Thank you to our 2020 faculty members!

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. View the 2020 faculty below.

Matt Daugherty, MBA

Matt Daugherty is the Director of Business Development for LifeFlight Eagle. He works with the organization’s outreach teams, membership, fundraising and communications.
Matt has worked with LifeFlight Eagle on projects since 2010, and he joined the organization in a full-time capacity in 2013. Prior to joining LFE, Matt worked as the publisher of a group of community newspapers in the Northland area of Kansas City. He attended the University of Kansas where he earned both a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and his MBA.

Aaron Abbott

Aaron Abbott serves as REMSA Health’s Executive Director, EMS Operations. In this role, he is responsible for services related to ground operations. This includes the more than 80,000 calls for service and 55,000 transports that REMSA Health manages every year. Aaron also leads fleet maintenance for REMSA Health’s 45 ground ambulances and 30 specialty vehicles, as well as REMSA Health’s Logistics Department, its Emergency Management program and its special teams (Search and Rescue (SAR), Tactical Emergency Medical Services (TEMS), Special Events and Wildland Fire). Along with being a registered paramedic and an emergency medical/fire dispatcher, Aaron holds a master’s degree in Crisis and Emergency Management from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and also a bachelor’s degree in Business from the University of Phoenix.

Jason Abel, JD, MHA

Jason Abel, JD, MHA, is a senior consultant at Fitch focused on legal issues. He is also a firefighter/paramedic with Shelbyville Fire Department in Indiana.

Ray Barishansky, MPH

Ray Barishansky, MPH, is the former Deputy Secretary for Health Preparedness and Community Protection at the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the recipient of the 2019 Pinnacle Leadership Award.
From 2016 to 2022, Mr. Barishansky was the Deputy Secretary for Health Preparedness and Community Protection at the Pennsylvania Department of Health. From 2012 to 2015, he served as the Director of the Office of Emergency Medical Services for the Connecticut Department of Public Health. Prior to that, he served as the Chief of Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response for the Prince George’s County (MD) Health Department from 2008 to 2012.

Mr. Barishansky is currently completing a Doctoral Program in Public Health (DrPH) at the Fairbanks School of Public Health at Indiana University. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Touro College, a Master of Public Health degree from New York Medical College and a Master of Science in Homeland Security Studies from Long Island University. He is a graduate of the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program held at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (2006) and has also earned a Certified Public Manager (CPM) certification through Arizona State University.

Mr. Barishansky has served as adjunct faculty at both New York Medical College and Yeshiva University and has been a guest lecturer at the George Washington University EMS degree program, the Philadelphia University Disaster Medicine and Management graduate degree program and the George Mason University Biodefense Graduate program.

Mr. Barishansky has authored, or co-authored, over 300 articles in such publications as EMS Magazine, the Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS), EMS Insider, Domestic Preparedness Journal, the Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Emergency Management Magazine, Public Safety Communications, and the Crisis Response Journal (UK). He is a nationally recognized speaker and has made over 100 public presentations at various EMS and Public Health conferences.

Stephanie Bays

Stephanie Bays is director of Grant Operations for Lexipol. As the Grant Manager for the Dallas County Juvenile Department, she directed a team in developing, writing, and managing pre- and post-award grant processes, securing approximately $2.1 million for the department and over $1 million in federal funding for the county over the course of her tenure. In addition to juvenile justice, Stephanie’s funding experience includes Career and Technical Education (CTE), Diversion programming, and Human Trafficking. She also has experience implementing best practices in grant making, contract monitoring and spending under the advisement of a community board. Stephanie holds a master’s degree in Public Administration.

Maria Beermann-Foat, PhD

Maria Beermann-Foat, Ph.D, NRP, has 25 years of prehospital emergency care experience in privately-owned, hospital-based and county government-based emergency services. Dr. Beermann currently serves as the EMS Training Coordinator for the Eugene Springfield Fire Department in Oregon. Dr. Beermann retired from Johnson County (Kansas) MED-ACT- Emergency Medical Services in December 2021, where she last served as a Battalion Chief of Operations. Since first joining MED-ACT in 1999 as a paramedic, she moved up the ranks in the roles of community education officer/PIO, captain/field training officer, battalion chief of training, and division chief of quality management. She also held a position on the Diversity and Equity Committee for Johnson County Government.

At the national level, Dr. Beermann is involved in many organizations to further the EMS profession and resolve issues pertaining to EMS retention and recruitment, workforce engagement, and EMS research. Dr. Beermann serves as: Director, At-Large for the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) Board of Directors and is a member of NAEMT’s EMS Workforce Committee; Editorial Advisory Board member and regular columnist for on topics pertaining to employee recruitment, retention, and engagement; Editorial Advisory Board member and scientific reviewer for the recently launched International Journal of Paramedicine; National conference speaker and webinar presenter for NAEMT, and Fitch & Associates; National Fire Academy course developer and instructor for courses in EMS quality management and applied research methods for organizational improvement; and as board member for the Fitch Leadership Foundation.

Dr. Beermann received the 2019 Emerging Leader Award, during the Pinnacle EMS Leadership conference, from Fitch & Associates.
She holds a Ph.D. in Organization Management from Capella University and a Master of Business Administration from MidAmerica Nazarene University. She obtained a City and County Management Graduate Certificate from the University of Kansas in 2020. She holds a six-sigma green belt certification through Johnson County Community College. She is a member of the International City and County Management Association (ICMA), the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT), the National EMS Management Association (NEMSMA), and the American Society for Quality (ASQ) Kansas City Section.

Melanie Bevan, EdD

Melanie Bevan, EdD, is the chief of the Bradenton, Florida, Police Department.

Charles Blankenship

Charles Blankenship serves as Director At-Large Manager/Secretary on the National EMS Management Association Board of Directors and is Division Chief of Support Services at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

Bryan Bledsoe, DO

Bryan Bledsoe, DO, is a board-certified EMS and emergency physician who has authored numerous EMS textbooks.

Joshua Brandt

Joshua Brandt uses state-of-the-art statistical modeling to help emergency and prehospital organizations optimize their state of readiness.

Chris Brook

Chris Brook is the Director of Customer Relations for Community Care Ambulance in Northeast Ohio.

With over 27 years of service as an EMS leader in multiple roles, Chris has gained significant knowledge relating to the inner workings of Private EMS. He has applied his experience and proficiency to create innovative solutions for industry problems in multiple areas.

Brooke Burton, NRP, FACPE

Brooke Burton, NRP, FACPE, is the division chief of quality for Falck in Alameda County, California and a member of the National EMS Quality Alliance Steering Committee.

Sean Caffrey

Caffrey is the President of NEMSMA (National EMS Association) and CEO & Commissioner of Crested Butte Fire Protection District in Crested Butte, Colorado.

John Chamberlin

John Chamberlin is cofounder of YaJagoff Media, LLC, a Pittsburgh-centric company. With a library of multimedia assets that include a blog, podcast, and videos used for social media and YouTube, the YJ team provides strategic and reliable marketing initiatives and content to increase brand awareness for businesses and events.

Jamie Chebra

James “Jamie” Chebra has been involved in EMS for more than 20 years. He is the Chief Operations Officer for Harris County ESD 11 Mobile Healthcare. Prior to that he served as the Executive Director Jersey City Medical Center EMS, a dynamic resource deployed service providing Advanced, Basic and Specialty Care transfer services to the City of Jersey City and the surrounding communities. Prior to Jersey City, Jamie had the opportunity to lead JFK EMS in Edison New Jersey from a small fly car services to a full service EMS system providing advanced Life, Basic Life support, Interfacility transfers, integrated community paramedics to include nurse call line, ACO integration, Lyft integration into mobile healthcare. Jamie earned his Master of Emergency Health Science Degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and holds a graduate certificate in Emergency Management. He is actively working on his Doctor of Healthcare Administration and is a Fellow of the Advisory Board Company and a Certified Emergency Manager CEM. Jamie serves as a board member for the National EMS Management Association (NEMSMA)

Lauren Christie

Lauren Christie serves as project coordinator for Global Medical Response’s Therapy Dog Team.

Kelly Cope

Kelly Cope, Chief of St. Charles County Ambulance District, is responsible for oversight and administration of Operations, Logistics, Special Operations, Facilities and the Non-Emergency Division with a near 30-year career in EMS. In 2021, he received the Pinnacle Emerging EMS Leader Award, which honors rising executives in EMS who demonstrate excellence in the profession.

Jessica Cox

Born without arms, Jessica Cox is the world’s first licensed armless pilot. In this inspiring keynote, Jessica will show us how to end each day excited to tackle the challenges that tomorrow will bring.

Scott Cravens

Scott Cravens was the longtime publisher of EMS World prior to becoming CEO of Julota, a platform that connects healthcare, EMS, law enforcement, behavioral health, social services, and all other local nonprofit and for-profit organizations.

Remle Crowe, PhD

Dr. Remle Crowe is an expert in using data to power quality improvement and research initiatives in EMS. From truck clutches to clinical care, she has shown how improvement science and sound research methodology work to solve problems across fields. As an EMT with a passion for advancing EMS, she earned her Ph.D. in Epidemiology and has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications. Now, as a research scientist at ESO, Dr. Crowe routinely uses data to improve community health and safety.

Charbel Daniel

With over 15 years’ experience in EMS and more than 10 years in leadership, Charbel started his journey as a frontline paramedic in Nova Scotia. Charbel has held progressive positions over the years starting in education at Medavie HealthEd with oversight over curriculum development, distance education, and business development.

Charbel then took on the role of Chief Operations Officer for MedLife, where his responsibilities included the operational leadership of over 1,200 frontline clinical practitioners across the New England area in the USA.

In his current role, Charbel is the Executive Director Provincial Operations with Emergency Medical Care working with over 1,000 paramedics across Nova Scotia to deliver emergency prehospital medicine. Charbel’s current portfolio also includes oversight of the provincial programs which include the Extended Care Paramedic Program, Community Paramedic Program, Emergency Preparedness and Special Operations, and the Medical First Responder program.

