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Chronic Wound Care Clinic at St. Joseph’s Hospital targets Feb. 8 as opening date

BUCKHANNON – The Chronic Wound Care Clinic at St. Joseph’s Hospital has a target opening date of Feb. 8.

The Rotary Club of Buckhannon-Upshur learned what type of wounds will be treated at the clinic earlier this week from physician’s assistant Bonnie Blackburn. She joined the podiatry clinic at St. Joseph’s at the end of 2020, and she will work at the wound care clinic as a certified wound care nurse.

“We’ve been trying to open, but with the surge of COVID, we’ve been helping out in other areas in nursing, and I’ve been infusing the antibody infusion for positive COVID patients so that’s really cool, too,” Blackburn said.

She said chronic wounds are more common than people realize and can stem from several different ailments.

“Chronic wound incidence rate is about 1.5 to 10 people per 1,000, meaning those people will have a chronic wound sometime in their life, and the overall worldwide cancer incidence rate is about .8 to 3.3 per 1,000,” Blackburn said. “I think we can all say, ‘I know somebody who’s had cancer,’ and that’s how common chronic wounds are in our community and across the world.”

She explained chronic wounds are defined as wounds that don’t heal in their expected timeframe.

“There can be a lot of different reasons for why that happens,” Blackburn said. “It can be related to comorbidities such as paralysis or decreased movement, and you get a pressure injury or pressure sore. It can be from autoimmune diseases or [conditions such as] diabetes that just delay your healing time, people who have cancer are undergoing other treatments, lupus, multiple sclerosis – all these kinds of things, including poor blood flow,” Blackburn said. “A lot of cardiac disease and just a weak heart. Again, all these things lead to chronic wounds.”

She also went over several types of specific wounds they will be treating at the clinic, including chronic and acute wounds.

“Diabetic foot ulcers we’re doing a lot in podiatry already, [in addition to] pressure ulcers, arterial ulcers related to poor blood flow, venous ulcers related to swelling in the legs, and then ostomy is another field that is covered in wound care, and that’s people who have an external bowel or bladder device, and that collects that for them,” Blackburn said.

The clinic will be staffed by two podiatrists, Dr. Michael and Dr. Michael, and they will work with anything below the knee.

“Dr. Long will be there, of course, Dr. Riddick, and then Dr. Knowles from general surgery, and they’ll be doing anything anywhere in the body and I’ll be working underneath Dr. Long as my supervising physician,” Blackburn said.

The clinic will be located at 10 Amalia Drive Bldg. B in Buckhannon, and the phone number is 304-460-7461.

During the Jan. 19 meeting, Rotary member Lisa Wharton also updated members on their upcoming blood drive.

“The drive is going to be on March 30 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.,” Wharton said. “We are going to move into the Event Center at Brushy Fork and the cool thing about this is our blood supplier Vitalant is joining a program nationwide called ‘Save Lives and Feed Families,’ and anybody coming to donate blood will, in turn, from their foundation, donate $5 to a food bank of our choice, so we’ve chosen the Parish House. This will be a win, win – we’ll get blood donations plus the Upshur Parish House will get cash donations.”

Rotary meetings have been taking place virtually on the first and third Tuesdays of the month.

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