2020 Conference Speakers
See the full line up of Texas EMS Conference 2020 – Virtual Speakers
Heidi Abraham, MD, EMT-B/T, started her career as an EMT on a volunteer fire department and worked various EMS jobs until her dad finally persuaded her to go to medical school. She completed her emergency medicine residency as a chief resident at the Wright State University Integrated Residency in Emergency Medicine. Heidi completed her EMS fellowship with Houston Fire Department and is board certified in EM and EMS. She currently serves as the medical director for New Braunfels EMS.
Maggie Adams, BBA, is the president of EMS Financial Services, with over 25 years’ experience as a business owner and reimbursement and compliance consultant. Known for a practical approach and winning presentation style, Adams has worked with medical transportation providers and billing companies of all kinds to provide auditing services, assess their billing for best practices and support their billing and documentation training efforts. Adams is a cum laude graduate of the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Kevin Allen is the manager for the Texas Immunization Registry Team, ImmTrac2.
Tina Amlin, LP, has been part of the EMS world for more than 30 years and has been a licensed paramedic over 25 years. She has a background in teaching AMLS, ACLS and PALS. She has worked in research and is currently working at Baylor Scott & White Memorial in Temple, Texas.
Derek Bailey, FF, EMT-P, is a seasoned firefighter/paramedic with the Midlothian Fire Department. He serves as a field training officer and Stop the Bleed instructor for his department. His work experience includes private and public EMS, having worked in rural and more urban areas of Texas. He is passionate about providing quality patient care to all those that he serves. He is the 2018 Paramedic of the Year selected by Methodist Mansfield Medical Center.
Shane Beck currently serves as the EMS coordinator and training captain for Trophy Club Fire Department in Trophy Club, Texas. With over 25 years of EMS experience and his many years in leadership roles, Beck developed a passion for continuing his leadership learning and sharing his passion and knowledge with others.
Michael Benavides, EMTP, is a commander at Austin-Travis County EMS where he leads the public information office. He is a recognized expert in media management and social media messaging.
Molly Biglari is the director for strategic relations for Haven for Hope and has been instrumental in making the Acute Care Station a successful program. Biglari has been with Haven for Hope for four years.
Ken Bouvier, NREMT-Paramedic, is known nationally and internationally as a professional EMS speaker. He began his fire and EMS career in 1975. He served as fire chief for Monsanto from 1975to 2012. Bouvier started at New Orleans EMS in 1989, as an EMT-paramedic and in 2012 became deputy chief of operations until retirement in March 2019. Bouvier served as EMS commander of most New Orleans major events including Mardi Gras and two Super Bowls. Bouvier was the recipient of the 1989 National EMT of the Year Award, 2008 Rocco V. Morando Lifetime Achievement Award and 2019 Louisiana EMS Lifetime Achievement Award. Bouvier served NAEMT President 2004-2006. Bouvier has an extensive Fire/EMS educational background and has made written contributions in 13 EMS textbooks. He presently serves on the EMS World Editorial Advisory Board. Bouvier continues to serve both Fire and EMS as a professional speaker and educator.
Russ Brown, AAS NRP, is a paramedic and EMS field training officer for Southlake Fire Department in Southlake, Texas. A passionate medical educator, he frequently lectures at regional and state EMS and emergency medicine conferences. He is also the founder and lead instructor for Med Inspired LLC and the creator and host of the Med Inspired podcast.
Kellie Burnam, Licensed Paramedic, is a current STRAC employee who is assigned to the South Texas Crisis Collaborative and manages the Acute Care Station (ACS) project. Burnam is also a licensed paramedic with the State of Texas and spent 17 years in EMS prior to coming to STRAC.
Olivia Burns, MSW, is the Aging Texas Well (ATW) coordinator in the Office of Aging Services Coordination (ASC) at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. As the ATW coordinator, she oversees the development of the biennial ATW strategic plan, in addition to research-based efforts to help the state better serve its older adult population. She has a Bachelor of Social Work from Texas Woman’s University and received her Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin. At UT, she specialized in administration and policy practice and was a Gerontology Resources and the Aging Community in Education (GRACE) Scholar, a program that aims to increase the number of social workers entering the gerontology field.
Kim Callanan, MA, was a hospital administrator for many years. For the past eight years, she has specialized in consulting regarding solutions to care challenges as patients approach the end of life, helping physician and other care organizations develop solutions. She is currently an officer of the Leadership Council of the National POLST Program.
Dean Campa, MA, LP, FP-C, EMS-CC, is a full-time professor of emergency medical services at Lonestar College-North Harris. As well as teaching, he has worked in various capacities in EMS since 1990, including as a flight paramedic, ground paramedic and wilderness EMT. He holds both a Master’s and a Bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State University in interpersonal communications (areas of study: relational maintenance, family communication, nonverbal communication and deception) and various other prehospital credentials (LP, FPC, WEMT, EMS-CC, etc.). Additionally, he is currently a Ph.D. candidate in cognitive psychology and is conducting studies on the role of interpersonal communications, workplace spillover and their impact on emergency service providers.
James Campbell, NRP, FACPE, has 16 years of experience in fire/EMS. In 2018 he joined the Montgomery County Hospital District (MCHD) and in 2019 he became the MCHD chief of EMS. MCHD has a service area of 1,100 sq/miles, 250 paramedics and had 74,000 responses in 2019. Campbell is recognized as a Fellow of the American College of Paramedic Executives (FACPE) and is on the SETRAC board of directors as well as the GETAC EMS Committee.