Charbel holds a Bachelor of Science (Major in Physics) from Dalhousie University and a Diploma in Primary Care Paramedicine and is also a board member with the Paramedic Chiefs of Canada.

Matt Davidson

Matt Davidson oversees the digital media group at Strategies 360 where his team of strategists, analysts and media buyers managing over 200 campaigns per year. Matt is a marketing leader with broad experience in all core political digital marketing functions including: voter modeling, data segmentation, voter outreach, GOTV, digital strategy, media buying and online analytics. His team is focused on incorporating the latest and greatest digital tactics to use across innovative political campaigns that give candidates and issues an edge.

Prior to building the S360 digital practice, Matt ran his own consulting practice where he worked with hundreds of organizations to build out a better online presence. Prior to the consulting practice, Matt was recruited by Microsoft to work on the launch of their search engine Matt is also a published author on the topic of search marketing.

J. Paul Davis

J. Paul Davis serves as the EMS Chief of Johnson County, Kansas MED-ACT.

Micheal Despain, M.A., EFO, CFO, MIFireE

Chief Despain brings over 37 years of fire/EMS experience in the public safety field, serving as fire chief for the City of Clovis (CA) and the City of Lincoln (NE). He has also served as interim fire chief for the cities of Fresno (CA), Rocklin (CA), Piedmont (CA), as well as a second time serving Lincoln (NE). Most recently he has been serving as a contract interim deputy chief for the City of Redmond (WA).

Micheal has served as a subject matter expert and consultant on fire and EMS deployment projects for the U.S. Fire Administration and Center for Public Safety Excellence, and has been part of the Fitch team since 2015. He has also served as a board member for the League of California Cities and California Fire Chiefs Association, developing policy and legislation for numerous state and national fire service issues.

Michael Dixon

Michael Donner

Mike Donner has served as a firefighter, paramedic, corporate risk manager and is the President/CEO of Apex Paramedics.

Joelle Donofrio-Ödmann, DO

Joelle Donofrio-Ödmann, DO, serves as an Associate Professor at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, and the deputy chief medical officer for the City of San Diego and the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.
After graduating cum laude from Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Donofrio-Ödmann completed her pediatric residency at the University of Southern California and Los Angeles County Medical Center. She went on to complete a three-year pediatric emergency medicine fellowship at Harbor-UCLA and an emergency medical services fellowship at UC San Diego. She is board certified in pediatrics, pediatric emergency medicine, and emergency medical services.
Dr. Donofrio-Ödmann's research interests and publications involve pediatric disaster and prehospital care of both adults and children. Her other interests include paramedic pediatric education and optimization of prehospital system-based care. She is involved in Free Open Access Medical Education (FOAMed) as an editor and podcaster with both the National Association of EMS Physician (NAEMSP)’s Prehospital Emergency Care Podcast and the Digital EMS California Academy of Learning (DECAL)’s California EMS Podcast series.

Scott Dorsey, MS

Scott is the Deputy Chief of Strategic Analysis and Improvement for Snohomish Regional Fire & Rescue in Washington State. Snohomish Regional Fire & Rescue is a fire based EMS system providing both BLS and ALS transport service from 11 career fire stations. Scott has been in the fire service for over 30 years and has been a paramedic for 22 years. He holds a Masters degree in Healthcare Informatics from Grand Canyon University. Leadership, data, and improvement are all topics that create passion within Scott’s approach to developing an evidence-based system of care.

William W. Dunn, BA, NRP, FP-C

William W. Dunn, BA, NRP, FP-C, is the Senior Manager of Clinical Services at Eagle County Paramedic Service in Eagle County, Colorado. He serves on the Emergency Medicine Advisory Council and has more than 25 years of experience as a paramedic in urban, suburban and rural systems including fire-based, private and third-service transport. He also has more than 15 years management experience primarily in medical oversight and clinical leadership with an emphasis on training and protocol development for both 9-1-1 and interfacility service.

Kate Elkins, MPH

Kate works in the NHTSA office of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and the National 911 Program. She has a background spanning over two decades in EMS, public health and injury prevention.

Kate has a Master of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University with a focus on epidemiology and injury prevention. She has spent her career at the intersection of public health and emergency response. As a paramedic, she is a Captain, paramedic preceptor and was deployed to assist in search and rescue efforts for Hurricane Sandy (2012) and Dorian (2019) as a medical specialist for Maryland Task Force 1 a FEMA’s Urban Search and Rescue team. Kate also teaches college-level public health and paramedic studies.

At NHTSA, Kate works on the Next Generation 911 Grant program and with EMS and 911 stakeholders on projects related to pediatrics, EMS education, rural/tribal issues, mental health, workforce wellness and the COVID-19 response. She is especially proud of her collaboration with (CDC) and (NIOSH) on a study of suicide among first responders. Kate currently attends the federal working group on suicide prevention and the White House interagency policy committee for suicide prevention as an EMS and 911 subject matter expert. In addition, Kate is the Deputy Team Lead for the Prehospital/EMS team of the Healthcare Resilience Working Group (HRWG), which is part of the FEMA/HHS response to COVID-19. As the deputy, Kate has coordinated more than 35 critical documents through a multiagency clearance process, managed product development and team coordination, recruited and managed the administration for a changing team of EMS subject matter experts to respond to the needs of the EMS and 911 communities in the face of the pandemic.

Joseph Elliott

Joseph Elliott is a Police Communications Administrator for the City of San Antonio Police Department.

Mr. Elliott began his public safety career as 911 dispatcher for his local police department. Since then he has served in every role of PSAP and EMS management in both rural and urban environments, and currently serves as the PSAP Administrator for the City of San Antonio with an annual call volume of 1.5 million. He is a certified Emergency Telecommunicator, EMD, and Project Manager. He has a BA in history and will soon complete a MBA in Healthcare Administration.

Bruce Evans, MPA

Bruce Evans, MPA, CFO, NRP, SPO is the Fire Chief at the Upper Pine River Fire Protection District. He arrived in La Plata County after serving as the EMS Chief and as an Assistant Chief at the North Las Vegas Fire Department in Southern Nevada. He had served at the Henderson (NV) Fire Department for 18 years as a fire and EMS captain. Chief Evans is an NFPA Fire Instructor III and served as a college faculty member at the College of Southern Nevada's Fire Technology program teaching various fire and EMS topics for 21 years. He has over 38 years' experience in a variety of EMS settings and is the 2010 recipient of the International Association of Fire Chiefs James O Page award for Leadership in EMS. He was awarded the 2014 NAEMT Presidential Leadership Award. Chief Evans is NAEMT's representative to the NFPA(r) 2400, Standard for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Used for Public Safety Operations. He holds a Master's degree in Public Administration, Bachelor's degree in Education, and Associates in Fire Management.

Chief Evans has an appointment to the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Medicine's Preparedness Committee. He is completed a six-year appointment on the Colorado Governor's State EMS and Trauma Advisory Committee. He is a certified faculty for the International Public Safety Leadership and Ethics training program and instructor at the National Emergency Training Center authoring several courses in emergency response and incident management. Evans co-authored several textbooks, Crew Resource Management with Jones & Bartlett Learning, Management of EMS and EMS Research and Quality Management with Prentice Hall, IFSTA's Structural Series High-Rise Firefighting. He is one of the authors of the NAEMT EMS Safety Course and the NAEMT Principles of Ethics and Personal Leadership (PEPL) Course. Chief Evans is a contributor to the EMS Column in Firehouse Magazine and cases in the Journal of EMS (JEMS). Chief Evans is part of the LaPlata County Suicide Prevention Coalition and served on the SW Colorado Child Fatality Review Team.

Kevin Fairlie, JD, MHA

Kevin Fairlie, JD, MHA, is the founding member of Fairlie Law, LLC. Kevin has more than 20 years of experience representing EMS and Fire agencies in wide ranging legal matters with a special emphasis on corporate compliance matters related to Medicare and Medicaid billing.

Richard Ferron

Richard Ferron, ACP, BEd(AdEd), MHM, PhD student, started his career as a Paramedic in Niagara after graduating from Niagara College in 1991, and has worked as a Primary Care Paramedic, Advanced Care Paramedic, and in various management level positions leading to his current position as Chief (acting) with Niagara Emergency Medical Services. Rick received his Bachelors of Education (Adult Education) degree from Brock University in 2009 and his Masters of Health Management from McMaster University in 2015. Rick is a current PhD student in Health Research Methods at McMaster University. Rick’s research interests include EMS system design (including call triage, response prioritization and resource deployment processes), quality assurance, performance measurement, EMS provider education, and EMS leadership. Follow Rick on Twitter @RickFerron.

Jay Fitch, PhD

Jay Fitch, PhD, Pinnacle program chair, is a founding partner of the emergency services consulting firm Fitch & Associates. He is internationally recognized for leadership as a consultant, educator and innovator in EMS and public safety. His body of work, spanning over 40 years, includes the development and implementation of original operational and strategic solutions for organizations, as well as the broader systems in which they operate. His knowledge of the industry and his expertise in organizational development is built on real-world experience. Dr. Fitch certified in multiple disciplines: as a firefighter, police officer and paramedic. He was named EMS Director in St. Louis at the age of 24. Dr. Fitch was responsible for the operational implementation of the Kansas City EMS system and served as president of a large private ambulance service. Since creating Fitch & Associates, he has led numerous complex projects reflecting the entire public safety spectrum, with results that have transformed emergency services for those communities.

From these varied experiences, Dr. Fitch learned to value many perspectives—from patient to caregiver to public official—that go into creating exemplary EMS/public safety programs. Since 1984, the team at Fitch & Associates has worked with small and large organizations throughout the world to understand their current situation and develop pathways toward greater success. In recent years, MedServ Management Services was developed to meet evolving client needs and provide long-term contract management services.

