250352 Role of a Helicopter Emergency Services (HEMS) Program in Primary Injury Prevention and Education in the Communities It Serves

Monday, October 31, 2011

Harinder Dhindsa, MD, MPH, MBA , Emergency Medicine, Virginia Commwealth University, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, VA
Renee Reid, MD , Emergency Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, VA
Veronica Sikka, MD, PhD, MHA, MPH , Department of Emergency Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
Background: HEMS programs provide critical, life saving services. Many also provide vital primary injury prevention education to their communities. This is usually done without charge to participants or local/state governments. In Virginia, these contributions to prevention and emergency provider education often go unnoticed by state and local public health officials and do not get formally recorded as an overall part of larger injury prevention and education efforts. Objective/Purpose: The purpose of this study was to provide a descriptive analysis of contributions to primary injury prevention and education of emergency providers by one of three LifeEvac of Virginia(LEV) helicopter bases over a one year period. Methods: Outreach and education efforts for 2010 were analyzed with respect to the category of outreach, target audience, and number of attendees continuing education units (CEUs) awarded. Results: Outreach categories included: CEU lectures(31), Prevention awareness(15), Community Events(7), summer camps(6), School career days(6), and Awareness(4). A total of approximately 11,500 people attended these events. Of 31 continuing education lectures and 1,000 CEU credits awarded, 80% were awarded to rural EMS providers. LEV also participated in several community health fairs and helped organize and implement Project Impact, a joint program with VCU's Trauma Division for at risk inner-city youth. Conclusions: HEMS programs often provide essential injury prevention education to their communities specifically at risk youth, EMS, and the community at large. In this analysis, programs were provided at no cost and reached a large cross-section of the community.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Administration, management, leadership
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe how a helicopter emergency medical services(HEMS) program integrates primary injury prevention education into its mission to the community it serves. List examples of types of prevention and education efforts this HEMS program is involved in.

Keywords: Injury Prevention, EMS/Trauma

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an emergency medicine resident who is heavily involved in injury prevention education in the community as well as EMS provider education. Furthermore, I am very involved with LifeEvac, the Helicopter EMS program at Virginia Commonwealth University and it's injury prevention program.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.