East Region Committee Overviews
The Regional Council has a multidisciplinary composition consisting of local EMS/TC councils, trauma designated healthcare facilities, elected officials, consumers, law enforcement, government agencies, helicopter service, fire and EMS, public health, and more. Meetings are held bi-monthly on the second Wednesday of the month from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Membership is recommended by the local EMS/TC council and forwarded on to the Department of Health with final approval by the Washington State Secretary of Health.
In 2011 all Regional Council went through financial restructuring with the State Auditor’s Office and the Department of Health in anticipation of the economical climate changes coming our way. In 2012 Regional Councils, including East Region received major funding reductions which will carry over into 2013 that have resulted in restructuring the work that councils do. The strategic plans are being rewritten to include work identified in RCW 70.168.100 and as much other work as regions can afford. Regions have been asked to consolidate as much administrative work with other regions as possible, so those options are being looked into as well by the various regions.
For more information about activities of the Regional Council and its committees, please see the East Region EMS & Trauma Strategic Plan on the Documents Page. We are in the process of developing the new plan which will be out on July 1, 2012.
This committee consists of the Executive Officers, President, Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer and each of the approved committee chairs from each of the active regional committees. This committee has the authority to do business for the council as identified in the East Region EMS/TC bylaws when the Regional Council does not meet. This committee oversees the fiscal responsibilities of the council, such as preparation and implementation of the annual budget although the Regional Council reviews all financial reports and provides approval at each council meeting. The Chairs and Executive Committee is also involved in developing administrative/corporate policies of the Council. This committee generally meets on the second Wednesday of every odd month from 12:30 -2:30 p.m.
The East Region Communications Committee serves ten counties in Eastern Washington (Adams, Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens and Whitman). The committee has worked with the DOH Communications Consultant and the Region 9 Healthcare Coalition, Region 9 hospitals and community partners to ensure that facilities in this region have have backup communications and are have hospital to hospital communications using WHEERS in case of an all hazards event. Although they would have liked to have been able to ensure prehospital to hospital communications lack of authority and funding has not allowed them the opportunity to enhance the HEAR system so that all rural EMS providers have the capability to talk with their community hospitals in day to day healthcare situations. The membership on this committee includes WSP, ARES/RACES, Combined Communications Center, EMS, Disaster Medical Control Center, Industrial Communications and other community partners interested in ensuring communications are available in a mass casualty. It was this committee that years ago set the standard for disputers and call takers to all is nationally certified through the National Academy of Emergency Medical Dispatch.
The Regional Council contracts with the Spokane Regional Health District to provide an Injury Prevention Coordinator. Although the Injury Prevention Committee’s focus is on Falls Prevention, there are a number of best practiceinjury prevention programs that are supported by the council. You will be able to find this list posted on the Injury Prevention page. The committee has a wonderful network of providers throughout the region and the state that can provide a number of references to people looking for information on various programs. Assessments are conducted regularly to identify the IPPE programs being conducted within the region, and information is provided to all interested parties. The East Region's Injury Prevention Coordinator has recently been named the liaison between the Falls Prevention Symposium and the Regional Advisory Committee at the state level.
The Prehospital & Transportation Committee is responsibility for the development, review and updating of Regional Patient Care Procedures (PCP) which can be found on the Documentspage of this website. The committee reviews recommended minimum /maximum numbers, levels and types of verified EMS prehospital agencies as recommended by the county EMS/TC council prior and if appropriate, provides recommendation to the Regional Council. If the Regional Council approves the recommendation, it then provides recommendation to the EMS & Trauma Steering Committee and the DOH and if approved, the East Region EMS & Trauma Strategic Plan is updated and submitted for approval and posted on the DOH website. The change to the county min/max numbers becomes official at that time. There is a very formal process to be followed in order to change min/max numbers, levels and types of prehospital services. Annually, if resources are available the committee hosts an Educational Forum open to the region with a different agenda at each event. The committee is considering a 12-lead EKG project for BLS providers in support of the new cardiac and stroke system which is began implementation in June 2011.
St. Luke's Rehabilitation Institute is the only Level I Trauma Designated Rehab Facility in the East Region and in Eastern Washington. The Rehabilitation Committee works to publicize ongoing education opportunities, implement a process to identify and recruit membership from each of the nine counties, and create and maintain a Rehab Resource Directory. Additionally, the committee annually provides a trauma case presentation to the Regional Council and other community partners upon request. Nancy Webster, Director of Therapy Services at St. Luke's is currently the President of the East Region EMS/TC Council.
The Training and Education Committee is essential in evaluating regional training needs. They work closely with Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS) Health Training Network to provide Ongoing Training Education Program (OTEP) to rural EMS agencies in the region. Each year the committee conducts a survey to evaluate training needs for the coming year. The survey is distributed regionwide with a link distributed by email and also posted on the website.
In 2011 the committee implemented an OTEP Provider Fee for those agencies that participate in the Regional OTEP funded program of $20 for EMTs and $25 for AEMTs to help fund the program. In 2011 the Regional Council funded 4 OTEP classes for 35 EMS rural agencies. It is our hope that we will not have to reduce the number of OTEP classes provided and that the provider fee will be enough additional funding to cover the cost needed to fund the program in 2013.
(Washington Emergency Medical Services Information System)
In the past the East Region has been actively encouraging agencies to become involved in WEMSIS. Without state funding and with the reduction in regional funding it is difficult to continue to support this program. Time will tell what the council decides to do about this program.