Welcome to the D. Graham Copeland Regional Emergency Center of NCH
All Emergency Room Physicians are Board Certified in Emergency Medicine and many hold a second Board Certification.
24-Hours a day, 7-days a week. No appointments are necessary.
350 Seventh St. North,
Naples, FL 34102
(239) 624-5000 View a map of this location
Most Insurance Accepted
Facts about the D. Graham Copeland Regional Emergency Center
The renovation completed January 1, 1998 expanded the existing emergency department of 4,000 square feet to approximately 20,000 square feet.
- Dedicated radiology unit
- Chest pain observation unit
- 32 ED beds (26 acute beds, 6 minor care beds)
- More than 110,000 patients annual visit the Emergency Departments at NCH Naples Hospital and NCH North Naples Hospital of the NCH Hospitals
- National and international recognition for participation in drug studies in the treatment of heart attacks and strokes
- Physicians board certified in emergency medicine with over 150 years of combined experience
- Nursing staff credentialed in advanced cardiac, trauma and pediatric care
- Nationally certified nursing staff
Saving lives. Although all health care is ultimately devoted to this single goal, no medical discipline is more directly linked to it than Emergency Medicine. The calm demeanor of Emergency Room caregivers belies the unpredictability and urgency of their task. Yet, each of us who has had contact with an ER understands the critical nature of their work.
The Early Days
The advent of Emergency Medicine as a specialty is fairly recent. In the mid 1970's, it was not unusual for doctor from all disciplines to be called into ER duty - even if it meant an obstetrician setting a broken bone. Later in that decade, for the first time, specialists trained to the specific needs of urgent care were bringing their expertise to bear in the Emergency Room.
It was then, in 1978, that a young emergency physician named Robert Tober interviewed at NCH Naples Hospital. It was not only the opportunity to be the first in his specialty to practice in Naples that drew him here. It was also the obvious need to revamp a "rural ambulance service to meet the needs of a growing, vital population. He intended to stay just a year, then return to his native St. Louis. Fortunately for all of us, he has chosen to stay.
That first year, he initiated an Advanced Life Support Emergency Medical System for Collier County, earning licensure by February, 1979. Its value became evident nearly immediately - on its second day of operation, paramedic Joe Fungiello, working on the radio with Dr. Tober, saved the life of a 55-year old cardiologist from Wayne State University who had gone into cardiac arrest while visiting Marco Island. Dr. Tober, Paramedic Fungiello, and the cardiologist made the national news that evening. Neither Dr. Tober nor Emergency Medicine in Collier County has looked back. In 1980, Dr. Tober received the Distinguished Service Award from the Naples Jaycees.
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By 1986, Dr. Tober had assumed the chairmanship of the Department of Emergency and Ambulatory Medicine for the NCH Naples Hospital of the NCH Hospitals and its Affiliates. At the same time, he joined the Governing Board on EMS Education and the Faculty of the University of Miami. 1986 was also the year that Dr. Tober became a faculty member at Edison Community College in Paramedic Medicine and an Affiliate Faculty member of the American Heart Association.. In 1993, he was elected to the Governing Board of the Florida College of emergency Physicians. In 1994, he received the Raymond Alexander Award for Florida EMS Medical Director of the Year. In 1999, he was elected president of the Florida College of Emergency Physicians. That same year, Collier County EMS received the award as the finest EMS service in the State of Florida and in year 2000, Collier County EMS was awarded the nation's top honor as 2000 EMS Paramedic Service of the Year by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics.
Meanwhile, the greater Naples community was experiencing rapid growth, and its emergency medicine needs were expanding and changing. Although more doctors, walk-in clinics, and satellite locations were appearing continuously, the traffic to the Emergency Room remained steady, and even grew. More importantly, those coming to the ER represented increasingly more serious injury or illness, as less serious problems were being handled in non-emergency settings.
Providing for a fluctuating population base and an unpredictable need for emergency services, too, remains a constant challenge. During peak season, residents and tourists can as much as double the demand on all services, including emergency care.
In fact, more than 85,000 patients were treated in the NCH Naples Hospital and the NCH North Naples Hospital Emergency Centers in the past year alone. That's more than 230 on average per day. In 2001, Robert Tober received the Physician of the year award from the NCH Healthcare System
A Leap Forward
To address some of these needs, and to assure that Neapolitans have access to the very latest in technology, the new D. Graham Copeland Regional Emergency Center at the NCH Naples Hospital opened earlier this year. (See below to learn more about D. Graham Copeland.)
