Nathan Speare Regional Burn Treatment Center is Still “The Future of Healing”
- Verified by the American Burn Association and the American College of Surgeons, the Crozer Burn Center is considered a center of excellence for both pediatric and adult burns — the first in the region.
- Serving patients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and all the way to Maryland, the center provides team-based, comprehensive, compassionate care.
- The Crozer Burn Center is in the forefront of research, diagnosis, treatment and education.
The Crozer Burn Center is in the forefront of research, diagnosis, treatment and education.
Even as the Nathan Speare Regional Burn Treatment Center at Crozer-Chester Medical Center celebrates its 40th anniversary as a national leader in burn care, physicians and staff are hardly content to rest on their laurels. In fact, with new advances in technology and research, the Crozer Burn Center is poised to pave the way for decades to come.
Linwood Haith Jr., M.D.
The Crozer Burn Center has always been ahead of its time. “We began in 1973 before the days of trauma centers,” says Co-Medical Director Linwood Haith Jr., M.D., who joined the center in 1981. “The administration of the health system was quite farsighted to see that a resource like this was very much needed.”
A Center of Excellence
Verified by the American Burn Association and the American College of Surgeons, the Crozer Burn Center is considered a center of excellence for both pediatric and adult burns — the very first in the region to provide this standard of care for patients of all ages. What’s more, there are only about 60 such centers in the United States and Canada.
“The staff at Crozer made us feel comfortable right away,” says Linette Foreman, whose 9-year-old son, Nathan, was taken to the Center in 2009 after suffering third-degree burns to his chest and underarms. “In an emotional situation like that, it made all the difference to know our child was in good hands and we trusted them one hundred percent.”
Serving patients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and all the way to Maryland, the center draws on the expertise of critical care surgeons, plastic surgeons, certified nutritionists, psychologists, pediatricians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, respiratory therapists and specialized nurses. That comprehensive approach means that patients get full-spectrum care, says Co-Medical Director Mary Lou Patton, M.D. “Because we’re a team, we can work with the patient, not just in their initial treatment but across the process of healing,” she says. “We can evaluate scars or issues such as PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and help find appropriate solutions.”
Mary Lou Patton, M.D.
Driving Care Forward
The doctors of the Crozer Burn Center are driving care forward with research on areas such as soft tissue infections and medication. “We publish around two or three papers a year and present them at a minimum of four major conferences every year, including the American Burn Association,” Patton says. “This work helps us to know which products make patients feel better, and which antibiotics they respond to. For instance, a recent study focused on dressings that were least painful for skin graft patients.”
Sharing their expertise with the next generation of providers, the center’s physicians educate critical care and surgical residents at most of the major teaching institutions in the metropolitan area.
Burn care continues to evolve, and the center is at the forefront. The team has adopted techniques, such as stem cells for cultured epidermal replacement and precise fluid resuscitation, both of which have vastly improved treatment for burn victims in recent years. A new telemedicine program allows physicians at the Crozer Burn Center to communicate with distant hospitals and diagnose patients, determining whether or not transport to the center is necessary.
“That verbal and visual communication is very important for enhancing patient care and safety,” Haith says.
The center has also been instrumental in treating patients with mysterious diagnoses, such as necrotizing (“flesh-eating”) bacteria and other non-burn soft tissue ailments, taking on difficult cases that have stumped other physicians and have been spotlighted on TV’s “Mystery Diagnosis.”
A “Whole-Patient” Team Approach
With its whole-patient approach and emphasis on teamwork, the Crozer Burn Center supports its high-tech treatments with old-fashioned caring. “It’s really a family here, a dream group to work with,” says Patton, who has been with the center for 29 years. “I went into this area of medicine because I wanted to really work with patients and collaborate on a team. We do exactly that. When you can get a patient back out into the community, back to their lives, it makes you very proud to be a spoke in the wheel.”
Today, Nathan Foreman is a healthy, thriving 13-year-old who plays sports and leads an active, normal life. The family still comes back to the center for visits. “I always think of what it was like to walk through those doors the first time,” his mother says. “It’s like the sign says: you know you’re going to get the best care there is.”
Learn more about the Nathan Speare Regional Burn Treatment Center at Crozer-Chester Medical Center or call 610-447-2800.