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  • Tuesday, November 18, 2014 9:23 AM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)
    Mayo Clinic Health System Northwest Wisconsin region’s Ambulance Services will become part of Gold Cross Ambulance on Thursday, Jan. 1. This change affects Ambulance Services based in Barron and Osseo.

     

    The integration will be reflected by changes in reporting structure and rebranded vehicles and employee uniforms during the first quarter of 2015. Ambulance Services employees will continue to be based at the Barron and Osseo hospitals, and their job tasks and responsibilities throughout the hospitals will remain the same. Mayo Clinic Health System and Gold Cross employees will remain Mayo Clinic employees. No employee will lose his or her job as a result of the integration.


    This transition is the result of ongoing integration over the past 10 years and is similar to other integration throughout Mayo Clinic Health System, such as Information Technology and the ambulance service in Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea, Minnesota joining Gold Cross in 2013.

     

    “The goal is to reduce the effort and liability we have invested in operating a stand-alone ambulance service at Mayo Clinic Health System in Barron and Osseo by relying on Mayo Clinic’s ambulance service to provide infrastructure and expertise,” says Rita Sullivan, Administration. “This is more than a change in uniform and ambulance branding. It’s an integration of our patient care and safety culture at a time when Mayo Clinic is positioning itself for health care reform.”

     

    This integration allows for coordinated medical direction and protocols, fleet management, materials management and other quality and safety initiatives.


    The Northwest Wisconsin Gold Cross team will be led by Kirk Gunderson, Gold Cross. He will work with closely with operational leadership in Barron and Osseo.

     

    Barron and Osseo’s ambulance services began serving their communities in 1966 and 1971, respectively. Gold Cross, which began operations in 1962 and became part of Mayo Clinic in 1994, has served the Eau Claire region since 1995. Gold Cross is a service of Mayo Clinic Medical Transport, which also includes Mayo One, Mayo MedAir and the Mayo Emergency Communications Center. Together, the team offers 143 years of emergency medical service and experience.
    Northwest Wisconsin Ambulance Services to Join Mayo Gold Cross


    Mayo Clinic Health System Northwest Wisconsin region’s Ambulance Services will become part of Gold Cross Ambulance on Thursday, Jan. 1. This change affects Ambulance Services based in Barron and Osseo.

     

    The integration will be reflected by changes in reporting structure and rebranded vehicles and employee uniforms during the first quarter of 2015. Ambulance Services employees will continue to be based at the Barron and Osseo hospitals, and their job tasks and responsibilities throughout the hospitals will remain the same. Mayo Clinic Health System and Gold Cross employees will remain Mayo Clinic employees. No employee will lose his or her job as a result of the integration.


    This transition is the result of ongoing integration over the past 10 years and is similar to other integration throughout Mayo Clinic Health System, such as Information Technology and the ambulance service in Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea, Minnesota joining Gold Cross in 2013.

     

    “The goal is to reduce the effort and liability we have invested in operating a stand-alone ambulance service at Mayo Clinic Health System in Barron and Osseo by relying on Mayo Clinic’s ambulance service to provide infrastructure and expertise,” says Rita Sullivan, Administration. “This is more than a change in uniform and ambulance branding. It’s an integration of our patient care and safety culture at a time when Mayo Clinic is positioning itself for health care reform.”

     

    This integration allows for coordinated medical direction and protocols, fleet management, materials management and other quality and safety initiatives.


    The Northwest Wisconsin Gold Cross team will be led by Kirk Gunderson, Gold Cross. He will work with closely with operational leadership in Barron and Osseo.

     

    Barron and Osseo’s ambulance services began serving their communities in 1966 and 1971, respectively. Gold Cross, which began operations in 1962 and became part of Mayo Clinic in 1994, has served the Eau Claire region since 1995. Gold Cross is a service of Mayo Clinic Medical Transport, which also includes Mayo One, Mayo MedAir and the Mayo Emergency Communications Center. Together, the team offers 143 years of emergency medical service and experience.
  • Monday, November 17, 2014 9:19 AM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)

    Mark Fredrickson has been named the new executive director at Gold Cross Ambulance in Menasha (Appleton). Fredrickson will replace Jack Hill, who will retire Jan. 31 after 29 years at Gold Cross. Fredrickson will assume his new role Feb. 1.


