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President's Award Recognizes Hospital's Response to Bridge Collapse
Date:7/28/2008

MINNEAPOLIS, July 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hennepin County Medical Center received the President's Award from the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (NAPH) for its response in providing care to victims of the I-35W bridge collapse last year. This award has not been given since 2002, when it was presented to the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation for their service following the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center.

Twin Cities area hospitals treated 126 victims of the Aug. 1, 2007 bridge collapse. Hennepin County Medical Center provided care to 31 patients from the collapse; eight of them arrived in critical condition. Some patients were hospitalized for up to two months.

When the bridge collapsed the medical center was operating at near-capacity, but within a short time ten operating rooms and 25 intensive care beds were fully staffed and available to care for patients.

"We are pleased to honor Hennepin County Medical Center with our 2008 President's Award for their heroic response to the I-35W bridge collapse into the Mississippi River," said Larry S. Gage, NAPH president. "As the closest Level 1 trauma center, Hennepin received most of the critical victims. Their rapid response to this tragedy underscores the essential role safety net hospitals play nationwide when disaster strikes."

Hennepin's Emergency Medical Services (EMS) provided leadership in paramedic response and the Medical Resource Control Center at Hennepin coordinated EMS response to the site. A total of 29 ambulances from many ambulance services responded to the scene.

"From our paramedics, to our doctors and nurses and all of the people who support the care that they provide, our response on that night and in the days to follow was outstanding," said Lynn Abrahamsen, CEO. "After Aug. 1, 2007, we truly realized the value and significance of the time and resources we devoted to being prepared for emergencies
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SOURCE Hennepin County Medical Center
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