Department of Emergency Medicine
Assistant Medical Director, ECMC, Attending ED Physician
Emergency Medicine; Internal Medicine
Dietrich Jehle, MD, FACEP - Personal Statement - 9/09
I was appointed Vice Chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at SUNY @ Buffalo in 1993 and served in that capacity for 15 years. I also served as the Clinical Director of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) for 17 years, was recently promoted to Professor of Emergency Medicine and became the Associate Medical Director for ECMC (responsibilities for Emergency Medicine, Surgery, Surgery Subspecialties, and the Lab). The ECMC Lifeline Foundation selected me as the 2008 recipient of the Distinguished Physician’s Award and the 2008 Springfest Gala Physician Honoree in recognition of outstanding dedication and service to ECMC, a primary affiliate of SUNY @ Buffalo. In 2009, I was appointed as a voting member of the Board of Directors for the Erie County Medical Center.
Erie County Medical Center: I have been instrumental in the development of Emergency Medicine at the Erie County Medical Center (ECMC). The ECMC Emergency Department (ED) is now the busiest in the region. ECMC is a preferred clinical site for medical students and residents training in Emergency Medicine. In addition, has been the preferred site for employment from the perspective of our graduating chief residents. Over the last eight years that I served as the ED Director, the ED at Erie Country Medical Center experienced a 50% increase in patient volume, from 36,000 patient visits per year to over 50,000. ECMC was recently recognized as having the best trauma outcomes of any of the fifty trauma centers in New York State, reviewing the last three years of data. The ED to Cardiac Cath lab program at ECMC currently performs the largest number of angioplasties for Acute ST Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarctions in the region. This program has the best arrival to vessel opening times in the area and these times are significantly better than the American Heart Association guidelines.
To appreciate my role in the development of Emergency Medicine at ECMC, I think it is helpful to review comments from Michael Young, the former CEO of ECMC. Mr. Young wrote “His role as the clinical administrative leader for the department has been one of the most significant reasons for our growth and return to profitability”, “Dr. Jehle is a dedicated clinical provider, superior teacher, an administrative leader and has one of the strongest grasps of the fiscal activities within an Emergency Department I’ve seen in my career” and “In my longtime role as CEO, I have seen many clinical leaders and Dr. Jehle is among the strongest I have witnessed in my career. Without his singular support, ECMC would frankly not have been able to be in existence because the Emergency Department kept the hospital viable. I wholeheartedly support Dr. Jehle in his career and feel his leadership is a model for other clinical leaders to emulate.”
University Service: In addition to being the Vice Chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine, my university service has included being the Associate Director of the SUNY at Buffalo Emergency Medicine Residency Program for 10 years and 6 years of service on the Promotions Committee to Qualified Ranks with one year as the committee chairman. I acted as a resident preceptor, advisor to the Emergency Medicine Students’ Club and director of the medical student rotation in Emergency Medicine. I have also been the director of the resident rotation in ultrasound and the ultrasound resident tract.
National Leadership Roles: I was appointed a Board Examiner for the American Board of Emergency Medicine. I also served on the Board of the New York Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians and served as a National Institute of Health Research Grant Reviewer in the Small Business Innovation and Research Program. My role in the local trauma system has given me the foundation to serve as a Trauma Site Surveyor for both New York and Illinois. I am a consulting reviewer for Annals of Emergency Medicine, American Journal of Emergency Medicine and Academic Emergency Medicine. As Chairman of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Technology Committee, I coordinated the first LCD presentation at a National Emergency Medicine meeting in the early 1990s, when presentations had previously been done with slides. I assisted Dr. David Ellis in an administrative role during which ECMC’s Emergency Department developed one of the world’s busiest emergency telemedicine programs here in Buffalo.
Research and Scholarly Accomplishments
My research and publications have covered a variety of topics reflecting the broad clinical range of patient conditions seen in emergency medicine. In addition to pioneering ultrasound research, I have done significant work in resuscitation, investigating motor vehicle crashes and bringing new technologies to emergency medicine. I have published 5 books/book sections, 15 book chapters, 48 peer reviewed publications and 38 abstracts in the medical literature. I have developed the ideas and been the motivating force for the majority of the studies with which I am affiliated.