    “Three years ago we developed a strategic plan for succession and enlisted outside experts to help guide us,” Thomas Veeser, Gold Cross Ambulance Service board president and chief nursing officer at Affinity Health System, said in a statement. “The board agreed Mark is the right person to succeed Jack and continue to move Gold Cross forward as the leader in providing the best in EMS care in northeast Wisconsin.”


    Fredrickson began with Gold Cross 25 years ago as a paramedic. He has been operations director since 2000. He serves on the Wisconsin EMS Board, where he was recently appointed by Gov. Scott Walker to a fourth three-year term. He also serves on the board of the North Central EMS Institute, and is a co-founder, past president and current board member of the Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin (PAAW).


    A search is underway for Fredrickson’s successor as the operations leader.

    Gold Cross provides paramedic-level care for 911 medical emergencies and non-emergency transport services to more than 260,000 people in portions of Outagamie, Winnebago, Calumet and Waupaca counties, responding to more than 17,000 calls each year. It is jointly owned by Affinity Health System and ThedaCare.

  • Friday, November 14, 2014 8:35 AM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)

    Starting Jan. 1, the Prescott Ambulance Service will be consolidated with the River Falls Emergency Medical Services.


    "By combining the strengths of both organizations, we can offer a higher level of service to Prescott and surrounding communities," said Joe Rohl, Prescott Fire and EMS Association president. "While Prescott EMS has been an exceptional partner to our communities, we felt now was the time to expand on our services. Consolidating with River Falls (EMS) will allow us to provide additional services to the region."


    The Wisconsin Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board licenses Prescott as an Advanced EMT ambulance service.


    Under its consolidation with River Falls, River Falls EMS will assume the ambulance license, upgrade the license to Critical Care Paramedic and perform all operational duties and be accountable to the Prescott Area Fire and EMS Association.


    "We are honored and excited to be the EMS partner for the city of Prescott," said Jeff Rixmann, River Falls EMS Director. "In many ways, EMS providers are on the front line when it comes to public health.


    “We are committed to providing the tools, talents, and technology to enhance the exceptional care your communities already receive."


    "We look positively towards teaming with Prescott to jointly provide the best patient care to the residents going forward."


    To ensure continuity of service, River Falls will hire the Prescott (EMS) employees who wish to work for River Falls EMS.


    The Emergency Medical Services will continue to operate out of the existing Prescott Facility, with additional support coming from River Falls.


    River Falls EMS provides Critical Care Paramedic level services for the residents in the city of River Falls and Prescott, and towns of Clifton, Oak Grove, and River Falls in Pierce County, and towns of Pleasant Valley, Kinnickinnic, Troy and Warren in St. Croix County.


    River Falls EMS serves some 45,000 people and has a rural service coverage area of 220 square miles.


    Source:  River Falls Journal


  • Wednesday, November 12, 2014 8:38 AM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)

    The November Community Paramedicine Insights Forum will feature a CP program in Colorado which was one of the three first round CMS Innovation grant awardees, and which has found ways to utilize telemedicine services in its patient care.  


    The guest speaker is Becky Sproul, a community paramedic who coordinates the CP program and telemedicine services for the Pagosa Springs Medical Center, a critical access hospital. She will also offer some insight about the support and interest of the CMS staff with whom she has extensively interacted in the development of community paramedicine.

     

    The webinar will be at 2 PM Central Time on Monday, November 17th. 

     

    If you wish to attend the webinar, please go to http://cpif.communityparamedic.org and register. You will receive webinar sign on information by Monday morning for the afternoon show.


    The webinar is sponsored by the National Association of State EMS Officials.


  • Sunday, November 09, 2014 8:40 AM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)

    On November 9, the Wisconsin EMS Office emailed the attached document for an important ventilator recall. 


    If your service(s) are currently using these ventilators for inter-facility transports, please follow the link to see if your ventilator is one that is designated under the recall. 


