Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

09/24/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 09/24/2020 09:22

Life Lion will become established department at Hershey Medical Center

This fall, with the successful recruitment of a director, Hershey Medical Center will establish Life Lion Emergency Medical Services as a department.

September 24, 2020Penn State Health Daily Brief

For 25 years, Life Lion EMS has been a division within the Department of Emergency Medicine.

Several factors led to its transition to a free-standing department, including:

  • A rapidly changing emergency services market
  • Life Lion EMS' expanded footprint in the region, including the addition of municipalities in Berks and Northern Lebanon County
  • An overall increase in transports of 82 percent between fiscal year 2015 and fiscal year 2021
  • The need for a dedicated director to focus on enhancing services, developing business strategies for growth and aligning with clinical areas

Kain Robbins, who has served for 10 years as the director overseeing Life Lion Operations, will continue to serve as director, emergency medicine operations. Medical Center leadership and the Life Lion team expressed appreciation for his work.

Life Lion EMS will oversee transport, education, operations, quality and safety, providing more defined roles and a greater balance of responsibilities between Life Lion EMS and the Medical Center's clinical teams.

Vice President Operations, Michelle Del Pizzo, worked with leaders from Life Lion EMS and the Emergency Medicine and Human Resources departments to develop the strategy. They assessed current demands, expectations for future growth opportunities and the leadership structure. The team also sought input from physician leaders and front-line team members.

'Life Lion EMS is a highly respected community service that has developed a strong following over many years,' said Del Pizzo. 'The brand represents high quality patient care in this region, and the restructuring to department status is a natural evolution due to growth and community integration.'

Critical elements of the program have been preserved:

  • Aligning emergency medicine to ensure consistency in medical direction, research and education
  • Offering the same clinical services lines including critical care transport, 911 response, non-emergency transport and community paramedicine services.
  • Retaining and further developing strong relationships with Care Transitions, the Emergency Department, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Heart and Vascular Institute and other key stakeholders

As a result of the reorganization, Life Lion EMS will have oversight for transport, education, operations, quality and safety, providing more defined roles and a greater balance of responsibilities between Life Lion EMS and the Medical Center's clinical teams.

All existing Life Lion EMS team members will retain employment. The department is repurposing four positions and is recruiting for those positions now. Staff affected by the streamlined structure have been given the opportunity to transition into new roles that will provide opportunities for growth and development.

'This restructuring is the product of a thorough strategic process, with input from many experts and employees,' said Dr. Francis Mencl, division chief, Life Lion Services and Emergency Medical Service Fellowship Director. 'Transitioning Life Lion to a dedicated department ensures that it can continue to provide, but also expand high quality, efficient emergency medical response services; streamline roles and responsibilities; and enhance support for front line staff.'

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