Press Releases: Southern California
May 15, 2012
Sports Medicine Skills Come into Play at Pasadena Marathon
Kaiser Permanente physicians use expertise, preparation for successful medical response
PASADENA, Calif. — Just as athletes are training for the upcoming May 20, 2012 Kaiser Permanente Pasadena Marathon so, too, are the physicians and health professionals who are responsible for providing medical care for the event’s walkers, runners and cyclists.
“Kaiser Permanente takes these events very seriously,” says Thad Woodward, MD, a family practice and sports medicine physician at the Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills Medical Center, who has supervised medical response for the Pasadena Marathon for the past four years. “We try to bring the same level of care for our athletes in the field as we do for our patients in the emergency room.”
About 40 to 60 Kaiser Permanente physicians, health professionals and other community volunteers are expected on site to meet the basic medical needs of participants for the entire course. Leading their efforts will be James Hwang, MD, and Joel Ramirez, MD, sports medicine fellows at the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center.
To ensure their health care team is ready for nearly anything, the pair will bring Kaiser Permanente Southern California’s 25-bed disaster medical tent. Equipped with solid floors and air conditioning, the tent can double as a command post. Future plans call for installing wireless Internet and satellite phones.
“It’s like a MASH tent with cots, IVs and medical supplies,” says Dr. Hwang. “It’s very well stocked. You can do basic triage and stabilize patients” before transferring them to the nearest hospital.
Use of the tent, which can expand to 1,700 square feet, ranges from medical center emergencies to area sporting events. Once the tent is fully equipped and operational, it can potentially be used for regional and out-of-state emergencies. During the Kaiser Permanente Pasadena Marathon, the disaster medical tent will be set up near the finish line, while smaller tents will be erected along the event route.
Sports medicine physicians say they are especially well-suited to responding to medical emergencies at sporting events such as the Kaiser Permanente Pasadena Marathon. “We cover the whole gamut of health issues, from primary care to musculature skeletal issues,” says Dr. Hwang. “It’s nice that the Pasadena Marathon showcases our skills set; it lets the community know what sports medicine is really about.”
Dr. Ramirez, who routinely gives community talks on the importance of education, says the Pasadena Marathon is an excellent opportunity for high school and college students who are considering medicine as a career.
“They can see injuries and they can help us with cleaning abrasions or lacerations,” says Dr. Ramirez. “It’s a great opportunity to learn whether medicine is the right career for you.”
To sign up as a volunteer, email Dr. James Hwang at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills Medical Center
Established in 1986, Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills Medical Center provides high-quality primary and specialty care to more than 200,000 members throughout the West San Fernando Valley and Ventura County. For more information, visit us online at www.kp.org/woodlandhills.
About Kaiser Permanente Southern California
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high quality, affordable health care services to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 3.5 million members in Southern California. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: www.kp.org/newscenter.