With a doctorate degree in Organizational Psychology, Dr. Fitch is in demand as a speaker and author. He has written and spoken extensively, contributing hundreds of articles and seminars. He was the lead author for the highly regarded textbook Beyond the Street: A Handbook for EMS Leadership and Management and was the editor of Prehospital Care Administration. His community activities include serving for more than a decade on the Board of Directors of a municipal fire district and a suburban Kansas City healthcare facility. Dr. Fitch is a long-term member of the International City and County Management Association, has authored several ICMA member reports on emergency services and has served on its annual conference program committee. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and serves on the Editorial Board of JEMS (Journal of Emergency Medical Services). He is currently serving as a Commissioner for the American College of Paramedic Executives.

Hannah Fitch is a senior consultant with Fitch & Associates and a core faculty member for the firm’s Ambulance Service Manager’s certificate program. She is also a minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), serving a vibrant congregation in Chicago, Illinois. Her background in theater, broadcast and vocal performance deeply informs her approach to leadership development and effective communication training. She has helped politicians, executives, educators and activists to develop both the skillset and the mindset for a powerful public presence. Hannah is an enthusiastic listener, sounding board, and problem navigator and is honored to serve the EMS community.

Greg Friese, MS

Greg Friese, MS, NRP, is the Lexipol Editorial Director, leading the efforts of the editorial team on Police1, FireRescue1, Corrections1 and EMS1. Greg served as the EMS1 editor-in-chief for five years. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master's degree from the University of Idaho. He is an educator, author, national registry paramedic since 2005, and a long-distance runner. Greg was a 2010 recipient of the EMS 10 Award for innovation. He is also a three-time Jesse H. Neal award winner, the most prestigious award in specialized journalism, and the 2018 Eddie Award winner for best Column/Blog.

Guillermo Fuentes, MBA

Guillermo Fuentes, MBA, is Chief Operating Officer with Fitch & Associates. Mr. Fuentes leads the communications and technology practice for the firm. His experience in public safety operations, communications, technology and senior administration is wide ranging. He is a leading expert on the analysis, design, and deployment/risk management for public safety agencies. He supervises statistical and operational analysis, computer modeling and the development of deployment plans as well as major technology purchases and communications center installations for clients. He frequently conducts studies on the feasibility of amalgamating communications call center functions regionally and across service lines. He served as the lead consultant on the Hong Kong (China) Fire Service Department communications project and has played essential roles in a number of the firm’s international consults.

Mr. Fuentes previously served as the Chief Administrative Officer of the Niagara Regional Police Agency, in Ontario, Canada, and prior was Associate Director of EMS for the Niagara Region. In that role, he worked with the firm to design, build and implement a communications center that received NAED accreditation in its first year’s operation. Prior to Niagara, he served as Deputy Director of Operations EMS in Montreal, Canada, supervising 1,100 staff members. He was responsible for operations, communications, support services and scheduling functions.

He earned a Masters in Business Administration, Summa Cum Laude, from Aspen University, Aspen Colo., and is active in the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO).

Dia Gainor, MPA

Ms. Gainor is the executive director for the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) and provides strategic leadership to promote and expand the organization’s presence and capacity as a national leader in emergency medical services (EMS). As executive director, she acts as a spokesperson for NASEMSO, positioning the association to pursue its vision with federal partners and other organizations. Her major duties and responsibilities include outreach, representation and business development. She also was the staff lead for both the NHTSA-funded EMS Workforce Guidelines and DHS-funded Model Interstate Compact for EMS Personnel Licensure projects. Prior to coming to ASMI, Dia was Idaho’s State EMS director for 19 years. She served as president and treasurer of NASEMSO, as well as chair of its Highway Incident & Transportations Systems Committee. In 2008, Dia was appointed by Secretary Peters to serve on the National EMS Advisory Council (NEMSAC) to the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) and was selected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to serve as the Council’s first chair. She also chaired the Intelligent Transportation Systems Transportation Safety Advancement Group (TSAG) for the U.S. DOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration, which focuses on interdisciplinary opportunities to promote technology solutions to protect public safety responders and travelers. In May 2011, Dia received the highest award the Idaho Military Division may bestow upon a civilian, the Idaho Distinguished Service Medal. Additionally, she received the Idaho Governor’s Challenge Coin “in gratitude for her service.” She is an “EMS 10 Innovator” and the 2010 recipient of the James O. Page/ JEMS Award. Dia’s expertise is grounded in a Emergency Health Services Administration, a master’s degree in Public Administration, and 12 years of field experience as a paramedic and firefighter.

Hilary Gates, MAEd, NRP

Hilary Gates, MAEd, NRP, is the Director of Educational Strategy at Prodigy EMS. She is a volunteer paramedic in Alexandria, Va., and teaches in the School of Education at American University in Washington, D.C. She previously served as the editorial director for EMS World Magazine and Trade Show.

Kim Godden

Kim Godden is the Vice President of Legal, Government Relations and Corporate Compliance, at Superior Ambulance Service.

Eve Grau

Eve Grau is the Vice President of Human Resources at Royal Ambulance of San Leandro California. Eve describes her job is to ensure that Royal has an incredible company culture that allows people to learn, grow and be their best. ‘We see ourselves as a "building block" for young and aspiring healthcare professionals, who want to become Healthcare Leaders and make an impact on the lives of others and the future of Healthcare’. In February 2021, Royal was honored with a Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Award in the U.S. small and medium company category Best Places to Work in 2021. The Employees’ Choice Award is based solely on the input of employees, who elect to provide anonymous feedback by completing a company review on the Glassdoor Ap.

Steve Grau

Steve Grau is CEO and Owner of Royal Ambulance. Over the many years, Royal has grown from two ambulances and 10 EMT’s to over 50 ambulances and 300+ team members. Today, Royal Ambulance provides Healthcare Systems with customized, end-to-end solutions that optimize patient flow, improve patient experience and increase organizational efficiency. Royal’s mission is to provide the best medical transportation experiences to millions of patients and caregivers across the country. In the last few years Royal has been recognized by the San Francisco/Silicon Valley Business Times - “125 Best Companies to Work For in the Bay Area”, Inc. Magazine - “One of the Fastest Growing Companies in America” and Modern Healthcare - “Best Places to Work”

Dacia Grayber

State Representative Dacia Grayber is in the final months of her first term in the Oregon State Legislature, where she is proud to represent the City of Portland (SW) and the City of Tigard with over 70,000 constituents. In the House of Representatives, Rep. Grayber holds the position of Assistant Majority Leader of the Democratic Caucus, is Chair of the Veterans and Emergency Management Committee, Vice Chair of Business and Labor, and serves on the Ways and Means Public Safety Subcommittee and Wildfire Recovery Committee. In her first term Rep. Grayber passed transformative and historic policies ranging from wildfire response and climate change mitigation, to EMS innovation in elder care, to worker’s compensation reform, including expanding cancer presumptions for firefighters. She prides herself in working to break down barriers for all Oregonians and expanding opportunities for success, and leads with bravery, compassion, and determination.

When not in session, Rep. Grayber continues her 22-year career in service as a full-time firefighter and nationally registered paramedic with Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue. She holds a Bachelor’s in Science from Concordia University in Homeland Security and Emergency Management and has won national recognition from the National Homeland Security Institute for her work in emergency management exercise design, as well as regional awards for her public health work in establishing a free triage clinic for unhoused neighbors. Her proudest achievement is raising four now incredible teenagers with her husband, Matt. In her free time Dacia loves any and all outdoor adventure and dreams of someday sleeping more.

Guest presenters

Sarah (Wilson) Handler

Sarah is the vice president of Grants for Lexipol, managing PoliceGrantsHelp, FireGrantsHelp, EMSGrantsHelp, CorrectionsOneGrants, GovGrantsHelp and EducationGrantsHelp as well as the Grant search tool GrantFinder. She has been with the company since 2007 and started the Grant services division in 2009. Since 2009, Sarah has worked to build the Grants division from a small, sponsored microsite to a multimillion dollar revenue business. Sarah’s team is responsible for generating $300+ million in funding and currently servicing a network of 60,000 departments and municipalities for grant help. Sarah has a bachelor's degree from the University of California at Davis.

Lisa Hawke, JD

Lisa Hawke, a partner with Holland & Knight, represents a number of health care organizations, with significant expertise in hospital and health system financing, trauma centers and systems, air medical transport, emergency medical services and the 340B Drug Discount Program. She is an experienced advocate on numerous other healthcare issues and programs, including graduate medical education, biomedical research, transplantation, health resources issues, as well as public records and open meetings laws.
She works with clients on policy development, devising legislative and regulatory strategies, and intervening as necessary to draft and secure legislative or regulatory changes that advance client interests. In previous roles, she served as in-house counsel to two large health systems, building their government relations functions and executing strategic government relations plans.

A.J. Heightman

Editor emeritus of JEMS, A.J. Heightman is a former EMS director and EMS operations director who has researched and specialized in MCI management training for 30 years.

Adam Heinz

Adam joined REMSA Health in 2002. Having held a variety of leadership roles including EMS Supervisor, Clinical Development Manager and Director of Clinical Communications, he is now responsible for the strategic advancement of REMSA Health’s innovative health care projects. A national award-winning senior leader, Adam represents the collaborative and business interests of the organization with regional partners, regulatory representatives and elected officials. In addition, Adam oversees the organization’s clinical services and its Center for Integrated Health and Community Education. Adam is an alumnus of the University of Nevada Reno and in 2020 he completed an MBA program with an emphasis in healthcare leadership. In addition to being a Nationally Registered Paramedic (NRP), Adam is certified as a Nevada State EMS Instructor and as an Advanced Emergency Medical Dispatcher (AEMD). Currently, Adam serves on the Clinical Practices and Standards, and Mobile Integrated Health Committees of the National Association of EMS Physicians. In addition, he serves as vice-chair of the Professional Standards Committee of the American Ambulance Association (AAA) and was appointed as that organization’s representative to the board of directors of the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. Locally, Adam services on the community advisory board for Donor Network West.

Kenneth Hickey

Kenneth Hickey is the program manager for community services at UPMC Health Plan in Pittsburgh. He has over thirteen years of fire/EMS experience and was instrumental in developing mobile integrated healthcare programs in Maryland. In his current role, he develops strategic programs to assist EMS agencies and community-based organizations.

