New record set in surgery

Members of the cardiovascular surgical team participate in an open heart surgery on Tuesday. 4120CVORTeamAtWork310x153 From left, Amanda Phillips, RN; Barbara Boatwright, RN; Nathan McCord, RNFA; John Streitman, MD, and Chris Gauldin, PA.

On Tuesday, Dec. 16, there were a record setting 86 surgical cases.

The record day is a clear indicator of a yearlong trend of increased surgeries at SAMC. The record was almost broken three days later with 85 cases.

Ronnie Dean, vice president of operations, praised the surgery team, saying everyone pulled together to make these high-volume days manageable.

"Everyone involved from Registration to Bed Placement, Patient Care Services, Support Services and our entire Periop/Anesthesia team is to be commended for outstanding teamwork in providing a safe and excellent service to a very large volume of patients," Dean said. "I've heard praise from the surgeons operating on these days and also heard from a patient who boasted that he was one of almost 90 cases performed Tuesday."

In fiscal year 2014 the Medical Center performed 14,193 cases, versus 13,171 in fiscal year 2013, an increase of 1,022 surgeries. That's an improvement of 644 cases in urology, 513 additional general surgeries; 345 neurosurgical cases; and 44 open heart surgeries.

To meet the growing demand, Surgical Services will open two operating rooms in 2015. The rooms were added, but not completed in 2010 when SAMC added an endovascular surgical suite. The new suites are scheduled to go into use by June 1.

ACOM students prepare for clinical rotations

Amy Andre, left, and Judy Higby of Medical Staff Services discuss clinical rotation options 3706ACOMClerkshipFair310x153 with ACOM students during the school's recent clerkship fair. Hospitals from Alabama and the surrounding region visited the school to present details about their facilities and network with students from ACOM's class of 2017 in advance of clinical clerkships (rotations) which will begin in August.

Pich named regional EMS medical director

Fredrick A. Pich III, DO, has been named the medical director for the Southeast Alabama Emergency 2704PichFred310x153 Medical Services (SEAEMS) Council. Dr. Pich is an emergency room physician at SAMC.

The SEAEMS Council is one of six regional emergency medical services (EMS) groups statewide which works with local emergency medical services, hospitals and first responders. The SEAEMS service area includes 18 counties in Southeast Alabama and more than 60 patient transport agencies.

As medical director, Dr. Pich serves on the board of directors and ensures that all aspects of the council's activities are medically based and appropriate. He also represents the regional group on the State Emergency Medical Control Committee and serves as co-chair of the Regional Trauma/Stroke Advisory Council. Dr. Pich also works with local physicians in developing the regional EMS system and provides continuing educational opportunities for EMS agencies.

Dr. Pich is a Dothan native who also serves as EMS medical director for the Dothan Fire Department, Dothan Ambulance Service, Headland Fire and Rescue and Abbeville Rescue.