Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger to visit site at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital
BALTIMORE — A $2.4 million renovation plan is underway at the Curtis National Hand Center (CNHC) at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, to modernize the 23,000 square feet of space that opened on two floors there 30 years ago. Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, who secured more than half of the funding for the project, will visit the site May 9th at 11:30
a.m. to see the deconstruction and start of the transformation. Media is welcome to join the tour.
"I often brag that Baltimore is home to the best healthcare in the world and the MedStar Curtis National Hand Center – the birthplace of the hand subspecialty – is no exception," Congressman Ruppersberger said in released statement. "This investment will enable the Center to provide patients with even better care, train more specialists and further cement Maryland's reputation as the world capital of medicine. I thank my fellow appropriators for recognizing the need for these vital resources."
Hand surgery as a medical specialty is historically rooted at the Curtis National Hand Center and has been nationally and internationally recognized as a leader in the care of the hand and upper extremity for 50 years. The CNHC is the largest hand center in the nation, comprised of 14 surgeons, a skilled hand therapy department, a premier fellowship training program, and a leading research division.
After WWII, Dr. Raymond Curtis combined the skills he learned in the Army, to set up a hand practice at Union Memorial Hospital in 1947, where he completed his surgical training three years before. The CNHC was formally named after Dr. Curtis in 1975 and opened in the Johnston Professional Building at MedStar Union Memorial in 1993. It was designed and constructed with the support of congressionally designated funding for this purpose. It is the only hand center in the United States to earn the distinction of being a national hand center.
“The Curtis National Hand Center has played a critical role in caring for patients for decades. Our new design will provide patients with more efficient, comfortable, and comprehensive treatment, while accessing the most up-to-date technology provided by the nation's top specialists,” said James P. Higgins, MD, chief of The Curtis National Hand Center.
The renovations will feature:
- Larger, well-appointed patient and family areas
- A strategically designed floorplan that optimizes workspace for up to five physicians working simultaneously
- Upgraded space for two radiology suites for imaging: x-ray, ultrasound
- A fluoroscopy suite to assess real-time dynamic behavior of the wrist in motion
- Five pods with three patient evaluation rooms each
- Workrooms fitted for tele-visits to meet the virtual appointment demand
- Improved workspace for medical assistants and administrative staff to optimize efficiency and communication
- HIPAA sensitive scheduling areas
The renovated suite will also be equipped with instrumentation for tissue sampling and the administration of therapeutic injections during patient office visits. With the ultrasound suite, ultrasound-guided injections and the ultrasonic imaging of tendon and vascular studies will allow for convenient and immediate therapies. By performing these services on site, physicians and patients can view the results immediately for a more expedited diagnosis and improved patient care.
Physiatry, psychology, and specialized therapy services will be designated for on-site musculoskeletal evaluations, nerve conduction studies, and electromyography. Private evaluation rooms will be available for on-site psychological counseling for patients who may be dealing with stress and anxiety, pain management, work or productivity issues that may arise from hand injuries.
Congressman Ruppersberger secured the funds from the $242 billion Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill that passed for this fiscal year.
Completion of the project is expected in the fall.