March 09, 2017
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The University of Kansas Health System is being saluted for its efforts to help keep local military troops tested and ready for medical care during combat and states of emergency.
The health system and the 190th Medical Group in Topeka have received the National Guard Bureau's Outstanding Achievement in Innovation Award. This honor recognizes the collaboration between the organizations to provide innovative training to Air National Guard members in Kansas.
Members of the 190th Medical Group rotate through multiple nursing units and cadaver-lab training at The University of Kansas Hospital on drill weekends and during annual training. The training program, which is expected to expand, is 1 of just 2 of its kind in the nation.
Penny Glenn, RN, a member of the 190th Medical Group and an education specialist at The University of Kansas Health System, says the training helps the medical group's nurses, respiratory therapists and others hone their clinical skills and maintain readiness if called to respond to natural disasters, shootings or bombings in Kansas or elsewhere in the country.
For those guard members, she says, "the ability to work alongside civilian partners and learn from them is a great benefit."
In addition to training National Guard airmen, the health system works closely with Army flight paramedics from Fort Riley. Last summer, 9 of the flight paramedics descended on the hospital to practice their clinical skills.
"We are doing everything we possibly can to bring these educational opportunities to our men and women in uniform," says John Alley, MD, a surgeon in the health system who served as an Army combat medic from 1991 to 2001.
The training programs "allow young people to practice hands-on invasive procedures, which eventually may allow them to save a life in a war zone," he says. "The adage is: You will behave on the battlefield the way you behave on the training field."
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