ATS Welcomes Seven New TSN Sites!

The ATS wishes to welcome and celebrate the trauma centers across the nation who have started implementing a new TSN program in 2017.
  • New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, NC
  • Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte, NC
  • University of Louisville Hospital in Louisville, KY
  • St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital in Indianapolis, IN
  • St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA
  • University Medical Center New Orleans in New Orleans, LA
ATS Welcomes Eileen Flores as New National TSN Coordinator

In May 2017, the American Trauma Society (ATS) announced that Eileen Flores, MSW, LCSW joined the Trauma Survivors Network (TSN) as the new National TSN Coordinator. In her position, Eileen supports TSN Coordinators as they implement and strengthen the TSN at their local trauma centers. She provides ongoing training and education, develops and promotes best practices, and provides technical assistance to current TSN Coordinators. Eileen is also responsible for TSN’s ongoing online presence, supporting social media outlets and outreach, along with website and database management.
Eileen’s background includes social work in Domestic Violence program management, individual and group counseling, as well as Hospice and Home Health fields. In 2013, she helped implement the TSN program at the F.H. Sammy Ross Jr. Trauma Center at Carolinas Medical Center, where she continues as the TSN Program Manager for Carolinas HealthCare System. Eileen holds a BSW from Cedarville University and a MSW from University of Oklahoma.
“We are thrilled to have Eileen as part of the TSN team. As an existing coordinator for Carolinas Medical Center, Eileen has demonstrated success in the growth and expansion of TSN programs. We are excited for her to bring her expertise and commitment to the National Office and assist coordinators in helping them reach the same success,” said ATS President Christopher Michetti, MD.
Before May, Elizabeth Wysocki had served in this role for over 5 years. Liz continues to support the TSN program in an advisory role. The ATS asks you to join in thanking Liz for her years of dedicated service to the TSN. Through her tireless efforts, the TSN has grown exponentially during her tenure, in size and scope, serving thousands of patients and families throughout the U.S. and Canada.

National Trauma Survivors Day Huge Success for Many TSN Programs!

Thank you to all the TSN Coordinators, Trauma Teams, and Trauma Survivors for making this year’s National Trauma Survivors Day such an incredible celebration! Your hard work and efforts really highlighted the strength and courage that survivors show every day as well as the dedication of trauma professionals across the country. Whether planning an event with special speakers and food, taking and posting pictures of survivors and trauma teams online, or raising awareness of the importance of TSN support for patients and families, you made a difference!
ATS Adopts New Mission Statement to Emphasize Importance of Patient Support In Trauma Care

As the leading trauma organization focused on the care of the trauma patient, the American Trauma Society has been working diligently to ensure this remains a major focus of the organization.  

At the recent ATS Board of Directors meeting, the ATS Board reaffirmed its commitment to the TSN program by revising its mission statement.  With much thought and discussion, the ATS Board unanimously voted on the new ATS Mission Statement: “Saving Lives. Improving Care. Empowering Survivors.” The new mission statement highlights the vision and mission of the TSN program as well as other programs that the ATS offers to member trauma centers and individual members.

"With just six words, our new mission statement clearly summarizes our core purpose. The words have changed, but the goals of the ATS remain constant - serving our community, trauma centers, and trauma survivors." Christopher Michetti, MD, ATS President

“ATS' new mission statement simply states what our priorities have been for decades, saving lives through prevention and care improvement while assisting trauma survivors in overcoming the lasting effects of traumatic injury." Peter Thomas, ATS Board Member and TSN Advisory Committee Chairperson

TSN Program Expands to Pediatric Centers

Through the collaborative efforts of the American Trauma Society along with the Orthopaedic Clinical Research Team and Level 1 Trauma Service at Carolinas Medical Center, the TSN program inpatient and outpatient services have now expanded to include both adult and pediatric trauma survivors and their families. Funding for this ongoing research, program development, and expansion has been made possible by the Baxter Foundation and Carolinas HealthCare Foundation. In August 2017, Levine Children’s Hospital celebrated the official launch of a fully implemented TSN program to support trauma survivors who are children or teens as well as their families. They also welcomed Jessie Rosenberg, who is the new Pediatric TSN Coordinator for Levine Children’s Hospital.
“I believe it must be more than just to save a life; it must be to restore life. To improve the quality of Life. That is the true outcome from trauma. That is the basis for what we do through the Trauma Survivors Network,” said ATS Executive Director, Ian Weston. “The American Trauma Society has renewed its mission in line with these efforts and has made it our goal to ensure widespread support for the patient and their family. And now with the support of those here at Carolinas Healthcare System and around the country, we can begin to ensure these efforts are not for one specific population. Our efforts can ensure the optimal care, assistance and recovery for adults and children alike. We have the opportunity to not only change lives, but to help redefine them. And now through the TSN we have the chance to ensure that the term OUTCOME really means a successful re-emergence into daily life.”
The TSN continues to partner with member pediatric trauma centers across the nation to share these valuable TSN services to pediatric trauma patients and their families as well as the families of adult trauma survivors.
TSN Program Highlight: Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Medical Center in Richmond, VA

