Saginaw Medical Control Authority


The Saginaw Valley Medical Control Authority (SVMCA) is responsible for assuring medical accountability within the Emergency Medical Services System in Saginaw and Tuscola Counties through the promulgation of minimum standards of medical care, protocols, and operating policies and procedures, consistent with the Public Health Code of Michigan.  To administer medical control within Saginaw and Tuscola Counties, the SVMCA receives its funding and resources from the four hospitals that operate within the two counties.  Covenant Healthcare, St. Mary’s of Michigan, Caro Community Hospital, and Hills and Dales Hospital.  Synergy Medical Education Alliance acts as the resource agency to administer the funds from the hospitals and provide the SVMCA with office space for administration.

Currently, the SVMCA provides medical oversight to twenty eight transporting and non-transporting agencies including two rotary wing Air Medical Services.  Altogether, these services are comprised of nearly 900 individual providers that are licensed from Medical First Responder to Paramedic.

Saginaw and Tuscola Counties are comprised of both urban and rural regions with a population totaling 259,000 in 2007.  Major industries include agriculture, manufacturing, and medical services.  Both counties have a wide range of socioeconomic ranges with large gaps in primary versus tertiary care.  Saginaw County is comprised of largely urban and suburban areas, while Tuscola County is a mostly rural population.  The total geographical area of both counties combined is 1730 square miles.  All of this together makes for a well rounded, yet busy system that the Saginaw Valley Medical Control Authority is charged with providing medical oversight, education assistance and quality improvement.

SVMCA Organization

The Medical Control office is staffed day-to-day by the Medical Director, EMS Manager, EMS Coordinator, and an Administrative Assistant.  These individuals complete the daily operations of the SVMCA.  Duties of the staff are diverse and sometimes complex.  Some of these duties are listed below:

  • Assure medical accountability within the Medical Control Zone.
    • Author and maintain guidelines and protocols for providers in the system to ensure continuity of care.
    • Establish minimum standards for all providers by requiring additional education and certification.
    • Administer and monitor the orientation process for all new providers.
    • Verify the licensure and certification of each individual and agency.
    • Research and resolve incident reports generated by agencies, providers and the public.
    • Provide daily quality assurance review as directed by the Professional Standards Review Organization.
  • Coordinate, monitor, evaluate and plan for EMS in Saginaw and Tuscola Counties in conjunction with the county and municipal governments and other agencies functioning within the EMS System.
  • Assure the availability and efficacy of training and continuing education programs; systems telecommunication procedures; patient care quality review procedures; personnel skills assessment testing; and vehicle and equipment standards of operation and inspection.
  • Act in advisory capacity to township, municipal, and county boards of commissioners on matters pertaining to the provision of emergency medical services within the Saginaw and Tuscola County Emergency Medical Services System.
  • Assist the Medical Control Board in maintaining liaisons with or functioning as an advisory body t other agencies responsible for emergency medical services activity at state or regional levels.

Although the SVMCA staff provides for the daily operations of the Medical Control, they are ultimately guided by the Medical Control Board and its committees.  An organizational chart is shown below:


Medical Control Authority Board of Directors

Each hospital member of the Authority that provides funding for the SVMCA appoints one member to the Board of Directors of the Authority.  There are always as many directors as there are members of the Authority.  Hence, with four area hospitals providing funding for the SVMCA, there are currently four members on the Board of Directors.  This group meets at least annually to discuss and approve the overall direction of the SVMCA.  They act on the recommendations of the Medical Director and the Medical Control Board.

Medical Control Board
The Board of Directors of the Authority appoints a Medical Control Board.  The Medical Control Board acts as an advisory body in order to assure medical accountability within the Emergency Medical Services System.  All minimum standards of medical care, protocols, and operating procedures established within the Emergency Medical Services System must be approved by the Medical Control Board prior to be being of any force and effect.  The board is composed of the following individuals:

  • Two designated representatives of each hospital member of the Authority.
  • A representative from each type of Life Support Agency functioning in the EMS System.
  • The Chairman of each standing committee of the Medical Control Board.
  • The Director of Saginaw and Tuscola Central Dispatch or his/her designee.
  • Each type or category of emergency medical services personnel functioning within the EMS System has a designated representative.

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Advanced Life Support Committee & Professional Standards Review Organization
The ALS Committee deals with matters relating to consumer and provider complaints, incident reports, review of actions initiated by the Medical Director, and dispensation of discipline on ALS agencies and ALS personnel.  The ALS Committee is composed of the Medical Director and representatives from the ALS agencies along with other representatives from the Pre-hospital community.

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Basic Life Support / Medical First Responder Committee
The BLS/MFR Committee is much like the ALS Committee.  Every BLS/MFR agency within the SVMCA has representation on this committee that often acts a liaison between the MCA and its agencies.  This group also provides input on new protocols and policies along with a street perspective of how the whole system is working.

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Professional Standards Review Organization Sub-Committee (PSRO)
The PSRO Sub-committee provides for the routine audit of patient treatment compliance and any other activities prescribed by the Medical Control Board.  Although a sub-committee of the ALS committee, PSRO is not limited to the review of just ALS care.  The PSRO is charged with ensuring that all treatment within the SVMCA is in accordance with current protocols and guidelines. 

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Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee
The “P & T” Committee is composed of a Pharmacist from each participating hospital in the EMS System.  The Committee deals with matters pertaining to the development and use of standardized pharmaceutical protocols and the content and exchange of drug boxes between participation hospitals and pre-hospital provider agencies.

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Trauma Committee
The Trauma Committee is comprised of members of local surgeons and hospital officials.  This committee charged with development and implementation of trauma guidelines for the SVMCA and its providers.  The Trauma Committee is also involved in the formation of a Regional Trauma Network to ensure that the most seriously injured patients receive definitive care in a timely and effective manner.

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Dispatch-Communications Committee
The Dispatch-Communications Committee is comprised of key stakeholders that ensure that the pre-arrival phase of EMS care is consistent and timely.  Dispatch protocols, communications, and interoperability between multiple agencies are just some of the topics this committee addresses.

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