FOR WOMEN, BY WOMEN TO SUPPORT HEALTHIER COMMUNITIES AROUND THE WORLD
We worked in a trauma center together before starting a consulting company called Medical Consultants Network that was doing work around something we knew well, the regulations around “patient dumping” that was the practice of hospitals sending away patients who they judged would likely not be able to pay.
Amanda Valeur has dedicated her life to serving the needs of those less fortunate and ensuring all people have access to basic healthcare and healthcare education to improve their quality of life. She has served on the frontlines in healthcare as an emergency room and trauma nurse, certified mobile intensive care nurse and manager, in all roles she was dedicated to at-risk, underserved and financially disadvantaged patients.
She received her nursing degree in 1976. Her first job as a nurse was in a public hospital serving the underserved poverty-stricken population of Los Angeles, California. She managed all levels of service from intensive care unit to addiction and crisis intervention in mentally compromised patients. Her devotion to providing equal access to basic healthcare brought her to the front lines at emergency rooms and trauma centers on the U.S. and Mexican border.
As a certified mobile intensive care nurse, Amanda directed the logistics, decision making and administration of medical personnel in the field using radio and phone transmission. Ensuring that the seriously ill and injured patients received desperately needed medical care from paramedics and emergency medical technicians before ever arriving in the controlled environment of a hospital. Once in the emergency room, she managed patient care and treatment with often limited resources: staff, equipment, and time.
In the 1980s, there were many highly publicized incidents of in adequate patient care in hospital emergency rooms across the country. Hospitals were failing to provide a medical screening to financially underprivileged patients, and concurrently transferring or discharging patients without taking steps to assure patient safety. The government regulations put in place to counteract this activity were referred to as EMTALA – “the anti dumping law.” Amanda saw the need for facilities to review their processes and comply with this new regulation and began serving as a consultant developing processes and educating hospitals in complying with the newly required regulations.
On a personal level, during this time Amanda was simultaneously raising two young children. She was juggling the responsibilities of being a single parent and working 12 hour shifts in the hospital. The time and resource constraints gave rise to creating a full-time consulting business where she could meet the needs of the hospitals and patients, be present as a mother and earn a living wage to support her family.
Medical Consultants Network Inc. was founded in 1987 in partnership with Pamela Gustafson, the now Executive Vice President of MCN Healthcare. Pam and Amanda worked together in hospitals for many years. Pam’s well honed skills as a regulatory expert and editor were a perfect compliment to Amanda’s strategic thinking and entrepreneurial instincts.
MCN Healthcare Inc. gathered together some of the top consultants in healthcare regulations to provide a comprehensive consulting team that met the needs of the clients. They also developed examples of documentation that met regulations and reflected best practices that could be customized to the individual organization. Over the years, those documents went from hard copies to floppy disks then CDs. MCN Healthcare has over 20,000 documents available for download via the internet to assist in compliance, risk-management, and above all else patient care and safety.
Based on experience through consulting and working in hospitals around the country Amanda and Pam recognized that healthcare workers require education to meet and serve the needs of a diverse community. Therefore, MCN Healthcare developed realistic educational products for compliance and patient safety utilizing experienced healthcare workers.
MCN Healthcare, from 1987 through today, has transformed its products from physical videos and paper documents to comprehensive web-based solutions for healthcare organizations around the world. In 2010, MCN Healthcare made the decision to divide the company structure into divisions. MCN Healthcare will continue to focus primarily on policy creation, regulatory compliance, and policy management with software as service products. While MCN Learning LLC was established to concentrate on education and patient safety for clinics and hospitals around the world through its web-based learning platform and content.
MCN Learning LLC was established utilizing the vast knowledge and experience in every aspect of the healthcare industry in order to provide useful and accessible educational resources to support and develop the skills and decision-making of caregivers. As a logical extension of Amanda’s devotion to providing care for the underserved and MCN Learning’s skills, the MCN Foundation was established to work on the ground with disadvantaged populations around the world.
In addition to Amanda’s professional role as both nurse and consultant, her personal dedication as a mother, she devotes her time to expanding healthcare knowledge and exploring the role that the MCN Foundation can serve in addressing the great needs identified through her extensive travels to South America, Africa, India, Asia, Russia and many developing nations.
Amanda is a member of Women Health Care Executives, Green Hospitals, Patient Advocate Foundation, Institute for Healthcare Improvement Patient Safety Officers and Healthcare Executive Network.
Amanda lives part time in San Francisco, California and Paris, France. She enjoys scuba diving, skiing and is in the process of writing a novel while improving her French. Travel enables her to indulge in her interest in learning more about varied cultures.
Pamela Gustafson is Executive Vice President and co-founder of MCN Healthcare, an internationally recognized leader in healthcare policy and procedure development, policy management and online learning for more than 23 years. Pamela has more than 30 years experience in the healthcare industry including as managing editor of MCN publications and regulatory compliance consultant in the areas of risk and safety.
Pam grew up in the Southern California area of San Diego. She attended college at Palomar College and College of the Desert focusing her studies in nursing and business administration. She provided CPR and basic first-aid courses to the community while working more than ten years in emergency departments. Her interests have always been in the area of education and specifically her volunteer work in literacy. She is the author of “Are Your Policies and Procedures What They Need to Be?” published in New Perspectives.
Pam is a member of the American Society of Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM) and the American Society of Healthcare Engineering (ASHE), Journal of Health Communication, Institute of Healthcare Improvement, Health Care Compliance Association, and National Association of Healthcare Quality.
Pam is married to a software engineer and resides in Denver, Colorado. She enjoys traveling, racquetball, cooking and spending time with her husband and dogs.