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Martin Medical Building houses Lane’s new Wound Center

Lane CEO Randy Olson presents a bronze statue during the dedication of the Dr. Howard L. Martin Medical Building.

Listed at the bottom of a recent news release was Lane Regional Medical Center’s guiding core values: Excellence, Integrity, Compassion, Respect and Commitment.

In many ways, those words sum up the career of Dr. Howard Martin, who is one of Lane RMC’s founding physicians. Appropriately, the purpose of the release was to announce the dedication ceremony, ribbon cutting and open house on May 22 for the new Lane Wound Center and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy facility and the naming of the Dr. Howard L. Martin Medical Building, where the new wound care center is located.

The Lane Wound Center & Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy recently moved from inside the hospital to this newly renovated medical building, located at 4917 West Park Drive on Lane’s campus directly behind Medical Pharmacy in Zachary.

A large crowd of family, friends, colleagues, dignitaries and admirers gathered to celebrate and show support for Martin. Lane CEO Randy Olsen presided over the informal ceremony honoring the hospital’s longest serving doctor, and he presented Martin with a bronze statue to commemorate the occasion. He credited Martin for being an important part of the hospital’s growth over the years.

“You’ve healed a lot of wounds over the past 30-plus years,” Olson said. “This (new facility) will increase the volume of patients that we can treat. ”

Added Dell Guerra, chair of Lane’s Board of Commissioners, “Thank you (Martin) for being a tremendous part of what Lane represents.”

Martin, 86, seemed a bit uncomfortable and overwhelmed by all the attention.

“I’d rather be treating patients right now,” Martin told the crowd after accepting the statue from Olson. “It’s been a wonderful trip. It’s the result of the efforts of many people and a good administration.”

Martin’s career has been remarkable not only for its longevity, but also for the quality of care and level of commitment he’s maintained over the years. After moving to Zachary from West Feliciana Parish in 1958, he was the first doctor hired for the staff at Lane RMC. He was a general surgeon at Lane for 42 years and has worked in hyperbaric medicine for more than 13 years, overseeing wound care patients. He served as the hospital’s medical director for many years.

Olson said Martin was one of the building’s original owners from the 1960s, when it served as a regular medical office.

“How appropriate to go back and name it after him,” said Olson.

The Lane Wound Care team provides specialized and advanced treatment therapies for serious wounds, such as those suffered by diabetics, along with non-healing surgical, traumatic and infected wounds as well as a variety of ulcers that require intense attention.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is used on more serious injuries or compromised wounds, providing 100 percent pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber (the air we breathe is only 21 percent oxygen).  This high pressure dose of oxygen, known as hyperbaric oxygen, greatly increases the amount of oxygen delivered to body tissues by the bloodstream.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy also provides:

— Advanced wound healing

— Increased oxygen delivery to injured tissue

— Improved infection control

— Greater blood vessel formation

— Preservation of damaged tissues and veins

— Elimination of toxic substances

— Reduction of gas bubble obstructions

Olson said Lane has been treating serious wound patients since the mid-1980s. The new facility has three to four rooms for exams, a reception and administrative desk area and two state-of-the-art hyperbaric chambers, which cost in the neighborhood of $120,000 apiece.

Dr. Howard Martin was the first doctor hired at Lane RMC.

“The volume of patients we can treat will continue to grow,” Olson said. “We have an outstanding facility where we can treat them.”

The Wound Center is the latest piece to Lane’s burgeoning health complex.

“We’ve grown so much,” said Guerra, who also served on Lane’s staff as an RN. “Our strategy is centered on growing. This hospital is a true community hospital because the community supports Lane. They continue to support us. And when we make decisions, it’s based on what the community needs. Lane is a great hospital because it is a family-oriented environment and Dr. Martin is one of the people who set the tone and established that approach early on.”

Martin will continue to work in the Wound Care Center a couple of days a week, supervising cases and treating patients along with Dr. Thomas Trahan and Dr. Jessica Stevens. Looking back over his career, Martin credits the many dedicated people who have worked at Lane over the years for the hospital’s growth and success, like his old friend Charlie Massey, a former administrator. For now, Martin has no plans to retire.

“I’m gonna keep rolling until I get dangerous,” he said with a laugh.

For more information, please call the Lane Wound Center & Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy at (225) 658-4110.