    If your ventilator is included, do not use it for patient care until the software issue can be remedied.


  • Monday, November 03, 2014 8:42 AM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)


    The National Association of State Emergency Medical Services Officials (NASEMSO) announced today a cooperative agreement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to develop a comprehensive set of EMS performance measures.


    “We’re excited because measuring performance is the first step toward improving it,” said NASEMSO Executive Director Dia Gainor. “Developing a set of performance measures will give EMS agencies across the country the ability to ensure they are providing high-quality, patient-centered care. We see this as a huge opportunity to transform how we do EMS in this country.”


    The two-year project, funded by NHTSA, will engage a wide range of EMS stakeholders to develop performance measures that are relevant to EMS agencies, regulators, and patients. The measures will be based on the latest National EMS Information System (NEMSIS) version data and will allow local and state EMS agencies to use their own data meaningfully. The project will facilitate an inclusive and open development process, with participation from dozens of EMS and healthcare experts and organizations and multiple opportunities for input and public comment.


    “NHTSA is very pleased to be partnering with NASEMSO and with EMS providers across the United States on this project,” said Drew Dawson, director of the NHTSA Office of EMS. “This is the next step in helping EMS, from ambulance services and other emergency medical services, to government agencies, and ultimately the communities and patients they serve.”


  • Saturday, October 25, 2014 9:31 AM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)
    According to the State of Wisconsin EMS website, the EMS office underwent a status change, effective October 1, 2014.  Formerly considered an “EMS Unit” these past few years, the office was upgraded and reinstated to its former classification as “Section”, and is referred to the “EMS Section” within state government.

     

    While the move doesn’t bring back the glory years dating back to the late 1990’s and early 2000’s when the EMS office was considered a “Bureau”, the move to Section is nonetheless welcomed.

  • Thursday, October 16, 2014 2:37 PM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)

    As Ebola ignites fear of a widespread outbreak, it's easy to overlook the fact that a common illness actually poses a far more serious threat to thousands of people in the U.S. Every year the flu kills between 3,000 and as many as 49,000 Americans, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports.


    Flu season starts in October, and it remains to be seen how severe this year's flu season will turn out to be. But even in a mild year, the flu takes a deadly toll.

    "The flu is easy to dismiss, especially among young healthy adults who think that they can just 'fight' the illness," Dr. Sudip Bose, an emergency medicine physician and former U.S. army doctor told CBS News. Even so, "Influenza A can wipe out the most vulnerable patients, including children, senior citizens and people with medical conditions."


    Ninety percent of flu-related deaths are among people age 65 or older. Young children are also at risk; during the 2012-2013 flu season, 169 children died, according to the CDC.


    Emergency room doctors normally see a 10 percent increase in the number of patients during cold and flu season. But this year they're expecting to see a much bigger influx of people worried that their flu-like symptoms could be something they've seen on the news.


    "Due to the nature of what's going on in the community and also in the world, especially with Ebola and enterovirus," the uptick in patients would not be surprising, said Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.


    Glatter says hospitals like his are taking steps to be prepared for whatever walks through the door. "We have all protocols in place to isolate people, whether it's concern for Ebola or flu, we're always prepared," he told CBS News' Marlie Hall.

    Initial symptoms of the two illnesses can look similar: fever, aches and fatigue. In order to tell the difference, one of the key factors medical staff will be looking for is a patient's travel history -- whether a person had recently been in one of the West African countries where Ebola is more widespread.


    "The kinds of illnesses they could have are directly influenced by where they've been," Glatter explained.


    Ebola is transmitted only through contact with the bodily fluids of someone who's sick and exhibiting symptoms of the disease, which progress to gastrointestinal illness and sometimes hemorrhaging, experts say. It has a fatality rate ranging from 50 to 90 percent.


    The flu, by contrast, is far less lethal but much more easily transmissible. The flu virus can go airborne and spread through coughing or sneezing, as well as by touching contaminated surfaces or even shaking hands.


    Complications of the flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, and the worsening of more severe conditions like asthma, heart failure and diabetes.


    To stay out of the ER or doctor's office with a case of the flu this season, now is the time to get vaccinated, health officials say. Flu shots or nasal sprays are readily available and usually effective.


