Posts Tagged Northwest Community Hospital

Palatine Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

Off-duty paramedics will make house calls to check on certain patients released from Northwest Community Hospital (NWCH) in Arlington Heights as part of a new pilot program involving two other agencies. Paramedics from the Palatine, Rolling Meadows, and the Palatine Rural fire departments are to collaborate in their coverage areas to work for Northwest Community’s mobile integrated health care pilot, which is designed to improve patient outcomes by reducing preventable hospital visits and re-admissions. Northwest Community has budgeted about $131,100 for the one-year pilot and will reimburse the public agencies for the paramedics and other expenses.

NWCH will provide notification about the patients needing the paramedic house calls within 12 to 48 hours of discharge. 

Three or four paramedic house calls are projected for each patient. About nine paramedics from the three departments are expected to be available for the house calls to make sure the patients are following post-discharge directions.

Patients 18 and older will be eligible for the program which will focus on patients who were in the hospital and sent home to recover from heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia with a high risk for sepsis, or a major joint replacement.

Northwest Community will reimburse the fire departments a minimum of $135 per visit, covering the paramedics’ pay and other expenses.  Data will be collected from 480 discharged patients for NWCH to evaluate the effectiveness of the mobile integrated health care pilot, documents show.

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Area EMS pioneer Dr. Stanley Zydlo dies (more)

Excerpts from the about Dr Stanley Zydlo

Dr. Stanley M. Zydlo, the longtime head of emergency medical services at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, was the driving force behind creating the first multicommunity system of paramedics and emergency medical technicians in the country.

“Stan was a man way ahead of his time. He saw the potential to save lives, and he made it a reality,” said former Palatine Mayor Rita Mullins. “He has saved so many lives with his idea and his tenacity to carry out that idea.”

Zydlo, 81, died of cardiac arrest June 3 at Northwest Community Hospital … he had been in failing health, his wife said.

Born and raised on Chicago’s West Side, Zydlo was the son of Stanley Zydlo Sr., who owned a tavern and later was the 26th Ward alderman for 15 years.

After earning a medical degree from Loyola University, Zydlo served as a flight surgeon in the Air Force’s Strategic Air Command during the Cuban Missile Crisis. His role was to assess the physical and psychological fitness of pilots and crew members to fly planes with nuclear weapons between a base in Arkansas and the Soviet Union. As part of that work, he regularly flew on those missions.

Zydlo started a medical practice in Wabash, Ind., upon leaving the Air Force in 1963. He moved to Chicago in 1969 for a job in the emergency room at Northwest Community Hospital. Zydlo soon encountered a troubling phenomenon. Ambulance service employees would collect trauma victims or patients in pain, but those employees had no medical training and never undertook any lifesaving measures en route.

Larry Pairitz, Mount Prospect’s fire chief from 1970 until 1986, got to know Zydlo when he asked him to lead an EMT class for his firefighters. Gradually, Pairitz expanded the class to include neighboring fire departments.

From there, Zydlo was sold on the idea of training fire department personnel in lifesaving measures. He banded together with Pairitz and an activist named Janet Schwettman to establish statewide requirements for fire departments to provide paramedic services.

While fire departments largely embraced the concept, medical colleagues were initially leery of the notion that firefighters could learn advanced lifesaving measures.

“There was some strident opposition among doctors,” Zydlo told the Tribune in 1994. “But I adopted my own motto, which was: ‘Just try to stop us from helping people.'”

During the process of lobbying state leaders on the benefits of having paramedics on staff at local fire departments, Zydlo taught firefighters the lifesaving measures.

In 1994, Zydlo reflected on the division between doctors and firefighters.

“People shouldn’t die because someone doesn’t have the letters ‘M.D.’ on their collar, and that’s what was happening in the northwest suburbs and across the country,” he told the Tribune. “If you don’t survive the ride to the emergency room, the best doctor in the world and all the advanced medical technology can’t help you. That’s just common sense.

Gov. Richard Ogilvie signed a bill authorizing the paramedic system in August 1972. The following month, Northwest Community Hospital launched its Mobile Intensive Care System, and several months later, nine towns — Arlington Heights, Mount Prospect, Buffalo Grove, Lake Zurich, Wheeling, Schaumburg, Hoffman Estates, Palatine and Rolling Meadows — went online as part of a multicommunity Emergency Medical Services System. Today, the consortium counts 25 member agencies — 22 area fire departments and three private ambulance services.

For years after the EMS system was created, Zydlo remained the project medical director, and he continued to train area paramedics and EMTs. He also was a personal beneficiary of the system he helped to create, when he suffered a heart attack at his home in 1978.

“My pulse was very weak, and I had almost no blood pressure,” he told the Tribune in 1994. “I managed to make it to the phone, though. Those paramedics saved my life. There’s no doubt in my mind.”

A Palatine fire station was named for Zydlo in November 1997.




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