In the United States, chronic wounds affect 6.5 million people, and that number is likely to increase as patients live longer with more chronic medical conditions, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
When wound care patients need intensive treatment, the usual response is to transport them to the nearest hospital or specialty clinic. But in rural areas of the country, a simple trip to the hospital may not be that simple, especially for elderly patients. Traveling long distances, access to transportation, and relying on family members and friends for help all play a role in getting the best possible care.
“We were referring a lot of our patients off to different towns in surrounding communities for wound care, and when you’re in a rural setting, just driving down the road 30 miles can be burden," said Stacy Piller, advanced practice registered nurse, OSF HealthCare. "We don’t have the transportation services that people in more urban areas have. So we wanted to bring that care closer to home.”
To help patients heal and stay close to home for their care, OSF HealthCare has recently opened wound care clinics in Mendota, Ottawa, and Streator along the I-80 corridor.
“The staff are wonderful and listened to what I had to say to the point where I felt I had a say so in my treatment and care,” explained Tamra Gonzalez, a patient of OSF Wound Care. After having her wound healed, Tamra was referred to OSF Home Health, in which nurses visited her home to ensure she had all of the resources she needed to maintain her health and wellness. Tamra added, “They did referrals for diabetic shoes and an air pressure machine to massage my legs. It was a domino effect of complete, wonderful care.”
The team of wound care specialists, doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals use the latest, most advanced treatments. Together, they work with each patient to determine the type, location, severity, and cause of the wound.
Each patient can expect an individual treatment plan for their personal wound care needs. The goal is for patients to experience timely healing so that they can get back on their feet.
“OSF is a very competent medical place,” stated David Graff, a patient of OSF Wound Care, who experienced healing of his wound. “They met all of my needs and explained to my wife how to dress the wound – all in all, a pleasant experience.”
Patients in need of wound care services should contact their nearest OSF Wound Care clinic in Mendota (1401 E. 12th St) at (815) 539-1422, in Ottawa (1050 E. Norris Dr.) at (815) 431-5160, (1100 E. Norris Dr.) at (815) 431-5325, or in Streator (111 Spring St.) at (815) 673-4627.
For b-roll and video interviews, please visit the following OSF Newsroom story: https://newsroom.osfhealthcare.org/wound-care-closer-to-home/