By Donna Thornton/News Editor
One might expect the medical director of a hospital emergency room to focus on the care provided to people after they reach his facility.
Gadsden Regional Medical Center Emergency Room Director Dr. Djiby Diop does, but he also works closely with local emergency medical responders to ensure the quality of care begins not when an ambulance reaches the hospital, but when the ambulance reaches the patient.
What happens on the journey to the hospital sets the course for the patient’s journey, Dr. Diop said, through the treatment process.
For his work at Gadsden Regional and with the emergency responders that serve the community, and for his willingness to share innovations and expertise with others, East Alabama Emergency Medical Services presented Dr. Diop with this year’s Medical Director of the Year award.
East Alabama EMS Chief Executive Officer John E. Blue II said the choice was a clear one when it came time to present the honor for this year. He extolled the efforts Dr. Diop has put into working with emergency responders to coordinate and enhance care for patients and communications with the hospital while patients are being transported.
Blue said Dr. Diop has been willing to lecture and speak to groups not just in the immediate area but also in surrounding counties to share practices that can improve patient care. By doing so, he said, Dr. Diop can help improve care patients receive in other hospitals, as well as at Gadsden Regional.
East Alabama EMS serves 10 counties: Calhoun, Chambers, Cherokee, Clay, Cleburne, Coosa, Etowah, Randolph, Talladega and Tallapoosa.
GRMC CEO Stephen Pennington said Dr. Diop and the entire staff of the emergency room continues to work to improve patient care, in their work with emergency responders and with the training they receive to prepare them to treat patients. Pennington spoke during a reception held at the hospital to honor Dr. Diop, who was presented with the honor earlier in Talledega. The hospital has 30 certified nurses working in the ER, Pennington said. Many are certified in trauma care, he said, and some hold other certifications. Still more nurses are pursuing certifications, according to Pennington.