Jim Hobart

Jim has been a part of the polling team in some of the most competitive and important elections in the country and in 2013, he received the prestigious Rising Star Award from Campaign and Elections Magazine. In 2020, Jim polled for the largest independent expenditure effort backing Roger Marshall in the Kansas Senate primary and general elections, helping Marshall take both races from nail-biters to resounding victories. He also polled for successful outside efforts in four winning Congressional campaigns and for the campaign on seven successful local ballot initiatives. Jim was also involved in research efforts for major Senate races in Arizona, Georgia, and Michigan.

In 2018, Jim polled for Governor Brian Kemp’s come-from-behind wins in both the primary and general elections in Georgia. Kemp shocked political observers by first defeating heavy favorite Casey Cagle in the primary, and then topping 50% to triumph over Stacey Abrams without a runoff. In polling conducted for the NRSC in 2018, Jim was the first pollster in the country to correctly show Heidi Heitkamp was a clear underdog to then Congressman Kevin Cramer. Cramer would go on to defeat Heitkamp by eleven points.

In 2016, Jim was the pollster for a successful independent expenditure effort in the Pennsylvania Senate race, which was the largest outside effort in any Senate race in the country. Jim also polled for an independent expenditure effort in the Iowa Senate race, a winning Congressional race, two successful ballot measures, and a significant research project geared toward helping Republicans make inroads with female voters. Jim is also an accomplished focus group moderator, having moderated more than 100 groups throughout the country. He regularly appears on NPR, CNN, HillTV, and the BBC to offer political analysis.

Doug Hooten, MBA

Douglas Hooten is the Chief Executive Officer of Harris County ESD 11 In Northwest Harris County. He has over 40 years of experience in EMS, having served as Chief Executive Officer of the Metropolitan Area EMS Authority/MedStar Mobile Healthcare in Fort Worth, Texas; Senior Vice President of Operations for American Medical Response; Chief Executive Officer of the Metropolitan Ambulance Service Trust (MAST)in Kansas City, Missouri; and a variety of leadership roles with Rural/Metro Ambulance, Inc. in South Carolina, Georgia, Ohio, and Texas. He has demonstrated considerable expertise in change management, cost optimization, process improvement, and clinical excellence. Having started his career in EMS as a field paramedic in Galveston and later in Conroe,Texas, Hooten holds an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Sam Houston State University and a Master of Business Administration from Rockhurst University. He served as past President and board member of the Academy of International Mobile Healthcare Integration (AIMHI), past President and board member of the Texas EMS Alliance, and past board member for the National Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council to the Department of Transportation. In addition, he has served in leadership positions with the Governor’s EMS and Trauma Advisory Council’s EMS committee and the American Ambulance Association.

Bobby J. Hopewell, MA, BA, EMT-P

Bobby J. Hopewell is President and Chief Executive Officer of EMS Survey Team and Mobile Health Resources. He has 35 years of healthcare, leadership, and public service experience. He is a Paramedic and has been a leader with three Michigan EMS agencies and an administrator for two Michigan hospital health systems. Mr. Hopewell was appointed by Michigan Governor Whitmer to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation Executive Committee and appointed by Former Michigan Governor Snyder to the Michigan Community Corrections Board. He also serves as a founding and Lifetime Emeritus member of the Kalamazoo Michigan Foundation for Excellence. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Public Service/EMS Administration from Siena Heights University and received his Master of Arts in Organizational Learning and Performance from Western Michigan University. Additionally, Mr. Hopewell served from 2007- 2019 as the 30th and longest-serving Mayor of the City of Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Dr. Ryan Jacobsen

Dr. Jacobsen is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center and serves as the EMS Medical Director for the Johnson County EMS System. He is board-certified in both Emergency Medicine and EMS.

J Lee Jenkins, MD

J Lee Jenkins, MD, became an EMT nearly thirty years ago, but her interest in EMS has taken her back even further as she has researched the profession’s origins. A disaster medicine specialist, Dr. Jenkins is currently the chair of the department of emergency health services at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Josh McGaughey

Josh McGaughey has spent 19 years in EMS ranging from field Paramedic to Lieutenant, Battalion, Division, and Assistant Chief all for the St. Charles County Ambulance District. He oversees the Training Department, Emergency Division, IFT, Critical Care Transport, and Facilities. Josh has worked on numerous committees in his tenure including: Strategic Planning, Wellness, Uniforms, Hiring, Branding, and Steering.

Josh has also worked in the publishing industry as a Senior Health Profession’s Testing Manager for Elsevier. Josh is a subject matter expert in written assessment. He earned a Bachelors, Magna Cum Laude, in Corporate Communications and a Master’s in Leadership both from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo. Josh is a Certified Critical Care Paramedic, Certified Ambulance Coder, and EMS Instructor. He has been recognized many times over for innovation and leadership during his EMS tenure.

In 2021, Josh received the Jerry Love Award for Leadership as part of the Ambulance Service Manager Course. He was also accepted into the Priority Ambulance Leadership Foundation (PALF) program, where his team won the 2021 capstone project.

Alexia Jobson

Alexia Jobson, Director of Public Relations at REMSA Health. Alexia Bratiotis Jobson, BA, APR , is the Public Affairs Manager for the REMSA Health in Washoe County, Nevada. She has two decades of business and communications experience in the region ranging from agency client services to a non-profit visual art institution, from an integrated health network to real estate property management. She's active in several local philanthropic, public relations and professional networking boards and associations.

Robin Johnson, MD, MPH

Robin Johnson, MD, MPH, an emergency medicine physician, is the medical director for El Paso County, Colorado, Public Health, and previously held the role of deputy medical director for community and public health at the Colorado Springs Fire Department.

Adam Jones

Adam has achieved success at the most challenging jobs in politics and government. Since entering the political arena, Jones has become a respected political strategist across the nation. Having worked on local, state, and federal elections, Adam brings a keen understanding of obstacles facing political and issue campaigns at every level. Adam is a veteran of two presidential campaigns, serving as the Western States Regional Director for John McCain for President in 2008 and coordinating celebrity engagement for Romney for President in 2012. Adam is responsible for Emmy, Golden Globe, and Legend award winning actors Kelsey Grammer, Jon Voight, Patricia Heaton, Dennis Miller and John Ratzenberger campaigning on behalf of the Republican Party’s Presidential candidates. He continued to develop those relationships and is now considered a key liaison between Hollywood and conservative campaigns.

Adam has managed two United States Senate races and served as the Executive Director of the North Dakota Republican Party. In 2010, he implemented strategies that led to the largest Republican legislative gains in North Dakota’s history while also providing the platform for the Republicans to capture the sole U.S. House of Representatives position along with the U.S. Senate seat. In 2013, Nevada Lt. Governor Brian Krolicki tapped Adam to be his Chief of Staff. In this capacity, Adam oversaw the day-to-day operations of the office along with providing counsel on important issues facing the State of Nevada.

Following the 2014-midterm elections, Adam co-founded The Foundation for America with legendary actor John Ratzenberger. Under Adam’s leadership, the foundation raised and donated over $1.4 million to programs dedicated to bringing skilled labor and manufacturing back to America. In addition to his charitable work with the Foundation for America, Jones volunteers as an advisor to PGA Tour professional Ernie Els’s foundation, Els for Autism and the Gary Sinise Foundation. Jones returned to the political arena in 2015 when he was selected by the Koch political network to lead Americans for Prosperity in Nevada. Adam built a grassroots organization that the New York Times referred to as the “largest conservative movement in Nevada”.

Tom Judge

Tom Judge is the executive director and co-founder of LifeFlight of Maine. He has also served as chair of the Association of Critical Care Transport (ACCT) and has advised many organizations around the world on EMS program development.

Jennifer Kirkland

Jennifer Kirkland is the director of the Public Safety Communications Center in Grand Junction, Colorado, and an instructor in the Ambulance Service Manager and Communications Center Manager courses.

Reid Kiser, MS

Reid Kiser, MS, president and CEO of Kiser Healthcare Solutions and adjunct faculty at the George Washington University, has two decades of experience implementing healthcare measurement and analytics programs.

Steve Knight, PhD

Steve Knight, PhD, a partner with Fitch & Associates, leads the firm’s fire service practice. In that role, he has led numerous assessments of major cities and in smaller communities. These often include standards of cover reviews and providing strategic planning services. Dr. Knight brings to the firm over 25 years fire/EMS experience. He retired as the Assistant Fire Chief for the City of St. Petersburg, Florida. He has been a subject matter expert for both the National Fire Academy and the Center for Public Safety Excellence. He also served as team leader and assessor for the Commission on Fire Accreditation International and has held multiple faculty appointments in Fire Science and EMS. Dr. Knight joined the firm after serving as the Senior Manager for Fire and EMS at the International City/County Management Association (ICMA).

Steve earned a Bachelor of Science degree summa cum laude in Fire & Safety Engineering Technology, from the University of Cincinnati and an MPA in Public Administration from Troy State University. He earned a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction for Adult Education from the University of South Florida. Dr. Knight is a nationally recognized speaker and author. He completed the Executive Fire Officer (EFO) program at the National Fire Academy, earning the A. Don Manno Award for Excellence in Research from the National Society of Executive Fire Officers and the 2007 Outstanding Research Award from the National Fire Academy and United States Fire Administration.

Michelle Kobayashi, MBA, MSN

Michelle Kobayashi, MBA, MSN is the Administrative Director of Hackensack UMC EMS in Hackensack, New Jersey.

