Like most Las Vegans, UNLV School of Medicine student Ginger Christian was horrified by the Oct. 1 shooting at the Route 91 music festival. And also like the rest of the city, she wondered what she could do to help.
The answer arrived when Dr. Deborah Kuhls, one of her professors and a trauma/critical care physician at University Medical Center (UMC), suggested that as president of the local chapter of the American Medical Women’s Association, Christian could establish a training program for medical students on how to save lives through the national Stop the Bleed program.
Christian jumped on the idea, and she continues to help with the existing Stop the Bleed training program provided by UMC, which seeks to train the public on medical techniques to control massive bleeding.
Christian’s efforts have earned her UNLV’s 2019 Community Engagement Student Service Award, which she received at the university’s Academic Achievement Awards ceremony in April.
She began the training program with her own class of medical students, but the effort spread quickly. She went on to assist with training the classes of 2021 and 2022 and helped with training sessions in the community as well. She hopes that incoming medical students will continue to be involved with the Stop the Bleed program, and she serves as the unofficial liaison between UNLV medical students and UMC regarding the program.
“The Stop the Bleed campaign stresses that uncontrolled bleeding is the number one cause of preventable death from trauma,” Christian said. “With more people aware of how to control life-threatening bleeding, more lives will be saved.”
Christian said she felt compelled to bring greater awareness to this national campaign through UNLV’s School of Medicine and to assist UMC with its efforts to spread the word about the program.
“I felt it was my responsibility to get more medical students trained as instructors to be able to assist and volunteer their time teaching the community alongside UMC’s team of Stop the Bleed trainers,” Christian said.
Marcia Turner, the chief administrative officer at UMC, wrote in support of Christian’s award application.
“Ginger has indeed supported, facilitated, and promoted collaboration, partnerships, and engagement between UNLV and UMC,” said Turner. “Her impact with the program has been measurable and her efforts are ongoing. Through the UMC Stop the Bleed program, Ginger has served the community and encouraged her fellow students to take advantage of the student community engagement opportunities with the program.”
The UNLV office of community engagement established four universitywide awards in 2016 to recognize campus individuals for their exceptional community engagement in the areas of service learning, community-based research, faculty/staff community outreach activity, and student service.