Promoting health and preventing illness are core work at St. Vincent Health. With that viewpoint, we hope you’ll never need an emergency room visit. But if you do, rest assured you’ll be treated by a highly trained, board-certified emergency medicine provider, available to deliver top-notch care to you or a loved one any minute of any day, all 365 days of the year.
What is a board-certified ER doctor? And what does it mean to the Lake County community that St. Vincent Health has them?
Through the physician-owned CarePoint Health® organization based in Denver, the St. Vincent ER is staffed by 13 physicians. Each brings years of experience from busy Level I or Level II trauma centers, in addition to their certification.
“We pass an exam after specialized residency, and board-certification also means that we have the skills and experience to take care of the sickest patients,” Nick Tsipis, MD, who serves as associate medical director of the ER at Swedish Medical Center, and vice chief of staff at St. Vincent. “That training develops a mentality, skill set and collaborative environment to deliver the best possible care to patients.”
Nick cites a recent car accident as a perfect demonstration of the value of ER docs in Lake County.
Dylan Luyten, MD—who serves as chief of staff of the hospital, medical director of emergency medical services, and as an emergency medicine provider—happened to be first on the accident scene, returning from a day of cycling with another physician colleague. They discovered two critically injured patients.
“In true Leadville fashion, Dylan had just finished an arduous 12-hour bike ride,” says Nick. “They pulled up just after police arrived, with the ambulances moments away.”
The doctors removed the victims safely from their vehicles, the ambulances arrived, and Level I trauma care began immediately. In each of the two ambulances, the doctors rode with the patients to the St. Vincent ER, where colleague Renee Carson, MD began more lifesaving work for stabilization.
Nick explains that due to the extreme urgency, Flight for Life helicopters landed not at the airport—but at the Leadville High School parking lot. The patients were rapidly transported to trauma surgeon colleagues at Swedish Hospital in Denver for continued treatment of their complex and life-threatening injuries.
Both patients are making full recoveries.
“This story is a powerful, moving testimony about people who love what they do; saving lives and treating people in their most extreme time of need,” says Nick. “It’s who they are. Whether that’s in the ER, or on the side of the road.”