The Midstate Regional Emergency Medical Services Council recognized Rome Health at its annual awards banquet in May, celebrating the people and organizations that work together to provide a system of care that supports the community through every emergency.
The Commissioner of Health’s Award of Excellence was presented to the Rome Health’s emergency department for remaining open and accessible even as its volume surged with each COVID-19 wave.
In addition, registered nurse Chris Durfee was honored as the Emergency Department RN of the Year for consistently holding himself and others to the highest standards, which elevates everyone in their service to the community.
“We are exceptionally proud of our team for their steadfast commitment to ensure access to the best care out there, here,” said Rome Health President and Chief Executive Officer AnneMarie Czyz. “Through every challenge, our team works together to overcome situations that may seem insurmountable because we know how much our community depends upon us.”
In his nomination, Paul Taylor, president and chief executive officer at AmCare Ambulance Service, Inc., praised Rome Health’s emergency department, under the leadership of Medical Director Andrew Bushnell and Director Kelly West for never turning away EMS units and working quickly to get EMS units back into service to meet the community’s needs.
“During the pandemic, all facilities were receiving a significant increase in their case loads. Rome Health was no exception. While all Mid-State regional facilities went on ‘diversion’ at some point when their EDs were inundated, Rome Health did not, not once,” Taylor said. “The comment coming directly from administration was ‘we are not closing, the community depends on us too much. We are the safety net and we will not go on diversion.’”
“The emergency department staff went out of their way to clear room for incoming EMS units, knowing that they were the only ambulances available for Rome and the surrounding communities,” Taylor said. “It was truly a rare occurrence that any patient had to wait on an ambulance stretcher more than 10-15 minutes.”
In 2021, more than 25,500 people received care in the hospital’s emergency department. Patient volume increased more than 9.2% over 2020.