Could unique treatment room help treat Ebola patients?
As questions continue about how to stop the spread of Ebola, interest is growing in one local doctor's unique treatment room.
Dr. Stuart Boekeloo, of St. Joseph, has been in dentistry for 25 years.
Hesays he came up with the idea ofa multi-functional medical room after he was asked to do dental work in a senior living facility.
"I said I'm happy to be your dentist.Where do I work? They said, 'Well the last one worked in the hair salon.'"
He researched and designed a 12 x 12 square foot room he calls the Aleydis Center. The name comes from a Saint.
"The Saint of the suffering and the blind," explains Boekeloo.
It isfilled with equipment foranytype of health provider -- podiatrist, dermatologist, optometrist.
With concerns of Ebola growing he says health providers have been calling him asking if the unique room, which features a special medical chair that resembles a comfy Lazy Boy recliner that can lower and rise to different heights, could be portable and useful in the fight of infectious diseases.
"When you see the films and pictures of people being treated in tentswith dirt floors, I think people are making the connection with my innovation. They think this is obviously something that can be used in disaster relief," said Boekeloo.
The Aleydis Center is currently located in the PACE facility, an adult day care center in St. Joseph Township.
Officials there say the room is used every day, all day.
"We did a lot of procedures and cared for people pretty much at bedside, which was awkward," said Dr. Keith Van Oosterhout, who specializes in Geriatrics.
"This room when I started here, I thought it was useful. Now I would say it is essential."
And Dr. Boekeloobelieves it is also essential totreat everyone, no matter where they live or what their illness, with dignity, in a dignified setting.
"Not only will the health care providers have a better experience and treat the residents and patients better, but also you have all these infection control standards," he said.
There are two Aleydis Centers in the United States, one in Michigan and another in Connecticut. The company says they have orders for a dozen more around the country by the end of 2015.