Who We Are

Surgical Wound Care Services

Surgical Wound Care Services was founded by Dr. Paul Ferraro, D.O., a board-certified General Surgeon with 15 years of experience in surgery and wound care. He was inspired to pursue surgery during his nearly 10 years of service as a special forces medic. Wound care management is the perfect marriage of his experiences, from emergency treatment on the battlefield to surgical care at patients' bedsides.

Dr. Paul Ferraro, D.O.

His interest in wound care stemmed from a desire to follow his patients' well-being all the way from surgery through long-term care. He began visiting nursing homes himself, but demand out-grew his availability, so he started bringing in nursing staff.

All of the nursing staff at Surgical Wound Care Services have experienced backgrounds in wound care and a dedicated interest in seeing patients find genuine recovery. They make weekly visits to our nursing home partners to check up on patients and provide regular wound care maintenance. They have direct oversight from Dr. Ferraro, who is on-call whenever surgical services are required and who provides guidance should a patient need a change in direction in their wound care treatment. This level of staff experience and local oversight is unavailable from any of our competitors.

Education:
• Doctorate: University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine
• Bachelor's: Southwest Missouri State University
• Internship and residency: Western Reserve Hospital

Current positions:
• Director of wound care, Select Specialty Hospital
• Medical Director at Summa Barberton Hospital Wound Care Center                                                                                                   • Director of wound care, Summa Rehab

Associations:
• American College of Osteopathic Surgeons
• American Osteopathic Association
• American Medical Association

Althea Premraj, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, CWOCN

Certified Nurse Specialist

Althea was born, raised, educated and spent most of her life in India. She is married with two daughters, both are nurses, married and have kids. Althea served in the Indian Military Nursing Services for about 15 years, traveled all over India. She has been a nurse for over 35 years and has loved each moment of the profession. Coming to this country opened up a lot of opportunities for her, not only for work but education as well. Althea got interested in wounds while working and saw a window of opportunity for career growth. She went back to school, working full time, graduated with BSN from Indiana Wesleyan University, so she could get into the Wound Ostomy Continence School, which required BSN. She completed WOCN certification and continued to obtain MSN and completion of APRN. Finally, after a very long struggle juggling between work, school and being a grandmother, Althea graduated with MSN from Kent State University. She obtained her CNS (Clinical Nurse Specialist) certification. She joined SWCS with Dr. Ferraro in January 2016. Her specialty as an APRN is Adult Gerontology and her passion is wound ostomy care. Althea loves to see the wound heal and help patients in their time of need with ostomy care.

McKenzie Christie, RN, APRN-CNP, FNP-C, OCA

Certified Nurse Practitioner

McKenzie has been a Nurse Practitioner with SWCS since December 2016. She received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Kent State University in 2012. Previously, she worked as a Registered Nurse at Cleveland Clinic Main Campus in the Heart Failure ICU and St. Thomas Summa Wound Care Center. McKenzie graduated from Malone University's Master of Science program as a Family Nurse Practitioner in 2016. In 2019, McKenzie obtained her Ostomy Care Associate Certification. McKenzie currently rounds in long term care facilities and Select Speciality Hospital in the Youngstown area. Her favorite part of providing wound care is seeing her patients' every week and forming a relationship with them.

When not at work, McKenzie enjoys spending time outside, gardening, and spending time with her husband and son, Brady.

Dorothy Myers, RN, MSN, AGNP-C, WCC

Certified Adult-Gero Nurse Practitioner

Dorothy was hired by SWCS in June 2019. She graduated from Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing (CWRU) in Janurary 2019 with a Master of Science in Nursing degree. Her academic career has consisted of a Master of Nursing from CWRU and a Bachelor of Science in Business degree from The Ohio State University. Her nursing career consists of over 18 years of experience with 13 years spent at Summa Wound Care Center in the outpatient setting. She is a current member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. In 2020 she was certified as an Ostomy Certified Associate.
Dorothy is passionate about caring for wounded patients and their families. She was a dedicated case manager and clinical manager during her tenure at Summa. She participated in several Heal Ohio conferences where she presented information on types of wounds and wound care modalities. She believes in quality healthcare delivery and strives for positive patient outcomes and satisfaction. “The best part of caring for wounded patients is having the opportunity of getting to know them, developing a partnering relationship and having the satisfaction of healing them so that they can go on living their lives to the fullest capacity-wound free.”
In her free time, Dorothy enjoys watching her son play high school football and marching in the band. She also enjoys visiting her daughter, siblings and Dad who live in Columbus Ohio.

Katie Whitacre, APRN-CNP, FNP-C, WCC, OCA/WCA

Certified Nurse Practitioner

Katie was born in Akron, Ohio. Graduated Mogadore High School in 2001 and began her nursing career as a state tested Nursing Assistant. She began her wound care experience at that time while attending her under graduate education at the University of Akron. Katie completed her Bachelors degree in Nursing with a minor in Psychology at Walsh University in 2008. She then completed her MSN while working full time as the regional wound and ostomy RN at Summa Wadsworth and Barberton Hospital for 5 years. Katie obtained her Wound Care Certification in 2012 and Ostomy Management Specialist in 2013.

Katie has been married since 2010 and has a beautiful daughter, Isabella. Katie enjoys baking, gardening and spending time with her family.

Halei Stebbins, RN, MSN, FNP-BC

Certified Nurse Practitioner

Halei, originally from Louisiana, where she graduated form Northwestern State University with her Bachelor's degree in Nursing. She started her career in Pediatric Private Practice in Houston, Texas. After moving to Ohio, her career led her to Labor and Delivery with OR circulation. Halei graduated with her Master's degree with a focus on Family Practice in 2019 from Chamberlain University. She is a member of ONA, ANCC, and Sigma Theta Tau. In 2021, Halei obtained her Ostomy Care Associate Certification and Wound Treatment Associate. She is certified in BLS, ACLS, and HBO. She currently rounds at long term care facilities in the Canton, Ohio area and at Summa Akron City Hospital. In her free time, Halei enjoys hanging out with her husband and two children, traveling, trying new foods, and painting.

Chelsea Bremke, RN, APRN-CNP, FNP-C, WCC

Certified Nurse Practitioner

Chelsea was born in Cleveland, Ohio and had a passion for helping people since she was little. She graduated from the University of Akron with her bachelor degree in nursing in 2015, and started working in a local emergency department in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. While working in the emergency department, her love for wound care evolved as she assisted with acute and chronic wounds. Shortly after working as a registered nurse, Chelsea attended Kent State University and obtained her masters degree in nursing in 2019 as a family nurse practitioner. In 2019, she started practicing as a family medicine provider who also provided wound care in local long term care facilities and assisted living centers. Her passion for providing wound care to others continued to grow, and in 2020 she obtained her wound care certification (WCC) through the national alliance of wound care and ostomy (NAWCO). Chelsea loves being able to help patients with their wound care goals and strive for the best outcomes and possibilities.

In her free time, she enjoys gardening, taking care of her little farm, and spending time with her family and friends (especially her husband and son, Emmett!)