Since opening its doors in 2013, Vereen Rehabilitation Center has offered a variety of treatment options to patients. Along with providing one-on-one care and helping patients feel stronger and more confident, Vereen has a wide range of therapy treatments that utilizes the best technological advancements to bring modern healthcare to the Southwest Georgia region.
Vereen offers an array of services including physical, occupational, speech, aquatic and hyperbaric oxygen therapies. It is also includes athletic training and sports medicine, providing their services to eight school systems in seven counties in Southwest Georgia.
Scott Romanowski, PT, OCS, OMPT, assistant vice president of rehabilitation and sports medicine services, attributes much of the growth and success of the Vereen Center to its incorporation of cutting-edge technologies and therapy techniques.
“At the Vereen Center, our mission is to provide state-of-the-art therapy,” said Romanowski “Vereen has grown exponentially since the day we opened. We currently employ 10 physical therapists, five physical therapist assistants, four occupational therapists, three occupational therapist assistants, 11 certified athletic trainers, three registered nurses, two hyperbaric technicians, six speech-language therapists, and four support staff members.”
One of the most recent services added to its lineup is hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy. HBO therapy uses advanced technology to make the healing process safer and faster by using oxygen to encourage new blood vessel formation in tissues.
Vereen’s Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine services provide unique medical treatments to patients with more complex wounds, wounds that need additional care in order to heal properly. The list of possible wounds that HBO therapy can treat are diabetic, venous, and pressure ulcers; spider bites; burns; abscesses; surgical or traumatic wounds; osteomyelitis; carbon monoxide poisoning; radiation injury; and non-healing tissue graphs.
The Wound Care staff at Vereen includes a board-certified surgeon on hand as well as a team fully equipped with skilled nurses and therapists.
Romanowski, who has been with Colquitt Regional for 14 years and served in his current role as assistant vice president for the past three years, explained the properties of the therapy.
Not only does it provide a safer and faster way of healing, but it is a game changer when it comes to dealing with wounds that won’t respond to traditional treatments.
“HBO therapy is a treatment that allows the patient to breathe 100 percent oxygen at two to three times the normal atmospheric pressure,” said Romanowski.
The increased pressure and oxygen “supersaturates the blood and tissue and adds dimension to the healing process.”
The oxygen chambers themselves also provide comfort and relaxation for the patient during treatment. The chambers are large enough to hold patients up to seven feet tall and are constructed with a see-through acrylic cylinder wrapped in steel frames that leave it feeling less confined.
Romanowski also explained that in order to choose the appropriate course of treatment, proper diagnosis is crucial.
“Other than carbon monoxide poisoning and decompression sickness, the appropriate diagnoses are related to the healing of wounds,” said Romanowski. “A prime example is chronic osteomyelitis, which is inflammation caused by bone infection. We recently had a patient who had been dealing with osteomyelitis for three years. After one month of HBO therapy, the condition completely resolved with no additional medicine or surgery.”
Vereen has two monoplace chambers that can accommodate up to six patients per day. A typical treatment session lasts about two hours, according to Romanowski.
Because HBO therapy has a relatively high success rate and provides patients with a non-invasive option to improve quality of life, this form of therapy has deeply impacted Southwest Georgia.
Romanowski shared some insight as to why that is the case.
“Because Georgia, unfortunately, has a Type 2 diabetes epidemic, the type of wounds that respond to HBO therapy are very common,” said Romanowski. “We at Vereen are happy to provide this non-invasive treatment that helps to heal these wounds, prevent amputations, and improve quality and quantity of life.”
This treatment is provided in collaboration with Precision Health Care, a wound healing and hyperbaric medicine organization devoted to the development of state-of-the-art hyperbaric and wound healing centers.
For more information, call the Vereen Center at 229-890-3553 or visit http://www.vereencenter.com.
Written by: Alex Dunn