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Don and Ruth Holt of Albany have seen the world change in many ways since they were born in 1929. But in more recent years they are able to appreciate the way Samaritan Health Services has grown and changed to provide better care for patients. 

Four years ago Ruth had a wound on the back of her leg that wouldn’t heal. Regular visits to Samaritan Albany General Hospital introduced her to the caring professionals at the wound clinic. But when Ruth recently needed care for additional wounds on her shins, she visited Samaritan’s new Wound, Vein & Hyperbaric Medicine clinic in North Albany and was amazed at the range of services now available. 

“The new clinic was such a gift because it was so much more available to people like us, people with wounds,” said Ruth, complimenting the new facility. “It was wonderful.” 
Since Ruth is visually challenged and uses a walker or wheelchair, convenient access to the clinic made her appointments easier. The new location was also able to offer a streamlined treatment process and on-site physician evaluation, making one less weekly clinic visit for Ruth to navigate. 

While Ruth was receiving care, Don was struggling with his own health problems. Surgery on a skin cancer lesion above his ankle had left Don with a wound that wouldn’t heal. After trying several different treatment methods at the wound clinic, Don was considered a good candidate for a specialized service called hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT).

“The sore on my ankle was a constant source of pain and irritation,” said Don. “I did a treatment in the hyperbaric chamber every day for a really long time, and then one day my ankle didn’t hurt anymore.” 

After 35 treatments, Don’s ankle healed completely. He has just a small dry patch to remind him of where the wound used to be. 

Samaritan’s hyperbaric medicine program is one of only five accredited programs in the state. Foundation funds provide equipment and services at the wound clinic for low-income, uninsured and under-insured patients, and help ensure healing for a better quality of life. 

“I’m in awe of the technology that is available now,” said Ruth, reflecting on the changes of the last 88 years. “I am utterly amazed at the progress in medicine, especially when I think about how things were back in 1929.”

Cutting-edge equipment and services helped heal Don and Ruth, but it wouldn’t mean nearly as much without the caring staff at the clinic. 

“We both felt really blessed by the people at the wound clinic during a difficult time,” said Don. “They are great people doing a wonderful thing.”