Allegan General to Host wound center

February 4, 2010
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Allegan General Hospital is joining with National Healing Corp. to open a wound healing center with a hyperbaric oxygen chamber in the hospital in early 2010.

Rick Garlick, program director, said National Healing’s sixth Michigan location will be devoted to helping those with sores from injuries or as a result of diabetes, gangrene or surgeries that linger for more than 30 days.

He said the center, one of 150 National Healing locations throughout the U.S., uses state-of-the-art equipment, such as vacuums, and special dressing, wraps and bioengineered tissues substitutions to help wounds heal. He said the service eventually could see as many as 200 patients per month. Currently those patients are referred elsewhere, frequently to services in Kalamazoo or Grand Rapids.

He said the center would work with local doctors. “One of the things I’ll be doing as program director is visiting with them and promoting the center as an extension of what they do,” Garlick said.

Five jobs are being created with the center, he said.

Allegan surgeon Dr. Marcus Blass will serve as medical director.

Allegan General President & CEO Gerald Barbini said that about a year ago, as part of strategic planning, the hospital reviewed demographic trends in its service area and concluded that wound healing would be in demand among an aging population with high rates of diabetes and obesity.

“All three of those are indicators of potential wound issues,” Barbini said.

He said Allegan General is spending between $400,000 and $500,000 to renovate about 2,100 square feet on the second floor to accommodate the center.

-Elizabeth Slowik

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