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Robert Ketchum Excellence in EMS Award

Featured article in the Mount Graham Minute- June 2022!

View the full Mount Graham Minute here

Many of us here in the Gila Valley are here because we chose the rural lifestyle, a lifestyle that comes with many perks such as, the outdoors, raising animals, strong community relationships, and so much more. With that we also understand that living in a rural community also comes with its risk, one of the greatest is the risk of death or severe injury resulting from trauma; this is mainly due to the time it takes to reach a trauma center.

From day one, MGRMC made the commitment to our community to provide you with the highest quality of care possible, this includes being able to treat those who are affected by trauma. Which is why in March 2014, MGRMC developed and became a designated level IV trauma center, with a trauma team on call 24/7. Our trauma team includes all our Emergency Department Physicians and mid-level providers, many nurses, and both of our general surgeons, as well as our ancillary departments all, are trained in Advanced Trauma.

However, a trauma event does not start when you enter our doors, and our trauma program would not be complete without our local first responders. “We are fortunate to have great EMS personnel locally, including several volunteer agencies, that participate in the trauma program and continued training. We are also very fortunate to have several great transporting agencies (like Life Net, Air Evac, and Ponderosa) to aid us in transferring the patient when more resources are needed, and the patient must be transferred to a higher level of care,” said Stacie Hincha, RN, CEN, CFRN, Director of Emergency Services.

As a community, we come together to make sure we can be there for our neighbors, friends, and sometimes our family members on their worst days. “You won’t find a more dedicated, supportive, and trained level IV rural trauma center,” said Shanna Cluff, RN and MGRMC’s Trauma Program Director, “We are always looking and implementing new changes as needed.”

MGRMC trauma program hosts a Quarterly Trauma Coordination and Training Meeting where we bring our entire trauma team, both inside and outside of the hospital, together. This allows us to review trauma events, talk about what was done right, ways to improve moving forward, and train together to ensure we can effectively come together as a team and provide our patients with the best care possible right from the start.

The quarter two M&M was held on Thursday, May 12, 2022; this meeting was significant for quite a few reasons. We were joined by Dr. Ali-Osman from St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Tucson, a level I trauma center many of our patients who need a higher level of care are transferred to. As he reviewed one of our past trauma cases, he complimented our prehospital team saying, “Trauma care is the ultimate team sport; everyone played their role and did their job very, very well. Everyone involved did what they needed to do to get this patient out of the hospital and home to their family.”

This is a great reminder that we have so many local heroes that have saved countless lives here in our community! The MGRMC trauma program also had the incredible honor of recognizing one of our local heroes, Robert Ketchum, CEP. Robert has served our community for over 30 years! “With outstanding distinctive service for a very prolonged period of time, we are proud of him and are glad to be able to do this,” says Bart Carter, MD, FACS, Chief Medical Officer and Trauma Medical Director.

Dr. Clay Hargis, DO and Kyle Lines, RN presented Robert with the Excellence in EMS Award for recognition of his life-saving efforts in prehospital trauma care, serving the citizens of Graham and Greenlee counties. Due to his long-standing service to our communities, we would like to further honor him by naming this award the Robert Ketchum Excellence in EMS Award, as he is the first to receive this award.

The MGRMC Trauma Program will move forward with the tradition of presenting this award to one of our local outstanding EMS providers. Each recipient will receive an award and their name will forever live on a plaque in our Emergency Department.