Regional One Health recently hosted the inaugural Trauma & Burn Conference to provide hands-on training and expert education for critical care professionals from all over the Mid-South.

As the region’s level-one trauma center and full-service burn center, outreach and education are a crucial part of our lifesaving mission.

The conference and future events help improve critical care for patients from all over the region by providing providers from emergency medical services and referring hospitals the training they need.

As the Mid-South’s level-1 trauma center and full-service burn center, Regional One Health cares for critically injured patients from across several states – but our lifesaving mission extends even further.

The experts at our Elvis Presley Trauma Center and Firefighters Burn Center are also dedicated to sharing knowledge and experience with other providers, and that commitment was on display at the 2024 Trauma & Burn Conference March 28-29.

The conference, which was held at Graceland Convention Center and coincided with the 40th anniversary of the Elvis Presley Trauma Center, drew more than 100 critical care professionals including physicians, nurses, and emergency medical service providers.

Organizers said the successful event allowed Regional One Health to share expertise with the many professionals who play a role in helping patients survive serious injuries.

“As a level-one trauma center and American Burn Association-verified burn center, it is part of our commitment to provide this type of education,” said Josh Dugal, MBA, BSN, RN, EMT-P, TCRN, director of trauma services.

The Trauma & Burn Conference included hands-on training on trauma resuscitation, ultrasound skills, burn care and more.

“It’s also the right thing to do for patients in our community. Patients rarely come directly to our trauma center or burn center from their point of injury – they’re cared for by EMS or another hospital first. By sharing our knowledge, it means better care for these patients before they arrive at Regional One Health and better outcomes once they get here.”

Demarcus Nash, MHA, burn services client relations manager, said there is a significant need and desire for emergency medicine training in the Mid-South.

“There are a lot of EMS, air ambulance services, and hospitals in rural areas, and we get calls all the time asking for training opportunities,” he said. “The conference is a wonderful chance for us to provide the type of information and education they’re looking for.”

It was also a chance to build relationships, Nash said. He noted the various providers who play a role in the continuum of care got the chance to meet face-to-face at the conference.

“It reinforces our commitment to the professional medical community that we’re partners in the care of every patient,” Dugal noted. “Having those good working relationships makes everything better during difficult situations.”

The two-day conference included both hands-on training and presentations, and attendees were eligible for continuing education credits.

Day-one included demonstrations and practice on trauma resuscitation, ultrasound skills, and burn care simulation, as well as a Stop the Bleed instructors’ course to train professionals how to teach lifesaving first-aid for severe bleeding.

The second day featured a keynote speech by former St. Louis-based trauma surgeon Dr. J.L. Punch on caring for patients with gunshot wounds, as well as presentations from Regional One Health experts on various trauma and burn care topics.

Over 100 critical care professionals from across the Mid-South attended the conference. Organizers said it was a chance to share knowledge and experience, build relationships, and set the stage for better patient care.

Peter Fischer, MD, MS, NREMT-P, FACS discussed prehospital care and the evolution of EMS. Along with serving as medical director and trauma surgeon at the Elvis Presley Trauma Center, Dr. Fischer is medical director of the Memphis Medical Air Ambulance Service and medical team manager for TN Task Force 1, a FEMA search and rescue team.

Trauma surgeon Emily Lenart, MD spoke about interesting trauma cases; and Saskya Byerly, MD, associate trauma medical director and trauma surgeon, led a presentation on damage control resuscitation, which keeps a patient alive so physicians have a chance to finish treatment later.

For burn care, trauma surgeon Travis Webb, MD, MHPE, FACS discussed burn considerations for outside hospitals, while plastic surgeon Xiangxia Liu, MD, PhD presented on advances in full-facial transplants for patients who have been severely injured.

Nash said the variety of presentations showcased the comprehensive care available at Regional One Health. “It brought awareness to the Centers of Excellence we have here,” he said. “We provide highly specialized services, and we had a chance to showcase how patients are getting the care they need not only to survive, but to have an excellent quality of life.”

Moving forward, our trauma and burn teams plan to build on this year’s successful event.

Attendees heard from a number of trauma and burn care experts and earned continuing education credits during the two-day conference.

“We’re the leader for trauma and burn education in this region, and we look forward to making this an annual event,” Dugal said. “Providing that hands-on training gives providers practical skills they can immediately use, and we’re happy to have a chance to offer that opportunity to the professionals who help us care for critically injured patients in our community.”

“This was a chance to provide experience and training for people who have been asking for it,” Nash added. “We want to build on that so we can offer more and more providers this education. We’re happy to be able to satisfy that need.”

The Elvis Presley Trauma Center is the only Level-1 Trauma Center in a 150-mile radius of Memphis. A multispecialty team of experts is available 24/7 to treat the most critically-injured patients from Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, and parts of Missouri.

The Firefighters Burn Center is the only full-service burn center in a 400-mile radius of Memphis that is verified by the American Burn Association. It provides comprehensive services including emergency and critical care, intensive care, rehabilitation, and laser and plastic surgery.

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