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CAMC hospitals saw few Jamboree-related injuries

By Candace Nelson

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Fewer than 10 participants of the 2013 National Scout Jamboree were admitted to Charleston Area Medical Center's facilities during the event last month.

Seven youth and two adults were admitted to the hospital from the Jamboree, which was held July 15-24 in Fayette and Raleigh counties, chief financial officer Larry Hudson said during CAMC's monthly Board of Trustees meeting Wednesday.

"CAMC handled more of the trauma cases," Hudson said. "There were various injuries -- orthopedic, head injuries -- but none were life-threatening or have long-term consequences."

Hudson, who also serves as the president of the local Buckskin Council, said there were 187 visits to emergency departments throughout the state, mostly in the Beckley area. Hudson was unsure of the number of admissions, and the Boy Scouts of America has declined to release the information.

"Although Boy Scouts of America does not disclose information of a medical nature about our membership related to any of our camp properties or events, the Jamboree Medical Services team provided first aid medical services directly to participants and visitors and, when needed, arranged for transportation to a local hospital," read a prepared statement from the organization.

Hudson said that four years ago, when the Jamboree was held at its previous location in Virginia, there were 700 trips to area emergency departments and 350 hospital admissions.

"The event was much safer than in prior years. Fewer adults and kids were injured, which is good news," he said.

Hudson, who has three sons who are Eagle Scouts, said on-site medical personnel were available this year as they were four years ago, but that the Jamboree was simply created better than in years past.

"It's a tribute to the engineering of the events themselves. The Boy Scouts of America did a great job of planning and engineering and executing a very safe Jamboree," he said.

CAMC had a discharge unit set up in case it received a large number of Scouts.

"Typically, the kids are from the West Coast or are out of state or out of town, and it would take some time for their parents to get there and pick them up," Hudson said.

"So we just had arrangements in place to accommodate them during that interim period of time, but fortunately, we didn't see many."

CAMC officials also created special patches for kids who were admitted to the hospital.

"We had a fair number -- maybe a couple hundred, made up, which we didn't need, thank goodness," he said.

The patch features "Charleston Area Medical Center" across the top and includes an image of a helicopter and "National Jamboree 2013" on the bottom.

Another version of the patch included "staff" on the patch and was given to HealthNet pilots and technicians so they could also trade.

"The trading of patches is a big deal in the Scouting world. Kids love it. Adults love it, and we just fed that culture by creating a patch specially for CAMC and the kids and adults who came here."

In other news, Women and Children's Hospital is celebrating its 25th anniversary this week.

Kanawha Valley Hospital opened July 3, 1982 and merged with CAMC in 1986. It became Women and Children's Hospital in 1988 when CAMC's obstetrics and gynecology services were relocated there.

CAMC is also conducting a trial run of going paperless for its board meetings. Spokesman Dale Witte said a board member suggested electronic meeting notes, and the board has been looking into the issue.

For six months, the board will test an application available on tablets and desktops that will allow them to save the approximately 200 to 400 paper packages per member per monthly meeting.

"It is probably in the range of about $15,000 to $20,000 per year for their services," Hudson said. "It's a big package that includes all the minutes, committee reports and other information that might be of interest to them."

On whether or not it will save money in the long run, Hudson said "it depends on how many users you have. If you have hundreds of people on the system, it'll cost you a little bit more. But the goal is to move into the 21st century and make things more available and more secure for our board members and committee members."

Marshall McMullen, general counsel for CAMC, said, "We had feedback indicating you might like to go down this road. It's the future for organizations and bodies like this to migrate toward this -- that's the trend."

"It's happening in other industries, and perhaps ours is behind some others in that respect. Our six-month trial ends in January, and at that point, we will decide whether to enter into a longer term agreement."

Ed Welch, chairman of CAMC's quality committee, noted that the floor where behavioral health patients are treated has been renovated. Low beds that reduce fall possibilities, doors without hinges and secured artwork were all shown at the meeting Wednesday.

CAMC Board of Trustees meetings are held at 8 a.m. on the fourth Wednesday of every month in the CAMC General corporate boardroom.

Contact writer Candace Nelson at or 304-348-5148. Follow her at




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