The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and Indian Health Services’ Work Session was held at the IHS Omaha-Winnebago Hospital in Winnebago, Nebraska on November 17, 2016, the day before our first snowfall in Nebraska. The meeting was attended onsite in person by over 30 IHS and AB Staffing physicians, nursing, quality and leaders from IHS facilities throughout the nation. Several sites called into the session individually and with colleagues from conference rooms. Overall this initiation of the collaboration between IHS and ACEP was well attended.
The agenda included opening remarks from Mr. Gary Wabaunsee, CEO Omaha Winnebago Hospital, Ms. Mary L. Smith IHS Principal Deputy Director, Dr. Lee Lawrence, Great Plains Area CMO and Dr. Vindell Washington, HHS National Coordinator for Health IT. Dr. Jay Kaplan provided a dynamic engaging presentation about leadership, responsibility and workflow in the emergency room. Dr. Robert Galli talked about the importance and capacity for emergency telemedicine. Dr. Thomas Wyatt a Native physician and past president from the ACEP Minnesota Chapter shared his experiences working in rural hospitals for IHS and other facilities. Dr. Wyatt offered support for the Comprehensive Advanced Life Support (CALS) as an appropriate training program for emergency medical education for rural and remote locations. Dr. Wyatt encouraged cultural training for providers and briefly reviewed EMTALA regulations. Finally, Dr. Vindell Washington offered a wrap up and next steps session to close the work session. The whole day stirred a lively discussion about key IHS Emergency Department and provider issues.
ACEP advocates for physicians, patients and the public for the highest quality emergency care. The ACEP and IHS collaborative work session brings together top physicians and emergency medical professionals to share telehealth information, training resources and emergency care knowledge. The goal of this innovative work will be to improve the quality of care and management of patient care in the 26 emergency departments at IHS operated facilities throughout Indian health communities in the nation which further advances the IHS mission to raise the health status of American Indian and Alaska Native people. Additionally, this collaboration will allow sharing of best practices, models of care and policies throughout the Indian healthcare system for stronger partnerships with Tribes, local communities and broader health care systems.
The Great Plains Area Office would like to express our appreciation for the ACEP contributors, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and everyone who was able to attend the work session.
Dr. Lee Lawrence is the Chief Medical Officer for the Great Plains Area. He serves as the lead regional expert on IHS medical and public health services, providing technical leadership and guidance to facility CMO’s and clinical staff in the region.