By: Tammye McDuff
Carole Snyder RN, PIH Health Program Manager of Emergency Preparedness, has been appointed to the California Commission on Emergency Medical Services (EMS) by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
Snyder was appointed as the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) representative to the commission. ENA is a professional organization whose mission is to advocate for patient safety and excellence in emergency nursing practice.
“I’ve been involved in disaster preparedness most of my life and I take emergency preparedness very seriously for myself, my family, PIH Health and my community,” says Snyder. “It is an honor to be given the opportunity to work with industry leaders and Government officials to improve the quality of emergency medical services throughout California.”
As a member of the EMS Commission, Snyder will support the role of EMS agencies to ensure that patients not only have access to quality emergency medical services, but long term stability of these services. Once per quarter, at locations throughout California, the Commission meets to provide feedback to the Director of the California Emergency Medical Services Authority and to approve regulations, standards and guidelines developed by the EMS Authority.
Snyder has been a program manager of Emergency Preparedness at PIH Health Hospital – Whittier since 2009, and has held several positions within the organization since 2003, including educator and staff nurse for the Emergency Department. She now oversees emergency preparedness activities for PIH Health’s entire health system which includes to PIH Health Hospital – Whittier, PIH Health Physicians medical group and PIH Health Hospital – Downey.
A United States Army Veteran, Snyder has played several different roles in the world of healthcare. From 1994 to 2002, she was a charge nurse for White Memorial Medical Center Emergency Department. Snyder served as a sexual assault nurse examiner at Mission Community Hospital from 1996 to 1998 and was a staff nurse in the Beauregard Memorial Hospital Emergency Department from 1993 to 1994.
She has been practicing nursing for 23 years. During the early years, she was an educator and staff nurse at Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital (PIH). Carole quickly realized that she enjoyed the Emergency Department immensely. Emergency Nursing and Disaster Management became her passion. From 2009 to the present, she has been the program manager of Emergency Preparedness at PIH Health. In this role, she oversees emergency preparedness activities for PIH Health’s entire healthcare system which includes PIH Health Hospital – Whittier, PIH Health Physicians medical group and PIH Health Hospital – Downey.
Carole received her Bachelor’s in Nursing from the City College of San Francisco and Pacific Union College. Thereafter, she earned her Master’s in Emergency Management Administration from Cal State Long Beach. If there’s somebody you’d like to be with when the “Big One” strikes California, it would certainly be Carole , know to friends as colleagues as the “Master of Disaster”. “I am passionate about it,” says Snyder, “ever since I was a child in girl scouts, making first aid boxes for my family.
Snyder is actively involved with emergency preparedness organizations as President of the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA). She also served as the past president of the California State Council ENA, and the former Chair of the Disaster Preparedness Committee for the National ENA.
As a U.S. Army veteran, Snyder served at Ft. Jackson, Ft Sam Houston and was stationed at the Presidio / San Francisco she then transferred into the California National Guard after that.
“The army gives you a sense of service, of being a true volunteer,” comments Snyder, “I think people need to get out of their community to see how good they actually have it. There are a lot of places in the world that don’t have what we have.”
It is not unusual for Carole to combine vacation and volunteering. Snyder has traveled to Vietnam and Cuba as an advocate for women in leadership. Lynn Aguilera, a Director of Transition Planning at HTS writes, “Let’s not forget her contributions to volunteering to help in relief efforts for Katrina victims, and other instances where people faced dire situations. She has so much passion to do the right thing that is completely inspiring to so many people including me. She helps me remember why we as nurse’s fight for what is right for our staff and our patients.”
When asked what makes her happy, Snyder replied:
“Working for free is the best feeling in the world. I had the opportunity to volunteer during the Nias Island earthquake response in April 2005. We traveled to Sumatra, and boarded the USNS Mercy ship, seeing quake-injured patients, and providing humanitarian care to the residents of the island. We had two kids brought on board who needed specialty care. The mission leaders worked with the Sumatran and US governments to bring the kids to the US for treatment. One little two-year old orphan girl had a hole in her heart, and had difficulty gaining weight and growing due to the deficit. All her calories went to breathing and oxygenation. The other little nine-year old girl had cerebral spinal fluid leaking into her nasal cavity leaving her with a deformed face which had her ostracized from her village. Both kids came to the States and had their issues surgically fixed. We had the opportunity to see them off at the airport after their surgeries. Both kids were playful and healthy, and that was a great feeling!”