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No Charge
Three of the five hospitals treating victims of the July 20 Aurora shooting say they will limit or completely cover the medical expenses incurred. Most of the victims are single and under 35, the cohort most likely without medical insurance. A February 2012 report by the Colorado Health Institute said that one in six Coloradans didn’t have health insurance in 2011.

Children’s Hospital Colorado announced it would use donations and its charity care fund to cover the medical expenses of the uninsured. The hospital says it will waive all co-pays for those who do have insurance.

HealthOne, which owns the Medical Center of Aurora and Swedish Medical Center, also says it will limit or eliminate hospital charges based on the individual circumstances of the patients.

The other hospitals, University of Colorado Hospital and Denver Health Medical Center, are the top “safety net” hospitals in the state, providing $750 million in uncompensated care in 2011.We applaud their compassionate response to the community.

Continuing a Mission
Freedom House Ambulance Service served the St. Paul Hill District through 1975, training unemployed or underemployed black residents of the Hill District as EMTs.

In 2009, the St. Paul, Minn., EMS Academy started with the same goal of advancing the EMS profession and including providers of diverse ethnicity, cultures and language abilities. About 70 students have graduated from this EMS Academy so far.

Macalester College and Inver Hills Community College partnered with Saint Paul city officials to arrange for three of the original Freedom House paramedics to attend a renaming and graduation. Phase II began July 23. EMS Academy graduates are providing non-emergency stretcher transport service to those who are medically required to have ambulance transportation from a hospital either back home or to another hospital, or transport for a specialized doctor’s appointment.

We give a thumbs up to the EMS Academy for continuing the Freedom House mission. Check it out at www.ehs.net/emsacademy/ or www.facebook.com/EMSAcademy.

Competing Senses
American Medical Response (AMR) returned to the Community College of Aurora (CCA) for its third annual national competition on July 15.

“Last year they did everything we asked for, pointing out that they could do more. This year we took their suggestions with great results,” says AMR Vice President of Clinical Affairs Scott Bourn, PhD. The final two-person teams came from New Haven, Conn.; Modesto, Calif.; Lake Havasu, Ariz.; and Olympia, Wash. In the scenario, treated a patient who fell from a balcony in a bar and an unconscious patient.

All studios are equipped with video and audio, and CCA used wireless patient simulators. Pony Anderson, CCA simulation coordinator, says that the success of the center is the attention to detail. Scenarios include sight, smell, sound and touch. The Katrina House, where the scenario took place was complete with an “incredible” smell.

We congratulate the Center for Simulation staff and AMR for joining forces to provide competitors with a unique, high-fidelity competition.

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