South Peninsula Hospital nurse receives statewide honor

A South Peninsula Hospital nurse has received statewide recognition for her lifelong commitment to the nursing profession, for championing trauma care, and for her service across Alaska as a flight nurse, dynamic educator and humanitarian.

Rebecca Lundquist, a registered nurse, emergency room nurse, preceptor and trauma coordinator for the hospital, recently received the Melissa Ann Peters Memorial Award from the Governor’s Alaska Council on Emergency Medical Services, or ACEMS.

Lundquist has been a pivotal part of EMS in Alaska. Her nursing career started in 1977 and has included roles as flight nurse, ER nurse, and practitioner of wilderness medicine. In addition to patient care, she enjoys educating and facilitating cross training.

When at Southern Region Emergency Medical Services, she both taught and coordinated EMS classes around the state, equally at ease in high-tech classrooms and small rural villages with only a blackboard and tape for props, according to a press release from SPH. After training EMS and flight personnel in Bosnia, she took a position instructing with North Star Emergency Services Academy then moved to work at Homer’s hospital.

As the trauma coordinator for SPH’s Level 4 trauma designation, she manages quarterly multi-disciplinary trauma reviews, facilitates staff education, and secures appropriate equipment and training for ER staff. Some accomplishments during her time as trauma coordinator include:

• An agreement from five emergency medical service areas and the hospital on clearly defined and utilization of trauma alerts;

• Coordination on trauma equipment use and purchase, covering pre-hospital and hospital;

• Clarification on medivac activation pre-hospital; and

• Facilitating an open, working relationship between pre-hospital and hospital personnel.

“Under her leadership, quarterly trauma review has become a lively, interactive, effective process that is well attended by four EMS areas with call-in attendance from across Kachemak Bay, all working together to improve trauma response for the community,” according to the SPH release.

Lundquist’s career highlights include:

• 1989-1991 — served as chief flight nurse;

• 1991-1994 — taught and coordinated EMS courses throughout Alaska for Southern Region EMS;

• 1995-1997 — taught and coordinated classes for EMS and flight personnel while serving as a registered nurse in central Bosnia;

1997-2002 — served as EMS instructor in EMT and paramedic level programs for North Star Academy and served as education coordinator for Alaska Regional, serving as the instructor for advanced cardiac life support, certified emergency nursing, trauma nursing core, advanced trauma care for nurses, certified sedation for RNs and the pediatric advanced life support courses.

Lundquist has been published in Emergency Nursing Core Curriculum, Instructors Manual Aeromedical Evacuation in Alaska, and Alaska Medevac Manual: Guidelines for Medevac Escort. Her past awards include Alaska Commendation Medal 2000 for her work with the Alaska Air National Guard Para-rescue Squadron, Alaska Commendation Medal 1998 for her work with the Alaska Air National Guard Para-rescue Squadron, Alaska EMS Provider of the Year in 1991, Guardian Angel Award from the Alaska National Guard 1991, and Nurse Excellence Award from Alaska Regional Hospital in 1988.

Lundquist received a letter and plaque from Gov. Bill Walker which was presented to her at the quarterly trauma meeting in December at South Peninsula Hospital. She plans to retire from professional nursing at SPH early 2017, but intends to stay involved in some way with teaching in the EMS field and continuing her education.

The ACEMS was established in the Department of Health and Social Services by Alaska statute to advise the commissioner and governor with regard to the planning and implementation of a statewide EMS system. ACEMS presents this award annually in memory of a young nurse whose untimely death prompted her family and friends to remember her by honoring other nurses who have contributed in a special way to the encouragement of EMS skills, efforts and education.