NFCH only Critical Access Hospital in U.S. with accredited hyperbaric facility

Published: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 05:01 PM.

CHIPLEY — Northwest Florida Community Hospital administration, staff and community leaders gathered Tuesday to celebrate the hospital’s Wound Healing Institute accreditation for Hyperbaric Services.

“Any time a hospital gets accredited, it is a big deal,” said Pat Schlenker, CEO of Northwest Florida Community Hospital. “Especially a small, rural hospital such as ours.”

The Wound Healing Institute at NFCH is one of nine accredited facilities in the state of Florida, and the only Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society accredited facility between Lakeland and Pensacola.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy uses a special chamber, sometimes called a pressure chamber, to increase the amount of oxygen in the blood.

The air pressure inside a hyperbaric oxygen chamber is about two and a half times greater than the normal pressure in the atmosphere. This helps your blood carry more oxygen to organs and tissues in your body, according to the National Institute for Health website,

The hospital received its accreditation on June 24 from UHMS, which is the governing body for the Hyperbaric community and follows the same rigorous standards for accreditation as the Joint Commission and the National Fire Protection Association, according to a news release from the hospital.

Northwest Florida Community Hospital is a 59-bed healthcare facility that includes a 25-bed Critical Access hospital, a 34-bed Long Term Care Facility and a Home Health Agency, was named one of Florida’s Top Hospitals and recognized with the Hospital of Choice Award. It was one of only three Florida Hospitals to receive the award.

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