Wednesday, June 30, 2010 3:04 PM

Dr. Kaups acts as an educator, giver and ultimate hero

Behind the doors of the emergency department, Dr. Krista L. Kaups concentrates with precision as she works to save lives.  Besides her passion and talents as a physician, she also has compassion to help in other ways.

Dr. Kaups is the Health Sciences clinical professor of surgery UCSF Fresno, the director of surgical intensive care unit Community Regional and the program director Surgical Critical Care Fellowship UCSF Fresno.

Dr. Kaups has given back to Community over the last 15 years and now is especially pleased to contribute to Terry’s House – something close to her heart.  As a trauma surgeon, she sees and treats many patients whose families must travel far to be near them during long and emotional hospital stays.

 “Creating an atmosphere that will offer a respite for family members who sometimes spend weeks staying in makeshift situations will improve our care for both the patient and their family,” said Dr. Kaups.

Community Medical Foundation named Dr. Kaups as one of Community’s 2010 Ultimate People for her life-saving work and her advocacy for Terry’s House.  The “Ultimate People” program, in its second year, will recognize honorees at the upcoming Foundation’s Alliance “Ultimate Party” on Friday, July 16 at Weber BMW in Fresno.

Dr. Kaups believes that working at Community Regional Medical Center is a great opportunity to provide care to patients without making finances the primary focus and concern.  Community, as the region’s safety-net provider, delivers more than $120 million in charity and unreimbursed medical care annually.

For Dr. Kaups, there is no such thing as a “typical day” in the hospital; although, it is what she enjoys about her work.  Her day could include anything from trauma patients in the Emergency Department, Operating Room and Intensive Care Unit to a day that is full of meetings, administrative work and educating medical students.

As a medical professor, she teaches residents and fellows skills and responsibility. “We have the privilege of working with some of the best and the brightest residents and fellows, who are highly motivated and committed to developing into well-trained surgeons,” Dr. Kaups said.  She is excited with the progress she sees in each resident which spans over five years spent in training.  She develops strong relationships during the long time mentoring each.

When Dr. Kaups is not at the hospital, she spends her time traveling, reading, photographing and enjoying outdoor sports such as skiing, scuba-diving, hiking and running.  She ran her third marathon in 2009 in the Fresno Marathon and also completed the Coast-to-Coast walk in England with a couple of her nurse buddies from Community Regional.  It was a 190 mile stretch that took 16 days.

Kaups said she has an outstanding group of colleagues who work very much as a team to provide top patient care.  She said she has truly been blessed in many ways. 

“When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required,” Dr. Kaups said.

This story was reported by Kaelin Ng. She can be reached at