Jon Krohmer, MD

Jon Krohmer, MD, is the director of the NHTSA Office of EMS in Washington, DC. He has previously worked as a local EMS director and in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Brian LaCroix

Brian K. LaCroix is recently retired as President and EMS Chief of Allina Health Emergency Medical Services, St. Paul, Minnesota. Allina Health EMS serves more than one million Minnesota residents with 9-1-1 service in more than 120 communities. LaCroix is the Past President of the National EMS Management Association and liaison to the Paramedic Chiefs of Canada. Past-Vice Chair of the MN EMS Regulatory Board, and Hennepin County (Minneapolis) EMS Council. Other professional affiliations include his role as Chair of the Century College EMS Advisory Board and member of the Regina Hospital Foundation in Hastings, MN.
With over 34 years in the career field Brian can leverage his extensive network of leaders across the USA and Canada to help find your next Executive Officer (Director, CEO, Chief, etc.).
LaCroix has built and lead successful teams for more than three decades. With a proven track record of creating and sustaining high performing leaders and teams.
During his career LaCroix has worked as a volunteer firefighter, EMT, paramedic, educator, author, peer counselor, manager and executive officer. LaCroix is a Fellow in the American College of Paramedic Executives, holds a paramedic degree and a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He has worked on extended international EMS projects in Nicaragua, France and Croatia. A native English speaker proficient in French, LaCroix enjoys his six grandkids, growing grapes, winemaking and is an accomplished artist/painter.

Jim Lanier

Jim Lanier, ENP, MPA has been involved in public safety for over 30 years with experience in firefighting, EMS Paramedic (including 18 years at Sunstar EMS in Pinellas County, FL), and 911. Jim holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Emergency Management and has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. In addition to being a NENA Emergency Number Professional (ENP) Jim is a Fire, Medical and Q Instructor with the IAED as well as an IAED Board of Accreditation Member. Jim is also a member of the OnStar Public Safety Council. As a member of the 911 Training Institute faculty, Jim is passionate about educating our public safety community regarding wellness and resilience, and was Co-Founder of the 911 Wellness Foundation.

Rob Lawrence

Rob Lawrence has been a leader in civilian and military EMS for thirty years. He is currently the director of strategic implementation for PRO EMS and its educational arm, Prodigy EMS, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and part-time executive director of the California Ambulance Association.

He previously served as the chief operating officer of the Richmond Ambulance Authority (Virginia), which won both state and national EMS Agency of the Year awards during his 10-year tenure. Additionally, he served as COO for Paramedics Plus in Alameda County, California.

Prior to emigrating to the U.S. in 2008, Rob served as the COO for the East of England Ambulance Service in Suffolk County, England, and as the executive director of operations and service development for the East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust. Rob is a former Army officer and graduate of the UK's Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and served worldwide in a 20-year military career encompassing many prehospital and evacuation leadership roles

Rob is a board member of the Academy of International Mobile Healthcare Integration ( AIMHI) as well as chair of the American Ambulance Association’s Communications Committee. He writes and podcasts for and is a member of the EMS World and EMS1 Editorial Advisory Board.

Michael J. Levin

Michael shares what he has learned over his 30 years as an Entrepreneur, an Executive, a Consultant and a Coach. Michael delivers his own material and his own life lessons from the heart. He engages his audience not through Powerpoint but through interaction and connection.
He is President and CEO of Custom Solutions Inc. He has launched product and service companies and turned them into multi-million dollar entities. His products, including those he has patented, have been sold in every major retail drug, grocery and mass chain in the country. His patented products have been featured in O Magazine.
Along with the success of his own businesses, he has a prestigious list of clients he’s worked with including Pepsi Cola, Oracle, Clorox, McKesson, Hexcel and New Belgium Brewery along with a significant number of small to mid-size companies.
He is the author of “Sitting on the Same Side of the Table: The Art of Collaborative Selling”. He is an award winning co-author of Jack Canfield’s boo#k (author of Chicken Soup for the Soul) “The Road to Success.”
Michael’s latest book “Let Them See You Sweat: Lessons I’ve Learned on My Personal Journey with Stress” became a #1 International Best-Seller in January of 2017.
Michael has spoken on TV and radio shows around the country sharing his business and sales knowledge. He has appeared numerous times on Home Shopping Network and has also been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine.

Freddy Lippert, MD

Freddy Lippert, MD, is CEO of Copenhagen EMS in Denmark and an associate professor at the University of Copenhagen.

Eduardo Gonzalez Loumiet

Eduardo Gonzalez Loumiet is an adjunct professor with Florida A&M University and the Emory Rollins School of Public Health and CEO of Ruvos, a cybersecurity, data integration and cloud computing company.

Jeff Lucia

Jeff Lucia is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications at ESO, a leading software company supporting electronic patient care reports and analytics. A former paramedic, he was an editor at JEMS Communications and then Men’s Fitness Magazine. He was a partner with the RedFlash Group, an award-winning marketing and communications firm focusing on public safety before transitioning to ESO.

Brett Lyle

Brett began her coaching career in 2014, with a health and wellness focus, while concurrently serving the Emergency Medical Service industry in business development and public relations roles. Identifying an industry gap and client need, she launched Brett Lyle Coaching and established personal and professional development programs in 2018; since then, she has done career coaching at multiple conferences, has led virtual events, and hosted industry renowned leaders on her own podcast called #Emergentleadership. Brett works one-on-one with business professionals and organizations to define goals, execute on strategic plans, and watch them realize their successes, related to personal and professional branding, networking, career transitions and placement.

Winnie Maggiore, JD

Winnie Maggiore, JD, a former firefighter/paramedic, is a partner in the law firm of Butt Thornton & Baehr and previously served as a state EMS administrator and assistant district attorney and senior litigation attorney for the State of New Mexico Risk Management Division.

Gregg Margolis, PhD

Gregg Margolis is the Director of Health Policy Educational Programs and Fellowships at the National Academy of Medicine.

From 2010-2017, he served as the Director of the Division of Health System Policy for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Jim Marshall, MA

Jim Marshall, MA, is a clinical psychologist, director of the 911 Training Institute and author of The Resilient 911 Professional. Jim is a leading voice in the emergency care industry for mental health and wellness. He is a mental health professional and educates telecommunicators and other first responders in personal stress resilience and mastery of calls involving suicide and mental illness.

He is the co-editor of The Resilient 9-1-1 Professional: A Comprehensive Guide to Surviving & Thriving Together in the 9-1-1 Center. Jim has served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Emergency Dispatch and as Co-chair of the NENA Working Group that produced the NENA Standard on Acute/Traumatic and Chronic Stress. He also served as the Chair/CEO of the 911 Wellness Foundation, a former non-profit organization that was devoted to fostering the well-being of 9-1-1 professionals through research, education, policy and intervention.

Jim holds a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology from Wheaton College in Illinois and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Michigan State University.

Jennifer Martinez

Jennifer Martinez is one of the newest members to the Lexipol Grants Team. She is a seasoned grants manager with over 17 years of experience managing emergency preparedness and public health grants. She has worked intimately with first responders from EMS, Police, Fire, OEM at the state and local levels in developing regional, integrated approaches with hospital systems to accomplishing grant deliverables. Recently, she has worked with a non-profit organization on maternal and infant health equity initiatives. Jennifer is a Certified Health Education Specialist, holds a Bachelors Degree in Radiological Sciences, and a Masters Degree in Public Health. She has also completed numerous Incident Command and National Incident Management Systems courses.

Greg J. Matthews

War veteran, firefighter, rescue pilot, antiterrorism expert: Greg Matthews has done it all. But it wasn’t until he was nearly killed by a grizzly bear that he discovered what really mattered in life.

Louis Mendiola, MHA

Louis Mendiola, MHA, is the system director of retail health for Bozeman Health in Montana.

Anthony Minge, EdD

Anthony Minge, EdD, Pinnacle program co-chair, is a senior partner with Fitch & Associates. Dr. Minge coordinates the firm’s educational offerings and is responsible for the firm’s reimbursement, compliance and membership consulting services. In his educational role, Dr. Minge serves as the program co-chair for the Pinnacle Leadership Forum and as the partner responsible for the Ambulance Service Manager and Communications Center Managers certification programs offered in collaboration with multiple professional associations.

Anthony has an extensive background in healthcare finance specializing in managing billing and collections functions in multiple areas including pharmacy, home health, hospital, lab and ground and air medical transport. Prior to joining the firm, he was the business manager for Northwest Medstar in Spokane, Wash., one of the largest air medical programs in the Pacific Northwest. He also served as business manager of Children’s Medical Center of Dallas Transport, one of the nation’s busiest pediatric specialty transport services.

He has been directly involved in the development and management of ground and air services for hospital based and stand-alone ambulance services for a number of years. Dr. Minge’s involvement in EMS industry education is extensive having served on the board and as guest lecturer for a billing and coding certification program, on state and regional advisory councils in Washington and Texas for ambulance services and safety/injury prevention committees, has authored multiple articles for EMS periodicals, and is a nationally recognized speaker.

Anthony earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, Texas, an MBA in Strategic Leadership from Amberton University in Garland, Texas, and a Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership from Argosy University, Dallas, Texas.

Bruce Moeller, PhD

Bruce Moeller, PhD, is a Fitch & Associates consultant and a retired fire chief and former county executive. Mr. Moeller has a diverse public sector background spanning over 30 years, most recently serving as Chief of Staff and Assistant County Administrator in Pinellas County, Florida. Previously Moeller served as fire chief and then city manager for Sunrise, Florida. He also served as Director and Chief of Department for Broward County, Florida.

Moeller initially began his public safety career in law enforcement after graduating from the Chicago Police Academy. He subsequently joined the fire service and was promoted through various line and chief officer roles. Chief Moeller has been a certified paramedic for over 20 years and has commanded various incidents of significance including Hurricane Andrew (1991), Value Jet #592 crash in the Florida Everglades (1996), South Florida Anthrax Panic (2001) and Hurricane Wilma (2006). Chief Moeller is a sought-after speaker at national conferences on topics including leading organizational change and effective public policy making. Moeller is active in a variety of national associations and serves on numerous boards and committees.

Dr. Moeller has a Bachelor’s from Western Illinois University, Master’s in Public Administration from Northern Illinois University and received his Doctor of Philosophy from Florida Atlantic University. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in public administration, management, labor relations, and organizational theory for several institutions and is currently affiliated with the University of Florida. Dr. Moeller is an author in public administration and fire rescue fields, and has contributed to Disaster Management Handbook published in 2008 by Taylor & Francis and the 4th Edition (2012) of ICMA’s Managing Fire Rescue Services.

