t treat you like a number. They really care, right down to the receptionist who greets you.”

Wound Detectives Get to the Cause

The Wound Center’s success lies in its commitment to both treating wounds and identifying and addressing their underlying cause, explains Dr. Regan.

“Most of our patients are referred to us by their primary care doctor. Many are referred by surgeons,” he says. “These patients have had good treatment, but they haven’t responded or shown promising results. Our job is to find out why.”

In addition to treating the wound, the team uses Good Samaritan’s diagnostic resources to identify and address its underlying cause. They then can tap experts throughout the health system, including cardiovascular surgeons, endocrinologists, nutritionists, orthopedists and physical therapists as needed to resolve the root problem.

“If a patient comes to us without adequate arterial circulation to heal, for example, we can often have them in the cath lab that same day to have an angiogram or a balloon angioplasty to restore circulation to the area,” Dr. Regan says. “That’s how integrated we are.”

Some patients, like Ron, require surgery. Others may need braces or orthotics to relieve pressure or help in improving their diet.

The results can be life changing, says Jodi Becker, who manages the center. “We help them get back to what they love to do, whether it’s going to work or playing with their grandkids. That’s huge.”

Learn more about the comprehensive services of the Wound Center.