Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center
L to R above: Esther Chick, RN; Eugene Godepski, RN; Griselda Melendez, CAN; Douglas Morrow, MD; Archana Mazra, RN; Celestine Tupou | Not pictured: Terry Daggi, MSN; Clifford Kahn, MD; Rachel Ofiana, LVN
Established 20 years ago, the Wound Center at Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center is headed by surgeons Douglas Morrow, MD, and Clifford Kahn, MD, manager Theresa Daggi, NP, and staffed with certified wound care nurses who specialize in treating complex wounds. The center moved to its new location in April and includes an ostomy clinic.
Dr. Kahn has been in practice for 40 years and has worked in wound care for 30 years. He has an orthopedic surgery subspecialty in foot and ankle care and teaches the skill to student nurses. Dr. Morrow has practiced general surgery and surgical oncology for 40 years at Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center. He joined the Wound Center six years ago after retiring from surgery.
Tell us about your practice.
What sets our Wound Center apart is its multidisciplinary approach that treats not just the wound but the whole patient. First we identify any underlying—often undiagnosed—problems that may prevent healing, such as peripheral artery disease or diabetes. We then coordinate the patient’s care with their primary care physician as well as specialists in various medical fields and other treatment providers, including diabetes educators and lymphedema therapists. Between Dr. Morrow’s experience in general surgery and Dr. Kahn’s experience as an orthopedic surgeon specializing in foot and ankle care, the Wound Center provides complex wound care from head to toe.
Tell us about your new office.
The new facility is larger—3,200 square feet—and has nine treatment rooms so we can treat patients comfortably.
What is your practice known for?
We deliver state-of-the-art care to patients who are suffering from complex, chronic wounds. These include arterial, venous, pressure, diabetic and neuropathic ulcers, as well as wounds stemming from trauma, burns, surgery, cancer and autoimmune disorders.
What are the most popular therapies and services you offer?
Multiple modalities in wound care including minimally invasive procedures such as Tenex and the use of advanced skin substitutes. In addition to advanced wound dressings and moist wound healing, the following treatments and resources are available:
- Wound VAC: completely cleans out a wound, then “sucks” it closed and can lead to 50% faster healing
- Bioengineered grafts: promote growth of new tissue and blood vessels
- Negative pressure wound therapy: cleans the wound, increases blood flow and speeds healing
- Epidermal skin grafting: painlessly harvests healthy skin to apply to the wound with no damage to the donor skin site
What makes you the best in your field?
Traditionally, chronic-wound patients have been seen in primary care physicians’ offices, urgent care clinics and emergency rooms. These places are not equipped to treat the most difficult and stubborn cases. The Wound Center is an easily accessible specialty clinic where all of these patients’ immediate and long-term needs can be met.
What is Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center’s mission?
As expressions of God’s healing love, witnessed through the ministry of Jesus, we are steadfast in serving all—especially those who are poor and vulnerable. Our hospital’s promise is: “Know me, care for me, ease my way.”
How did you decide to pursue a career in medicine?
Dr. Morrow: I have always wanted to be a surgeon. It turned out to be the most rewarding choice. Every day has been a blessing. I have been very fortunate to be able to continue to utilize my skills in our Wound Center.
Dr. Kahn: Many of my family members worked in the medical field. My father was a physician who enjoyed his profession, so I always wanted to be a doctor. I enjoyed using my hands, so orthopedics was a natural choice.
How do you empower patients to improve their own health?
Dr. Kahn: We work as a team with our patients. The patient holds the key to a successful outcome.
Dr. Morrow: We attempt to empower our patients by providing compassionate care and assisting them in controlling medical risk factors such as diet restrictions, weight control and blood sugar control.
How do you prevent burnout for you and your staff?
Dr. Morrow: Exercising, practicing what I love, and hanging out with my children, wife and dogs keep me balanced.
Dr. Kahn: I try to laugh every day and maintain a good sense of humor.
Tell us about your family.
Dr. Kahn: My late wife and I had two sons. I remarried three years ago, and my wife has a son and daughter. Together we have four grandchildren.
Dr. Morrow: My fantastic wife of 52 years takes our therapy dogs, Gus and Stanley, to Providence Cedars-Sinai and other local facilities to provide joy and happiness to the patients and staff.