The mission of CALS is to improve patient care in rural, remote and global settings through comprehensive advanced life support education.

Rural hospitals have long struggled to provide adequate emergency care. Not only do they face problems in recruiting and retaining experienced staff, they must also provide expensive, ongoing training in a wide range of specialized emergency topics.

The CALS (Comprehensive Advanced Life Support) Program was founded in 1993 in response to this serious problem. The goal was to develop one course that would educate rural providers in all areas of emergency care while also training the entire medical team, including physicians, nurses, physician assistants and paramedics.

CALS began as a multidisciplinary working group chaired by Darrell Carter, M.D., a family physician from Granite Falls, Minnesota.  In addition, Ernest Ruiz, M.D., former Director of Emergency Medicine at Hennepin County Medical Center and the Emergency Medicine Program at the University of Minnesota, developed the Benchmark Skills Lab and also wrote many parts of the CALS text. 

The first pilot CALS course was held in 1996. Since then over 6,000 providers have taken CALS courses throughout Minnesota, across the US, and around the world. 

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