More than 16 years ago, our founder and CEO, Mike Comer, had a vision to provide a unique program offering the best care and environment for patients with non-healing wounds. For his dream to come to fruition, he knew he needed a very special physician, mentor, and medical director who understood and embraced this vision. Stanley Z. Cowen, M.D., was just that person. In celebration of National Doctors’ Day, we salute our Medical Director for his years of service and leadership as well as ALL physicians who provide stellar wound care at our many partner centers across the nation. On behalf of every healed patient, as well as all of our clinicians and team members, thank you for your dedication and passion for healing those in need.
Stanley Cowen, M.D. has been the medical director at Wound Care Advantage since 2005. A lot of changes have occurred in the wound care industry since then, but one thing remains the same: patient care is a top priority.
On meeting Mike Comer:
Mike and I first met in the 1990s when we were working at a San Fernando Valley hospital, so we’ve known each other for a very long time. A few years into our relationship, he told me he wanted to start a boutique-like, personalized wound care company, and asked if I was interested. He presented me with this very exciting opportunity in 2005 and after some soul searching, I accepted. It was the beginning of a great adventure that continues to this day.
On the wound care industry, then and now:
Until 2005, the availability of science and information was very limited. Wet-to-dry was the standard care, and the success rate was not very good. When we started doing wound care as a separate specialty, that was the beginning. Today, we know so much more about the process, the pathology, the healing mechanisms, new technologies and medications, etiologies, and, of course, therapies. You can’t compare 2005 to 2018 because even now it’s a new field, vastly growing.
On new therapies:
When it comes to new therapies or drugs and the like, we’re always looking for the holy grail, that one thing that’s going to change everything. Over the years, I’ve learned to be skeptical about new technologies, products and medications. If you told me a year ago that we’d be using fish skin on human wounds, I would have said that’s ridiculous. But now we have a patient starting a trial next week. That’s one of the really fun parts about this. The science is still catching up.
The amputation rate and the mortality rate associated with amputations has significantly declined in the last several years. A lot of that has to do with a change in philosophy. Osteomyelitis in the foot used to almost always mandate an amputation but today, we’re treating these patients successfully because we have a better understanding, and better therapies. Amputations should always be a last resort. Educating the medical community about that is very important.
On compliance and patient/doctor relationships:
We see almost all of our patients once a week, and we work to build a positive relationship that feeds into the therapy. With a good, transparent team approach, a patient and doctor can work together to formulate a plan of care that works for both, and benefits both parties.