Johnson Memorial Health Services (JMHS) of Dawson was honored March 16 during the Ag Day and Health Fair as one of seven hospitals in the State of Minnesota to be designated as a Comprehensive Advance Life Support (CALS) facility. The certification process took JMHS two years to complete the lifesaving emergency medical curriculum.
Stacey Lee, JMHS CEO, introduced Dr. Darrell L. Carter of ACMC in Granite Falls during the presentation at the Dawson-Boyd Community Center.
“Comprehensive Advanced Life Supports, or CALS, is a program designed to provide training in lifesaving emergency medical care. It originated in Minnesota in 1996 as a result of collaboration among emergency medicine and family physicians, rural practitioners and academic specialists, and nurses, nurse practitioners, PA’s, paramedics and other health care providers,” he noted.
CALS has trained over 9,000 healthcare professionals and has been selected by the U.S. State Department as the preferred source of emergency medical training for our U.S. Embassies located around the world. They have conducted CALS courses in 10 states, including Wisconsin and Montana, who have developed their own CALS programs with local instructors. In addition, training has been done in Canada and eight other foreign countries.
CALS prepares the participant to evaluate and treat time-sensitive, life or organ threatening emergencies in the whole sphere of medicine including the critically ill or injured patient who may have experienced trauma, cardiac, stroke, respiratory, OB, pediatric or neonatal emergencies. The program maintains a rural focus to help healthcare teams working in rural areas with resources such as specialized equipment that may not be available. They use a team approach for training and real-world practice and advocates a systems-based approach that links healthcare institutions and providers at all levels and stages of emergency care.
Dr. Carter said that the benefits they see for a CALS hospital is becoming a leader in the field, enhanced recruitment potential as CALS certification becomes a benchmark for quality training and practice, membership in a community of like-minded institutions and educational opportunities for staff.
“In order to qualify as a CALS Hospital, the applicant institution must meet a number of stringent criteria for staff training, up-to-date technology and evidence of commitment to the CALS principles. Today, I’m delighted to announce that Johnson Memorial Health Services has met these requirements and your dedication to high-quality emergency care is being recognized with the designation as a CALS Hospital. Congratulations JMHS as being named a CALS Hospital,” said Dr. Carter.
Photo cutline: CALS director Dr. Darrell L. Carter presented JMHS Chief of Staff Dr. Ayaz Virji with a plaque designating the hospital certified in Comprehensive Advanced Life Support during the Ag Day/Health Fair held March 16 in Dawson. Shown from the left are Stacey Lee, JMHS (CEO); Lori Andreas (COO) Dr. Ralph Gerbig, Care Center and Ambulance Director; Dr. Darrell L. Carter of Granite Falls; Dr. Ayaz Virji, Chief of Staff at JMHS, Carla Lee, FNP; Jen Erdmann, Assistant Hospital Director of Nurses; Moncia Dessonville, LPN; Courtney Bothun, RN; Julie Erdmann, RN and Mikkel Conover, RN. Not present for the presentation but CALS certified were Jill Christie, FNP; Julie Olson, PA/FNP; Sue Helgeson, RN; Pam Kloster, RN; Robin Nohrenberg, RN; Kristi Gruwell, RN; Maggie Pehrson, RN; Deb Gee, RN; Marilee Landmark, RN; Mary Helgeson, RN; Nicole Stock, LPN; Ross Schaefer, LPN and Cindy Benson, LPN. Jodi Streich, ward secretary, has also been instrumental in this accomplishment by coordinating sending staff to the CALS courses.