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Upstate's Clark Burn Center staff gathers for a photo.

Upstate’s Clark Burn Center earns verified burn center designation from the American Burn Association

Upstate University Hospital’s Clark Burn Center, which cares for adult and pediatric patients across 41 counties, was recently named a verified burn center by the American Burn Association.

Becoming a verified burn center involves a rigorous application and a site visit to ensure patients are being treated with the highest quality care.

“Burn Center verification provides a true mark of distinction for a burn center and is an indicator to government, third-party payers, patients and their families, and accreditation organizations that the center provides high quality patient care to burn patients from time of injury through rehabilitation,” according to the ABA.

Upstate’s Clark Burn Center has existed since the 1960s and serves thousands of patients per year through the emergency department, a six-bed intensive care inpatient unit and an outpatient clinic. Last year, the ED treated 382 patients for burns, the inpatient unit treated more than 200 people and the clinic received about 1,400 referrals.

The Clark Burn Center had to make very few changes in order to obtain verification, said Medical Director Jessica Summers, MD. She and Program Manager Tamara Roberts, RN, MSN, said Upstate’s burn care has long been of the highest quality, especially since the center serves such a vast region from northern Pennsylvania to Southern Canada and Vermont.

“It was always the dream of the Clark Burn Center to be a verified burn center but it’s really been the last 10 years when we’ve been pushing for it,” said Roberts, who was instrumental in submitting Upstate’s 70-page application to the ABA. The nearest verified burn centers to Syracuse are in Rochester and Elmira, with several in the New York City area.

Roberts said the ABA looks for continuity of care from the time of the injury, through discharge and on to rehabilitation and support efforts for the patient. The association inquired about Upstate’s offerings including support groups, rehabilitation, physical and occupational therapy as well as counseling options, to name a few of the services Clark Burn Center provides.

Roberts and Summers stressed the center’s multidisciplinary approach and said the new verified status is thanks to a cohesive team approach for every patient.

“It took everybody to make this happen,” Summers said. “It was a culmination of many years of efforts. It really does mean a lot to be recognized as a verified burn center operating at the highest standards. It’s a great accomplishment.”

The burn center will submit data annually to the ABA and the verification is good for three years, after which time the center will reapply for verification.

Caption: Upstate University Hospital CEO Robert Corona, DO, MBA, FCAP, FASCP, second from left, recognizes staff at the Clark Burn Center, which was recently named a verified burn center by the American Burn Association.