Chilton Wound Center becomes center of excellence

Published 11:14 am Thursday, June 15, 2023

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By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

The Ascension St. Vincent’s Chilton Wound Center has notched another recognition for the hospital, this time becoming a wound center of excellence. An award from RestorixHealth, who is the company that helps manage the wound center, has certain criteria a wound center must reach to achieve the excellence award. From July-December in 2022, the St. Vincent’s Chilton Wound Center addressed 160 wounds during that time period, and healed 95% of them.

Other criteria the Chilton Wound Center met were to heal wounds within 32 days, while Clanton’s median heal date was 28 days, and having a 95% wound healing rate and a 97% customer satisfaction rate.

“That is pretty amazing in this world to have 97 of every 100 patients be happy with the care they are receiving,” Dr. Jon Binkerd, a general surgeon specialist in Clanton, said. “I think awards are really nice to let people know the work they are doing is appreciated, but I do not think that is why you do the work. You do the work because it is what you are called to do, and when you can do the work in a way that shows you care about your job and patients, I think they appreciate that.”

Binkerd added that having the doctors and nurses at the Clanton Wound Center treating patients like people, and not just a wound, contributed greatly to the high satisfaction score.

Brenda Sherrill, a registered nurse in the Clanton Wound Center, said since the doors opened in December of 2021, many people have come in with wounds that they have had for several years. When they receive treatment from the Chilton Wound Center, they are extremely grateful because they may have lost hope at some point before.

“There are still wound centers that are better known than us,” Binkerd said. “I think that is why it is so important when you have an opportunity like this, especially for months of recognition for wound care, that you let the people know that we have it right here in town. There are people here that can help you address those wounds.”

Binkerd acknowledged the work of nurse practitioner Amy Weldon in the Clanton Wound Center and the amount of good she has done for patients there as well. Weldon is a more every day face patients would see in the wound center, while Binkerd is there when things get to the point of needing surgery.

“I do things that need a more in-depth look or surgical intervention, but Amy is doing all of the heavy lifting,” Binkerd said. “She has done the advanced training and gotten certified in wounds through a program that was recommended to her by RestorixHealth, which is a big deal for a nurse practitioner. She is the one doing the day-to-day (work), and she is our workhorse. I think a big part of this recognition needs to go to her.”

Wanda Carroll, a resident of Chilton County, has just completed her treatment at the Chilton Wound Center a few weeks ago. Carroll’s mother, who passed just before her treatment ended, received help and had a wound healed at the wound center before Carroll came in with a diabetic foot ulcer needing treatment. Carroll said the care and attention the wound center showed both her and her mother during their treatment was second to none, and both of their primary care physicians recommended the wound center to them.

“Wonderful … That is all I need to say,” Carroll said. “For the care they gave me, to the personalities of everyone there and the sympathy they showed in both of our times there. All of them are awesome people.”

Sherrill said the work on Carroll’s ulcer took a while, but they were able to get her healed.

“She knew we healed her mom, and she knew we would heal her, too,” Sherrill said.

Binkerd recommends some things for patients who develop wounds and foot ulcers easier such as checking shoes for nails or other sharp objects, checking feet for anything in them and for cuts. He recalls times of pulling nails and sticks out of patients’ feet that they had no idea were in their feet.

“If you have diabetes or you have peripheral neuropathy, then you need to check your feet every day in some way,” Binkerd said. “It is much easier to fix something when it is a simple puncture wound than it is to fix a wound that has a nail sitting in it for a month. That happens a lot more than you think.”

Eliminating smoking, maintaining diabetes and doing the maintenance your body requires were also things Binkerd suggested to combat wounds and ulcers on the feet.