Often referred to as "medical detectives," Infectious Disease (ID) specialists are experts in diagnosing and treating diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. We provide personalized and comprehensive inpatient ID services at both Boulder Community Health hospitals. We provide outpatient services to individuals over age 15 in Boulder and surrounding communities including Longmont, Louisville, Lafayette, Westminster, Arvada, Ft. Collins and Loveland.
Our five board-certified physicians and one nurse practitioner have more than 70 years experience providing specialty ID care. Our goal is to provide the highest level of comprehensive inpatient care followed by a well-coordinated transition to outpatient care. During your hospital stay, we communicate directly with your primary care providers and the hospital staff directly providing your care. A recent study showed that having an ID specialist involved in the care of hospitalized patients with severe infections leads to better outcomes. [Link: Schmitt, CID 2014].
As an outpatient, you’ll receive extensive consultative services with rapid access to urgent care when needed. We treat a variety of conditions including:
Bone and Joint Infections
The majority of bone infections are caused by bacteria. A bone or joint can get infected if there are bacteria in the blood or nearby tissues. Infections also can be a complication of an injury, surgery or chronic wounds. Treatment of bone and joint infections typically requires removal of infected tissues and bone by the surgical team followed by prolonged antibiotics.
Surgical Site Infections
A surgical site infection can involve the skin, organs or implanted material. Thousands of surgeries are performed annually at BCH and only a small portion of these cases develop surgical site infections. The doctors at Beacon Center manage individual cases of infection and consult with BCH surgeons regularly to improve patient safety by employing system-wide infection control measures.
The Beacon Center has been providing compassionate care to persons living with HIV/AIDS and their families since 1995. Since January 2004, we have received funding from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program http://hab.hrsa.gov/abouthab/aboutprogram.html
Currently, we care for more than 300 patients from Boulder, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Gilpin, Larimer, and Weld counties. Through cutting edge HIV treatment, comprehensive primary care, case management and referral to specialists as needed, our providers help improve the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS. Some important local web links are listed here, but more links can be found on the educational page. https://www.bcap.org/, http://www.ncaids.org/
Staphylococcus aureus, commonly referred to as "staph," is a germ frequently found on many peoples’ skin. Sometimes this germ can cause serious infections, such as skin infections, pneumonia, surgical infections or blood stream infections. MRSA is a type of staph that has more limited antibiotic options and is more common in people recently hospitalized or treated with antibiotics. The main way to prevent a staph infection is to wash your hands regularly, keep wounds clean, and avoid sharing personal items (towels, razors) with other people.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an infection that affects liver cells and can spread person to person through contact with blood. About 3-4 million people in the USA are infected with HCV and many are unaware they have the virus. Current treatments for HCV can have many side effects, but there will be new drugs available in the next couple years that will shorten treatment, make it more tolerable and lead to higher cure rates. Once these medications become available, the providers at the Beacon Center will provide complete care for patients interested in treatment. If you have risk factors such as unprotected sex, intravenous drug use or were born between 1945 and 1965, you should ask your primary care doctor to test you for HCV.
More than 1 million people are hospitalized annually for pneumonia (CDC.gov). Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs that can cause coughing, fever, chest pain and shortness of breath. Pneumonia can be caused by infections such as bacteria, viruses and other germs. Certain people are at higher risk of getting pneumonia, including smokers, the elderly and people with underlying health problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes mellitus and congestive heart failure. Vaccination can reduce the risk of certain forms of pneumonia and is recommended for patients at age 65 or older, for persons with underlying health problems and for smokers.
Clostridium difficile (C-diff for short) is a bacterium that can be found in the environment and the human digestive system. The bacteria do not cause problems until they grow in abnormally large numbers in someone taking antibiotics or certain other medications. In that situation, C-diff can cause a severe diarrheal illness which can be potentially life-threatening.
Outpatient Parenteral (IV) Antimicrobial Therapy (OPAT)
OPAT is a mechanism by which individuals who have stable infections requiring long-term IV antibiotics can receive therapy outside of the hospital in an infusion center, at home or in a skilled nursing facility. Under the guidance of infectious disease specialists, OPAT has been shown to be safe and effective and allows individuals to return to normal daily activities. Every year, the physicians at the Beacon Center take care of approximately 350 patients receiving OPAT. Click here to watch a patient education video about IV antibiotic treatment.
Vaccine and Travel Medicine Program
Get detailed travel advice, vaccinations and medications from experienced ID providers through Boulder Community Health’s Worldwide Travel Medicine Clinic.
Wound Healing Center
This multidisciplinary clinic includes an ID physician, surgeon, podiatrist and wound care nurses offering patient-focused, evidence-based and outcome-driven treatment designed to get your wound healed as quickly as possible so you can get your life back.