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Meeting the neighbors


Open house marks new Harrington Hospital's new facility in Charlton



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Joseph Heywood, 9, of Charlton has his blood pressure checked at Harrington’s new Charlton facility open house on Saturday. Christopher Tanguay. (click for larger version)
May 23, 2010
CHARLTON — A hyperbaric oxygen chamber is no longer just used to help deep-sea divers fight off the bends.

First developed as a tool to combat decompression sickness, hyperbaric chambers are now at the forefront of medical breakthroughs, used to treat everything from burns or ulcers to salvaging limbs that would otherwise be subject to amputation due to complications from diabetes.

There are no medical facilities closer than an hour's drive that currently offer HBO treatment. In the coming weeks, that is going to change.

Harrington Healthcare at Charlton celebrated their grand opening with an open house and health fair this Saturday, showing off their two brand new HBO chambers that will be ready for patients in a matter of days.

The second floor of the facility which features four resident general care physicians, began seeing patients on March 1, but the lower floor of the facility, where the HBO chambers are housed, will be on line soon, according to Harrington's President and CEO Ed Moore.

"The rest of it will open in the next couple of weeks," Moore said.

With the hospitals cancer center opening last year and the new Charlton facility soon to be functioning at full capacity, Moore said there are no more major projects looming on Harrington's horizon, though there are some plans to improve the services already provided.

"I'm trying to digest everything we've opened," Moore joked. "What's next, I think, is to recruit more primary care doctors."

In addition to hiring more staff for their family practices, Moore said the next three months will bring some significant changes to the cardiology department at the main hospital in Southbridge, by expanding the department and bringing in a new cardiologist.

See Tuesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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