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VCU Health team members recognized for excellence in emergency prehospital care

The annual Old Dominion Emergency Medical Service Alliance awards highlight outstanding contributions and collaborations in emergency medical services.

Ambulance speeding toward emergency department VCU Health partners with our EMS colleagues on a daily basis. (VCU Enterprise Marketing and Communications)

By Sara McCloskey

More than half a dozen VCU Health team members were recently honored for going above and beyond in their commitment and contributions to emergency medical services (EMS) by the Old Dominion Emergency Medical Service Alliance (ODEMSA).

The ODEMSA awards recognize the important role prehospital providers play in providing emergency care to improve patient outcomes. As one of 11 regional EMS councils from across Virginia, ODEMSA is tasked by state law to assist in the development and implementation of the EMS delivery system.

Out of 13 ODEMSA awards, announced Nov. 14, 8 VCU Health team members were recognized. These team members work with VCU Medical Center, VCU LifeEvac, Virginia Commonwealth University and volunteer EMS organizations.

“From flight nurses and EMS liaisons to prehospital educators – it takes a whole team to ensure trauma patients who come to VCU Medical Center’s Level I trauma center receive comprehensive care,” said Michel Aboutanos, MD, chief of the Division of Acute Care Surgical Services at VCU Health, medical director of VCU Medical Center’s Level I Trauma Center and Trauma System Network and director of the VCU Injury and Violence Prevention Program. “We are extremely proud of our team members who continue to show unwavering support and dedication to our patients and to the field of emergency medicine.”

"I am very grateful to ODEMSA for their recognition of our team members this year in a variety of categories. Our team strives to bring evidence based prehospital care to the field and to the bedside,” said Harinder Dhindsa, MD, MPH, director of the Division of Emergency Medical Services at VCU Health and medical director for LifeEvac Critical Care Transport. “Our goal is to safely extend that same expertise to patients in the field. We are very proud of this year’s award recipients, and the efforts that this recognition symbolizes.”

The 2023 ODEMSA Awards Hall of Fame includes:

  • Excellence in EMS – Gregory Neiman, MS, NRP, NCEE, EMS Community Liaison
  • Outstanding EMS Prehospital Provider – Andrew Modrall, NRP, FP-C, base supervisor for VCU LifeEvac
  • Outstanding Contribution to EMS Health and Safety – William Aiken, VCU LifeEvac
  • Nurse with Outstanding Contribution to EMS – Matthew Jensen, RN, VCU LifeEvac
  • Outstanding Contribution to EMS for Children – Jennifer Farmer, NRP, RN, Lakeside Volunteer Rescue Squad and director of nursing for the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU’s Transitional Care Unit at Brook Road
  • Outstanding Prehospital Educator – Damien Coy, part-time EMS instructor at VCU Center for Trauma and Critical Care Education and EMS program director at Brightpoint Community College
  • Outstanding EMS Leadership – Beverly Harris, RN, BSN, CFRN, MSHA, NRP, FP-C, CMTE, aviation clinical site manager for VCU LifeEvac
  • Physician with Outstanding Contribution to EMS – Benjamin Nicholson, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at VCU School of Medicine

VCU Health partners with our EMS colleagues on a daily basis, from providing clinical feedback at the bedside to educational opportunities.

As the only American College of Surgeons (ACS) and American Burn Association (ABA) Level I trauma center in Central Virginia verified to serve adult, pediatric and burn trauma patients, providers and educators at VCU Medical Center have a unique set of skills to save lives after events resulting in serious injuries. More than 650 patients seen annually have burn injuries that are treated in a special part of our trauma center, the VCU Health Evans-Haynes Burn Center. VCU Health is also a leader in stroke care as the first certified Comprehensive Stroke Center in Virginia.

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