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University of Iowa News Release


May 16, 2007

Emergency Medical Services Professionals To Be Honored

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) specialists at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics will be among those honored across the nation next week during the 33rd annual EMS Week celebration.

The American College of Emergency Physicians is organizing the event throughout the nation May 20-27. The event brings together local communities and medical personnel to promote safety and honor the dedication of those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving emergency services on the medical "front line."

The Emergency Medical Services Learning Resources Center (EMSLRC) at the UI is Iowa's largest EMS education center and a critical resource for the state's EMS systems. The EMSLRC teaches more than 6,000 students each year and offers a variety of courses from basic CPR certification to paramedic specialist certification and Advanced Trauma Life Support for physicians.

The Emergency Medicine Simulation Center, located in the EMSLRC, is a state-of-the-art educational facility that uses computerized patient simulators to train EMS students. The simulators have a pulse, a blood pressure, breathe, talk and can undergo the same lifesaving procedures that are necessary to care for critically ill and/or injured persons. The simulators are used to train doctors, nurses, paramedics and others to provide optimal emergency care for critically ill or injured patients.

The EMSLRC staff teaches more than 100 different courses a year; approximately half of those courses are conducted outside the Iowa City area. Since its initiation in 1978, the EMSLRC has provided EMS programs for physicians, physician assistants, nurses and emergency medical technicians in 16 states and three foreign nations.

To help meet the demand for more residency-trained emergency medicine physicians on the front line, UI Hospitals and Clinics created Iowa's only Emergency Medicine Residency Training Program in 2004.

"The residents who entered the program three years ago are now about to become our first graduates," said Eric Dickson, M.D., professor and head of the UI Department of Emergency Medicine and director of emergency medical services at the UI. "As they graduate, we expect them to return to their communities and be leaders in EMS. They represent a critical step in improving emergency care for all the citizens of Iowa."

For more information on programming and a course calendar, call 319-356-2597 or visit the EMSLRC Web site at

Since its initiation in April 1979, more than 20,000 patients have been transported by the AirCare helicopters based at UI Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City and at Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo. AirCare helicopters rapidly transport critically ill and severely injured patients, delivering medical care en route with an emphasis on supporting high-risk patients, including trauma, neonate, and other time-sensitive, complex medical conditions. AirCare I, based at UI Hospitals and Clinics, serves central and eastern Iowa and western Illinois. AirCare II, based at Covenant Medical Center, responds to calls from north-central and northeastern Iowa. AirCare is the only flight program in Iowa affiliated with an emergency medicine residency program and is the state's only flight program supplementing its medical crew with physicians. AirCare was the first hospital-based emergency air medical program in Iowa and one of the first programs in the nation. AirCare has flown more than 20,000 missions and two million miles since its inception.

As a trauma and critical referral center, the Emergency Treatment Center provides care to Iowa's most critically ill children and adults. The Emergency Treatment Center is the entry point for the region's only Level I Trauma Center and Iowa's most comprehensive hospital. The Emergency Treatment Center receives approximately 2,500 helicopter and 10,000 ground ambulance transports each year and cares for patients from every county in the state. The Emergency Treatment Center and Level I Trauma Center reported 35,069 visits from patients in 2006, compared to 32,768 visits in 2005.

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,