Presence St. Mary's Hospital
Presence St. Mary’s Hospital Wound Care Center Earns National Accreditation

One of only three hospitals in Illinois to achieve the Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society Clinical Hyperbaric Facility Accreditation

(Kankakee, IL) – Presence St. Mary’s Hospital’s (PSMH) Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine has received accreditation from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS), making them one of only three centers in Illinois to earn this distinction.

Accreditation by the UHMS means that PSMH’s Wound Care Center met the highest standards of care and patient safety through extensive evaluation of their operations, including equipment, staff and training, to ensure that the utmost quality is maintained within the specialty of undersea and hyperbaric medicine.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy helps to speed the healing process and is used with patients with non-healing wounds or conditions that require some assistance with healing. It involves the use of medical oxygen administered in a pressure chamber at levels higher than atmospheric pressure. This pressure helps oxygen dissolve more rapidly into the blood, advancing its absorption into damaged tissues to promote healing of wounds. The advanced wound care therapy is especially effective for treatment of severe diabetic ulcers, burns, soft tissue injuries after radiation therapy, and bone infections. Well-maintained chambers and trained support staff are essential in the daily operation of this important treatment adjunct.

PSMH’s Wound Care Center, which opened in 2011, has two hyperbaric oxygen chambers to accommodate growing patient volume.  In addition to specially certified nurses and support staff, the Wound Care Center consists of a team of physician specialists in the fields of podiatry, general surgery, family medicine and sports medicine, offering a multi-disciplinary approach to patient care.

“Our center provides a much needed service to the community in improving health and quality of life,” says certified wound care physician Linda Stewart, M.D.. “Our program was created to help patients who live with chronic wounds that are too complicated to be managed by primary care physicians but are not critical enough for hospitalization. There are a multitude of reasons why a wound may not heal, but our team is here to help manage wounds from start to finish.”

Participating in the UHMS accreditation program is voluntary and takes months of preparation. PSMH’s team of physicians, nurses, technicians and management worked together prior to the accreditation survey to ensure compliance with UHMS-related standards of practice and safety measures. The survey team who visited PSMH consisted of a physician, nurse and technician, all of whom specialize in hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

“Any time we see a new patient, we have to first ask ‘why didn’t they heal naturally?’ It’s not just the wound we treat, but it’s the problem behind the wound that we’re treating,” says Wound Care Director Barb Schaefer. “This accreditation demonstrates our commitment to providing the highest quality of patient care at St. Mary’s. We are proud of our team for achieving this significant milestone.”

Services offered at PSMH’s Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine include:

  • Wound consultation/evaluation, diagnostic and ongoing assessments and treatment
  • Non-invasive vascular studies
  • Specialty wound dressings
  • Bio-engineered skin grafts/substitutes
  • Compression therapy
  • Wound cultures and biopsies
  • Treatment of wound, skin and bone infections including antibiotic therapy
  • Patient and family education
  • Pressure off-loading devices and footwear
  • Debridement
  • Negative pressure wound therapy
  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
  • Chronic refractory osteomyelitis
  • Osteoradionecrosis
  • Preparation and preservation of compromised skin grafts and flaps

For more information or to speak with a caregiver, call The Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine at 815.937.2273


About Presence St. Mary’s Hospital

Presence St. Mary’s Hospital is a 182-bed acute care facility with a Level II Emergency/Trauma Center serving Kankakee and the surrounding counties. Presence St. Mary’s Hospital has received numerous awards for their quality of care and has been recognized nationally for their achievements in patient safety and satisfaction.

About the UHMS

The Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) was formed in 1967. It is an international nonprofit association serving some 2,000 physicians, scientists, associates and nurses from more than 50 countries in the fields of hyperbaric and dive medicine.

The UHMS is an important source of scientific and medical information pertaining to hyperbaric medicine involving hyperbaric oxygen therapy and diving through its bimonthly, peer-reviewed journal, Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine, symposia, workshops, books and other publications.

It organizes an annual scientific meeting at different U.S. and international locations to permit review of the latest in research and treatment and to promote the highest standards of practice.

Find a Doctor