Since 1959, Columbia St. Mary’s (CSM) Regional Burn Center has been the destination for burn care throughout Wisconsin, upper Michigan and northern Illinois.
In 1957, Dr. John Klein, a Columbia St. Mary’s staff surgeon, was called to assess the burn victims of an electrical accident at the Wisconsin Electric Power Company’s Oak Creek Power Plant. Dr. Klein realized the need for a specialized burn treatment center in the Milwaukee area. Also in the 1950s, physicians and care-givers began to understand that victims of serious injuries, including burns, had a much greater chance of survival if they were treated at specialized facilities.
Influenced by this philosophy and with the financial support of the Wisconsin Electric Power Company (now WE Energies), Dr. Klein opened the Regional Burn Center in 1959 at St. Mary’s Hospital (now Columbia St. Mary's Hospital Milwaukee), making it the first burn center in Wisconsin and the fourth oldest burn center in the nation.
Today, the CSM Regional Burn Center provides care for 150 to 250 children and adults from eastern Wisconsin, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and northern Illinois every year.
The Regional Burn Center has moved to the new, state-of-the-art Columbia St. Mary's Hospital Milwaukee, In its new location, the Columbia St. Mary's Burn Center will continue its tradition of excellence for years to come.
The Regional Burn Center has earned a reputation for excellence. The Center is certified by the American Burn Association and the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma, and was chosen as a Site of Excellence in 2009 & 2012 by the Wisconsin EMS Association.
Physicians, nursing personnel, dietitians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, respiratory therapists, social workers, psychologists, chaplains and many others work together with patients and their families to create a specialized care plan for each patient. Each burn team member has an extensive background in the treatment of all types of burns (frostbite, fire, chemical, electrical, heat, and contact burns), from minor to life-threatening. The Center also cares for patients with many types of skin conditions.