New Emergency Medicine Director Brings a World of Experience to Memorial
February 17, 2021
NORTH CONWAY, NH - Dr. Joseph Williams has seen the inside of many hospitals. His medical school, residency and service in the military have taken him from inner city Chicago to Washington State, Kansas, Kosovo and other points between. As the new Director of Emergency Medicine at Memorial Hospital, he says the resources available to patients in the Mount Washington Valley are “exceptional.”
“Emergency medicine is tricky at times. You can’t always do everything [in the emergency department],” he remarked, “but we can do a lot here at Memorial, especially given the size of hospital we are.”
Dr. Williams took the helm of Memorial’s Emergency Department in November. He coordinates the activities of numerous professionals including physicians, advance practice providers, nurses, and other health care workers. In a typical month, about 1000 patients seek treatment in the Memorial emergency department. Since spring, the emergency staff has added COVID-19 testing and protocols to its operations.
In emergency medicine, he says, there is a lot of activity with a steady stream of patients, and decisions need to be made quickly. “You will see a variety of issues in the same shift, from an ear infection to a critical injury. You get to see a whole broad range of medical issues and patients from all walks of life.”
“We need to be experts in caring for patients in the first minutes to hours of someone presenting to the Emergency Department. We stabilize patients and then consult specialists as needed.”
After completing medical school at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Dr. Williams did an internship and residency in emergency medicine at the Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Washington, serving as chief resident from 2012 through 2013. He also served in the emergency department at Irwin Army Community Hospital in Fort Riley, Kansas where he was Chief of the Department and the EMS Medical Director.
While at Fort Riley, Dr. Williams deployed to Kosovo as part of the U.S. contingent to the NATO peacekeeping force. In addition to providing care for members of the U.S. contingent and troops from other NATO nations, he was able to get off base to visit other NATO and local hospitals.
“Throughout my career I’ve been able to see how medicine is practiced around the world and in different parts of this country. Much of that knowledge and experience will serve me well here at Memorial.”
One of the places in the world familiar to Dr. Williams is the Mt. Washington Valley. He married his wife Amy (a Fryeburg, Maine native) in Eaton at the Little White Church. They have five children, two boys and three girls who enjoy all numbers of outdoor activities. They’ve returned almost annually to the White Mountains, though he claims he now hopes “to become a better skier.”
In addition to being close to family, Dr. Williams was drawn to Memorial for its size and capabilities. “People in this area have a highly functioning hospital. Memorial offers many services and specialties that you will not find at hospitals our size.” He adds that Memorial’s affiliation with MaineHealth also benefits patients by providing access to providers and services across the organization. “When I am looking at a patient’s records with a specialist [elsewhere in the MaineHealth system] in real time, it’s like they are in the room with us.”
“I am pleased and excited to join the team at Memorial. It is a great hospital that boasts a beautiful location full of adventure but more importantly serves our community with a level of care that is uncommon for our size and setting.”
About Memorial Hospital
Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit 25-bed Critical Access Hospital located in North Conway, NH, and is a member of the MaineHealth family. Its hospital services include a 24-hour emergency department, surgery center, clinical laboratory, heart health & wellness programs, imaging services, cardiopulmonary care, family birthing center, oncology, chemotherapy and infusion services. Practices include primary care and family medicine, diabetes care, behavioral health, women's health, podiatry, orthopedics and physical therapy. Memorial Hospital is also home to The Merriman House nursing home, which provides senior care services in a comfortable, home-like setting. For more information, www.memorialhospitalnh.org or call 603-356-5461.