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Aug

12

Elizabethtown Community Hospital Paramedic Education Program Holds Graduation for Second Class

Elizabethtown, NY – The University of Vermont Health Network - Elizabethtown Community Hospital (ECH) held a graduation ceremony yesterday to celebrate the second class of its paramedic education program. Six graduates, now certified at the highest level of prehospital care, will go on to volunteer or work with local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agencies.

“I knew this course would be challenging,” said Allison Vrooman, a program graduate who works with the Fort Ann Rescue Squad, “but I didn’t know just how rewarding it would be, even in the midst of a global pandemic. My classmates and I worked incredibly hard to complete the requirements and are proud to celebrate our achievements and the experience we gained.”

ECH Paramedic Education Program Director Bruce Barry said the rigorous course requirements exceed New York State standards in many cases. “These students completed nine modules on paramedic medicine topics and averaged about 500 hours of clinical time,” said Barry. “What’s more, they accomplished all of this despite the challenges presented by COVID-19.”

The program was designed to reach students across a six-county swathe of Northern New York, said Barry, with remote learning a key to its success before the pandemic. The second class, which began in June of 2019, finished six months later than planned.

“When the pandemic began, we quickly transitioned to teaching online but had to pause clinical hours until students could return to our partner organizations,” said Barry. “Understandably, some of the students decided not to continue with the program. Those who did showed tremendous dedication and gained invaluable experience.”

“As students, they come to this program to build on their emergency medical technician training and advance their skills,” said Julie Tromblee, vice president and chief nursing officer at ECH. This program prepares students to administer medications, start IV lines and provide advanced airway management. Students also receive several certifications through the program, allowing them to resuscitate and support patients with life-threatening problems such as heart attacks and traumatic injuries. “As graduates, they are ready to serve their communities and provide exceptional prehospital care,” said Tromblee.

Hospital Leaders, Families Celebrate Graduates

Hospital and paramedic program leaders and family members gathered to honor the outstanding achievement of the six graduates.

“What started as a little idea at Elizabethtown Community Hospital,” said Bob Ortmyer, president of ECH, “will have a big impact across our region. I thank each of you for your commitment to this program and to their communities.”

ECH Auxiliary President Laura Sells-Doyle later expressed her gratitude for the service of all EMS providers. “This work requires serving all hours of the day and night, and through all kinds of weather. It requires sacrificing family time to be there for other families. We as a community are so grateful for your service.”

The hospital auxiliary offers $5,000 in scholarships to each class. Two of the auxiliary scholarship recipients, Michelle San Antonio and Allison Vrooman, completed the program. “The auxiliary is proud to champion this program,” said Sells-Doyle. “Their accomplishment reaches far beyond them; to their community, to those they will inspire; and to those they will save.”

Third Paramedic Education Class Underway

The first cohort of the program started in 2018 and graduated 19 students. The second class, started in September, 2019 with 13 students and seven students completed the course. In January of this year, 22 students began the third class of the ECH paramedic education program.

The program, launched in 2018 to address a shortage of local paramedic education opportunities, is the region’s first New York State Department of Health accredited program. Classroom locations in Lewis, Malone, and Queensbury and online course components allow students from Clinton, Essex, Franklin, St. Lawrence, Warren and Washington counties to learn closer to home. Hands-on clinical training is offered with 15 regional health care organizations and 30 EMS agencies across Northern New York and Vermont.

Upon completion, students are eligible to sit for New York State certification exams. A Letter of Review by the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP) was recently issued for ECH’s paramedic education program, signifying that the program has demonstrated sufficient compliance with the accreditation standards. The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) recognizes the Letter of Review, making graduates eligible to take national credentialing examinations.

For more information on the ECH paramedic education program, please visit ECH.org.

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About Elizabethtown Community Hospital

The University of Vermont Health Network - Elizabethtown Community Hospital is a designated critical access hospital and the primary health care provider serving residents in Essex County and northern Warren and Washington Counties in New York.

Elizabethtown Community Hospital is transforming rural health care at its main campus in Elizabethtown, NY, at a new emergency department and outpatient center in Ticonderoga, NY, and at six community-based primary health care centers located throughout the region. The hospital is one of the community’s largest employers with 350 employees.

Across the Elizabethtown and Ticonderoga campuses, the hospital maintains two 24-hour emergency rooms, a 25-bed inpatient unit, physical therapy, laboratory, and digital radiology departments; and a variety of specialty physician clinics on a weekly and monthly basis.  

Elizabethtown Community Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission and is licensed and certified by the New York State Department of Health and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

About The University of Vermont Health Network
The University of Vermont Health Network is an academic health system that is comprised of six affiliate hospitals, a multi-specialty medical group, and a home health agency. We serve the residents of Vermont and northern New York with a shared mission: working together, we improve people’s lives.  Our partners include:

Our 4,000 health care professionals are driven to provide high quality, cost-efficient care as close to home as possible. Strengthened by our academic connection to the University of Vermont, each of our hospitals remains committed to its local community by providing compassionate, personal care shaped by the latest medical advances and delivered by highly skilled experts.

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