Wound/vascular has some new and familiar faces

Pictured are some members of our wound/vascular teams: (top row) are NP Yasmine King, RN Stephanie Bujold, and Clinical Lead Diane Thoma; (middle row) are Shawna Vaillancourt, patient access liaison Shelbi Martelle, and RN Angela Rodriguez. Seated at bottom is Dr. Claude Roland.
June 21, 2023

Adirondack Health’s wound and vascular centers may be two distinct clinics, but the teams work collaboratively, and their care is often intertwined.

Both services are based in the Saranac Lake Health Center.

Dr. Claude Roland, a vascular surgeon with more than 35 years in practice, is the medical director of the wound center. He is fellowship trained and board certified in general and vascular surgery. Dr. Roland served the North Country since 1999. In 2019, he left private practice to join Adirondack Health.

Over the past few years, as the complexity of vascular disease interventions has increased and the patient population requiring these types of services has grown, Dr. Roland said he’s been dedicating all his efforts to vascular disease. He said he’s grateful to Adirondack Health’s Board of Trustees, which generously committed its support to vascular services when it funded the construction of the hybrid operating room suite during the 2016-17 operating room renovations.

“This has proven to be an invaluable tool to provide a standard of care in our community, which can only be matched by tertiary care facilities,” Dr. Roland said.

Physician assistant Taylor Nedurian joined Dr. Roland in vascular services in February. She is assisting him in the operating room, performing inpatient rounds, and seeing patients in the office on weekdays. Nedurian will also be available to provide intravenous access services, such as mid-line catheters, PICCs, and central lines -- in conjunction with Dr. Roland.

“The addition of Ms. Nedurian to the vascular team has improved our ability to see patients in the hospital and clinic more expeditiously,” Dr. Roland said.

Nedurian has practiced as a physician assistant for three years, completing her surgical residency at Yale School of Medicine in 2021. She said the whole vascular/wound team is incredibly knowledgeable and has been helpful in her transition. She’s especially grateful to learn under Dr. Roland, who has been a “fantastic” mentor.

“He’s a different generation of provider,” she said. “He’s gone from being a general surgeon into being specialized, so his skill set is very broad. It’s amazing working with someone with such an incredible knowledge base. On top of that, he’s just such a pleasant person to be around. He is so patient and is a phenomenal teacher.”

For a rural healthcare facility, Nedurian said Adirondack Medical Center provides patients with the vascular care of a much larger hospital system, with a state-of-the-art operating suite and the vast experience of Dr. Roland as a surgeon.

“We’re providing medicine at such a high level for a small facility,” she said.

Over the past year, the wound center has been fortunate to have had Drs. Dorit Gaedtke, Mario Tagliagambe, and Emily Szczech providing their expertise and care. Dr. Tagliagambe continues to work in the clinic part-time and is also the medical director of Adirondack Health’s long-term care facility, Mercy Living Center in Tupper Lake.

When Dr. Gaedtke retired from the wound center in December, nurse practitioner Yasmine King transitioned from Adirondack Health’s pain management clinic to serve as a full-time provider in the wound center. King will continue to see patients in pain management two days a week: Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.

King brings more than a decade of multi-faceted experience, with two years here at Adirondack Health.

“We have some exceptional nurses that know wound treatment in and out,” she said. “They have really helped me get established as a provider in this clinic. Everyone is willing to help out. It’s also helpful that Dr. Roland’s office is only steps away. You couldn’t ask for anyone better to be the lead director.”

King said the small-team mentality is helpful because it allows them to get to know their patients so well. She said it’s this level of personal care that helps patients feel at ease.

“We try to make it like a second home for our patients, and we try to make things as comfortable as possible for them. Chronic wounds are hard – not only physically, because they’re painful – but mentally. The day-in and day-out care and slow healing can be really challenging for patients. We try to get our patients to laugh and smile while they’re here, and I think if we can do that, we have accomplished something good. We’re here to support them through the whole process.”

Diane Thoma took over as clinical lead of the vascular and wound clinics in May. Her career in nursing spans 45 years and includes active military service. You may have previously seen her as a health screener during the pandemic at Adirondack Medical Center.

“I love the team here,” Thoma said. “We’re very dependent on each other for various things. My job is to try to help the team be successful, making sure we have enough equipment and safe patient techniques.”

Thoma commended Dr. Roland’s rapport with patients and said the team works together to save lives in very real ways.

“If a person has osteomyelitis, they have maybe a two-year expectancy to live. We are revascularizing and increasing flow to the arteries and veins that haven’t had it before. It gives them a better quality of life. They may be able to walk again, and that enhances their quality of life.”

To learn more about Adirondack Health’s wound care treatments, visit adirondackhealth.org/wound-care or call 518-897-2800. To learn more about Adirondack Health’s vascular treatments, visit adirondackhealth.org/vascular or call 518-897-2811.

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