Emergency service providers honored

Emergency medical care personnel from Turner, Billings, Helena, Hamilton and Missoula to receive awards


The Department of Public Health and Human Service will honor Montana Emergency Medical Care personnel from Turner, Billings, Helena, Hamilton and Missoula during an awards ceremony today, Thursday, May 19 at 1 p.m. at the Capitol in Helena.


Representatives from Blaine County Ambulance II, American Medical Response Billings, Marcus Daly Hospital Ambulance, Lewis and Clark County 911 Dispatch Center, St. Patrick Hospital and St. Peter’s Hospital will be honored by Montana Lt. Governor Mike Cooney and Jim DeTienne, EMS and Trauma Systems Supervisor for DPHHS.


This event is part of National Emergency Medical Services Week held May 15-22, 2016. This year’s theme is “Called to Care”.


Lt. Governor Mike Cooney said Montana’s Emergency Medical responders, both paid and volunteer, provide a critical service to this state. “It’s such an honor to congratulate those who make sacrifices each and every day for their fellow Montanans,” he said. “These are people working in all corners of the state to help others in their time of crisis.”


DeTienne said, on average, Montana residents will need an ambulance service at least twice in his or her lifetime. “For some of these patients, delays in receiving emergency care could contribute to death or permanent injury,” he said. “As such, an integrated system of dispatchers, emergency responders and hospitals is a critical component of health care in Montana.”


Fortunately, DeTienne said, Montana EMS has made great strides in the past 40 years. Today, 9-1-1 dispatchers - the ‘first’ first responders - deploy over 3,300 EMTs and paramedics who serve on a network of 265 EMS services spread across most Montana communities. Those patients are transported to health professionals in hospitals large and small across Montana.

Nominated by their peers, awards will be presented to:


·         EMS Service of the Year Award, Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital EMS.


About Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital EMS: Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital EMS has consistently demonstrated dedication and willingness to strive for patient care excellence. Their responders go the extra mile to obtain education and licensure which enables them to provide the highest level of prehospital care for critically ill and injured patients. Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital EMS is also active in the community providing CPR and AED (automatic external defibrillators) education as well as participating in various career days and events outlining a day in the life of an emergency care provider.

·         Volunteer EMS Provider of the Year Award. Donnie and Bonnie Harmon, Blaine County II Ambulance

About Donnie and Bonnie Harmon: The Harmons are true EMS leaders in their community. Donnie was a founding member of the Blaine County II Ambulance in Turner in 1977 and Bonnie joined him as a responder in 1980. Bonnie was the chief for over 20 years and just recently retired from that role. She has been an EMT lead instructor for many years and has successfully trained over 100 EMTs during that time. The Harmons continue to respond to emergency calls for Blaine County II Ambulance. Fellow ambulance crew member Steve Leitner stated in his nomination letter: “I made a dual nomination for them because as a husband and wife EMT team they have made our service what it is today.”

·         Career EMS Provider of the Year Award. Koren Bloom, American Medical Response (AMR), Billings.


About Koren Bloom: Bloom is a paramedic with American Medical Response in Billings and has worked in EMS for the past 19 years. Several years ago Bloom became involved with the Safe Kids Coalition. She took the National Child Passenger Seat Safety Technician course and has worked with multiple organizations to promote and perform car seat check stations. She encouraged dozens of people to take the National Course and has developed a scheduling system so that community members have someplace to make sure that their child safety seats are properly installed. Bloom also works with other Safe Kids Programs including drowning prevention, gun safety, medication safety, choking prevention and sports injury prevention. She is a dedicated paramedic and advocate for the littlest citizens of Montana.


·         Emergency Medical Dispatcher of the Year Award. Jennifer Waites, Lewis and Clark County 9-1-1


About Jennifer Waites: Waites has been a 9-1-1 dispatcher for the Lewis and Clark County 9-1-1 Center since 2009. As an Emergency Medical Dispatcher, she receives the call for help and through providing expert, systematic caller interrogation she is able to determine the appropriate type of response to send. Using an Emergency Medical Dispatch program she is able to give pre-arrival instructions to the caller by using standardized protocols. Her nomination letter reads: “Jennifer is committed to resolutely performing her duties and making a difference in her community. She is truly a first responder and a ‘silent hero.’ Her steadfast and unwavering performance when handling medical emergency calls for help has earned her this recognition.”


·         Montana Trauma Providers of the Year, Dr. Bradley Pickhardt, Missoula and Jennie Nemec, Helena: Two trauma providers received awards this year.  Both consistently exhibit dedication to the trauma system through excellent patient care and a commitment to trauma education, injury prevention and community awareness.

About Dr. Bradley Pickhardt: Trauma Medical Director for Providence St. Patrick Hospital of Missoula, Dr. Pickhardt has been a surgeon in the Missoula area since 1990 and the Trauma Medical Director for over 15 years. He has been instrumental in building and maintaining the trauma program at this Regional Trauma Center. He has been a tireless advocate for the trauma patient, always ensuring everyone is striving for excellence in care delivery. He is involved as a regional, state and national leader in advancing the cause of rural trauma. He currently serves as chair of the Western Regional Trauma Advisory Committee, Chair of the State Trauma Care Committee, and Chair of the Montana Chapter of American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma.

About Jennie Nemec, RN: Nemec has worked in numerous facilities all over Montana and has been involved in trauma care, trauma education and program development throughout her entire career. Jennie served as the DPHHS Trauma System Manager for 5 years before returning to serve again as the Director of Emergency Services at St. Peter’s Hospital in Helena. She retired in 2015. She possesses an exceptional ability and desire to impart her vast trauma nursing knowledge to nurses and EMS personnel by continuing to serve as an instructor in several trauma education courses.

Additionally, the DPHHS EMS for Children/Child Ready Montana Program also gives special recognition to Montana hospitals who met Pediatric Ready Facility standards this past year and were formally recognized  in their role of helping Montana become a Pediatric Ready State: St. Vincent’s Health Care (Billings), Northern Montana Hospital (Havre), North Valley Hospital (Whitefish), Beartooth Billings Clinic (Red Lodge), Kalispell Regional Healthcare, Billings Clinic, Stillwater Billings Clinic (Columbus), Phillips County Hospital (Malta), Central Montana Medical Center (Lewistown), Anaconda Community Hospital, St. Joseph Hospital (Polson) and Colstrip Medical Center.


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