College of

Emergency Medicine Research

The Emergency Medicine Department has a strong clinical research program which has been in place for over 25 years with a goal to improve emergency care by creating an environment of inquiry and scholarship. Teaching faculty and students are encouraged to participate in the development of new research projects, learn to critique biomedical research articles and develop habits of inquiry as a continuing professional responsibility.

The EM research team has initiated collaborative studies with other departments, area hospitals, universities, colleges, and community health agencies. In recent years, we have completed projects with the Kent County EMS; area nursing homes and adult foster care facilities; Medical Social Work and Respiratory Care Departments at Spectrum Health-Downtown Campus; the YWCA Sexual Assault Program; Grand Valley State University; Calvin College Department of Sociology; Akron General Medical Center in Ohio; Kent County medical Examiner, and Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. The research team has also completed studies in collaboration with other residency training programs in Grand Rapids including radiology, surgery/trauma, internal medicine, forensic pathology and pediatrics.

Jeffrey Jones, MD, is associate chair for emergency medicine research. 

Resuscitation EM Research

The resuscitation of acutely ill or injured patients sits at the core of Emergency Medicine.  As such, testing new ideas and questioning existing paradigms is paramount to advancing our specialty. 

Dr. Reynolds’ primary efforts within resuscitation science relate to cardiac arrest and post-resuscitation care, but he interested in any and all matters broadly related to resuscitation.  To this end, the Department of Emergency Medicine is forging collaborative relationships with multiple local entities and institutions, including the Grand Rapids Fire Department, Kent County EMS, Frederick Meijer Heart & Vascular Institute, and the Cook Institute simulation center.

Dr. Reynolds is a delegate to the Advanced Life Support Task Force of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR). He is also the site Principal Investigator at Spectrum Health for the Strategies to Innovate Emergency Care Clinical Trials Network (SIREN).  

Neurological EM Research

Despite the massive proliferation of published medical research and broad based efforts toward improving its interpretation through evidence-based medicine, significant gaps persist between what we know from research evidence and what we do in clinical practice. This problem is pervasive in medicine, but is especially critical in highly time-dependent conditions where any delay in initiating appropriate intervention negatively impacts patient outcomes.

Dr. Oostema's research interests include the assimilation of evidence-based practice into clinical care, particularly with respect to the evaluation and treatment of neurological emergencies. Recently, his research has been focused on prehospital stroke care. As the first link in the stroke chain of recovery, early identification of patients with stroke by EMS can significantly impact the speed and efficacy of downstream acute stroke care, yet EMS stroke recognition is inconsistent and often not systematically monitored. Dr. Oostema is currently the principal investigator of an American Heart Association Mentored Clinical and Population Research Award supporting the development and assessment of a regional system to monitor and improve prehospital stroke recognition, transportation efficiency, and activation of in-hospital stroke systems. Dr. Oostema's other interests include the Emergency Department evaluation and management of transient ischemic attack (TIA) and acute ischemic stroke.