Long-time UMC doctor, emergency director gets hero’s send off for retirement

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The emergency director at the University Medical Center director is hanging up his stethoscope after nearly three decades at the hospital.

Dr. Dale Carrison was surprised Thursday with a special send-off.
A hero’s welcome… For a man who’s saved countless lives over the years.

Hundreds packed the halls of UMC to give Dr. Carrison a hero’s welcome during his final shift in the ER.

“You are Vegas; how could you leave,” Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman asked?  “But we love you!” 

Dr. Carrison received handshakes and hugs all the way down the hall; there were even some tears.  But outside there was an even bigger event outside.

“Dr. Carrison, there is no doubt you have made a positive difference every day that you’ve walked through the doors of UMC,” said Mason VanHouweling, CEO at UMC.

Carrison’s resume is long: At UMC alone, he’s served as chief of staff and emergency director.  He’s also the medical director for events at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and the tactical physician for Metro’s SWAT team.

All of his colleagues were out in full force Thursday.

“I will cherish this day, Dr. Carrison said as he got choked up.  “It’s a difficult day, you know?”

Carrison says spending time with his family is long overdue, so there are many fishing trips on the horizon.

When asked if his retirement leaves a void at the hospital, Dr. Carrison said UMC will be just fine without him.

“If you take your hand out of a bucket of water, there’s not a hole,” said Dr. Carrison.  “The level goes down a little bit, and there’ll be people that come along and fill that level.” 

Carrison worked on Tupac Shakur back in 1996 when the rapper was shot just off the Las Vegas Strip after a boxing match.

Dr. Carrison had also seen UMC recover from hard times, such as when he ran the ER on October 1 after the mass shooting.

He says he’s the proudest of the progress the hospital has made in recent years.

“I have no complaints,” according to Dr. Carrison.  “If I fall dead right now, it’s okay. It’s a good life. I’ve had the best life any person could have.”

Dr. Carrison didn’t enroll in medical school until he was 43-years-old.  Before that he had a successful career in law enforcement, including as an FBI agent.

Mayor Goodman proclaimed Thursday as ”Dr. Dale Carrison Day” in Las Vegas.
 

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