NORTH ADAMS -- While the staff of The Wound Healing Center of the Berkshires at North Adams Regional Hospital believes the best reward is seeing their patients healed, they were honored to be named "Center of the Year for the Northeast," by Healogics on Wednesday.
"This center is the top center out of 85 centers from Maine down to Ohio," Healogics Area Vice President Eric Unser said as he presented the award to the staff.
Healogics, a national wound healing management company that partners with hospitals to provide scientifically based, advanced wound care therapies, also named the Wound Healing Center as a "Center of Distinction" in March.
"Since we've been open, we've accomplished a lot," Ruth Lennon, clinical manager and wound care nurse, said.
Since opening in October 2009, the center has achieved a 96 percent "heal" rate, indicating that 96 percent of its patients are considered healed in nine visits or less.
"We change people's lives," Director Kelly Morse, a registered nurse, said. "It's about improving their quality of life. It's amazing what we've done. This recognition just speaks to the quality of work done by our doctors and nurses."
Healogics Regional Director of Clinical Operations Merriann Deteso said the wound center is benchmarked against all 560 centers that it works with and then it is compared to the 85 centers in its region.
"In a particular region, we're looking for the best in healing rate, the lowest outlier rate [experiences outside
To earn the "Center of Distinction" ranking, the Wound Healing Center had to meet several key performance indicators, including achieving healing rates of 91 percent or better; patient satisfaction scores of 92 percent or better, and achieving a "median days to heal" of 30 days or less.
"This center is the cornerstone of what we do," Unser said. "This center is one of the highest performing centers in all aspects, of the 17 that I have responsibility for, and the 35 or so that Merriann has responsibility for."
He added, "We have centers in cities. [When I] look at the demographics of a big city environment and those programs' outcomes don't even come close to this one, I don't believe it. I say, ‘If North Adams can do it, you can do it.' "
In April 2011, the Wound Healing Center received three national awards -- Best New Center of the Year, New Center Outcomes of the Year, and a Front Runner Award, which is awarded based on patient outcomes -- from Healogics, formally known as National Healing Corp.
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