Featured Articles

New niche

Joseph Ranzini, MD, is next to a hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) unit, which helps heal certain types of wounds.

Augusta Health surgeon Joseph Ranzini, MD, joins wound care clinic

While Joseph Ranzini, MD, is not new to Augusta Health, he is now part of the hospital’s Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Clinic.

Dr. Ranzini has been a general surgeon at Augusta Health for 24 years, caring for a broad range of general surgical patients. He decided to join the wound clinic when one of his former surgical partners, David Caulkins, MD, currently the clinic director, invited him to join him. “Dr. Caulkins is approaching retirement and wanted to start working part-time,” Dr. Ranzini says. “He asked if I would be interested in joining him at the wound clinic. I started investigating and learning what working in the clinic would be like and decided to make that transition.”

Rewarding experience

The transition from general surgery to wound care has been an interesting and rewarding experience, says Dr. Ranzini. He has taken various courses in wound healing techniques and hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

“Everything I’m doing is tremendously interesting,” he says. “There was a learning curve adjusting to the demands of the clinic that I have found to be intellectually stimulating. I am caring for wounds that resist healing for a wide variety of reasons. It has been fun shifting from what I had been doing for years to something quite different. I also enjoy working with patients I get to see on a weekly basis.”

He adds, “From a physician’s standpoint, it’s helpful to have a surgical background because chronic wounds require specialized care. As a rule, chronic wounds need frequent attention. They need to be dressed appropriately to create an environment that promotes healing.”

The team at the clinic includes Dr. Caulkins and a staff of skilled nurses and technicians. Dr. Ranzini credits his easy transition to the field of wound care to working with these dedicated professionals.

“I like the fact that I’ve been learning about different therapies,” he adds. “There are a large number of treatment modalities that have been developed in the last 10 to 15 years that were not standard of care when I started in surgery. There has been a tremendous amount of research and product development. It is exciting to see this area of medicine explode. We are also pleased to be able to offer hyperbaric therapy at the clinic.”

Outside of work, Dr. Ranzini enjoys traveling with ‌his wife, who is an artist and program coordinator at the Beverley Street Studio School in Staunton. He also reads, occasionally plays golf and sings with his wife in their church choir. The Ranzinis have two sons. One is a first-year law student at UVA; the other is completing a master’s of law degree at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan.