Regional agencies join to form Central Wyoming Healthcare Coalition

By Kristy Bleizeffer Apr 30, 2014

Wyoming Medical Center has joined with several other health and emergency responder agencies to form the Central Wyoming Healthcare Coalition, a collaboration designed to provide a unified response to regional disasters.

Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Mike Magee and Emergency Specialist Kaleigh Peil represent Wyoming Medical Center on the new Central Wyoming Healthcare Coalition. The coalition will coordinate medical response to regional disasters.

Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Mike Magee and Emergency Specialist Kaleigh Peil represent Wyoming Medical Center on the new Central Wyoming Healthcare Coalition. The coalition will coordinate medical response to regional disasters.

The new coalition is a partnership between the five Region 2 Trauma area counties – Carbon, Converse, Fremont, Niobrara and Natrona. It enhances the region’s ability to meet emergency preparedness goals recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Mike Magee, emergency preparedness coordinator for Wyoming Medical Center. Magee represents Wyoming Medical Center on the coalition along with Kaleigh Peil, emergency preparedness specialist.

“In a disaster situation, everyone has some sort of plan – from the local police department, to the fire department, to the hospital. However, when it comes time to support one another, particularly in health care, there is really no plan that brings us together in such a way that we communicate and share resources,” Magee said. “This coalition will put all those plans together, and when you put us all together, we are going to be able to share information and allocate resources where they are most needed.”

According to its charter, the coalition must have at least one advisor from the following agencies:

  • Public health: Filled by Audrey Gray of the Casper-Natrona County Health Department
  • Emergency management: Filled by Russ Dalgarn, Converse County Emergency Management
  • EMS: Todd Smith, EMS division supervisor of Fremont County
  • Behavioral health: Filled by Dee-Ann Lippincott of Central Wyoming Counseling Center

The coalition also hopes to form partnerships with long-term care agencies, law enforcement, fire departments and dialysis representatives.

It will be activated in emergencies that could likely affect multiple areas. Take for example, the March ice jam on the Big Horn River that caused flooding in Worland and threatened flooding in Manderson and Greybull. While the flooding didn’t occur in Trauma Region 2, Wyoming Medical Center and other agencies were on alert in case medical facilities in those counties needed extra resources.

“Had Worland needed to evacuate patients because the power went out, or what have you, just where were they going to put those folks? What if area assisted living centers and recreation centers were also flooded?” Magee said. “One of the big problems in Wyoming is the distance between towns. We just do not have neighboring communities with like resources. If something hits Casper, the communities around us are also going to be hit. If there is something going on in Riverton, Casper wants to be prepared because Wyoming Medical Center is the only trauma center in the area. We are going to receive most of those patients. Having this coalition helps with those communications.”

Similar coalitions are being set up in the state’s other trauma regions, and fall under the umbrella of the state’s Hospital Preparedness Program through the Wyoming Department of Health.

Coalition meeting
If you’d like to learn more about the Central Wyoming Healthcare Coalition or would like to be involved, check out its next meeting.

  • When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, May 5
  • Where: Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, 2211 King Boulevard in Casper
  • Info: Contact Sean Peverley at sean.peverley@wyo.gov or call (307) 277-3070.

 

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