    "Many people don't get vaccinated because they think that the immunization gives them the flu," said Dr. Randy Wexler, associate professor of family medicine at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. But that is a misconception, he said. "[Vaccinations] may cause achiness and fatigue, but they do not cause the flu."

    Wexler added that elderly often forgo vaccinations, even though they're at risk for more serious complications. "Add it all up, and a lot of people, particularly those at risk, do not take the best precaution which is vaccination."


    "At the end of the day, focus on the bigger responsibility," warns Bose. "Flu prevention is not just about you. [Getting vaccinated] can prevent grandma or babies from getting sick too."


    The CDC lists several flu vaccine options for the 2014-2015 flu season. It notes that traditional flu vaccines, made to protect against three different flu viruses (called "trivalent" vaccines), and flu vaccines made to protect against four different flu viruses (called "quadrivalent" vaccines) are both available. Good hand-washing habits and using hand sanitizers can also cut down on the spread of the flu virus.

    "The take-home message is that the flu is preventable," said Dr. Matthew Levy of John Hopkins Emergency Medicine unit. "Although the flu receives far less attention [than Ebola], it's a much bigger threat."


    Source:  CBS Interactive Inc.

  • Thursday, October 16, 2014 2:35 PM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)

    On Friday October 17, 2014 at 2:00pm, the Division of Public Health will host a webcast for healthcare agencies and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to provide information on preparing for and responding to Ebola, which will include a brief situation update as well as time for questions and answers.


    Here is the webcast link: http://dhsmedia.wi.gov/main/Play/b990f09390c1495fab0ebad6cfdc067b1d


    The session will be recorded and archived.  Once the webcast concludes please use the above link to view the recorded session.


    The Department of Health Services continues to work with local public health agencies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hospitals, EMS, emergency management,  medical examiners and coroners, and other partners to prepare for potential Ebola cases.

  • Wednesday, October 15, 2014 9:20 AM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)
    Orange Cross Ambulance Service and Plymouth Ambulance Service have merged into one company that will serve the City of Sheboygan, surrounding communities and the western part of Sheboygan County.

     

    The merger, announced Thursday, was effective Wednesday, Oct. 1.

     

    Andy Bagnall, president and CEO of St. Nicholas Hospital and the president of Orange Cross, said the merger came about after months of talks between the two organizations.

    “We have the same role in our distinct communities,” Bagnall said. “We realized quickly we can be pretty strong together through shared services, shared structures.”

     

    Terry Abler, president of Plymouth Ambulance Service, was not available for comment. But in a press release, Abler said the merger will help both ambulance services stay strong into the future.

     

    “By coming together, we will enhance the quality of service we provide to the City of Plymouth and western portion of Sheboygan County,” he said. “We can ensure longterm sustainability by streamlining operations, taking advantage of shared services and providing long-term financial strength for our communities.”

     

    Orange Cross Ambulance Service began in 1979, operates as a 50/50 joint venture of Aurora Health Care and St. Nicholas Hospital and provides paramedic-level, critical care ambulance service. Plymouth Ambulance Service has been in service for more than 20 years.

     

    Orange Cross will retain its locations in Sheboygan and Plymouth, and it will continue to be a non-profit entity.

     

    During the transition period, which will take several months, Plymouth Ambulance Service will retain its logo on ambulances.

     

    Eventually, the logo and the name will be phased out and the Plymouth Ambulance Service corporation will be dissolved, Bagnall said.

     

    As part of the transition, an advisory committee made up of members of the defunct Plymouth Ambulance Service board of directors will monitor how well the new service is being received and advise Orange Cross on improvement, Bagnall said.

     

    Orange Cross averages 3,600 runs per year and has 31 employees. Plymouth Ambulance averages 1,700 runs per year and has 36 employees.

     

    Currently, Bagnall said, there are no plans to cut the number of employees from either organization.

     

    “As of right now, we’re not looking at that,” he said. “We’re really focused on merging, trying to figure out how to have the two cultures combine. We have a lot more similarities than differences.”


    Source:  Sheboygen Press

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