CALS Hospital Recognition

CALS is pleased to recognize the following facilities which have met CALS criteria for excellence in Rural Emergency Care:

  • Bigfork Valley Hospital   Bigfork, Minnesota   website
  • CentraCare Health-Long Prairie   Long Prairie, Minnesota   website
  • CentraCare Health-Melrose   Melrose, Minnesota   website
  • Granite Falls Municipal Hospital and Manor   Granite Falls, Minnesota   website
  • NEW!!  EssentiaHealth-Virginia   Virginia, Minnesota  website
  • Johnson Memorial Health Services    Dawson, Minnesota  website
  • NEW!!  Mayo Clinic Health System-Cannon Falls    Cannon Falls, Minnesota  website
  • Meeker Memorial Hospital   Litchfield, Minnesota   website
  • NEW!!   Mercy Hospital    Moose Lake, Minnesota   website
  • Riverwood Healthcare Center   Aitkin, Minnesota   website
  • Tri-County Hospital   Wadena, Minnesota   website
  • Mayo Clinic Health System-Chippewa Valley Hospital   Bloomer, Wisconsin   website
  • Mayo Clinic Health System-Northland in Barron   Barron, Wisconsin   website


CALS hospital team

Tri-County Health Care Recognized as CALS Hospital


Featured in the CALS recognition photo (from left to right) are Assistant Director of Nursing, Sharyl Rinkel, Family Medicine Physician, Dr. Keven Walters, Emergency Department Supervisor, Deb Zacharias, Family Medicine Physician, Dr. Stephen Davis, CALS representative, Dr. Paul Van Gorp, Interim Chief Nursing Officer, Laurie Bach, and Emergency Department Physician, Dr. Amadin Osayomore.


Tri-County Health Care Recognized as CALS Hospital

Wadena, MN – November 8, 2016 — Tri-County Health Care has once again been designated a Comprehensive Advanced Life Support (CALS) hospital by a coalition of Minnesota health care organizations and individuals. Minnesota’s CALS program provides advanced life-support education to rural health care providers.

“We are proud to be one of the eight CALS certified hospitals in Minnesota,” said Deb Zacharias, ER Nursing Supervisor. “This designation recognizes our commitment to the care of rural emergency patients and emphasizes teamwork.”

The CALS educational program includes extensive print and electronic material, interactive education, and hands-on skills training. Features that distinguish CALS from other life support courses are:

  • CALS is comprehensive: While other courses are limited to a single type of emergency such as trauma or cardiac problems, CALS prepares the participant to deal with trauma, cardiac, general medical, OB, pediatric and neonatal emergencies as well.
  • CALS maintains a rural focus: the program is designed for health care teams working in rural areas and other settings in which the full complement of resources such as specialists and specialized equipment may not be readily available.
  • CALS adheres to the team approach to training and real-world practice. Some life support courses train just part of the team; others provide uniform training to all participants, regardless of scope of practice. CALS brings together teams of physicians, nurses, PAs, NPs and paramedics and provides practical training that includes development of the team itself.
  • CALS advocates a systems-based approach that links health care institutions and providers at all levels and stages of emergency care in a continuous network of support for the victim of a serious illness or injury.

“The primary focus of CALS curriculum is to train medical teams in rural areas to anticipate, recognize and treat life-threatening emergencies,” said Dr. Steven Davis. “Because of the dedication of the entire staff here at Tri-County I am absolutely confident that our team is prepared to respond to any number of medical emergencies that may arise.”

The first CALS program was developed in Minnesota in 1996 as a result of collaboration among emergency medicine and family physicians, rural practitioners and academic specialists, and nurses, nurse practitioners, PA’s, paramedics and others. The CALS program has gone on to be adopted in much of the United States, in parts of Canada and throughout the world.

State Trauma Advisory Councils of both Minnesota and Wisconsin have approved CALS as one of the training programs that can be used to qualify hospitals for specified levels of trauma designation. CALS has been selected by the US State Department as the preferred source of medical training for our US Embassies around the world.

For more information, contact Deb Zacharias, ER Nursing Supervisor, at (218) 632-8767.


Tri-County Health Care is a private, not-for-profit health care system located in Wadena, MN. Offering a complete spectrum of care services from minimally invasive surgery and cancer care, to leading edge diagnostic imaging capabilities, obstetrics, and rehabilitation services, Tri-County operates a 25-bed hospital and medical clinic in the city of Wadena. It also operates six satellite clinics and three physical therapy clinics throughout Todd, Wadena, and Ottertail Counties. Satellite clinic locations include Henning, Bertha, Ottertail, Sebeka, Verndale, and Baxter.



Keeping Rural Trauma Care Strong

We depend on hospitals to offer life-saving care every day. In a rural area where distance to the nearest hospital is typically much greater than in a metro area, getting advanced life support care in a timely manner is more critical than ever.

At Riverwood Healthcare Center, its emergency department staff trains intensively and regularly to deliver comprehensive advanced life support. In 2008, Riverwood Healthcare Center became the third hospital in Minnesota to receive the prestigious certification of excellence in emergency care – the CALS Hospital designation. In mid-September at our annual gala event in Aitkin, two representatives of the CALS program presented  Riverwood with a plaque of recertification as a CALS Hospital.

CALS is a national program designed to provide lifesaving emergency medical education for rural health care providers.  CALS is now one of the premier education programs for rural healthcare providers.

CALS Hospital Award

Become a CALS Hospital

The CALS Hospital Recognition Program was designed to give credit to hospitals that meet CALS standards for training, procurement, and staffing. To date, eight hospitals in Minnesota and Wisconsin have earned this recognition, and many more are in the application process.

As a CALS Hospital, you can:

  • Demonstrate your commitment to excellence in emergency medical care
  • Display your recognition where hospital patients and visitors can learn more about your investment
  • Increase your visibility within your state and region
  • Recognize your providers, nurses and other clinical staff for their achievement in completing a CALS training program
  • Reinforce your designation (in Minnesota) as a level III or IV trauma center
  • Secure future educational offerings designed for rural hospital and staff
  • Enjoy membership in a community of like-minded institutions
  • Serve as as a magnet for attracting and retaining the finest clinical staff.

To learn more about the process and benefits of becoming a CALS Hospital, view our application below or contact Dana Bies at