Newton Medical Center surgeon, Paul Bogner, MD, was nearing the end of medical school in 1977 when he decided to enroll in an elective taught by trauma surgeon Norman E. McSwain, Jr., MD. Although he didn’t know, his decision would have far-reaching impacts.
Dr. Bogner was already aiming for a surgery career, and he assumed the class would provide the opportunity to follow surgeons on rounds and learn various aspects of the field.
Dr. McSwain, however, had a different idea.
“He wanted me to go on ambulance runs with the EMTs in Kansas City,” recalls Dr. Bogner, who today serves as medical director for Newton Fire/EMS in addition to his practice. “He told me to ride along, ask questions and learn because it was very important for us as physicians to know what they did.”
Unbeknownst to Dr. Bogner, his instructor was a pioneer in the emergency medical technician (EMT) profession nationwide, and instrumental in establishing the EMT infrastructure in the state of Kansas.
Looking back decades later, Dr. Bogner considers the experience a defining one in his career. It fueled an interest in emergency services and respect for emergency personnel and the work they do that has continued to impact his own work.
After completing his residency, Dr. Bogner practiced in Clay County, Kansas which happened to have one of the state’s most progressive volunteer ambulance services. With his experiences under Dr. McSwain, Dr. Bogner was a natural to serve as medical director. Over the next five years, his involvement in emergency services continued to grow and he was appointed to the Kansas emergency medical services state council, among other activities. And in 1988 after moving to Newton, he took the position of Newton Fire/EMS medical director.
Dr. Bogner’s depth of experience in both the hospital and EMS worlds allows him to understand the entire spectrum of patient care from the time an emergency team is called out, through hospitalization. He views the link between hospital and pre-hospital care as crucial in serving the emergency and medical needs of the community. To that end, he works to ensure collaboration and communication between the hospital and EMS teams, and consistently targets quality improvement.
The Newton Medical Center and Newton Fire/EMS partnership has resulted in multiple accolades from the Kansas Emergency Medical Services Association (KEMSA) and the Kansas Emergency Medical Technicians Association (KEMTA). Most recently, Newton Fire/EMS Chief Mark Willis was presented with KEMTA’s Norman E. McSwain award for his outstanding contributions to emergency medical services in the community. Additional honors include the 2015 Emergency Medical Service of the Year for Newton Fire/EMS, and 2003 Physician of the Year for Dr. Bogner, both from KEMSA. Additionally, Newton Fire/EMS receives multiple requests to present to peers at state and regional conferences due to the success of the Quality Improvement model on which it collaborates with Dr. Bogner.
“Newton Medical Center and Newton Fire/EMS have a relationship that is the envy of many communities,” says Steve Kelly, president and chief executive officer of Newton Medical Center. “Our unified focus on caring for our citizens with the best clinicians and state-of-the-art equipment makes our community a safer and better place to live.”
As medical director, Dr. Bogner is committed to empowering the emergency services professionals to do the jobs he understands they know best.
“Our team wants to be on the leading edge of best practices. They’re always interested in the latest and best,” he says. “As medical director, I want to support that and give them the authority, training and tools to do whatever it takes to take care of patients.”
This open and team-oriented approach, and his tendency to quickly give others credit have earned the respect of Dr. Bogner’s colleagues.
“Dr. Bogner’s expertise and experience as a surgeon, and his many years in EMS help us bridge the gap that sometimes exists between what happens in the field and what happens in the hospital,” says Scott A. Metzler, deputy chief of Newton Fire/EMS. “He is actively involved with our quality improvement program and reviews the documentation from every critically ill or injured patient treated by our team. This level of involvement helps us make improvements and adjustments to our procedures and operations. Just as important, his work in this area has helped foster a spirit of teamwork and trust within the medical community, and solidified our members’ role as medical professionals.”
“Dr. Bogner has served as our medical director for more than 25 years and has done it without fanfare or financial gain,” adds Willis. “He prefers to remain ‘behind the scenes,’ but his passion and commitment to quality medical care are the instruments we’re able to provide on his behalf to the thousands of patients we encounter every year.”