Asbel Montes

Asbel Montes is the Managing Partner for Solutions Group. Asbel began his career in the ambulance industry in 1999. His EMS career includes directing and leading teams that provided revenue cycle consultation to air and ground ambulance agencies, culminating into the position of Managing Partner of Solutions Group Consulting.

Over the past 20 years, Asbel has been a member of numerous organizations, including the Healthcare Financial Managers Association (HFMA), the American Ambulance Association (AAA), National EMS Managers Association (NEMSMA), and the National Association of EMTs (NAEMT).
Asbel currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Ambulance Association (AAA) and numerous committees and board positions. More notably, he chairs the AAA Payment Reform Committee as the industry navigates the current healthcare changes and the correlation to the air and ground ambulance industry. He has also testified as an expert witness before federal and state health committees regarding ambulance reimbursement and veteran health initiatives related to emergency medicine.
In 2016, Asbel was appointed to the Ambulance Transport Alternatives Task Force for the State of Louisiana by Governor John Bel Edwards. In 2020, Asbel was named to the Air Ambulance and Patient Billing Advisory Committee by the Secretary for the United States Department of Transportation.
Asbel is a respected thought leader on reimbursement initiatives within the industry and is a requested speaker at many healthcare conferences. Asbel is a contributing author in several EMS magazines and co-authoring the book, Management of Ambulance Services, as published by Prentice Hall in 2014.

Thomas Moore

Thomas Moore, a senior associate with Fitch & Associates, serves as the Director of Emergency Medical Services for University Medical Center Health System in Lubbock, Texas. His professional healthcare experience includes designing, implementing, and managing ground ambulance services, emergency care systems and trauma centers, and providing consulting and leadership for strategic planning, consolidations, mergers, acquisitions, and procurement of transportation services. Mr. Moore also serves as faculty for the Ambulance Service Manager program (ASM) and Communications Center Manager program (CCM). Prior to joining the firm, he served as the Manager of Operations for American Medical Response, the largest ambulance service provider in North America.

As a consultant, Mr. Moore has designed multi-jurisdictional regional EMS systems, hospital inter-facility transport systems, and neonatal intensive care unit transport systems. Mr. Moore has also successfully led communications centers through the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED) Accredited Center of Excellence accreditation process and EMS agencies through the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS) accreditation process, including one of only forty-six agencies worldwide to receive accreditation by both accrediting bodies. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Management and is currently pursuing an MBA at UAB. He is a graduate of the Ambulance Service Manager program and was the recipient of the Jerry Love Leadership Award.

Scott Moore, JD

Scott is a Massachusetts licensed attorney and possesses certifications as both a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and the Society for Human Resources Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP). He is a member of the American Bar Association (ABA), the Massachusetts Bar Association (MBA), the Northeast Human Resource Association (NEHRA), and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
In addition, Scott is an active member of the American Ambulance Association and has been a Site Reviewer for the Commission for the Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS) for many years.

Andrew Mulcahy, PhD

Andrew Mulcahy, PhD, is a senior health policy researcher with the RAND Corporation and served as the lead author of a CMS-commissioned report that helped shape the final instrument and process used to collect cost data.

Abdo Nahmod

Abdo Nahmod is the Assistant Vice President at Northwell Health and former Chief of EMS for the New York City Fire Department. Abdo has pioneered new ways to improve employee engagement with timely customer feedback.

John Oceguera

John runs Strategies 360 Nevada operations, overseeing a diverse mix of clients from corporations and nonprofits to campaigns and candidates. Strategies 360 is the largest full-service research, public affairs, and communications firm in the west with offices in 13 states, Canada, and Washington D.C. John formerly served as Speaker of the Nevada Assembly and was an elected representative in the Nevada Legislature for 12 years. He held a variety of leadership positions and chaired numerous committees, including Commerce and Labor, and Transportation. As Speaker of the Assembly in 2011, John worked with his colleagues in both houses and parties to ensure the state budget was balanced, while providing additional funding for education and other essential state services.

In addition to his legislative service, John had a 20-year career with the North Las Vegas Fire Department, working as firefighter, paramedic, engineer, captain, battalion chief and retiring as an assistant chief in 2011. As assistant chief, he developed and implemented a comprehensive emergency operations program and managed 220 personnel and a multi-million-dollar budget. John has also served on numerous boards and in many different leadership positions. He was named “Elected Official of the Year” by the American Heart Association and the National Association of Social Workers, Nevada Chapter. John received a “Top 40 Under 40” award from In Business Las Vegas and was named “Consumer Advocate of the Year” by the Nevada Trial Lawyers. John’s most cherished honor was having his name placed on the Distinguished Service Wall at the Nevada Firefighters Memorial, joining only 17 other firefighters who have been so honored.

Jared Oscarson

Jared Oscarson is Senior Vice President for Ready Responders.

Jerry Overton

Jerry Overton is president of the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch, which creates dispatch protocols used by emergency communications centers around the world.

David Page, MS

Mr. Page is the director of the Prehospital Care Research Forum at UCLA and active field paramedic with Allina Health EMS in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota.
He serves as the current and founding chair of the International Paramedic Registry assessment and credentialing board. He has over 34 years of continuous EMS street experience.

Mr. Page holds a Master of Science degree in education from Minnesota State University. He is an Adjunct Senior Lecturer and PhD candidate at Monash University, in Melbourne, Australia. He helped create, coordinate, and teach the Inver Hills Community College’s paramedic degree program for 24 years. Mr. Page is international affiliate faculty and a member of education committee for the National Association of EMTs (NAEMT). He is a site visitor for the Committee on Accreditation of EMS Programs, and senior facilitator for the NAEMSE and CoAEMSP evaluation workshop, and NREMT Scenario Development workshop.

Mr. Page is an award winning national and international speaker. He was awarded the NAEMT President’s award in 2017, the prestigious Pinnacle National Leadership Award in 2016, and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities “Educator of the Year” award in 2011. He was also recognized as one of the 2012 EMS 10 Innovators for his role in creating the Saint Paul Fire Department’s EMS academy and Freedom House BLS unit, a project focused on helping low-income inner-city youth succeed.

A native of Mexico, Mr. Page continues to be involved in the development of EMS internationally. Current projects include work in 21 countries including Australia, Philippines, Ecuador, Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, and others. He is co-creator of FISDAP, an international web-based EMS tracking, research and testing project. Mr. Page is the editor-in-chief of the Spanish edition of EMS World.

Colin Parrish, MBA

Colin Parrish, MBA, is a content manager for a Pittsburgh-based, full-service marketing team known as YaJagoff Media LLC. Colin paves creative pathways in his writing, social media strategy, marketing, and public relations to keep a client's story moving forward in a digital environment. In his spare time, he is a writer for Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Kristi Pastore, MS

Kristi Pastore, MS, is a founding partner of Equal Parts Consulting, which helps leaders drive change and improve performance through leadership development and strategic HR initiatives.

Casey Patrick, MD

Casey Patrick grew up in Williamsburg, Ky. and received his MD from The University of Kentucky College of Medicine in 2004. In 2007, he completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Indiana University. Currently, Dr. Patrick is the medical director for Harris County ESD11 Mobile Healthcare and assistant medical director for the Montgomery County Hospital District EMS service. Dr. Patrick’s clinical EMS research involves the evaluation of bolus dose intravenous nitroglycerin for acute pulmonary edema, the prehospital utility of esmolol in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and assessing the efficacy of droperidol for undifferentiated agitation. Casey and his wife, Alyssa, work and live in Conroe, TX and Spokane, WA. Together they have five children: Mia, Ainsley, Brock, Dean and Will.

Roxanne Peek, MBA

Roxanne Peek, MBA, is a Partner at Fitch & Associates and the CEO of LifeFlight Eagle, the regional air medical program in Kansas City, Missouri.

She has held progressively responsible clinical and leadership roles in an integrated delivery system. Prior to joining Fitch & Associates, she served as Vice President with Heartland Health Systems in St. Joseph, Mo. During her tenure, the system earned the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. She was responsible for providing senior administrative direction, management and coordination for Clinical Services and Emergency Services, which included the Emergency Department, Trauma Services for Level II Trauma Center, Ambulance Services, Acute and Outreach Lab Services, Inpatient Pharmacy Services, Hospital and outpatient Imaging Services, Emergency Management and Fleet Management. Ms. Peek also serves as the contract Executive Director of the Association for Critical Care Transport (ACCT) managed by the firm.

Ms. Peek worked to develop and implement initiatives to achieve consistent upper quartile performance in quality, safety, caregiver and medical staff engagement and the patient experience. Ms. Peek is also experienced in the selection and implementation of electronic medical record platforms as well as performance improvement systems utilizing Lean principles. Ms. Peek has a Master’s in Business Administration from Andrew Jackson University.

Samuel Peña

Samuel Peña is a 24-year veteran of the fire service and has been chief of the Houston Fire Department (HFD) since December 19, 2016. Chief Peña leads one of the largest municipal fire departments in the country, with approximately 4,000 personnel and an annual budget of over $490 million. He previously served over 3 years as fire chief in El Paso, Texas.

Peña completed his paramedic training at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center EMS Division in 1998. He served previously as Task Force leader for the El Paso Hazardous Materials Team and Special Rescue team; coordinator for the combined search and rescue (ComSAR) mountain rescue team; Strategic Planning Chief, Public Information Office, Training Chief, and Assistant Chief of Emergency Operations.

Chief Peña holds a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and an Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Texas at El Paso, and served four years as a command and control specialist in the U.S. Air Force.

Memberships: International Association of Fire Chiefs; Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA); National Association of Search and Rescue.

Prior to Pena’s appointment, Assistant Fire Chief Rodney West was acting Interim Fire Chief following Chief Terry Garrison who accepted another position in his home town of Glendale, Arizona in October of 2015.

