April 2, 2004

Guy named regional burn center director

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Jeffrey Guy, M.D.

Guy named regional burn center director

Jeffrey Guy, M.D., assistant professor of Surgery in the division of Trauma & Surgical Critical Care, was recently named director of Vanderbilt’s Regional Burn Center.

Guy previously shared clinical and administrative responsibilities in the Burn Center with Ronald Barton, M.D., assistant professor of Plastic Surgery.

“Jeff Guy has done a remarkable job developing the burn program over the past five years,” said John A. Morris Jr., M.D., director of the Division of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care. “With the planned expansion and move to the main hospital, the Burn Center is now poised to become the premier burn facility in the Southeast.”

Vanderbilt’s Regional Burn Center, currently one of the nation’s larger burn centers, is a 20-bed Level I center with the capability to treat the most severe burns in both children and adults.

A full staff of physicians, nurses, therapists and support personnel, including psychiatrists and a chaplain, work together to provide comprehensive physical and emotional care for patients.

“We’re seeing tremendous growth in the Burn Center. Two years ago, we had approximately 200 admissions. This year we anticipate around 350 admissions. In another couple of years, I anticipate we’ll have as many as 500 admissions,” Guy said.

Thanks to LifeFlight’s new fixed-wing (airplane) service, Guy says VUMC’s Regional Burn Center is now admitting patients from areas much farther away, such as Virginia, North Carolina, Illinois and Arkansas.

“That’s really opened up our market,” he said. “We are seeing more pediatric patients than ever before. It’s an exciting and challenging time. The challenges are creating new opportunities.”

Providing care for burn patients is among the most physically and mentally challenging specialty a healthcare provider can endeavor. A pivotal experience in Guy’s college days led him to seek burn care as a profession.

“I was working as a paramedic, and was inside a badly wrecked car caring for a patient who was trapped in the vehicle when it exploded. My partner and I got out, but I literally had to stand there and watch the patient burn to death,” Guy said. “It was a horrible experience, but it initiated me on a pathway to caring for burn victims.”

Guy said the Burn Center staff is further standardizing patient care to improve efficiencies. The staff also recently partnered with Jeffrey Canter, M.D., assistant professor of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics in the Center for Human Genetics, for an exciting research protocol examining patients’ physiologic responses to severe burns at the genetic level.

“There are a lot of exciting things going on right now,” Guy said.

Looking ahead, Guy is eagerly anticipating the opening of the new 28-bed Burn Unit on 11 South in Vanderbilt University Hospital in December 2005. “That will position us as one of the very largest burn centers in the nation’” he said.

The new Burn Center’s opening is scheduled to coincide with a regional gathering of the American Burn Association hosted by VUMC.

“This is the most rewarding work I can imagine. Every day I go home feeling like I’ve made a difference,” he said.