Trauma Program Manager Honored for Her Leadership and Hard Work

Jan Calhoun, MSN, RN, EMT, was honored in January as the Trauma Program Manager of Distinction for 2020 by the New York State Division of the American Trauma Society (NYS ATS).

​Jan Calhoun, Trauma Program Manager at Bassett Medical Center
​Jan Calhoun, Trauma Program Manager at Bassett Medical Center

"I was absolutely not expecting this," laughs Jan. Typically, this recognition is awarded to managers of Level One or Level Two trauma centers in large city hospitals among the 50 trauma centers throughout the state. "They don't usually give it to the little guys. But it's because of my team that I got this award. They make me look good."

Her team — who passionately nominated her for this recognition — clearly disagrees.

"Jan has provided extraordinary leadership and service through a critical period for Bassett Medical Center's Emergency Department," explains Mark Winther, MD, Bassett's chief of Emergency Services. In 2019, the ED learned it could no longer qualify as a Level Two trauma center. It had six months to verify a Level Three status or risk losing certification altogether.

In addition, the trauma program manager was stepping away for personal reasons. Jan agreed to step into this difficult situation as an interim manager.

"Jan had never run a trauma program before," reflects Dr. Winther. "But she took her passion for learning and taught herself how. With a review like this, there is a huge number of moving parts, important players and regulatory information. She had to put all that together to line up perfectly. She did phenomenally well."

"Jan is very well-deserving of this award," agrees Matthew Conn, president of the NYS ATS. "She did all the work. Her team simply let us know about it. There's a tremendous amount to be proud of at Bassett with their entire trauma team's dedication to the care of the trauma patient."

"I like challenges," Jan explains, "and solving puzzles. During our accreditation, if someone told me we couldn't do something in the time we had, we made ourselves do it."

"Now that the certification is complete, everyone says to me, 'Way to go! You got a homerun,'" says Dr. Winther. "But thanks to Jan, the field was short, the ball was on a tee, I had cork in my bat… She did everything and made everyone around her look good."

As a result of her hard work — and at the recommendation of the survey team that certified Bassett as a Level Three Trauma Center — in 2020 Jan dropped the "interim" from her title to become the permanent Trauma Center manager.

"To me it's not just a job," explains Jan. "I love what I do at Bassett. I believe in what I do at Bassett. I feel like my team and I make a difference."