Monthly Archives: May 2011

Boston MedFlight Draft Post

NBC’s Today Show recently aired a segment about overutilization in the airmedical industry. The story predominately focuses on for-profit Medevac companies and costly transports for patients who may not need such a high level of care. The video of the segment can be viewed below. Boston Trauma asked Suzanne Wedel, MD, Chief Executive Office of Boston MedFlight what she thought about the segment and how Boston MedFlight differs from some of the other companies highlighted.

About Boston MedFlight
Boston MedFlight (BMF) provides regional critical care transport. Boston MedFlight is a non-profit organization based at Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, MA. They transport emergent patients regardless of their ability to pay and is financially supported in part by a consortium of Boston hospitals including: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Tufts Medical Center. 

Boston Trauma: Suzanne, thanks for taking the time to talk with us. What were your thoughts in regard to the segment?

Suzanne Wedel: Insert Answer

Boston Trauma:BMF consortium is unique in that it’s a non-profit collaboration of several ‘competing’ hospitals that have joined together to improve pre-hospital/critical care in the Northeast. Is this an important differentiator compared to some of the for profit companies highlighted?

Suzanne Wedel: Insert Answer

Boston Trauma: What kind of oversight is there for both scene calls and inter-facility transfers to ensure they meet air ambulance criteria? Are their feedback mechanisms in place for calls that do not meet these criteria?

Suzanne Wedel: Insert Answer


Orthopaedic Trauma Care at Boston Medical Center



Boston Medical Center is the largest and busiest provider of trauma and emergency services in New England. An important distinguishing characteristic of BMC’s trauma and emergency services is the experience and expertise of the many subspecialty services that are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to any ill or injured patient in need.

One of the key services that makes BMC trauma and emergency services a long recognized flagship program at the institution is our Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. BMC is a Level I Trauma Center and due to the large volume of trauma cases at BMC, our orthopaedic surgeons are experts in trauma, as well as in treating complex fractures and non-unions. 

Common causes of trauma and fractures include motor vehicle accidents, pedestrians struck by motor vehicles, falls from height and athletic accidents. Often these accidents involve multiple-system injuries and lengthy rehabilitation. Our physicians and physical therapy staff are there every step of the way, dedicated to returning each patient to their pre-injury level activity if at all possible.

Our surgeons provide all aspects of trauma and fracture treatment, including the following injuries and procedures:

  • Fractures
    • Acetabulum
    • Ankle
    • Calcaneus (Heel)
    • Clavicle and Shoulder
    • Distal Radius (Wrist)
    • Elbow and Forearm
    • Femur (Thigh) 
    • Foot
    • Pelvis
    • Tibia Plateau and Patella (Knee)
    • Tibial (leg)
  • Complex intraarticular fractures
  • Fixation of nonunions and malunions
  • Periprosthetic fractures (fractures around joint replacements)

      Meet a BMC Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeon


    Paul Tornetta, III, MD, FACS, FAAOS
    Professor, Boston University School of Medicine 

    Vice-Chairman, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Boston University School of Medincine

    Dr. Tornetta is a Professor and Vice Chairman in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine and the Director of Orthopaedic Trauma for Boston Medical Center. He is also the Director of the Orthopaedic Residency Training program at Boston University School of Medicine. He is the past president of the Orthopaedic Trauma Association and won the OREF clinical research award. Has published over 150 scientific articles in peer reviewed publications and has edited more than ten textbooks, including the most popular textbook about fracture care, Rockwood and Green’s Fractures in Adults.  

    Dr. Tornetta earned his medical degree and completed his internship and orthopaedic residency at the State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn. Following a fellowship in pelvic and acetabular fractures with Dr. Joel Matta, he was appointed Director of Orthopaedic Trauma at Kings County Hospital Center and the University Hospital of Brooklyn where he was the Residency Coordinator and Director of Research.

    Dr. Tornetta’s research interests focus on the clinical and technical aspects of orthopaedic trauma surgery and the injured patient. His current studies involve minimally invasive surgery, methods of fixation of knee and ankle fractures, novel methods of treating nonunions using advanced biologics, treatment of orthopaedic infections and the treatment of elderly trauma patients.

    For more information regarding Dr. Tornetta’s research and publications, please visit the Orthopaedic Surgery section of the Boston University School of Medicine website by clicking here.

    Orthopaedic Trauma

    Research/Clinical Interests
    Trauma and complex articular fractures
    Treatment of nonunions and complications of trauma care
    Minimally invasive surgery
    Fractures in the elderly

    Medical School
    State University of New York – Health Science Center at Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY, MD, 1987

    1987 – 1988
    Intern, General Surgery
    State University of New York – Health Science Center at Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY 

    1988 – 1992
    Resident, Orthopaedic Surgery
    State University of New York – Health Science Center at Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY

    Post Residency
    1992 – 1993
    Fellow, Acetabular and Pelvic Fractures
    Hospital of the Good Samaritan, Los Angeles, CA

    Board Certifications
    American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, 1995

    The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery provides coordinated care for patients with musculoskeletal injuries 24 hours a day. 

