The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

November 8, 2012

Twp. hosts trauma forum: Abuse of children, elderly focus of annual event

TIRE HILL — Rescue squads, ambulance crews and emergency room staff are on the front line of the fight against abuse of children and the elderly, two law enforcement leaders said.

Cambria County District Attorney Kelly Callihan and Coroner Dennis Kwiatkowski outlined reporting responsibilities and gave tips on what to watch for on the scene of serious injuries to children and older residents during “Extremes of Trauma Care,” Memorial Medical Center’s annual trauma conference.

“We were trying to put into perspective that they are so crucial to us in trying to prove our cases,” Callihan said after Thursday’s presentation.

About 230 nurses, nursing students, emergency medical technicians, paramedics and other medical workers participated in the conference at Conemaugh Township Volunteer Fire Company in Tire Hill.

The daylong program covered different aspects of emergency treatment and follow-up medical care for both the youngest and the oldest trauma patients, with emphasis on recognizing and treating abuse victims, said Dr. Russell Dumire, medical director of Memorial’s Level One trauma center.

“Pediatric abuse has been in the limelight for years,” Dumire said. “We are seeing more elder abuse. It is just not as recognized because people don’t think to look.”

Front-line medical workers have some unique legal opportunities to protect the abused and help prosecutors convict their abusers, Callihan told the conference participants.

Medical workers can testify about what children tell them during treatment under an exception to the hearsay rule that normally disallows second-hand testimony, Callihan said.

“If you can get these kids talking, we can put you guys up there to say: She told me this,” Callihan said.

Medical workers also have the legal authority to take children into protective custody if they feel the child’s well-being is threatened, said Dr. Donna Balewick of Indiana Regional Medical Center.

“I am going to do what I need to do to protect that child,” Balewick said.

Kwiatkowski said he was impressed with the scope of the conference, saying, “It’s going from the grass roots at the house through the prosecution.”

Taking a cue from the political campaign season, Thursday’s conference wrapped with a light-hearted debate comparing challenges of pediatric trauma care versus geriatric trauma care.

Dr. James Gregory, Conemaugh Physician Group trauma surgeon, presented the geriatric case. Dr. Shawna Morrissey, chief surgical resident at Memorial, gave the arguments for pediatric trauma.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • District Deaths April 20, 2014

    April 19, 2014

  • Denne, Williams & Stanton Records hearing scheduled

    A Cambria County judge will consider complaints filed by two Johnstown residents seeking documents related to the city’s municipal waste water operation at hearing at the end of this month.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sen. Bob Casey Casey targets heroin

    The heroin trade has brought addiction, death, violence and theft to Johnstown and other Pennsylvania communities.
    Figuring out how to deal with those issues is difficult for local, state and federal officials.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drive-in to open with high-tech projector

    Drive-in movie theaters and the term “state of the art” seldom share the same sentence.
    But that will soon be the case for the Silver Drive-In, it’s owner said. The Scalp Avenue site, often marketed as a nostalgic summer night escape, soon will boast a high-end projector capable of displaying the latest and greatest blockbusters in razor sharp high-definition, theater owner Rick Rosco said.

    April 18, 2014

  • Sheetz work underway

    Earthmoving is underway at Richland Town Centre for a nearly 6,500-square-foot Sheetz store.
    And the real estate broker marketing the land says a 3,000-square-foot retail building will be built next door.

    April 18, 2014

  • Smith, Shakir Mosi Police seize heroin, money in Prospect

    Johnstown police reported that several bricks of heroin, along with $4,000 in cash and a handgun, were discovered in the city's Prospect neighborhood around 4 a.m. Friday. An arrest warrant has been issued for the man be­lieved to be the owner or renter of the two homes raided.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Comedy night targets serious problem

    Animal advocates are using comedy to take aim at a serious problem.
    The third annual Funny Fundraiser to benefit the Nardecchia Spay and Neuter Fund will be held at 8 p.m. May 16 at Ace’s, 316 Chestnut St. in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.

    April 18, 2014

  • Local briefs 4/19/2014

    April 18, 2014

  • Early morning police raid in Prospect area leads to arrest warrant

    Johnstown police reported that several bricks of heroin, along with $4,000 in cash and a handgun, were discovered in the city's Prospect neighborhood around 4 a.m. this morning.

    April 18, 2014

  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    April 18, 2014


Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads