O’FALLON, IL) – During National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week, HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital recognizes the tremendous role that local EMS partners make to improve health in this region and in communities across the nation.

According to the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT), President Gerald Ford authorized the first “National Emergency Medical Services Week” (EMS Week) In 1974 to celebrate EMS practitioners and the important work they do in our nation's communities.

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From hospitals’ perspective, EMS is an essential part of building a resilient health care system that functions efficiently and effectively every day and can respond to disasters and public health emergencies. These dedicated professionals strive for seamless care, from the field to the hospital emergency department or trauma center.

“The metro east has an incredible team to count on when it comes to medical emergencies – and pandemics,” said Dr. Jeff Shafer, emergency medicine physician and medical director of St. Elizabeth’s emergency department and EMS. “Paramedics, emergency medical technicians, first responders, dispatchers, emergency nurses, physician assistants and nurse practitioners, as well as all of the fire and rescue personnel, are exceptional. Our care team at HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital knows we are blessed to be a small part of this dedicated team who work tirelessly for our family and yours.”

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In April 2018, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital was formally recognized as a Region 4 EMS System Resource Hospital by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).

A Resource Hospital is a hospital with the authority and the responsibility for an EMS System as outlined in the IDPH-approved EMS System Program Plan. As the Resource Hospital for EMS entities, St. Elizabeth’s assumes responsibility for the entire EMS program of partnering agencies, including the clinical aspects, operations and educational programs. This hospital also provides medical supplies and equipment for participating EMS vehicles.

“Through these ongoing education programs and resources, EMS professionals will be able to grow their clinical skills and certifications which is a benefit for each patient and family they touch out in the field,” shared Brad Perry, EMT-P and Manager of Emergency Services at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.

Please join St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in thanking these everyday heroes during EMS week, May 17-23. “As we continue through these unprecedented times, we are proud to work alongside these outstanding individuals,” said Perry.

For more information about HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, visit steliz.org.

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