Alpine Programs

Clinics and Conferences

Vail Valley Medical Center will again play host to this year's presentation of the USSA Medical Emergencies in Skiing and Snowboarding (MESS) Course. The 2014 MESS Course will present concepts for evaluation of traumatic emergencies in elite level ski and snowboard competitions, event medical support systems for World Cup Events in skiing and snowboarding at international venues, and management of common medical conditions of the elite ski and snowboard athlete. Outdoor practical training scenarios are planned to be taught Saturday at Beaver Creek Ski Resort to review the skills taught in the classroom. Advanced skiing and/or snowboarding skills are required for on hill scenarios.

The MESS Course is presented by USSA Sports Medicine in conjunction with Vail Valley Medical Center, Vail Valley Resorts, and Eagle County Paramedic Services.

Conference Fee: $695 per Physician

The USSA MESS Course 2014 is now closed. Registration for the 2015 Course will open in June 2015. 

Dates, Times and Details

Conference Date: 7am - 5pm  December 12 & 13th 2014 

Opening Reception: 5-7pm Decemeber 11th 2014

Arrival: Thursday, December 11th. Registration 4:00-6:00pm

Location: Park Hyatt Resort, Beaver Creek, CO

Registration Deadline: September 1st  2014: REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED. 

Attendance is limited and is by invite only to the USSA Physician Pool. 




Speaker Details

USSA MESS COURSE 2014 Tentative Agenda - August 2014

Course Coordinator: Gillian Bower


Thursday, December 11th 2014

5:00 – 6:00pm          MESS Course Registration

6:00 – 8:00pm          Opening Reception – Hosted by Gay & Richard Steadman


Friday, December 12th 2014

6:00-7:15am             Breakfast

7:30-7:45am             Course Structure and Objectives (Larry Gaul, MD)

7:45-8:15am             Introduction to USSA (Kyle Wilkens, PA-C, L-ATC)

8:15-9:00am             Review of Prohibited Substances and Methods (Larry Gaul MD)

9:00-9:15am             Break

9:15-9:45am             On the hill "Racer Down" (Steve Zuckerman, EMT)

9:45-10:15am           Primary and Secondary Survey  (Steve Vardaman)

10:15-10:45am        Break

10:45-11:30pm        Role of the Team Physician -Panel  (Gillian Bower PT / Tom Hackett MD / Gloria Beam MD)    

11:30am – 12:30pm            Lunch

1:00-5:00pm             Indoor Practical Stations

                                    1. Non-surgical Airway Management - Eman Podgorny MD

                                    2. Surgical Airway – Reg Franciose MD

                                    3. Spine Injury – Eagle County Paramedic Services

                                    4. Chest Trauma – Tony LaPorta MD

                                    5. Chest Pain/Dyspnea/AED – Steve Vardaman

                                    6. Extremity Evaluation and Splinting  -Beaver Creek Ski Patrol

                                    7. IV/IO Practice - Eagle County Paramedic Services

                                    8.Trauma Pack Review – Gillian Bower

5:00-5:30pm             Adjourn – Questions and Informal Discussions with Team Physicians


Saturday, December 13th 2014


6:00-7:15am             Breakfast

7:00-7:30am             Practical Station Preview  (Steve Zuckerman, EMT)

7:30-9:00am             Management of Concussion   (Jeffery Kutcher MD)

                                     USSA Concussion Policy and Return to Snow  (Kyle Wilkens, PA-C, L-ATC)

9:00-9:30am             Global Rescue

9:30-9:45am             Break

9:45-10:15am           General Medicine  (Tracee Metcalf, MD)

10:15-10:45am        Non Surgical Orthopedic Issues (Phil Arnold)

10:45-11:15am        Dental Emergencies (James Harding, DDS)

11:15-11:30 pm       Indoor Wrap up and Instructions

11:30 – 12:15 pm    Box Lunch / Free Ski

12:30pm                    Last time to load lift

12:50pm                    Meet at top of Chair 8 “cinch express”

1:00-4:00pm             6 On Hill Practical Stations – Birds of Prey  

1.    Knee dislocation / leg fracture

2.    Femur Fracture

3.    Head Injury with pelvis fracture and seizure

4.    Conscious Chest Trauma

5.    Spinal Injury with Neuro Deficit

6.    Uncontrolled Femoral Artery Bleed




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