Cherie Pepping

Cherie Pepping, RN, BSN, CEN, PHRN, CMTE, is chair of the Association of Critical Care Transport (ACCT) Board of Directors. She serves as the Executive Director of Critical Care Services at Superior Air – Ground Ambulance Service, Inc. in Elmhurst, Illinois. After graduating from Northwestern University, Cherie has enjoyed a 30-year career spanning various clinical and leadership positions in healthcare. Cherie joined Superior Air – Ground Ambulance Service, Inc. in 1999 to establish the Division of Critical Care Services. Superior currently delivers Air and Ground Critical Care Transport in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Jimmy Pierson

President/COO of Medic Ambulance

Jamie Pospisil

Jamie Pospisil is a Captain with the City of Lincoln Fire & Rescue Department in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Mike Poynter

Michael Poynter has managed operations and led emergency personnel in environments of all types throughout his 40 year’s public service. His experience spans all branches of Emergency Services including Law Enforcement, Emergency Medical Services, and the Fire Service. During his tenure he has responded to numerous incidents in all sectors and trained emergency responders from around the world in their related fields. Mike served as a Tactical Paramedic with the Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Weapons and Tactics Team and a Flight Paramedic at a Level 1 Trauma Center for twenty years and was involved in many duties including those in special operations, training, and aviation over seeing Emergency Services Responders. Mike currently serves as Executive Director for the Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services, Advisory Board Member for Emergency Medical Services World Magazine, Advisory Board Member for the Bluegrass State Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence, Board of Directors for the National Association of State Emergency Medical Services Officials, and Commissioner for the American College of Paramedic Executives. Mike has just completed a 4-year term on the Board of Director’s for the FBI’s InfraGard National Members Alliance. Mike has been published in numerous peer and trade journals and has spoken at over thirty regional, national, and international conferences. He resides in Lexington, Kentucky with his wife and 2 children.

Kevin Preston

Assistant Chief Kevin V. Preston is a 20-year veteran of the Orlando Fire Department with 25 years total experience in the EMS & Fire service. Chief Preston holds a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management from Webster University, a Bachelor’s Degree in Emergency Management and Public Safety from Grand Canyon University and an Associate’s Degree in Emergency Medical Services from Valencia State College.

During his 20-year tenure with the Orlando Fire Department, Chief Preston has also worked in various roles, looking for and attaining efficiencies and innovation at every position that he has occupied.

Chief Preston was the project manager for the department’s recently implemented civilian emergency medical transport program, overseeing and orchestrating all facets of development, implementation and deployment of this 3 million dollar endeavor.

Ed Racht, MD

Dr. Ed Racht has been involved in Emergency Medical Services and healthcare systems for more than 30 years. He currently serves as Chair of the Texas EMS, Trauma and Acute Care Foundation, an organization that provides advocacy, strategic planning and healthcare system credentialing in the State of Texas.

Dr. Racht has been Chief Medical Officer for American Medical Response (AMR) since 2010. Prior to this role, he served as the Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Medical Affairs for Piedmont Newnan Hospital in metro Atlanta. Dr. Racht was the first full-time Medical Director for the Austin/Travis County Emergency Medical Services System, where he spent 13 years. The System was nationally recognized in the Institute of Medicine’s Report on the state of emergency care for its collaborative approach to challenging healthcare integration issues.

Dr. Racht received his undergraduate and medical degree from Emory University in Atlanta and completed his residency at the Medical College of Virginia.

Dr. Racht is the recipient of numerous awards including being named EMS Medical Director of the Year for the State of Texas, the American Heart Association’s Paul Ledbetter MD Physician Volunteer of the Year Award and was named a “Hero of Emergency Medicine” in 2008 by the American College of Emergency Physicians. In 2015, he was the first recipient of the Joseph P. Ornato Excellence in Clinical Leadership Award, and in 2011 received the Slovis Award for Educational Excellence by the U.S. Metropolitan Municipalities Medical Director Consortium. He is also the third Inductee in the Texas EMS, Trauma and Acute Care Foundation Hall of Fame.

Michael Redlener, MD

Michael Redlener, MD, FAEMS, is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. A board member of the National EMS Quality Alliance, he is a leader in the Red Lights and Siren Collaborative.
Dr. Redlener serves as the Associate Medical Director of the Mount Sinai West Emergency Department and the Medical Director for EMS Quality in the Mount Sinai Health System. He received his medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, NY then completed a residency program in Emergency Medicine at New York University/Bellevue Hospital followed by a fellowship in Pre-hospital and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Medicine with the New York City Fire Department. He is Double Board-Certified in Emergency Medicine and EMS Medicine.
Dr. Redlener has devoted his professional career to EMS quality improvement, safety and systems of care development. He has championed these ideas at a local, regional and national level. He serves as the Interim President for the National EMS Quality Alliance (NEMSQA) and is the former chair of the National Association of EMS Physician (NAEMSP) Quality and Safety Committee where he co-founded and co-directs of the NAEMSP Quality and Safety Course, a year-long course designed to introduce EMS physicians and professionals to the tenets of healthcare improvement science. He sits on the American Heart Association Coronary Artery Disease Advisory Group. He also serves as the New York City Regional Emergency Medical Advisory Committee (REMAC) as the chair of the Quality Improvement Committee as well as the Stroke Systems of Care group.

Ginny K. Renkiewicz, PhD, MHS

Ginny K. Renkiewicz, PhD, MHS, Paramedic, FAEMS, is an Assistant Professor of Healthcare Administration at Methodist University. She has been involved in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) for 22 years as a paramedic and instructor, including 18 years as a Program Director, and has been recognized as a Fellow of the Academy of Emergency Medical Services (FAEMS) through NAEMSP. Ginny has won multiple national and international awards, including EMS Educator of the Year and the global EMS10 Award. Ginny volunteers for several peer-reviewed journals; serves as Executive Director of the Foundation for Prehospital Medicine Research; and is passionate about research, innovation, and mentoring.

Rachael Rennebeck

Rachael Rennebeck is half of the jagoff duo behind the award winning YaJagoff Podcast and co-owner of YaJagoff Media, LLC. specializing in marketing, PR and content management. Married for over two decades with three amazing kids, Rachael appreciates a dark roast cup of joe, a throwback song to the New Edition days, Stitch Fix for simplifying shopping, and a good walk that doesn’t leave you glistening.

Matt Riggins

Matt Riggins serves as a firefighter/EMT with Upper Pine River Fire Protection District in Bayfield, Colo.

Vince Robbins

Vince Robbins recently retired as president and CEO of MONOC, a New Jersey hospital-based ambulance service and is the Immediate Past President of the National EMS Management Association (NEMSMA).

Ernesto Rodriguez, MA

Ernesto Rodriguez, MA, is an EMS chief in Austin, Texas, and served as one of ten members of the expert panel of the EMS Agenda 2050.

Erika Sallee, DPT

Erika Sallee, DPT is a co-founder of the Readiness Group, which specializes in working with individuals and organizations in emergency services and the military to decrease the impact of trauma.

Todd Sheridan, MBA

Todd Sheridan, MBA, a senior associate with Fitch & Associates, is a seasoned EMS leader with expertise in operations, finance and strategic planning. Mr. Sheridan’s consulting projects have ranged in size from smaller community initiatives to large urban high-performance EMS systems. His skills include assessment and strategic planning, data analysis, operational performance improvement, financial modeling, and staff development. He previously served as the firm’s contracted Director of Operations for Robert Wood Johnson University – EMS/Mobile Health Services. Before joining the firm, Mr. Sheridan served with multiple EMS and Fire agencies including roles as a senior operations leader with the Richmond Ambulance Authority and the Central Virginia All Hazards Incident Management Team. He earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of North Alabama and continues to maintain his national registry certification as a Paramedic.

Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith is chief of Niagara EMS in Ontario, Canada.

Hezedean Smith, DM

Hezedean Smith serves on the National EMS Management Association Board of Directors. He became Fire Chief of the Charlottesville Fire Department in Charlotte, Virginia in 2020 after 25 years with the Orlando Fire Department.

Gerald (Jerry) L. Smith II

Jerry Smith serves as the Director of the Office of EMS, formerly and most commonly known as Lake EMS, prior to its transition under the Lake County Board of County Commissioners on Oct. 1, 2018. In his role, he is responsible for the Administration, Financial Management and Operations of the Office of EMS.

The Office of EMS is the only pre-hospital transport agency in Lake County and, as such, operates 22 Advanced Life Support units. In Fiscal Year 2018, Lake EMS field staff ran approximately 58,858 incidents.

Mr. Smith has 30 years of Public Safety experience between the fields of Emergency Medical Services and Emergency Management. He has held various EMS positions from EMT to Director at Lake EMS. As the former Director of Lake County Emergency Management, Mr. Smith managed local incidents resulting in two Presidential Disaster Declarations and numerous Emergency Operations Center activations.

Mr. Smith also served 30 years in the U.S. Air Force, with assignments on active duty and reserve. He retired from the Air Force with the rank of Chief Master Sergeant.

Mr. Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management from Warner Southern College – Magna Cum Laude.

Mr. Smith is committed to the community of Lake County and has previously served in an array of capacities, including, but not limited to, a member of the Sunrise Kiwanis Club of Leesburg, a member of the Leadership of Lake County Alumni Association, a member of the Lake-Sumter State College Foundation and a youth soccer coach to various leagues.

Scott Somers, PhD

Scott Somers, PhD, is a former Phoenix Fire Department firefighter/paramedic and Mesa, Arizona, city council member who is now a professor at the Arizona State University Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

Pat Songer

Pat Songer is chief operating officer of Cascade Medical Center in central Washington and Executive Director of the National EMS Management Association (NEMSMA).

Todd Stout

Todd Stout is Founder and President of FirstWatch, which serves more than 400 agencies throughout North America. Todd got his start as working as a stock boy at Medevac MidAmerica and MAST in Kansas City. He later became an EMT, paramedic and flight medic. After working as a consultant on EMS systems design for his father’s firm, The 4th Party, Todd was brought on as vice president and chief operating officer at Oklahoma City Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA). He has also held positions as director of business development for LifeFleet Ambulance in Irvine, Calif., and was a senior manager for TriTech Software Systems in San Diego.
Todd is active in the profession, is a member of many associations, including the International Association of EMS Chiefs (IAEMSC), a member of and served on the board of the National EMS Management Association (NEMSMA), and on the CBRN Committee of the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED). He also volunteers his time with the Paramedic Chiefs of Canada, and other EMS and Public Health groups. In 2014, he received the Pinnacle EMS Leadership Award.
His roots in public safety run deep. His late father was Jack Stout, an innovative and influential pioneer in the design of high-performance EMS systems.

