WINDOM - Windom Area Hospital (WAH) is heading into another construction phase, this time to open a comprehensive wound center to treat patients with chronic wounds.

Nearly 1,700 patients within a 35-mile radius may have a need for specialized wound care, according to a 2016 study. Specialized wound care is typically reserved for chronic wounds, such as pressure ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, arterial sores and radiation therapy burns. While the vast majority of wounds will be treated using a specific protocol during clinic office visits, about 11 percent of wounds may benefit from Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.

Windom will have two hyperbaric chambers once the center gets up and running.

“The need for wound care in Windom was evaluated closely, by both hospital leadership and governing board, and Healogics (a management company that specializes in wound clinics that WAH is working with on the project),” explains Shelby Medina, CEO at Windom Area Hospital. “With the aging population, increasing obesity rates and chronic conditions, wounds are on the rise.”

The Wound Center will use vacated space at the hospital, which was made available with the new addition that opened late-2015.

“The area that used to house the outreach clinic (near the rehabilitation entrance) was actually perfect for a wound center. Since the previous space was already used as a clinic, the renovations needed are to better equip the space for wound care versus create a whole new space.”

Renovations are budgeted to cost $800,000. Detailed planning for the construction of the wound center started in the summer of 2017. Crews will start actual construction in late-March and it is anticipated the center will open in the June/July timeframe. Announcements and an open house will be planned closer to the date of opening.

A Clinical Program Director, who will oversee operational and clinical aspects of the center, will lead the Wound Center. Nikkie Steen, RN, has been identified to take this position. Steen has been a nurse for 23 years, and was most recently an RN and Trauma Coordinator at WAH.