Dr. Sam Kevan has an impeccable reputation as the dedicated committee chair for continuing medical education (CME) for some 28 years at Delta County Memorial Hospital, and as an experienced family practice and emergency department physician for well over 30 years.
This unassuming, tall, white-haired doctor described how the CME has evolved over the past couple of decades. "We started out with all continuing medical education jointly sponsored with St. Mary's, which was the accrediting agency at the time." Most physicians either attended classes at the hospital or had to travel to professional conferences out of the area to earn CME credit.
DCMH worked to become accredited by the Colorado Medical Society starting with a two-year provisional accreditation and then a four-year accreditation in 1989. Being locally accredited to offer CMEs is of great help to area physicians.
"DCMH has been very supportive of me as the CME committee chair, enabling me to attend the statewide CME conference each year and also the national CME conferences in order to stay current and updated with changing accreditation criteria," commented Dr. Kevan.
Now in the information age, there are a variety of sources for point of care learning, such as online and handheld applications of UptoDate which is a learning resource for all kinds of patient conditions and current treatment protocols that may be accessed almost instantaneously by physicians as they are treating patients. There are also webinars where physicians may log in and go online to earn CMEs.
Two major changes in the manner in which CMEs are organized and held have greatly improved the process of offering continuing medical education:
1. Many years ago the pharmaceutical companies frequently sponsored the lectures and speakers for CMEs for physicians. New accrediting criteria require avoiding any kind of bias, and being more accountable through safeguards including faculty and planner disclosure and review of content to avoid any conflict of interest prior to a CME being offered.
2. Performance gaps are being identified so that CMEs are now a vehicle for continuous quality improvement for physicians. As many opportunities for improvement are incorporated into CME lectures as possible, once issues are identified. Then these issues or performance gaps are addressed through education, with the end result to assist in enabling physicians and the ancillary staff to provide the highest quality health care to the patient as possible.
Dr. Kevan observed that in the 1980s and 1990s top faculty with the University Hospital, in association with the University of Colorado, traveled to the Western Slope to do a lecture series at the hospitals in Montrose, Delta and Grand Junction which were always well received. Many regional referral specialists in Grand Junction have made presentations to DCMH medical staff over the years.
He mentioned that the lecture format for CMEs is still popular and allows a chance to interact in a group format where physicians can share and discuss relevant medical topics. Dr. Kevan also mentioned tumor board, an example of case-based learning, which is a more recent addition to the CME programming at the Delta hospital. Specific cancer cases are discussed among surgeons, oncologists, radiologists and other medical professionals so they may all share and learn from each case and provide the best treatment for the patient.
In recent years the Delta County Memorial Hospital CME program, in collaboration with the CME departments and trauma coordinators from Montrose, Community, and St. Mary's hospitals, has hosted a spring trauma conference to help Western Slope physicians and EMS providers keep up to date on trauma management and earn the needed credits to maintain their accreditation in the state trauma system.
Dr. Kevan has had a two-phased medical career beginning in family medicine in Riverton, Wyo., Lewistown and Chinook, Mont., and later in the Delta and Rifle areas. He was one of the original physicians to start the 29-year-old Delta Family Physicians clinic. While working in family medicine and obstetrics, he has had the privilege of delivering over 1,000 new babies to local families.
The second phase of Dr. Kevan's medical career began in 1995 when he started working in emergency medicine at both the Delta and Rifle hospitals.
He continued to contribute as a physician at least part time in family practice until 2014.
Dr Kevan also earned certification in sports medicine from the American Board of Family Medicine in 1995, and for the past 20 years has been attending high school sporting events to assist as a physician in case of injuries. As one observer noted, Dr. Kevan is quick to act. If someone falls or is injured, he is there right away checking to make sure that person has no serious injuries that need immediate attention.
This unassuming and kind doctor has also been a medical volunteer with his regional church missions group, traveling to Cambodia, Liberia and Haiti in recent years to provide medical services to underserved areas.
Dr. Kevan is married to Lana and they have four children and eight grandchildren. He participates athletically as a runner, completing five marathons and just as many half marathons and other local running events. He also rides his bicycle in the annual Pea Green Pedal. Dr. Kevan has been part of a barbershop quartet and chorus for many years and enjoys singing in the Valley Symphony chorus. He is also one of the pianists and organists at Delta United Methodist Church.
In his spare time he is an avid gardener and amateur wine maker, raising his own grapes. Dr. Kevan is a pilot who loves to fly.
Overall, this remarkable physician has devoted his life and committed his energies to helping others in a myriad of ways, both personally and professionally as a physician and educator.
"Thanks to Dr. Kevan from Delta County Memorial Hospital for all you have done for this community hospital, for physicians and for all of your patients over the years," stated Jason Clecker, CEO.