I thought the OLA community would be interested in this story from the University of Tennessee:
Once Burned, Masterfully Treated
By Sheila Champlin
Some men see things as they are and say ‘why?’ I dream of things that never were and say ‘why not?’ ” George Bernard Shaw wrote that famous quotation, which could be a personal motto for UT College of Medicine graduate Dr. A. Richard Grossman (’57).
It all started in 1958 at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. A catastrophic fire struck Our Lady of Angels parochial elementary school, killing 93 children and 4 nuns. Many of the victims were so badly burned, it was impossible to determine whether they were girls or boys. Young Dr. Grossman was the resident surgeon on duty in the emergency room.
That horrific experience had a profound and lasting impact. Not only did it cause him to question methods of burn care, it became the driving force behind his vision to create an innovative world-class comprehensive burn treatment center.
“I wanted to create a facility that would provide the best burn care available anywhere,” says Grossman, “but the goal was not just to ensure the survival of the patient. Our goal was to restore patients to as close to their pre-injury condition as possible—functionally, emotionally, and cosmetically.”
After relocating to Los Angeles, Grossman took a significant step toward achieving his vision. In 1969 he convinced Sherman Oaks Community Hospital, located in a suburb of Los Angeles, to devote two beds exclusively to burn care. By 1978 the burn center at Sherman Oaks had expanded into a freestanding 30-bed specialty unit.
A second Grossman Burn Center was opened at Western Medical Center in Santa Ana, California, in 1995. The 7-bed inpatient unit is an intensive care facility, equipped to handle the most severe burn cases, as well as to offer intermediate care for patients with less severe burns. Operating in tandem with the hospital, the center also provides outpatient burn care, surgical suites, hydrotherapy, and access to all the services and support of a large medical system.
Today the two Grossman centers rank among the largest and most comprehensive in the world. They are plastic-surgery–based and specialize in comprehensive burn treatment that ranges from acute care and reconstruction to rehabilitation and psychological counseling. --