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.



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