A desire to deliver quality care runs through Dr. John Happel's veins.
Happel directs the first vein center in West Virginia to be granted accreditation in Superficial Venous Treatment and Management by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission.
Located in Elm Grove, the office specializes in the treatment of varicose and spider veins and is the fourth center in the nation to receive accreditation.
Receiving a stamp of approval by the IAC, a prestigious regulatory organization, signifies Happel Laser and Vein Center meets national standards for quality patient care.
The facility, like others that choose to complete the comprehensive application process, endured a detailed review of its operational and technical components by a panel of experts.
According to Happel, the millennium introduced a change in the treatment of varicose veins.
Because of new, more minimally-invasive technology, such treatment began shifting from hospital to office setting - one that removes the risks of general anesthesia and the costs associated with overnight stay.
"That shift has left regulation of vericose treatments like the Wild West," Happel said about the significance of his office receiving the IAC accreditation this past February.
Although the process is currently voluntary, he believes it will become mandatory in the coming years as self-proclaimed vein specialists - who have no formal training in venous disease outside of weekend courses - are treating patients.
Even the term board certified does not equate the necessary qualifications for treating venous disease and varicose veins.
"The public needs some type of agency or reassurance that they're getting proper safety and quality guaranteed in a hospital," he said.
An IAC stamp of approval is widely respected within the medical community.
National medical societies related to superficial venous disorders have displayed their support for the accreditation.
Further, as IAC approval is only good for three years, re-evaluation promotes continued quality control.
"Medicine is always changing. You have to keep up," said Happel, who received his vascular surgery training and vascular surgery fellowship at the Mayo Clinic.
He is Board Certified in Vascular Surgery and General Surgery; certified in vascular ultrasound interpretation and vascular technology; and holds degrees from the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers.