Published on July 5th, 20170
New Wound Care Medical Director Wants to Make Your Job Easier
Steven Bowers, DO, Medical Director of St. Luke’s Wound Care Centers, wants to free up your schedule and relieve some of your workload.
“Caring for patients with non-healing wounds can be very time intensive,” he says. “I’m happy to see any wound that any provider isn’t comfortable treating or doesn’t have the time or resources to see.”
Dr. Bowers, who previously worked as a primary care physician, understands that unlike the St. Luke’s Wound Care Centers, most physician practices are not equipped with the stock of supplies and staff expertise to care for wound care patients. These individuals often need to be seen once every week and their treatment regimen can last weeks or even months.
Because all St. Luke’s Wound Care Centers do is care for wounds, they are fully equipped to handle all aspects of wound care. Besides treating patients, they:
- Conduct pre-treatment work-ups
- Order supplies and studies
- Work with insurers to optimize patient coverage and ensure that St. Luke’s receives the appropriate payment
And as needed:
- Arrange home health services, such as those provided by St. Luke’s VNA and Hospice
- Expedite patient appointments with specialists such as vascular surgery, general surgery and plastics
The wound care centers treat chronic wounds that fail to follow the expected trajectory of healing. This includes arterial, venous, diabetic, pressure, traumatic, and atypical wounds. Another area of specialty is treating wounds caused by radiation therapy, which respond well to hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) – a treatment that enhances the body’s natural healing process by inhalation of 100% oxygen in a total body chamber with increased atmospheric pressure.
Dr. Bowers promises to have your patients seen quickly. “Our goal is to have people seen in 48-72 hours,” he says, provided the patient is willing to travel to any center that has an opening.
All five centers – Allentown, Bethlehem, Phillipsburg, Quakertown and Tamaqua – provide the same standard of quality wound care. Dr. Bowers himself sees patients at the Allentown, Bethlehem and Quakertown centers. All but Tamaqua offer HBOT.
During his first nine months as Medical Director, Dr. Bowers has met with several specialist groups and primary care providers, and also has given presentations at medical staff meetings throughout the Network. He learned that many physicians were unaware that St. Luke’s offered hyperbaric services and some did not know we have five wound care centers. He is also reaching out to nurses and other primary care providers, who, due to the amount of time spent with patients, are often the first to identify a non-healing wound.
Joining St. Luke’s in 2014, Dr. Bowers recognizes it will take time to build relationships and earn the trust of his colleagues. Also, he understands that the wound care centers must always be ready to meet their patients’ needs. “All it takes is not being able to see a patient one time for a physician to begin referring all patients to a competing wound care center,” he says.
Formerly a surgical resident, he enjoys performing surgical procedures, but also liked primary care because it provided him the opportunity to really get to know his patients. Wound care marries the best of both.
“I feel like I’ve found what I was meant to do,” he says. “I’m unbelievably happy and get a lot of satisfaction doing both wound care and hyperbaric medicine. You get to see some really happy patients. It’s rewarding when you finally heal them of something they have been struggling with for a long time.”
About Dr. Bowers
After graduating from Southern Lehigh High School, he attended Kutztown University and earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He was then a research specialist at the University of Pennsylvania prior to attending medical school. He earned his medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his internship at Delaware County Memorial Hospital. Dr. Bowers was a general surgery resident at the Christiana Care Health System in Newark, Delaware, and went on to complete a residency in Family Medicine at the Drexel University/Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia.
Dr. Bowers is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and the American Board of Wound Healing and is a Fellow of the American Professional Wound Care Association. He is currently working towards his certification in Hyperbaric Medicine.
In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with my family, surfing and all ocean-related activities, and cooking.