    • Patients should call the Orthopaedic Scheduler at 617.638.5633 to schedule an appointment.
    • Referring physicians should call the Clinical Coordinator at 617.414.6295 for consultation or transfers.
    • Out of state referring physicians should call 877.303.1234 for consultations and transfers. 



    Did you know? Boston Medical Center is a Boston Region Designated SANE Hospital

    The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program provides direct patient care to Adults, Adolescents, and Children who disclose sexual assault and present to SANE designated Emergency Departments and Children’s Advocacy Centers across the Commonwealth. Since the Program’s inception in 1997, the MA SANE Program has provided care to over 8,500 sexual assault patients statewide.

    MA SANEs deliver coordinated, expert forensic nursing care necessary to ensure essential medical intervention to patients of all ages and provide reliable forensic evidence that contributes to law enforcement’s response.


    Boston Medical Center is a Boston Region Designated SANE Hospital

    On May 3, 2011, Boston Medical Center clinicians, Andrew Glantz, MD, FACS, trauma surgeon and Associate Professor of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine and Judy Linden, MD, FACEP, SANE, Emergency Medicine Physician and Associate Professor, Boston University Medical Center, along with Claire Shastany, RN, SANE, SANE Regional Coordinator, Michelle Galant, CNM, SANE and Tara Cappola, JD, Plymouth Country Assistant District Attorney, presented a SANE case at Umass Medical School’s 2011 Massachusetts Sexual Assault Examiner Program Training Conference.

    The case – “Justice for Michael” – involved a patient who presented to Boston Medical Center from an outside facility after being brutally sexually assaulted. The case showed how fast action by Boston Medical Center’s trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) collected evidence that subsequently led to the conviction of the attackers.

    About the SANE Program

    The SANE Program consists of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) who are specially trained and certified professionals skilled in performing quality forensic medical-legal exams. If a case it to go to trial the SANEs are available to testify. 

    Program Facts

    • SANEs are available by beeper and respond within 40-60 minutes to the designated SANE site ready to care for the victim of sexual assault
    • SANEs will document the account of the assault, perform necessary medical exams, testing and treatment, then collect crucial, time sensitive evidence using the Massachusetts Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit distributed by the Executive Office of Public Safety
    • A forensic exam performed by a SANE can take up to 4 hours from beginning to discharge of the patient.
    • SANEs provide medical care to survivors without interruption, therefore maintaining the chain of evidence from the exam
    • SANEs perform exams with state of the art forensic equipment and supplies and are kept up to date with the latest in forensic science developments
    • SANEs receive expert training, supervision, and quality assurance monitoring
    • SANEs provide preventative treatment for HIV, STDs, and pregnancy


    SANE Enhances Public Safety through Increased Prosecution of Rapists

    • SANEs have testified and provided quality forensic evidence in 54 sexual assault trials of which, 51 have resulted in conviction. Evidence collection along with SANE testimony were important elements in achieving convictions in all of the cases.
    • In FY’02 through FY’04 evidence submitted to the Boston and State Police Crime Lab revealed that overall, SANEs are collecting better evidence than non-SANE providers
    • Massachusetts DA’s anecdotally report alleged perpetrators are more likely to plead guilty before trial when the prosecution presents evidence collected by SANEs, saving enormous prosecution costs.
    • Ongoing developments in the science of evidence collection, e.g. DNA testing, require a higher level of expertise and consistency in the collection of evidence for sexual assault cases.
    • Standardizing the preservation of the chain of evidence by:
      • Providing expertise by quickly and uniformly incorporating improvements in forensic evidence collection techniques
      • Ensuring that SANE evidence is transported properly to the proper crime lab
      • Monitoring the quality of evidence submitted to the crime lab

     Courtesy of Massachusetts Office of Health and Human Services


    Physician Profile: Tracey Dechert, MD


    Trauma Surgeon, Boston Medical Center

    Assistant Professor of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine

    Tracey Dechert, MD, is a Boston Medical Center Trauma Surgeon and Assistant Professor of Surgery at Boston University School of Medicine, is a graduate of Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, PA and Temple University School of Medicine. Dr. Dechert completed her residency in General Surgery at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, VA and her fellowship in the Department of Traumatology and Surgical Critical Care at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA.

    Why did you go into trauma/acute care surgery?
    I find caring for the severely injured to be very rewarding.

    What makes Boston Medical Center special?
    We are dedicated to caring for everyone in their time of need.

    Research/Clinical Interests

    • Pelvic fractures
    • Trauma in women

    Board Certifications

    • General surgery
    • Surgical critical care


    Contact Information
    Carl J. and Ruth Shapiro Ambulatory Care Center
    725 Albany Street
    Floor 3
    Boston, MA 02118
    Call:  617.414.4861
    Fax:   617.414.7398

    Related News:


    Tracey Dechert, MD, recognized as future leader in Eastern Associaition for the Surgery of Trauma (EAST) – Read More

    BMC trauma surgeon, Tracey Dechert, MD, publishes chapter on managing pelvic fractures – Read More


    For more information about Boston Medical Center’s Division of Trauma Surgery and Critical Care, please click here