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Article: Improving ER Care at Athens-Limestone Hospital

By March 20, 2017 October 24th, 2017 No Comments

Malone, Karen. (March 16, 2017) Island Medical Management (IMM) Improving Emergency Room Care at Athens-Limestone Hospital. Source: a Publication of Athens-Limestone Hospital. Retrieved from: https://issuu.com/athenslimestonehospital/docs/source_spring_2017

Tom-meka Archinard, MD, FACEP

As Regional Medical Director, Dr. Tom-meka Archinard oversees the emergency departments of Huntsville Hospital System (HHS) facilities management by Island Medical Management (IMM) including: Decatur Morgan Hospital, Parkway Medical Center, Athens-Limestone Hospital, and Red Bay Hospital. She leads a team of physicians, advanced practice providers, and scribes with a core goal of providing modern emergency medicine to the residents of North Alabama.

Dr. Archinard was raised in Lake Charles, La., as the daughter of two school teachers and granddaughter of a sharecropper. Pushed by her family in academics and athletics, she became an honors student, who also excelled on the track and basketball court. As an undergraduate, she attended Tulane University on an athletic scholarship, where she was an all-conference and honors athlete. She continues her affiliation with her college sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha.

An honors graduate with a major in cellular and molecular biology, Dr. Archinard entered Wake Forest School of Medicine in North Carolina in 1995 and became the National Vice President of the Student National Medical Association. In 1997, her student chapter was named the organization’s Chapter of the Year. In addition to her medical studies, she conducted a multi-year anti-violence campaign in the public school system that provided outreach programs to at-risk youth. As a parting gift to future medical students, she published the first edition of the Wake Forest School of Medicine Survival Guide.

In 1999, Dr. Archinard started her ER residency at State University of New York, Brooklyn Health and Sciences Center (SUNY)-Downstate and Kings County Hospital. At the time, this was one of the busiest trauma centers and ERs in the country. She was elected the Graduate Medical Association Chair, and was elected Resident of the Year in 2000. Maintaining her lifetime goal of balancing academics and athletics, Dr. Archinard took up competitive boxing during her residency and competed in the female Golden Gloves of New York.

Her first job out of residency was in Newark, N.J., at UMDNJ now Rutgers University.  She served as the Associate Director of the Emergency Medicine Department and revised ER quality measures that could be applied statewide. Some have become national standard core ER measures. After five years, she moved on to become the Vice Chair of Operations of an ER in Brooklyn, Lutheran Medical Center. In addition to her ER responsibilities, Dr. Archinard opened the Great Oaks Charter School in Newark, NJ, with fellow ER physician, Dr. Karma Warren.

The next phase in her professional life came when she joined Pegasus Emergency Group, Inc. (now Island Medical Management) as a Regional Medical Director overseeing multiple ERs in New York and Louisiana. In 2013, Dr. Archinard accepted the position of ER Medical Director for Decatur Morgan Hospital (Decatur and Parkway campuses) in Decatur, AL. However, diagnosed with breast cancer, she was forced to delay her arrival for several months to undergo surgeries and complete chemotherapy. She approached the disease with the same courage and determination that has made her a renowned athlete, scholar, and medical professional.

As Medical Director of the Decatur Morgan Hospital ERs, Dr. Archinard has created a culture of teamwork that includes physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners, who work hand-in-hand with the ER nurses and technicians to deliver compassionate care to the community. She has overseen the establishment of emergency medicine training programs for medical students from the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine, physician assistant students from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and nurse practitioner students from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Huntsville, and Sanford University. She sits on the Decatur Morgan Hospital Medical Executive Committee, Clinical Review Committee, Credentials Committee, and the Decatur EMS City Council.

Adding to her responsibilities, Dr. Archinard was named Medical Director for Red Bay Hospital ER in 2015. She is currently developing a combined ER and hospitalist role for physicians working at that site. In May 2016, Dr. Archinard was named Regional Medical Director for all Huntsville Hospital ERs contracted by Island Medical Management. She is looking forward to continuing the success of ER systems that integrate teamwork and evidence-based emergency medicine.

Dr. Archinard lives in Madison,Ala., with her spouse and four children. Her eldest daughter is a highly ranked competitive gymnast.

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