Karen Shipman, BSN, RN is the Trauma Outreach Coordinator and the Trauma Survivors Network Coordinator at VCU Medical Center in Richmond, VA. Karen shares how key members of the VCU Medical Center team came together to help build a strong TSN Program and Peer Visitation Team. Karen shares pictures of hospital team members and TSN Peer Visitors who are all making a difference at their trauma center.

Interview with Karen Shipman, TSN Coordinator at VCU Medical Center 

Tell us a little about your history as a TSN site?
“We joined TSN in December 2014. We convened a team of providers across many disciplines to help determine how to build our program and what it would look like. As the program grew, several of these providers remained an integral part of the team. Amanda Landes, our Volunteer Services Director, is an important part of onboarding our peer visitors. Lisette Johnson, Violence Advocate, brought her writing and journaling skills to the bedside, assisting our patients and families to journal while here in the hospital. Kay Jarrell, our Trauma Discharge Liaison, works with patients and families while here in the hospital for discharge planning and also helps to spearhead our weekly family support group.”

You have an amazing team working to help implement this program. Tell us more about your team?
“We could not do the work that we do without the support of our trauma program manager, Beth Broering, MSN, RN and trauma program medical director, Dr. Michel Aboutanos. They have been fully supportive of this program since Day One. I also have to give a shout-out to members of our Marketing department (Alexa Warner, James Morrisard, Cynthia Schmidt and Carissa Etters) who worked with me extensively to edit and format our TSN patient handbook to ensure that all of the VCU Medical Center information was current and correct. Our language department – what can I say but wow! Liliana Barillas and her team worked so hard to translate our TSN handbook in Spanish! We love seeing the smiles of our Spanish speaking population when they receive materials that are written in their language!”

Below, top to bottom and right to left: Karen, Kay, Michel, Amanda, and Lisette.
TSN Peer Visitor Highlight: VCU Medical Center TSN Program

Nick Watkins was involved in a motorcycle crash in April 2015. He had a lengthy hospital course, being discharged from VCU Medical Center in July 2015. Nick has had a long recovery but is now back to work at his job and enjoys working out at the local gym! Nick and his mother, Sue, both expressed a desire to give back to trauma patients and became TSN Peer Visitors at VCU Medical Center.

Interview with Nick Watkins, Trauma Survivor and TSN Peer Visitor at VCU Medical Center

Tell us a little about your trauma story.
“Motor vehicle accident involving a motorcycle where a vehicle did not yield properly which caused me to strike their vehicle and be thrown from the motorcycle. I landed a great distance from the accident scene under a guardrail. My initial injuries from the trauma were a broken pelvis, dislocated right hip, numerous other broken bones, ruptured bladder, as well as great internal bleeding. Secondary complications from the trauma included both liver and renal failure. While in the hospital I also developed a severe infection. I had countless surgeries and procedures that left me with an open abdomen at one point, an external fixation device on my pelvis and an airway adjunct to mention a few.”

What was recovery like?
“Recovery was by far the worst part of the process but you are not able to control it. You have to rely solely on staff and your dedication to get better. I was in great pain, not able to care for myself and felt as though I would never get better. Rehab was a long tedious process that at times I just wanted to stop. I am still recovering to this day and I can’t say that will end anytime soon. I still ache, get tired, have occasional pain, and cannot perform at a level I once could. However, every day is better than the last. I am surprising myself as well as others every day in my recovery process.”

Why did you want to get involved with the TSN program?
“I saw the importance of such a program in the healing process. While in the hospital I did not want to speak with anybody about my situation but that was my decision. Once released and back to normal I can see where it could have possibly helped me. More importantly, since I have been discharged I have spoken to patients at their request and I have seen the importance and how much it meant to them for me to come in and tell my story and to offer hope.”
Nick Watkins with his mom, Sue
VCU Hospital Peer Visitors
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Trauma Survivors Network
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