(EMERYVILLE, Calif.) Vituity is pleased to announce that Kamara Graham, MD, has been recognized by the American College of Emergency Physicians with the 2022 Community Emergency Medicine Excellence Award. Dr. Graham was chosen based on her outstanding contributions to emergency medicine and public health in the northern Sacramento Valley. She currently serves as ED medical director at Adventist Health and Rideout in Marysville.
The ACEP Community Emergency Medicine Excellence Award is presented at the Emergency Medicine Practice Committee meeting during the ACEP annual meeting in October 2022. Recipients are determined by the Emergency Medicine Practice Committee and ACEP board of directors. Recipients are also recognized at the annual President’s Awards Gala.
Graham’s talents and community spirit filled a need at Adventist Rideout. “Her ED serves a diverse patient population and functions as the community lifeline,” says Vituity regional director Christopher Bradburn, DO. “Patient acuity is high, and chronic illness abounds in this underserved community. The ED often struggles with heavy patient loads, hospital overcrowding, and lack of subspeciality care.”
As medical director, Graham has worked to expand access to safety net care. To better serve the community’s large, unhoused population, she led the development of a street nursing program. Today, Adventist Rideout ED nurses travel to housing encampments to provide medical care and deliver sanitary supplies. Graham recently secured a Vituity Innovation Grant, which funds extended telehealth coverage for the street teams. She also added a substance abuse navigator and county mental health worker to the roster.
Graham also worked to reduce wait times in her busy 44-bed ED, which currently sees 180 patients a day. To this end, she spearheaded the creation of an inpatient process improvement committee to optimize patient flow throughout the hospital. Her efforts not only reduced ED boarding, they also decreased the hospital’s Medicare length of stay by 24 hours in the first month.
During last winter’s COVID-19 surge, ED visits rose by 67%. Despite this demand, Graham’s team kept wait times low, with an average door-to-provider time of 12 minutes and time-to-discharge of 134 minutes. Amazingly, patient experience scores improved during this time.
In addition, Graham has been instrumental in developing and launching Adventist Rideout’s opioid treatment and hospital at home programs.
“Dr. Graham is a servant leader who regularly goes above and beyond the call of duty,” Bradburn says. “She’s hard working, compassionate, gritty, and has fierce purpose as a leader. Accordingly, her list of accomplishments is lengthy.”
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