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University of Iowa News Release

May 14, 2003

Emergency Medical Services Professionals Recognized

Trauma specialists and other emergency medical services professionals at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics will join their colleagues across the nation in celebrating Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week May 18-24.

"EMS professionals stand ready to respond to the medical needs of their communities," said G. Patrick Kealey, M.D., professor and director of the Burn Treatment Center and Trauma Service and vice chair of the UI department of surgery. "It is important for all of us to celebrate EMS Week and recognize these individuals who would give their lives to save our lives."

UI Hospitals and Clinics houses one of only two verified Level I trauma centers in Iowa. More than 30,000 patients received care there and in the Emergency Treatment Center last year.

"The health care that our patients receive begins with the EMS professionals on the scene. Their role is essential to ensuring that we achieve the best outcome possible for injured and ill patients," said Andrew Nugent, M.D., interim director of the Program in Emergency Medicine.

"EMS professionals have recently placed greater emphasis upon being ready to respond to large-scale disasters and bioterror attacks," said Fred Hansen, M.D., professor (clinical) in the Program in Emergency Medicine and medical director of the Emergency Medical Services Learning Resources Center (EMSLRC). "Agencies across the state are working to coordinate their efforts and enhance their ability to protect the public."

The EMSLRC was established in 1978 to develop and conduct comprehensive statewide educational programs in emergency medicine for physicians, physician assistants, nurses, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics. Since its opening, the EMSLRC has provided EMS programs for more than 70,000 health care professionals and citizens in 16 states and two foreign nations. The EMSLRC staff members offer their nationally accredited Paramedic Specialist Full-time Training Program twice each year.

National EMS Week will feature hundreds of grassroots activities coast to coast, as well as a national event in Washington, D.C. in conjunction with D.C. Fire & EMS. Activities will be planned around this year's theme, "EMS: When It Matters Most," which underscores the commitment and dedication of the 750,000 EMS providers who serve their communities.

The weeklong series of events will include national and local activities to honor EMS providers - paramedics, EMTs, first responders, fire fighters and the police - to raise public awareness about health and safety issues, including how to prevent injuries and what to do in a medical emergency. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program join American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) as organizational sponsors of EMS Week.

Two special observances will occur during EMS Week:

May 21 - Annual Emergency Medical Services for Children Day. This day focuses on drawing national attention to the essential need for specialized emergency care for children to ensure that every child in the nation receives the highest quality emergency care possible, from primary prevention to acute care and rehabilitation.

May 24 - Annual National Moment of Silence. The National EMS Memorial Service in Roanoke, Va., organizes this national event to honor and remember the nation's EMS providers who have made the ultimate sacrifice and given their lives in the line of duty. All EMS and communications agencies participating observe 60 seconds of radio silence on this day at 7 p.m. (EDT).

For more information, call toll free (800) 798-1822 (touch 6), visit ACEP's EMS Week Web site at www.acep.org/emsweek, or contact ACEP by e-mail at emsweek@acep.org.

ACEP is a national medical society with more than 23,000 members who specialize in emergency medicine. ACEP is committed to improving the quality of emergency care through continuing education, research and public education. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. A Government Services Chapter represents emergency physicians employed by military branches and other government agencies.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at http://www.uihealthcare.com.

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Planning, Marketing and Communications, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room 8798 JPP, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

CONTACT(S): Tom Moore, 319-356-3945, thomas-moore@uiowa.edu.