patients out of wheelchairs,
baric chambers as part of his
reclining adjustable exam
practice, he became board-
chairs and a roll-in shower for
certified in undersea and
clean-up, if needed.
hyperbaric medicine, which
Every room is modified for
includes treating people with
comfortable access, exceed-
ing ADA (Americans with
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
Disability Act) requirements.
takes place when a patient is
For example, the counter area
placed in a special chamber
in the waiting room serves as a
that is pressurized with 100
desk for wheelchair patients.
percent pure oxygen to get
A small operating room
high levels of oxygen into their
for skin grafts also is part
body. These high doses can
of the office plan. The air in
help heal damaged organs and
that room exchanges 15 times
promote the healing of chronic
a minute to minimize the
wounds, especially wounds
chance for an infection.
located in bones.
Also included in the office
"This therapy is important
space are a staffed pharmacy
for some treatments because
and several enclosed exami-
it can promote the growth of
nation rooms for patients'
new tissue, decrease swell-
ing and inflammation, and
The second impression usu-
clear out toxins and metabolic
ally comes when patients get
waste products from the body:'
used to watching one of two
Ruben says. "Interestingly, hos-
Patient Jack Ginsberg of West Bloomfield talks on the phone with employee Kitty Carpenter of Redford as he
trained family dogs interact
pitals are reimbursed for their
gets his treatment in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber in the office.
with patients. An exotic caged
use of chambers for identical
bird joins the menagerie.
assessments and traditional Chinese medi-
treatment while some insur-
The pets physiologically and psycho-
cine at this outpatient facility.
ance companies refuse to reimburse our
logically aid in healing, says Ruben, who
According to Ruben, there are five main
Ruben also is planning to include more
treatments when we use the chambers. It
assures there are no contagious nor infec-
reasons why a wound won't heal:
Chinese Traditional Medicine (CTM) for
doesn't make sense because treating people
tious diseases that can pass between these
wound treatments in the future. The once-
as outpatients costs so much less than treat-
domesticated dogs and his patients.
weekly trips to Chicago where he studied
ing patients who are hospitalized:'
One of Ruben's goals is to make this
• Edema (accumulation of fluids)
with seventh-generation master Chinese
One of Ruben's goals is to keep his
facility environmentally friendly. He often
• Impaired circulation
herbalist and acupuncturist, Dr. Zhengang
patients out of the hospital to eliminate the
attributes the considerations of caring for
• Poor nutrition
Guo, are now less frequent. However, Guo
health risks and bureaucracies associated
people beyond their problem to the prin-
"We evaluate each of these areas one at
occasionally visits Michigan to train Ruben
with hospital care.
ciples of tzedakah, lovingkindness.
a time because if any one of the five is not
and his staff about herbal medications.
Dr. Scott H. Cooper, an internist, said,
"'Love your fellowman as yourself' is
managed, no matter what I do with the
A primary tenet of Chinese Traditional
"Many of my patients have cellulitis [a
part of our morning prayers:' Ruben says.
other four, I won't be able to accomplish
Medicine is to rebalance the body so that
skin infection] or wounds that won't heal
The office is open seven days a week,
healing; he says. "That's why just focusing
the body itself can do its own healing.
because of diabetes, or they have pres-
although Ruben doesn't work on Shabbat.
on the wound doesn't work. I've found that
Sharon Brown of Oak Park was referred
sure wounds because they're confined to a
Ruben's journey to a more spiritual life
nutrition is the single most common over-
to Ruben for treatment of cellulitis.
wheelchair. I often take the patient by the
began when he asked Rabbi Finman if
looked factor in wound medicine. Just ask
"They have a trained therapist who
hand and go with them down to Dr. Ruben's
he knew someone who could teach him
any mother what's important:"
worked on reducing lymphadema in my
office since we're in the same building. My
Hebrew and Jewish studies. Ruben was
As an example, Ruben explains that when lower leg through massage so that the
patients tell me he's very thorough and they
raised in a Conservative family, but felt his you have a wound, your body is never at
wound could heal; Brown says. "Combined
love him. The fun part for me is that Bruce
Jewish education was lacking. Finman told
rest because it's trying to heal the wound.
with the family-friendly atmosphere and
and I attended the same elementary school
him that teaching was all that he did.
To increase its effort, your body starts using the technician's skill, my experiences there
together. We go way back:'
The studies began six years ago and
more protein and you become protein defi-
were very pleasant and supportive. During
Ruben was recently invited to serve on
continue today. Ruben also studies with
cient. The longer you have the wound, the
my visits, I've met Dr. Ruben's parents, his
the advisory board of the National Spinal
more protein deficient you become.
Rabbi Shneur Silverberg at the Sara and
wife and his children:'
Cord Injury Association's Medical and
To manage this problem, Ruben increases
Morris Tugman Bais Chabad Torah Center
Dr. Lawrence M. Dell, a West Bloomfield
Scientific Advisory Committee (MSAC).
the caloric intake for some patients and
in West Bloomfield.
internist, says, "I refer my patients to Bruce
MSAC is a group of health care profes-
makes sure patients understand the nutri-
"Bruce is Orthodox and attends Bais
Ruben because they have a wonderful facil-
sionals whose expertise includes caring for
tional value of different foods. The office
Chabad Torah Center for early morn-
ity, but more importantly they are compas-
disabled persons living with spinal cord
maintains a nutrition counter on one side
ing and Shabbat services:' says his wife,
injuries (SCI) and who are committed to
of the infusion room to help patients con-
improving the quality of life of people living
Mindy, who was raised Reform.
"They personally follow up with patients
with this injury.
She does much of the public and patient
sume the right amount and the right kind
and make sure the patients understand
relations for Encompass HealthCare,
of calories. Fresh fruit, energy bars, protein
their treatment. I've sent him patients who
In addition to giving his input on heath
which is in the Lakes Medical Center. The
powder and information about nutrition are were told that their limb would eventually
care policies, Ruben will assist in finding
Rubens live in West Bloomfield and have
be amputated because a wound wouldn't
ambulatory resources, reducing the need
three daughters ages 23, 15 and 12.
The treatments available in Ruben's office heal. Ruben avoids loss of limbs for my
for hospitalization for SCI patients.
"Our family will be dedicating a new
compare favorably to most wound centers
patients with his multidiscipline approach.
Ruben continues to declare that one day
Sefer Torah, written in New York, this com-
at local hospitals. Rather than sending a
He has better outcomes, fewer complica-
he's going to petition the AMA (American
ing Labor Day to Bais Chabad," she says.
patient to different specialists, treatments
tions and is less expensive than going to a
Medical Association) to make wound medi-
Individuals will be able to purchase a letter
include IV antibiotic therapies, hyperbaric
cine a separate division requiring board
to be written in the Torah to fulfill the 613th oxygen treatments, stem-cell and artificial
Ruben is board-certified in internal
certification. Those who know him are
commandment. (An upcoming IN story will skin grafts, wound debridement and wound medicine and infectious diseases. Once he
convinced he's going to carry out this proc-
provide more details.)
vacuum systems, complete nutritional
determined that he needed to use hyper-
July 25 • 2013