Berkeley, California – October 2, 2019 – The CARESTAR Foundation has awarded a grant for key training and equipment to Tahoe Forest Hospital, a rural critical access hospital in Truckee, CA. The $85,000 grant will support programs to bring advanced trauma education and equipment to a broader population of care providers and the public in the remote area.
The grant from CARESTAR will allow more comprehensive training and distribution of “Stop the Bleed” kits in the community and local schools.
“Often, training makes the difference in a life and death trauma situation,” says CARESTAR CEO Tanir Ami. “CARESTAR is committed to lifesaving improvements in the trauma and emergency field. At Tahoe Forest Hospital, the staff is working on strategies to provide improved care for this rural community, and we saw that our support could make a difference.”
“In summer and snow seasons, thousands of tourists come to this rural area for skiing, mountain biking, running marathons, and more. ‘Stop the Bleed’ is a really good skill to teach lay providers here. The nature of the area and the sports it offers yields a high risk of traumatic injuries, and the Sierra Nevada mountains challenge local air ambulances and emergency travel.”
The grant funds two strategies. First is a partnership with local EMS services to better identify trauma patient population needs, (i.e., for the geriatric population), and develop new clinical practice guidelines. Second is providing enhanced staff training in trauma education, including the purchase of a Trauma Simulation Manikin, as well as sponsoring training in ‘Stop the Bleed’ practices for citizens on the scene of an injury. Training will now also be made possible for children in local schools.
According to Natasha Lukasiewich, RN, MSN, Trauma Program Coordinator, “In summer and snow seasons, thousands of tourists come to this rural area for skiing, mountain biking, running marathons, and more. ‘Stop the Bleed’ is a really good skill to teach lay providers here. The nature of the area and the sports it offers yields a high risk of traumatic injuries, and the Sierra Nevada mountains challenge local air ambulances and emergency travel.”
She adds, “We knew it would be great to go to local schools, and teach kids these skills, and donate the ‘Stop the Bleed’ kits, which contain bleeding control equipment such as tourniquets, pressure bandages, and clear instructions. Their use has been shown to increase survival rates due to the trained people who are there in the moment, the true first responders.”
“In a crisis, teams fall to the level of training they have,” says Lukasiewich. This grant will boost our training, and it will bridge teams beyond the trauma program, and provide a common table for the community, building teamwork to help provide the best emergency care.” Tahoe Forest Hospital is currently in the application process to become a Level III Trauma Center.
The concept of supporting rural, critical access hospitals with training and equipment is in keeping with the intent of CARESTAR’s annual Jeff Leighton Memorial Grant. This grant honors one of the Foundation’s initial partners by supporting rural, critical access care of high quality. Tahoe Forest Hospital is this year’s recipient of that grant.
About the CARESTAR Foundation
The CARESTAR Foundation was founded as a result of the sale of CALSTAR (California Shock Trauma Air Rescue) and honors CALSTAR’S legacy and lifesaving work in the field of emergency and trauma care. CARESTAR’s mission is to strengthen connections and foster partnerships in California’s injury prevention, emergency response, and trauma care landscape to improve outcomes for all Californians.