Emergency Ultrasonography: I have co-authored several leading textbooks on emergency bedside ultrasonography, including “Ultrasound in Emergency Medicine,” the first text in its field in 1995 with a second edition in 2002, and more recently “Ultrasonography in Trauma: The FAST Exam” published in 2003 by the American College of Emergency Physicians. The FAST Exam, Focused Assessment with Sonography for Trauma, has now been incorporated into Advanced Trauma Life Support as an integral part of the care of the trauma patient. I published the first study on the use of ultrasonography in blunt abdominal trauma by emergency physicians in the United States and the first emergency medicine study of the use of bedside ultrasound to evaluate gallbladder, aortic, renal and first trimester pregnancy pathology. I am currently working on an emergency eye ultrasound text that should be completed in 2009. In my role as Director of Emergency Ultrasonography, I recently set up a full time emergency ultrasound fellowship at SUNY at Buffalo that is graduating its first fellow, who has accepted a teaching position at John’s Hopkins. Academic emergency physicians from all parts of the United States and Canada have participated in my mini-fellowship in bedside sonography over the last 18 years. Approximately 20% of all emergency ultrasound fellowship directors in the United States and Canada received part of their ultrasound training here in Buffalo.
Resuscitation: I published the first studies of oximetry in pre-hospital care and the initial study of head cooling in cardiac arrest. In addition, I have also performed a number of studies in resuscitation and airway management and have helped create and edit a nationally distributed DVD entitled “Airway Management” which was completed in 2007. I initiated the idea of publishing the first study of the use of a variant of the gum bougie for failed airways by emergency physicians in the United States. This has now become one of the failed airway techniques of choice in emergency departments.
Motor Vehicle Crashes: An additional major research focus of mine has been motor vehicle crashes, conducted through the Center for Transportation Injury Research and the Calspan University at Buffalo Research Center (CUBRC). I have been principal investigator on several federally funded studies on traffic safety, investigating accident and fatality rates as they correspond to speed variance and road design, vehicle weight, seat belt usage, rollover crashes and other variables involved in car crashes.
Grant Support: I have been successful in obtaining significant government and non-governmental funding from 15 research grants totaling in excess of $12 million. The largest grant awards have been for the Center for Transportation Injury Research that brought in $1.2 - $2 million per year, of which as much as $450,000/year was directed to the Emergency Medicine group at ECMC. I have been the site principal investigator for the last five years of this award.
Educational Activities and Teaching
Residency Programs: I have been involved with the creation and development of two Emergency Medicine training programs. The first of these was at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh in 1982. The second was our SUNY @ Buffalo Emergency Medicine program in 1994. Since the Emergency Medicine Residency Program’s inception in 1994, the program has steadily increased its number of residents to 36 and improved its overall quality of residents.
Teaching Awards: In Buffalo, I was awarded the Chairman’s Teaching Award in 1998 and the Resident Class of 1999 Outstanding Teacher/Mentor Award. On the national level, the American College of Emergency Physicians presented me the “National Teaching Award” in 2000 and the “Emergency Ultrasound Award” in 2001.
For the last 17 years, I have provided supervision of medical care given to Buffalo Bills fans on game day at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, NY. and this year, I will be also assisting with medical care for the professional football players at the Bills home games. In 2007, Buffalo Business First awarded me the “Health Care 50” award for my level of involvement in medical care in the Buffalo community. I was a 24 hour a day volunteer medical consultant for the Western New York Poison Control Center for a period of 5 years and have been an Associate Medical Director for 6-10 volunteer ambulance companies over the last 15 years. I have helped with the World University Games and the Friends of Night People Shelter. The Specialized Medical Assistance Response Team (SMART) that provides physician support at the scene when required in the pre-hospital care settings was co-founded with my assistance. I helped set up the a child safety seat program and founded Camp 911, a one-day summer camp experience for Buffalo children held at ECMC’s Emergency Department. The Buffalo Bills teamed with ECMC’s Emergency Department in a helmet safety program and I helped institute a rear seat belt use awareness program. In 2004, I traveled to the Dominican Republic to supervise the “students without boarders” program with a local physician assistants training group that helped care for 1000 indigent patients. I have also presented at numerous grade schools in the Western New York area about emergency care and the importance of using bike helmets. Finally, I recently served on the Emergency Services Task Force created by the new Erie County Executive Chris Collins to make recommendations to the county for improving our quality of emergency services provided to Erie County residents.