I have an obsessed fascination with Shark Week on the Discovery Channel every year. My family knows that during this week I try to align family schedules to allow us to watch this marathon as much as possible. It is hard to believe that so many intriguing television shows can be created around one topic. I admit it makes me timid to go in the ocean, especially when you hear about the unusual flurry of attacks this year in North Carolina. I still don’t buy into the comment the expert always makes that sharks aren’t interested in humans. They insist it is a case of mistaken identity and that they would rather have a high fat seal. My take is that I enjoy eating a small Cornish game hen as much as I do a large plump turkey so why would a shark respond differently?
The most interesting aspect to this year’s media stories has been the first responders and hospitals that cared for these patients in the emergency situation. While I understand that a shark attack is very rare, emergency care and trauma is not. This year we increased our Trauma levels at both Chippenham and Johnston-Willis Hospitals to best serve our community. We forget how amazing emergency providers are who are on the ambulances and helicopters and in our ERs. Our hospitals have made great strides over the years to grow with the needs of our community. A few weeks ago I announced our construction of a new Emergency Room called Swift Creek ER on Hull Street in Midlothian. The clinical care done in our facilities is continually impressive. It could not be done without the talent of the entire care team. We have seen 3,000 more patients in the first 6 months of 2015 compared to the same time period last year. That takes us to 69,000 patients in our ERs in the first 6 months. During that same period we experienced close to 1,000 more ambulance drop offs – a 9% increase. The CJW team has a lot be proud of in the care of these patients. Drs. Scott Hickey and Kevin Norieka, our medical directors, do an exceptional job ensuring the highest quality of care at our facilitators. Thank you to the whole team for helping make us a premier medical center.