Med­i­cal per­son­nel care for Iron­man com­peti­tors

Dorchester Star - - Regional -

CAM­BRIDGE — Wet, cloudy and windy weather did not de­ter nearly 2,000 ath­letes com­pet­ing in the Iron­man Mary­land Triathlon in Cam­bridge — nor did it dampen the en­thu­si­asm and ef­fi­ciency of the UM Shore Re­gional nurs­ing and med­i­cal staff work­ing in the event’s med­i­cal tent from 12 noon Saturday, Oct. 1, un­til the last com­peti­tor crossed the fin­ish line at 12:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 2.

Lo­cated at the wa­ter’s edge at Long Wharf very close to the Iron­man fin­ish line, the med­i­cal tent was fully equipped with the needed sup­plies.

“We owe spe­cial thanks to the UM Shore Med­i­cal Cen­ter at Dorch­ester Ma­te­ri­als Man­age­ment team for gath­er­ing and or­ga­niz­ing all of the needed sup­plies, and to Dorch­ester Plant Op­er­a­tions for load­ing all of the sup­plies in the trailer and bring­ing it to the site,” said Cathy We­ber, emer­gency depart­ment man­ager at UMSMC at Dorch­ester. “Dr. Kevin Chap­ple was also a big help by ac­quir­ing all of our needed med­i­ca­tions, and Dr. Kevin Pearl pro­vided awe­some med­i­cal tent di­rec­tion.”

Emer­gency depart­ment staff work­ing un­der We­ber and An­nMarie Her­nan­dez, clin­i­cal co­or­di­na­tor of the Dorch­ester emer­gency depart­ment, in­cluded: Karen Davies, Kristina Davis, He­len Foxwell, Es­ther Ni­chols, Me­gan Stubbs and Dou­glas Wal­ters. Crit­i­cal Care Univer­sity (CCU) fac­ulty Jean Volz and Taffie Wil­son also were on site su­per­vis­ing CCU nurses Lashon Adams, Tif­fane Cor­win, Natalie DiGiovone, Kathy Grif­fin, Tri­cia Hill­man, Kather­ine Jasper, Wendy Jones, James Keener, Lau­ren Trice and Krista Woot­ers.

“The CCU fac­ulty and nurses were a great help to the rest of the team, and we were very glad to have them with us,” said We­ber.

“It was a great learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for the CCU nurses, who were very ex­cited to be work­ing the event,” adds Michael Bol­dosser, emer­gency pre­pared­ness man­ager for UM SRH. “In pre­vi­ous years, the Mary­land De­fense Force pro­vided med­i­cal care at both the Ea­gle­man event (held in Cam­bridge in June) and the Iron­man. So this was the first year that Shore Re­gional Health was on duty for both events, and the team did a great job.”

Bol­dosser has al­ready re­ceived a let­ter of thanks from Gerry Boyle, race di­rec­tor for Iron­man and Ea­gle­man, ex­press­ing his ap­pre­ci­a­tion for “the amaz­ing sup­port” pro­vided by the Shore Re­gional Health team.

“I was so im­pressed with the level of quiet, ded­i­cated pro­fes­sion­al­ism be­ing dis­played ev­ery time I vis­ited the med­i­cal tent. I know that our ath­letes would have been im­me­di­ately calmed as they en­tered the tent know­ing they were in good hands. Thank you one and all,” Boyle wrote.

In ad­di­tion to Dr. Pearl, at­tend­ing in the tent was Dr. Thomas Chic­cone, Re­gion IV med­i­cal di­rec­tor for Mary­land In­sti­tute for Emer­gency Med­i­cal Sys­tems Man­age­ment (MIEMSS) and Tal­bot County’s ju­ris­dic­tional med­i­cal di­rec­tor for Emer­gency Med­i­cal Ser­vices (EMS). Dr. Chic­cone said he was “happy to be stand­ing in” for Dr. Steve White, Dorch­ester’s ju­ris­dic­tional med­i­cal di­rec­tor for EMS. Dr. White was on site — but as an Iron­man com­peti­tor.

The Iron­man had reg­is­tered com­peti­tors ages 1988 from 35 coun­tries and 49 states, al­though some dropped out prior to the start due to the fact the rough wa­ters and high winds along the Chop­tank forced cancellation of the swim. Stand­ing wa­ter also ne­ces­si­tated a short­ened bike ride and a re-routed run­ning course.

Most of the 140 ath­letes treated in the Med­i­cal Tent were ex­pe­ri­enc­ing gas­tric is­sues, mus­cle strain, fa­tigue and dizzi­ness. Only four re­quired trans­port from the tent to the Dorch­ester Emer­gency Depart­ment. The team be­came busier in the late af­ter­noon once most of the more ex­pe­ri­enced and pro­fes­sional triath­letes had crossed the fin­ish line and those with less train­ing and/or en­durance were still run­ning.

Ac­cord­ing to Her­nan­dez, sev­eral of the com­peti­tors treated were from non-English speak­ing coun­tries, but they ei­ther spoke English well enough that it did not in­ter­fere with their care or they had friends or fam­ily mem­bers who as­sisted with trans­la­tion.

Iron­man Mary­land was ex­cit­ing and emo­tional, not only for the triath­letes and their fam­i­lies and friends, but for the emer­gency med­i­cal care providers.

“See­ing the sweat, tears, and pride from these ath­letes brought many of us to tears on sev­eral oc­ca­sions,” Her­nan­dez said. “I can’t ex­plain in words how emo­tion­ally charged you feel when you see them cross that line!”

As part of the Univer­sity of Mary­land Med­i­cal System (UMMS), Univer­sity of Mary­land Shore Re­gional Health is the principal provider of com­pre­hen­sive health care ser­vices for more than 170,000 res­i­dents of Caro­line, Dorch­ester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Tal­bot coun­ties on Mary­land’s Eastern Shore.


UMSRH team mem­bers work­ing in the med­i­cal tent in­cluded, from left: James Keener, Taffie Wil­son, Kathy Grif­fin, Natalie DiGiovone, Karen Davies, Jean Volz, Kim Kral, Doug Wal­ters, An­nMarie Her­nan­dez, Es­ther Ni­chols, Kristina Davies, Cathy We­ber and Dr. Kevin Pearl.

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