Friday, January 23, 2004

Even with 3, county short trauma units


Health watch

By Tim Bonfield
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Hamilton County residents continue to live with one of Ohio's thinnest trauma systems even after adding a third designated trauma center.

After spending more than a year in provisional status, Bethesda North Hospital in Montgomery has been listed as a "verified" trauma center by the Ohio Department of Public Safety. It joins University Hospital and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center as the only three trauma centers in Hamilton County.

That compares to five trauma centers in Franklin County (Columbus), seven in Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), six in Lucas County (Toledo), and three in Montgomery County (Dayton).

"It's not hard to make the argument that Hamilton County is underserved," said Mike Glenn, state trauma coordinator.

But Dr. Anthony Borzotta, trauma services director at TriHealth, said he could not say whether Greater Cincinnati has a lack of trauma centers.

There isn't much data available in Ohio about how patients fare at non-trauma centers, he said. Some of the demand for trauma centers has been blunted by airbags, crumple zones and other safety improvements for cars that have allowed more people to survive crashes with less serious injuries than in the 1980s, Borzotta said.

A MILE IN THEIR SHOES: After the 1997 shooting death of Lorenzo Collins - a mental patient who had threatened officers with a brick - mental health advocates blasted Cincinnati police for a lack of training in how to deal with disturbed people.

This week, some of those experts are taking time to learn about police officers' jobs.

A group of about 40 case workers, counselors and social workers began an eight-week course at the Cincinnati Police Academy to learn about use of force and other procedures. They'll even get to try a simulator machine that police recruits use to practice responding to street situations.

"People come away from the experience saying, 'Wow, I had no idea what to do and I only had seconds to decide.'" said Victor Lloyd, coordinator of law enforcement training for the Mental Health Association of the Cincinnati Area.

This is the third mental health group to go through the program, which started in December 2000.

BOUTIQUE DOCS: Turns out that Dr. Doug Magenheim isn't the only boutique doctor in town.

Dr. Bruce Corser, an internist with an office next to Christ Hospital, launched a practice called Your M.D. in August.

He also left a group practice to begin charging patients a $1,500 annual membership fee. He didn't announce the change beyond letters that were sent to about 2,200 patients at the time.

Corser has about 280 patients and plans to build up to about 400, said office manager Lynne Murphy.

E-mail tbonfield@enquirer.com




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