Our Multidisciplinary Team
Expert Medical Staff
Our expert surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and medical staff are dedicated to providing state-of-the-art care to our patients. The director, Dr. Lawrence J. Gottlieb, is a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon specializing in the acute care of burn patients as well as burn and complex wound reconstruction. Dr. Avery Tung, director of critical care services for the Burn Center, is board-certified in critical care and anesthesia, and specializes in ICU sedation and the mechanical ventilation and transport of critically ill, lung injured patients. Additional critical care and surgery staff, as well as residents from the departments of anesthesia and surgery participate in the (24/7) day-to-day patient care.
Along with a specialized physician group, the Burn Center is also staffed by nurses who specialize in the care of the pediatric and adult burn patient. Our nurses are expert in the evaluation and treatment of burn wounds and are trained in both critical care and specialized burn care. Many of our nursing staff participate in the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance Burn Camp and other activities associated with the American Burn Association.
Adequate nutrition is vital to maximizing recovery after burn injury. Every patient admitted to the Burn Center receives a thorough nutritional assessment to estimate optimal calorie, protein, and fluid requirements. Nutrition is customized for each patient--providing high calorie, high protein feeding schedules. While the dietitian decides on the appropriate diets, formulas and routes of feeding, the staff provides useful information on the patient's appetite and progress.
Physical and Occupational Therapy
Our physical and occupational therapists work closely with other Burn Center staff to evaluate the patient's functional abilities. They work to maximize the patient's level of mobility and ability to perform activities of daily living. Exercise, positioning, and splinting techniques are used to minimize effects of burn scarring on physical function. In addition, University of Chicago physical therapists also work collaboratively with the medical team to evaluate and optimize the healing environment for burn wounds.
Burn Center social workers provide psychosocial assessment and counseling to burn patients and their families. For adults, particular attention is paid to creating a patient discharge plan that makes the most of patient safety and rehabilitation. In addition, adult social work provides counseling, crisis intervention, and referrals to patients or family members in need. The pediatric social worker provides children and their families with crisis intervention, counseling, and referrals to community resources.
The University of Chicago Burn and Complex Wound Center is unique in having an in-house child protective services (CPS), headed by doctors who specialize in assessing for potential cases of abuse and neglect. The CPS team and Burn Center team collaborate closely with the CPS team providing a link between the medical team and outside state agencies.
Child Life Services
The Child Life and Family Education Program at the University of Chicago Children's Hospital provides educational, developmental, and therapeutic services to children and their families. Child life specialists focus on each child's psychological and developmental needs in order to help them adjust to the hospital.
Children who suffer burn injuries have very specific emotional and psychological needs. Our child life specialists help children through hydrotherapy and dressing changes by providing distraction and introducing relaxation techniques. Through the use of teaching dolls, medical play, and expressive therapies, child life specialists also help burn patients accept their injuries and develop a positive body image.