In an ambitious project which converted nearly every available square inch to ER use, a 4,000 square foot facility grew to nearly 20,000 square feet. Now including a total of 36 beds - 22 for acute care, 7 for observation, and 6 for minor care- the Center also provides a dedicated radiology unit, and a Marquette Electronic Constant ST Segment Cardiac Monitoring System so advanced, it essentially delivers an EKG every thirty seconds and identifies the earliest signs of cardiac ischemia (injury).
This remarkable facility is managed by physicians Board-certified in emergency medicine, whose combined experience exceeds 150 years. Its nationally-certified nursing staff is credentialed in advanced cardiac, trauma and pediatric care.
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A Critical Focus
Within the world of emergency medicine, however, one area stands out as most critical. Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in our country today accounting for more than 40% of all deaths. Up to 600,000 people nationwide suffer cardiac arrest, and 60,000 in Florida lose their lives to cardiac problems each year. Many more suffer devastating losses in their quality of life.
Yet, it doesn't have to be so. First heart attacks used to kill 20-30% of victims, but the mortality rate continues to drop. In fact, chances of survival increase from 3 to 70% if the delay in treatment can be reduced from 7-8 minutes to 3 minutes.
For this reason, Dr. Tober and the NCH Emergency Team has chosen to actively participate in drug studies in the treatment of heart attack and stroke. Since the early 1980's, NCH has participated in several major studies, often as a chief investigative site.
- In 1982, Dr. Tober was clinical investigator for the use of a new drug called Metoprolol to be used in acute heart attacks. NCH Naples Hospital was the largest enroller of patients in the state of Florida . Today, that drug is an American Heart Association standard in heart attack care.
- In 1990, Dr. Tober was Co-investigator in the ISIS III Acute MI Study assessing the proper dosages of a new class of drugs called Clot Busters (Streptokinase versus Tissue Plasminogen Activator). NCH was the largest enroller again in the state of Florida .
- In 1991, he was co-investigator in the GUSTO World Study taking another hard look at streptokinase versus tissue plasminogen activator.
- In 1998, he was co-investigator in new drug regimens for sparing brain injury during acute stroke. In 2000, he initiated the Code Gray Program to attack acute stroke injury as fast as possible, in conjunction with the Departments of Radiology and Neurology.
- In 2000, he initiated the Code Save-A-Heart Program which has now received world attention and reported the lowest mortality for acute MI anywhere on the planet. Code Save-A-Heart is a program of Direct Infarct Angioplasty where heart attack patients are taken immediately to the cardiac cath lab at NCH Naples Hospital and have their blocked artery immediately opened by mechanical means by an interventional cardiologist on-call 24 hours per day 7 days per week.
With this exceptional experience, and an inside track to the newest therapies, Collier County stands at the cutting edge of cardiac medicine. In fact the NCH team's ability to intervene in acute cardiac cases far surpasses most areas.
The excellence of the work is reflected in its results - according to the State of Florida, Collier County has the lowest mortality rate for acute heart attacks in the state. That's a statistic we can all celebrate.
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A Glimpse of the Future
Today Dr. Tober looks to the future of his field and his ER/EMS programs. He sees Emergency Care at NCH continuing to evolve to meet patient needs and deliver new technologies.
But above all, he foresees the day that the Emergency Department will be able to prevent the death of 99% of those suffering a heart attack. Examining breakthroughs in thrombolytic therapy such as IIb/IIIa Inhibitors delivered by paramedics at bedside, he can see a time when most heart attack victims will be discharged within 3 to 5 days having experienced virtually no heart damage. Most remarkably, he believes that day may be only a year in the future.
In 2003, with the help of the Chairman of the Department of Neurology, Dr. Jeff McCartney, as well as the Chairman of the Department of Interventional Radiology, Dr. Rick Dreyer, Dr. Tober has initiated the Code Save-A-Brain program to bring stroke care equal to or above levels currently available anywhere on earth.
How far the science and art of Emergency Medicine has come in just 20 years. In Naples, this vital service has transformed from a basically-rural system to a state of-the-art, internationally recognized trauma center. And, because both the community and NCH are dedicated to accepting only the best in Emergency Care, we can anticipate that the future will remain bright.
For the peace of mind of all Neapolitans, this is very good news indeed.
A Fitting Tribute
March 24, 1998, the new Emergency Room officially opened its doors as the D. Graham Copeland Regional Emergency Center. The date also marked the 103rd anniversary of Mr. Copeland's birth. Arriving in Collier County in 1924, Mr. Copeland served as manager of Collier properties throughout the County, a 20-year Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners, and a State Representative; included among his achievements was the completion of the Tamiami Trail. During the Great Depression, he coined the phrase "Collier County takes care of its own," and worked to assure that all county residents had what they needed without having to go "on relief." It seems especially appropriate that today, Mr. Copeland's name graces a facility which permits Collier County residents to continue to care for one another.
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