Idaho Time Sensitive Emergency (TSE) Initiative

The 2014 Idaho Legislature approved and funded a plan to develop a statewide Time Sensitive Emergency system of care that will include trauma, stroke and heart attack; three of the top five causes of deaths in Idaho. Studies show that organized systems of care improve patient outcomes, reduce the frequency of preventable death and improve the quality of life of the patient.

TSE Incident GraphicA TSE system of evidence-based care addresses public education and prevention, 911 access, response coordination, pre-hospital response, transport, hospital emergency/acute care, rehabilitation and quality improvement.  A TSE program creates a seamless transition between each level of care and integrates existing community resources to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs.  It will get the patient to the right place in the right time with the right care.

Plans for the Idaho TSE system of care include  a State TSE Council that will lead the system, regional committees to develop the system with community partners, and technical support  provided by the Idaho Division of Public Health. The system will “roll-out” using a deliberate, staged manner with trauma being implemented first, followed by the other two components. Experience in other states has shown that organized systems of care improve the quality of care and reduce reducing morbidity and mortality.


The Idaho Legislature passed HCR 10 in 2013 to form a workgroup to define the elements of a TSE program, including funding mechanisms and an implementation plan.  The workgroup was responsible for drafting legislation for consideration by the 2014 Legislature to form an Idaho TSE program.

The 45-member workgroup, comprised of a variety of stakeholders, including emergency medical service providers, hospitals, healthcare providers, public health, health insurers, rehabilitation providers, legislators and community members, met from May through December creating the system and the legislation to present to the 2014 Legislature.  On March 19, 2014, Governor Otter signed S1329aa into law. 

Guiding Principles

The following guiding principles are the foundation for the TSE system:
  • Provide nationally accepted evidence based practices to time sensitive emergencies;
  • Ensure that standards are adaptable to all providers wishing to participate;
  • Ensure that designated facilities institute a practiced, systematic approach to time sensitive emergencies;
  • Reduce morbidity and mortality from time sensitive emergencies;
  • Design inclusive systems for time sensitive emergencies;
  • Participation is voluntary; and
  • Data are collected and analyzed to measure the effectiveness of the system.

How to Get Involved

We all know family or friends who suffered from a heart attack, stroke or trauma. Developing a statewide Time Sensitive Emergency system of care for Idaho is a huge initiative, but one that can reduce preventable deaths and improve the quality of life for survivors. Legislation has been enacted  to develop the foundation for a comprehensive Idaho TSE program. Idaho is now in the beginning stages of a years-long process for full development of this system of care. Initial efforts will establish a TSE governor-appointed council and regional committees, rule promulgation, updating the existing trauma registry to include heart attack and stroke data, etc.  The opportunities to get involved or stay involved are available by sending an email to  

Contacts to learn more about the TSE initiative in Idaho

While there are many dedicated professionals working on the development of a TSE System of Care for Idaho, the following people may be contacted to discuss the work that is being conducted.





Wayne Denny 


Idaho Dept. of Health and Welfare;
Public Health Division EMS &
Preparedness Bureau


Elke Shaw-Tulloch

Idaho Dept. of Health and Welfare;
Public Health Division
Public Health Administration



Rep. John Rusche, MD


Idaho Legislature




Curtis Sandy, MD


EMS Physician Commission;
Portneuf Medical Center



 Bill Morgan, MD

Medical Director
Trauma Services
St. Alphonsus Health System


 Nichole Whitener, RN

Neurosciences Service Director
Research Administration
St. Alphonsus Health System


 Bart Hill, MD

VP & Chief Quality Officer
Stroke Information
St. Luke's Health System


 Marshall Priest, MD

Executive Director
St. Luke's Heart
St. Luke's Health System

208-381-4818 Office
208-861-0142 Cell

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