BCHC Partners with East Central Iowa Acute Care
Emergency services are among the most critical offerings for any community hospital.
Chest pains, fractures, lacerations, car accidents, head trauma, dizziness, vomiting, unresponsiveness or trouble breathing — real emergencies like these come into the Buchanan County Health Center (BCHC) Emergency Department every day.
To best respond to these emergencies, BCHC recently formed a new partnership with East Central Iowa Acute Care (E.C.I.A.C.), which fully staffs the emergency services at St. Luke’s in Cedar Rapids, and provides partial staffing for Grundy County Memorial Hospital in Grundy Center, and Jones Regional Medical Center in Anamosa. Beginning June 1, ECIAC staff will officially begin to provide board certified physicians and experience emergency physicians assistants for the BCHC emergency department.
“Our new providers have been rotating in, picking up shifts throughout May,” said Deb Chudzinski, RN, BSN, Emergency Room Nurse Manager. “They have been great –very knowledgeable and professional. The new group brings a huge amount of emergency care expertise, and we hope to see a larger number of local people stay in town and allow us to be their Hospital of Choice as a result.”
Dr. Nate Harmon of E.C.I.A.C., BCHC’s new Emergency Medical Director agrees.
“Board certification in emergency services, gives our providers an edge in triaging, stabilizing, treating and dispositioning critically ill patients,” explained Harmon. “Combined, the 20 medical professionals coming to BCHC have 166 years of experience in the ER. We serve as directors of 30 local EMS services and businesses. We have multiple medical examiners, multiple adjunct professors, and national representatives serving on the American Academy of Emergency Medicine Board, and the American Academy of Physician Assistants.”
Dr. Harmon, a Waterloo native, articulates three goals as ECIAC begins working in Independence:
1. To provide rapid and high quality care to our patients in the Emergency Department.
2. Work with local primary care providers to increase the number of people who can stay in Independence for care. This can be done by providing a higher level of initial care and better identifying patient needs. Ultimately, fewer patients will need to be transferred making recovery and follow-up care more convenient for them and their families.
3. Work with local EMS services to support and improve care provided by area’s first responders.
E.C.I.A.C Board Certified physicians and highly experienced mid-levels will provide 80% of the staffing needs at BCHC. The remaining time will be staffed by Jeff Ashline, a physician assistant that has been working in the BCHC emergency department for several years. “Jeff proved himself to be a very good provider in terms of both clinical ability and how he treats people,” added Steve Slessor, CEO. “We are pleased to retain Jeff’s expertise and 18 years of emergency experience during this transition.”
The BCHC Emergency Department is open 24/7/365 to provide high quality and fast service. More information about the BCHC Emergency Department can be found HERE.