Regional West Celebrates National Nurses, EMS Professionals, and Hospital Week in May

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb., ― Regional West is proud to celebrate its nurses, first responders, and health system staff during National Nurses Week, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week, and Hospital Week this May.

National Nurses Week is celebrated annually May 6 through 12, commemorating Florence Nightingale’s May 12 birthday. Nightingale is considered the founder of modern nursing and is credited with establishing nursing as an honorable and meaningful profession.

This year, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared 2020 “The Year of the Nurse,” honoring the outstanding contributions nurses have made in the midst of COVID-19.

“We have a truly exceptional team of nurses at Regional West. They have shown both dedication and compassion in providing excellent patient care, and we are grateful for their hard work,” said John Mentgen, FACHE, President and CEO of Regional West Health Services.

Nursing makes up the majority of the healthcare industry and is one of the fastest growing occupations in the U.S. Though many are familiar with nurses who work in hospitals and clinics, many nurses pursue additional education for specialized careers such as nurse anesthetists, case managers, midwives, flight nurses, advanced practiced nurses, and more.

National EMS Week, celebrated May 17 through 23, honors paramedics, EMTs, flight nurses, rescue squad members, and other first responders who selflessly answer the call to medical emergencies and traumas.

Since 1974, hospitals around the nation dedicate the third full week of May to committed dedicated EMS practitioners and the life-saving work they do on medicine’s “front-line.” As the state’s only Level II Trauma Center west of Kearney, Regional West’s EMS crew serves 16 counties in Nebraska’s Trauma 4 region and beyond, while Regional West’s Air Link team provides services to a five-state region, including Nebraska, Wyoming, South Dakota, Kansas, and Colorado.

“Our first responders serve a vast region, and we are proud of their commitment to providing the best care for their neighbors and communities,” said Regional West Emergency Medical Services Manager Randy Meininger.

“We truly have the best of the best serving our region,” said Air Link Director Ryan Gochoel. “Their willingness to put everything on the line to provide lifesaving care to their patients is appreciated.”

Regional West Emergency Medical Services is an Advanced Life Support ground ambulance service that staffs both Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and Nationally Registered Paramedics (NRP). With ambulances available in Chadron, Gordon, Kimball, Ogallala, Oshkosh, Scottsbluff, and Sidney, Regional West Emergency Medical Services provides emergency and non-emergency 911, hospital to hospital, and critical care transport services. Additionally, Regional West Air Link provides critical care transport on both rotor and fixed-wing ambulatory aircrafts and is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS).

From May 10 through 16, Regional West joins hospitals throughout the nation in celebrating National Hospital Week, a time that honors the hospitals, health systems, and men and women who support the health and well-being of their communities. This year’s theme, “Where Health Comes First,” recognizes hospitals’ important roles in the communities they serve.

National Hospital Week dates back to 1921 when a magazine editor suggested a community-wide celebration would alleviate public fears about hospitals in the wake of the Spanish flu outbreak, which killed more than 600,000 Americans. As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional West is proud to honor its staff and providers that work to protect the region’s health.

“Every member of our healthcare team is valued, and we are extremely proud of the work each person does to provide exceptional service to our region’s communities,” said Mentgen. “This year especially we want to recognize and thank our incredible staff and providers for their service. We are fortunate and appreciate their efforts every day.”

Regional West Health Services in Scottsbluff, Neb., is the parent company of Regional West Medical Center, a 188-bed regional referral center and one of three Level II Trauma Centers in the state. As the region’s only tertiary referral medical center, Regional West offers care that spans more than 32 medical specialties provided by over 28 physician clinics. With nearly 300 in-network providers, and 2,000 employees, Regional West provides comprehensive and innovative health care services for the people of western Nebraska and the neighboring states of Colorado, South Dakota, and Wyoming.