Matthew Streger, JD

Matt Streger, JD, is a partner at Keavney and Streger and an experienced EMS and healthcare attorney.

Dan Swayze, DrPH

Dan Swayze, DrPH, is associate vice president for clinical affairs and community support services at UPMC Health Plan in Pittsburgh.

Mike Taigman, MA

Mike Taigman, MA, Improvement Guide for FirstWatch, is the organization’s leading expert in Improvement Science, Resilience, and Stress Management. His broad experience supports customers in a variety of ways. He helps turn data into actionable information, helps teams build their resilience using our neuroscience-based ResilientFirst system, and teaches stress management techniques that can be used by anyone anywhere.

As a street paramedic in Denver, he honed his clinical skills caring for patients and helping new paramedics learn to provide solid clinical care with kindness and compassion. As a popular conference educator, author of more than 600 articles in professional journals, an Associate Professor in the graduate program in Emergency Health Services Management at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and an Associate Adjunct Professor in the Master’s Program in Healthcare Administration and Interprofessional Leadership at the University of California San Francisco he’s focused on helping professionals save more lives, reduce suffering, and be more effective leaders.

Mike holds a master’s degree in Organizational Systems, and is frequently part of the faculty for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

Mark Tenia

Mark Tenia is the Public Relations/Media Manager for the Richmond Ambulance Authority (RAA), a world-class mobile integrated healthcare service. Prior to his role at RAA, he was a television news reporter and fill-in anchor for more than 10 years covering national stories.

Greg Thompson, MS

Greg Thompson, MS, is the Director of Metropolitan Emergency Medical Services, Little Rock, Arkansas. He began his EMS career with MEMS in 1992 as an EMT and became a Paramedic a short time later. He served as Operations Director for over 20 years. Greg has obtained many certifications including Hazmat Technician, Swift Water Technician, and Paramedic instructor and has worked a tactical medic for almost 20 years with the MEMS STAR Team. In addition to his technical certifications, he holds a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management, a Master’s degree in Psychology and is currently pursuing his EdD in community counseling with a focus on trauma. Greg became the first in Arkansas to earn the Executive Paramedic Officer of Fellow in the American College of Paramedic Executives (FACPE).

Brenda Tillman, PhD

Brenda Tillman, PhD is a co-founder of the Readiness Group, which specializes in working with individuals and organizations in emergency services and the military to decrease the impact of trauma.

Erin Vickery, MBA

Erin Vickery, MBA, is the EMS Director of Operations at Grady Health System.

Erin has extensive experience leading teams across diverse pre-hospital healthcare delivery systems. A 30-year EMS veteran, she served as a 911-ground paramedic and flight paramedic before transitioning to leadership where she focuses on building efficient and sustainable EMS system models. She concentrates on evolving pre-hospital delivery of healthcare to meet the patient and community needs while cultivating her teams, encouraging succession planning, and supporting employee development.

Erin leads the robust operational teams across the statewide Grady EMS footprint. In addition to serving as the 911 provider for the City of Atlanta and South Fulton, Grady serves numerous other Georgia counties. Grady maintains multiple specialty-trained teams including a Comprehensive Mobile Stroke Unit, Mobile Crisis Response, Bio-Safety Transport team, BLS 911 Strike Teams, Para-medic Quick Response Vehicles, Mobile Integrated Health, Interfacility Transport, Rapid Response Bike Teams and Event EMS coverage across the City of Atlanta.

Erin earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Colorado Technical University and an MBA from The University of Tennessee. She has a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and maintains her national registry certification and Georgia licensure as a Paramedic.

Ayanna Walker, MD

Dr. Walker currently serves as the EMS medical director for Osceola County Fire Rescue, Kissimmee Fire Department, and St. Cloud Fire Rescue. In line with her passion for innovative educational strategies, she is also the medical director of paramedic education for the Orlando Medical Institute.

Dr. Walker was born in Lakeland, Florida, earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing at the University of Miami, and then went on to obtain a medical degree at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta.

Dr. Walker completed a three-year residency in Emergency Medicine at Orlando Health and matriculated an additional year as a fellow of Emergency Medical Services, where she also served as the Assistant EMS Medical Director of Orange County. Dr. Walker is board certified in Emergency Medicine, with a sub-specialty certification in EMS. She has since worked in a Level I trauma center, two community hospitals, and a free standing emergency department. With her experience in diverse working environments, she enjoys bedside teaching with a practical, evidenced based approach in order to prepare residents to work in any type of EM environment.

David Wampler, PhD

David Wampler, PhD, serves as director of clinical research for the San Antonio Fire Department and is an associate professor of emergency health sciences at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Jonathan Washko, MBA

Jonathan Washko, MBA, Assistant Vice President of the Center of Emergency Medical Services at Northwell Health in New York.

Holly Weber is currently Metro Aviation’s Director of Customer Revenue Cycle Support and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Metro’s customer support team. Having spent the last 20 years in the HEMS industry – both from the program and most recently from the revenue cycle management side at a well-known EMS billing company – she is well-versed in billing solutions, revenue cycle management, ambulance compliance and workflow efficiency.

Holly’s background includes Vice President of Business Development and Transformation for Syncordia Technologies and Healthcare Solutions (formerly Health Services Integration), where she led the client relations, business development, and marketing teams for multiple billing companies. Prior to that, Holly served in several other positions at Health Services Integration including Senior Director of Client Relations, Director of Ground Billing, and Process Improvement Manager. During this time, Holly worked with an internal software development team to map and build all workflows and processes for efficient air and ground ambulance billing in a proprietary billing system. She has experience with flight communications, dispatching, revenue cycle management, process improvement, and the inner workings of a communication center. Holly’s career in the HEMS industry started at REACH Air Medical Services where she managed the flight communications center, was a fixed wing coordinator and ultimately the Fixed Wing Business Manager.

Prior to her involvement in the HEMS industry, Holly worked in the wilderness side of EMS as a Wilderness EMT Instructor and Director at SOLO, Wilderness and Emergency Medicine in Conway, NH where she was also very active in backcountry search and rescue activities as well as disaster response services with the American Red Cross.

Holly earned her undergraduate degree from Boston College and a Master of Business Administration Degree from Plymouth State College. She also holds an Executive Leadership Certificate, an Executive Management Certificate, and a Women’s Leadership Certificate from the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. Holly is a Certified Ambulance Coder (CAC), Certified Ambulance Compliance Officer (CACO), Certified Ambulance Privacy Officer (CAPO) and Certified Ambulance Documentation Specialist through the National Association of Ambulance Coders (NAAC). She completed her Certified Medical Transport Executive (CMTE) course in 2021. She was previously a Nationally Registered EMT, Wilderness EMT and New Hampshire State EMT Instructor Trainer. In her spare time, Holly is an avid triathlete and adventurous world traveler.

Gam Wijetunge, MPM

Gamunu “Gam” Wijetunge brings more than 20 years of emergency health services, workforce planning, and emergency preparedness experience to the role of Emergency Medical Services Specialist in the Office of EMS. An OEMS team member for nearly 17 years, Gam oversees the daily operation of activities related to improving the EMS workforce and EMS system emergency preparedness, including the development of the EMS Workforce Agenda for the Future and EMS Agenda 2050. When not applying his energy towards improving EMS systems nationwide, Gam volunteers as a paramedic and firefighter in Wheaton, Maryland.

Chris Williamson

Chris Williamson is deputy chief at Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue in Alabama.

Kathryn Wire, JD, MBA

Kathy Wire is the Executive Director of the Center for Patient Safety, an independent non-profit provider of services designed to support patient safety culture improvement. After a short stint as a medical malpractice defense litigator, she moved into early risk management and spent 25 years managing risk, claims, patient safety, and litigation for two major health systems headquartered in St. Louis, MO. She has continued to support healthcare providers on their journeys to safer care, first with her own consulting firm and, since 2012, with CPS. She has been active at the national, state and local level with ASHRM and its affiliates, the American Health Law Association and is an ASHRM Fellow. She was part of the Center for Patient Safety Team that supported the Missouri Hospital Just Culture Collaborative (funded by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing). Since she was trained as an invited participant in the initial certification course from Outcome Enginuity/The Just Culture Company, she has educated providers and helped clients develop their just cultures.

Ian Womack

Ian Womack has served as Division Chief overseeing EMS for St. Petersburg Fire Rescue since 2014, and also has helped many other departments evaluate and improve their EMS operations.

John Yeast

John Yeast is the director of information technology for the St. Charles County Ambulance District in Missouri.

Chief John Yocum

Fire Chief John Yocum joined the Fort Osage Fire Protection District in 1998. He has held numerous positions within the organization and has been the Fire Chief since 2010. Chief Yocum has over 30 years’ experience working with departments that are combination full time, city and fire protection districts.

Chief Yocum holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Columbia College, is a graduate of the Executive Fire Program and holds Chief Fire Officer Designation. He is certified in the State of Missouri as a Fire Investigator, Fire Officer II, Instructor III and Paramedic.

During his time as Chief he has been a member of the International Fire Chiefs, Missouri Valley Fire Chiefs, Missouri Fire Chiefs and Western Missouri Fire Chiefs. He was a trustee on a Workers Compensation Board for nine years and is Past President of Missouri Association of Fire Protection Districts and Western Missouri Chiefs.

Matt Zavadsky, MS-HSA

Matt Zavadsky, MS-HSA, is president of the National Association of EMTs and chief strategic integration officer for Fort Worth’s MedStar Mobile Healthcare, where he has helped implement numerous innovative partnerships with healthcare stakeholders and payers.