Mills-Peninsula Physician Honored as "Hero of Emergency Medicine"
BURLINGAME, Calif., August 25, 2008 - The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) today announced it has named Michael Jay Bresler, MD, FACEP, director of emergency medicine at Mills-Peninsula Health Services, “Hero of Emergency Medicine.” The campaign, which is part of ACEP’s 40th anniversary, recognizes emergency physicians who have made outstanding contributions to emergency medicine, their communities and their patients.
“The American College of Emergency Physicians is celebrating 40 years of advancing emergency care, and the nation’s emergency physicians are dedicated to saving even more lives and to improving emergency care for the next 40 years,” said ACEP President Linda L. Lawrence, MD. “Tens of thousands of lives are saved each year by emergency physicians and 115 million patients are treated in the nation’s emergency departments. Emergency physicians are medical specialists who are experts in their field.”
For nearly 35 years, Dr. Bresler has helped save lives and treated the 44,000 patients who come to Mills-Peninsula’s Burlingame and San Mateo emergency rooms every year. As director and past department chair, and president of Mills Peninsula Emergency Medical Associates, Dr. Bresler has helped build a stable, dedicated team of 24 physicians, many averaging 20 to 30 years on the ER staff, and all residing locally.
According to Dr. Bresler, “Like a successful football team, we are constantly rejuvenating the ‘players’ with an experienced blend of new and veteran specialists. As our veterans provide their wisdom gleaned from years of clinical practice, our younger doctors add the benefit of their more recent training. The result of this interaction is that each of our physicians provides the best blend of experience and up-to-date knowledge.”
Emergency rooms across the country are literally bursting at the seams these days. In addition to a shortage of primary care doctors who can provide routine care in their offices, there also are more uninsured, indigent patients and a growing number of seniors. According to a recent report by the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/2008/r080806.htm)
ER visits rose by 36 percent between 1996 and 2006, while the actual number of emergency rooms in operation dropped by nearly 10 percent.
“Given that 115 million patients come to the ER every year, most ERs are tremendously crowded, and Mills-Peninsula is no exception,” added Dr. Bresler. “But our physicians and nurses operate like a well-oiled machine. Some ERs in this country are taking two to three days to see patients for non-threatening conditions. At Mills-Peninsula, patients with non-threatening medical issues are generally seen within an hour of arrival, while patients in critical condition are seen immediately.”
Dr. Bresler also credits Mills-Peninsula for being one of the first California hospitals to recognize emergency medicine as a specialty. In the past, ERs performed limited functions and commonly had to call for the patient’s own doctor to leave his office and take over. For over three decades, however, Mills-Peninsula’s two ERs have utilized physicians who have been trained in the specialty of Emergency Medicine, and who can respond to medical emergencies of any kind.
Beyond his tenure at Mills-Peninsula, Dr. Bresler has been active in many health care arenas relating to emergency medicine. He has written both California and federal health care legislation and has testified frequently on health care issues being considered by both the California state legislature and the United States Congress.
Among his legislative accomplishments are a surcharge on California vehicular fines that raises more than $200 million annually to support emergency care of indigent patients, a state law preventing the “dumping” of medically unstable indigent patients from one hospital to another and portions of the federal anti-dumping law that provide whistleblower protection.
Dr. Bresler previously served as speaker of the National ACEP Council and as president of California ACEP. He has won the College’s highest awards for leadership at both the state and national levels, and has been designated as an ACEP Honorary Member and Life Fellow.