Save the Date
August 7 – 11, 2017



Pinnacle brings together a group of expert presenters to help you explore advanced business and operational practices, develop insight into the most important issues your organization faces, and understand emerging solutions to complex problems. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from and network with some of the nation’s top EMS leaders and innovators.


  • Alex Garza, MD

    Alexander Garza, MD, is the former Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs and Chief Medical Officer for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Currently Dr. Garza serves as medical director and Homeland Security advisor for FirstWatch.

  • Allen Johnson, MPA

    Allen Johnson, MPA, is the Vice President for Health Data Exchange at ESO Solutions.

  • Allison Bloom, JD

    Allison Bloom, JD, is a member of the NEMSMA board of directors and a practicing attorney specializing in EMS issues.

  • Amy Young

    Amy Young is the co-founder of

  • Andrew Rand

    Andrew Rand is the chair of the Peoria County Commission and CEO of a regional non-profit ambulance service.

  • Bill Atkinson, PhD

    Bill Atkinson, PhD, is a progressive administrator who served for a number of years as the CEO of WakeMed Health & Hospitals in North Carolina.

  • Bill Mergendahl, JD

    Bill Mergendahl, JD, is the CEO of a private ambulance service headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

  • Bill Metcalf

    Bill Metcalf is the former president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs.

  • Bob Fuller

    Bob Fuller is a former state police investigator in New York.

  • Brenda Staffan

    Brenda Staffan is healthcare innovation project director for the Regional EMS Authority (REMSA) CMS Innovation Grant in Reno, Nev.

  • Brian LaCroix

    Brian LaCroix is CEO of Allina Health EMS, a Minnesota hospital-based EMS system serving more than 100 communities.

  • Bruce Moeller, PhD

    Bruce Moeller, PhD, is a Fitch & Associates consultant and a retired fire chief and former county executive.

  • Bryan Fass

    Bryan Fass is a former paramedic and is certified as an athletic trainer and strength coach. His program “Fit Responder” helps public safety agencies nationwide to implement injury prevention and wellness.

  • Chris Callsen

    Chris Callsen is vice president, optima solutions, analytics division at Intermedix.

  • Dave Zaiman

    Dave Zaiman is the business development manager at ImageTrend, Inc.

  • David Miramontes, MD

    David Miramontes, MD, is the medical director of the San Antonio Fire Department.

  • David Nelson

    David Nelson a consultant with Fitch & Associates, is widely known for his work creating and nurturing strong teams and developing excellent leaders.

  • David Page, MS

    David Page, MS, is the director of the UCLA Prehospital Care Research Forum.

  • Ed Marasco, MPM

    Ed Marasco, MPM, is the Vice President of Business Development at Quick Med Claims.

  • Ed Racht, MD

    Ed Racht, MD, is chief medical officer for American Medical Response and Envision Health.

  • Eric Epley

    Eric Epley is the executive director of the Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council for Trauma.

  • Facilitated by Doug Hooten, MBA

    Doug Hooten, MBA, is the executive director of Fort Worth’s MedStar Mobile Healthcare, which is known for its innovative programs partnering with a diverse group of payors and healthcare stakeholders.

  • Facilitated by NEMSMA

    The National EMS Management Association (NEMSMA) is a professional association of EMS leaders dedicated to the discovery, development, and promotion of excellence in leadership and management in EMS systems, regardless of EMS system model, organizational structure or agency affiliation.

  • Facilitated by Rob Lawrence

    Rob Lawrence is the Chief Operating Officer of Richmond Ambulance Authority.

  • Fitch & Associates staff and clients

  • Greg Friese, MS

    Greg Friese, MS, paramedic and educator, is the editor-in-chief of EMS1.

  • Greg Mears, MD

    Greg Mears, MD, is medical director for ZOLL Medical Corporation. Mears previously served as state EMS medical director for North Carolina and was the original principal investigator for the National EMS Information System (NEMSIS).

  • Guillermo Fuentes, MBA

    Guillermo Fuentes, MBA, is a partner with Fitch & Associates. He previously served as the chief administrative officer for the Region of Niagara (Canada) police agency and as associate director of the regional EMS system.

  • Ian Womack

    Ian Womack is an assistant chief with the St. Petersburg Fire Department.

  • Jamie Pianka, BSBA, NRP

    Jamie Pianka BSBA, NRP is the Chief Operating Officer for Pro EMS in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

  • Jay Fitch, PhD

    Jay Fitch, PhD, Pinnacle program chair, is founder and president of the emergency services consulting firm Fitch & Associates. As a consultant, educator and author he has inspired thousands of EMS leaders.

  • Jeff Beeson, DO

    Jeff Beeson, DO, is a medical director with Acadian Ambulance.

  • Jeff Czyson

    Jeff Czyson is the Operations Director at Allina Health EMS.

