emergency medicine

Dr. Joanne McDonough
Ellis Medicine

Today we have Dr. Joanne McDonough, chair of Ellis Medicine’s Emergency Services, in the studio to answer your questions. 

  In the aftermath of 9/11 Kevin Hazzard felt that something was missing from his life—his days were too safe, too routine. A failed salesman turned local reporter, he wanted to test himself, see how he might respond to pressure and danger. He signed up for emergency medical training and became, at age twenty-six, a newly minted EMT running calls in the worst sections of Atlanta. His life entered a different realm—one of blood, violence, and amazing grace.

Thoroughly intimidated at first and frequently terrified, he experienced on a nightly basis the adrenaline rush of walking into chaos. But in his downtime, Kevin reflected on how people’s facades drop away when catastrophe strikes. As his hours on the job piled up, he realized he was beginning to see into the truth of things.

Eventually, what had at first seemed impossible happened: Kevin acquired mastery. And in the process he was able to discern the professional differences between his freewheeling peers, what marked each—as he termed them—as “a tourist,” “true believer,” or “killer.”

His new book is A Thousand Naked Strangers.


It’s that time of year again – the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and wintertime can be an exciting time for family, friends and cold-weather sports. But for hospital emergency rooms, it’s a time for hypothermia, frostbite, carbon-monoxide poisoning and snow-shoveling safety.   


A new $45 million dollar emergency and trauma center opened at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield this morning.  The state of the art facility will treat critically injured and ill people from throughout western Massachusetts.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

The new emergency department at Baystate Medical Center’s main campus in Springfield’s North End was opened to receive patients beginning at 7:30  Monday morning. The new facility is 72,000 square feet, 55,000 square feet larger than the old emergency room.

Drug overdoses are a significant problem across New York State with data from New York City showing more than 900 fatalities caused by accidental overdoses in 2003, nearly 70 percent of which involved the use of opioids like heroin.

In 2006, state law went into effect to allow non-medical personnel to administer Naloxone   (na-LOX-own), also known as “Narcan,” a nasal spray which can reverse the symptoms of opioid overdose. While the state has made progress by training lay-people, many areas of the states still do not have trained overdose responders.