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Phoebe Physician Receives National Honor For Work in Hyperbaric Medicine

Albany, Ga. – The Medical Director of the Phoebe Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center recently received a national award of excellence from the American College of Hyperbaric Medicine (ACHM).  At the organization’s annual meeting, Thomas Bozzuto, DO, was presented the ACHM Eric P. Kindwall Award of Excellence in Clinical Hyperbaric Medicine.  “As an original member of the American College of Hyperbaric Medicine and a past president of the organization, this recognition has special significance to me,” Dr. Bozzuto said.  “This award, to me, represents the years of dedication I have given to the specialty of Hyperbaric Medicine, and it is such an honor to be recognized by my colleagues for my clinical expertise and teaching.”

According to the ACHM, the award is given to professionals who have demonstrated career-long commitment to Hyperbaric Medicine through excellence in education, application of therapy, teaching, research, forward-thinking and leadership.  “Dr. Bozzuto truly exemplifies the clinical excellence that defines this award.  He has dedicated his professional life to Hyperbaric Medicine and has certainly followed in Dr. Kindwall’s footsteps,” said Jayesh B. Shah, MD, ACHM Board of Directors President.

The award’s namesake, Dr. Kindwall, is recognized as the father of hyperbaric medicine.  After serving as a medical officer in the U.S. Navy’s Submarine Services during the Vietnam War, he realized that standards for civilian hyperbaric oxygen treatments needed to be established.  He developed the first hyperbaric medicine course for physicians and nurses and served as president and executive director of the ACHM.

Dr. Bozzuto graduated from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1980 and completed a residency in Emergency Medicine at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center in 1983.  After serving in the Air Force as vice-chair of Emergency Medicine at Wright-Patterson AFB, he became medical director of Emergency Services at United Hospital Center in Clarksburg, WV.  He completed his hyperbaric medicine training at University of Maryland (Baltimore) Shock-Trauma Center.  Moving to Jacksonville, FL in 1989, he developed and headed the Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine Center at Baptist Medical Center. 

In 2005, Dr. Bozzuto accepted his current position at Phoebe, and he is the only board-certified hyperbaric physician in the area.  The Phoebe Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center houses the only multi-place hyperbaric chamber between Atlanta and Florida.  It can seat up to 12 people and offers plenty of space for patients who may be claustrophobic.  “Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be used to treat many conditions such as carbon monoxide poisoning or decompression illness, but it’s most often used to help heal wounds and tissue infections,” Dr. Bozzuto said.  “Our team has outstanding success treating patients who often feel they have run out of options. It is a great honor for us to provide compassionate, expert care that can return them to good health.”

The ACHM was founded to support the clinical applications of therapeutic oxygen in the care and treatment of patients, with special focus on patients with non-healing wounds.