  • Jeff Jarvis, MD

    Jeff Jarvis, MD, is the medical director of Williamson County EMS outside of Austin, Texas.

  • Jim Marshall, MA

    Jim Marshall, MA, is the executive director of the 911 Wellness Foundation and a leading expert on emergency responder stress.

  • Joe Coons

    Joe Coons is the director of safety at Kansas City’s LifeFlight Eagle air medical program.

  • Joe Penner, MBA

    Joe Penner, MBA, is the executive director of Medic in Charlotte, North Carolina.

  • Jon Swanson

    Jon Swanson is the executive director of Metropolitan EMS in Little Rock, Arkansas.

  • Kevin Munjal, MD

    Kevin Munjal, MD, is an associate medical director for prehospital care at Mount Sinai Health System in New York.

  • Kurt Steward, PhD

    Kurt Steward, PhD, is the vice president of the public sector division at Infor.

  • Lee Varner

    Lee Varner is the EMS program manager for the Center for Patient Safety.

  • Louis Mendiola

    Louis Mendiola is the Health System Development Manager at Humboldt General Hospital in Winnemucca, Nevada.

  • Lt General Mark Hertling (retired)

    Lieutenant General Mark Hertling (retired) served more than 37 years in the U.S. Army, retiring in 2012 after serving as the commanding officer for the Army in Europe. After leaving the military Hertling became a senior vice president for Florida Hospital, where he focuses on global strategy and leadership development. Passionate about fitness and health, Hertling also serves on the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, having been appointed by President Obama in 2013.

  • Mark Ellis, MPS

    Mark Ellis, MPS, is the division chief of EMS for Hallandale Beach Fire Rescue in Florida.

  • Marshal Isaacs, MD

    Marshal Isaacs, MD, is the medical director for both the Dallas Fire-Rescue Department and the UT Southwestern/Parkland BioTel EMS System.

  • Matthew Streger, JD

    Matt Streger, JD, is a senior associate with Fitch & Associates. His current assignment for the firm is serving as executive director of the EMS program at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Jersey.  Streger is an experienced EMS/healthcare attorney and executive.

  • Melissa Costello, MD

    Melissa Costello, MD is the ACEP’s EMS Committee Chair.

  • Michael Gerber, MPH

    Michael Gerber, MPH, an associate consultant with the RedFlash Group, served as quality improvement officer for the Alexandria, Virginia, Fire Department.

  • Michael Ward, MGA

    Michael Ward, MGA, is a senior associate for Fitch & Associates.

  • Mike Taigman, MA

    Mike Taigman, an expert in quality improvement, is the Improvement Guide at FirstWatch Solutions.

  • Monique Rose

    Monique Rose is the co-founder of

  • Neal Richmond, MD

    Neal Richmond, MD, is medical director of MedStar Mobile Healthcare in Fort Worth.

  • Pat Songer

    Pat Songer is the director of EMS at Humboldt General Hospital.

  • Rick Hunt, MD

    Rick Hunt, MD, is the senior medical advisor, national healthcare preparedness programs for the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

  • Rob Farmer

    Rob Farmer is Director of the Lee County Department of Public Safety in Lee County, Southwest Florida.

  • Robert Whitaker

    Robert Whitaker is the chief of North Shore Fire/Rescue in Brown Deer, Wisconsin.

  • Ron Thackery

    Ron Thackery is a senior vice president at AMR and a member of the board of directors of the National Safety Council.

  • Roxanne Shanks, MBA

    Roxanne Shanks, MBA, currently serves as the CEO of an innovative air medical program and Executive Director of the Association of Critical Care Transport.

  • Scott Bourn, PhD

    Scott Bourn, PhD, is the Vice President of Clinical Practice for Evolution Health.

  • Scott Sasser, MD

    Scott Sasser, MD, is the chair of emergency medicine at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.

  • Scott Somers, PhD

    Scott Somers, PhD, is a professor of public safety practice at Arizona State University, who recently left the Mesa, Arizona, City Council after eight years.

  • Shaughn Maxwell

    Shaughn Maxwell is the deputy chief and division head of emergency medical and community health services for Snohomish County Fire District 1 in Washington.

  • Steve Knight, PhD

    Steve Knight, PhD, is a Fitch & Associates consultant and served as assistant chief of the St. Petersburg Fire Department.

  • Tim Brewster

    Tim Brewster is the Risk Management Team Leader at National Interstate Insurance Company.

  • Todd Stout

    Todd Stout is CEO of FirstWatch Solutions and a leader in data analytics and innovation. Stout received the Pinnacle EMS Leadership Award in 2014.

  • Vince Robbins

    Vince Robbins is president and CEO of MONOC, a New Jersey hospital-based ambulance service and president-elect of NEMSMA.

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