CALS Program Comes to Michigan


Comprehensive Advanced Life Support (CALS) Program Comes to Michigan!

The Michigan Center for Rural Health hosted a Comprehensive Advanced Life Support (CALS) Program, June 24th-June 26th. The Minnesota-based CALS program provided a curriculum designed for medical teams of Critical Access Hospitals who work in settings exposed to indistinguishable medical emergencies.  The program offered a Universal Protocol to train providers to treat emergent patients with the full range of possible illness or injury, while also covering specific topics such as teamwork, advanced airway, OB, neonatal, and trauma concepts.

CALS education and resources are designed for physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, RNs, and allied health care professionals (ie: EMTs, paramedics) who work in rural and remote areas. Five Critical Access Hospitals in Michigan and 18 health professionals participated in this three-day program:  Sheridan Memorial Hospital, Spectrum Health Kelsey Hospital, Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital, Eaton Rapids Medical Center, and Sparrow Clinton Hospital.

The Trauma Module Course and the Provider Course consisted of several hands-on scenarios centering on procedures such as cricothyrotomy, needle thoracostomy for tension pneumothorax, trauma situations covering birth to geriatric patients, chest tube insertion, helmet removal, leg traction splint, and the FAST exam which was an introduction to the use of ultrasound in trauma care.


CALS in Charlotte MI
CALS attendees participated in various hands-on emergency situations during the three-day program at the Eaton RESA in Charlotte, MI.

Becky VonBank, CALS Program Manager said, “It is very rewarding as a CALS instructor to see the growth of students after a 2 ½ day course. Teams work together to build each other’s confidence and critical thinking skills. The students’ enthusiasm as they participate in the multiple hands-on case-based scenarios is synergistic. When working in environments with limited resources the teams discover the value of working together and using the CALS Universal Approach to provide quality care to the patient who is critically ill.”

For more information on the CALS program visit

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