Julie Carriker, RN, CA-CP SANE, D-ABMDI, has been an RN for 25 years and have extensive experience in the ER. She has been a certified adult and pediatric sexual assault nurse examiner for 19 years and a forensic death investigator for 15 years. Carriker has experience at the Harris County, Dallas County and Denton County Medical Examiner’s Offices, and is a diplomate with the America’s Board in Medicolegal Death Investigators and a members of the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault and the International Association of Medical Examiners and Coroners.
Dan Cohen, LP, BS, is a captain in clinical practices for Williamson County EMS. Cohen has been with WCEMS for 16 years. Prior to getting involved in EMS, he was a freelance photographer. Cohen holds and Associate of Applied Science degree from Austin Community College and a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from The University of Texas at Austin.
Clayton Collins, BSN, RN, CPN, is a clinical education coordinator at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Galveston. He began his career as a PICU nurse and now leads burn management and prevention education for the Galveston Shriners Hospital and in the community. Collins is a certified pediatric nurse and course coordinator for Advanced Burn Life Support (ABLS) courses.
Amy Corbett, BS, LP, CPSTI, is a paramedic and community outreach coordinator with Harris County Emergency Corps. She graduated from Stephen F Austin State University with a BS in interdisciplinary studies and earned her Associates in emergency medical services from Lone Star College. She is a member of the Harris County Child Fatality Review Team and is a Child Passenger Safety Technician instructor. Corbett created the Pediatric Injury Prevention Program for Harris County Emergency Corps to keep the children safe in her district and bring the community together.
Isabella Curruth is a professional service dog trainer and handler; her past experience includes service dog public education.
James Dachos, is an associate manager at PCG and currently serves as the program manager for EMS Cost Recovery and Compliance initiatives for five states, including Texas, Florida, Washington, Colorado and Oklahoma. As the program manager Dachos is directly responsible for the development, design, implementation, cost reporting and ongoing administration of EMS reimbursement programs. He currently oversees ambulance supplemental payment services for over 50 clients across the state of Texas, more than 40 ambulance providers in Florida, and over 60 providers in the state of Washington. Dachos also oversees the project team dedicated to providing statewide EMS consulting, cost collection and auditing service on behalf of the state of Colorado.
Robert Dickson, MD, FAEMS graduated with honors from the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio in 2001 and completed emergency medicine training at Indiana University in 2004. He serves as the EMS medical director at Montgomery County Hospital District EMS and an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston Texas. His academic interests include systems of care in stroke and other time sensitive emergencies, neurologic emergencies and education. He is board certified in emergency medicine in both the US and Australasia and has subspecialty board certification in EMS medicine. He has authored multiple professional articles and presented at regional, national and international conferences on emergency medicine and EMS topics.
Chris Ebright, B.Ed., NRP, is an EMS education specialist with ProMedica Air and Mobile in Toledo, Ohio, managing all aspects of internal continuing EMS education as well as for numerous EMS systems in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. He has been a Nationally Registered paramedic for 25 years, providing primary EMS response, land and air critical care transportation. Ebright has educated hundreds of first responders, EMTs, paramedics and nurses for 24 years with his trademark whiteboard artistry sessions, including natives from the Cayman Islands and Australia. Ebright’s passion for education is also currently featured as a monthly article contributor, published on the Limmer Education website. He has been a featured presenter at numerous local, state and national EMS conferences over the past 13 years, and he enjoys travelling annually throughout the United States, meeting EMS professionals from all walks of life. He can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.christopherebright.com.
Casey Ebrom, EMT-P, FP-C, is a paramedic and assistant EMS director for Karnes County EMS in rural south-central Texas. Starting his EMS career in 2010, Ebrom’s experience has been in both the rural and helicopter EMS environments. He has a driving passion for rural EMS and to share the experience and knowledge that he has gained thus far.
Bryan Ericson, MEd., is projector director for EMS Education Standards revision team.
Justin W. Fairless, DO, LP, NRP, FACEP, is board certified in emergency medicine and EMS medicine and is clinical assistant professor of emergency medicine at TCU/UNT-HSC School of Medicine. He works clinically in the emergency department at Texas Health Hospitals in Fort Worth, Texas. Fairless is EMS medical director for Native Air Texas/New Mexico and is member of the Texas College of Emergency Physicians board of directors. He a is medical officer for the TX-4 Disaster Medical Assistance Team and also serves as tactical physician for the Center for Tactical Medicine. Fairless served as one of the Emergency Medical Task Force-Infectious Disease Response Unit physicians at the Texas Center for Infectious Disease in San Antonio in February-March 2020.
Reuben Farnsworth, BS, CCP-C, CP-C, NRP, started his career in EMS as an EMT-B on a rural volunteer service and is currently a critical care paramedic and captain with Delta County Ambulance District. Farnsworth is the president of RockStar Education and Consulting, heavily certified in the alphabet soup disciplines and an international speaker on topics from CPR to critical care paramedicine and everything in between. You can find Farnsworth on the internet on Facebook as RockStar Education and Consulting, or on his website at www.rockstareducation.net and www.rockstarmedic.com.
Tamsin Fuller, BSc(hons) MInstP, is a volunteer with St. John Ambulance UK and London Ambulance service, working as a digital specialist for London’s Metropolitan Police Service. Fuller has a physics and engineering background and loves a puzzle.
John Gonzales, LP, BAAS, is the commander of clinical practices at Williamson County EMS. He has been with WCEMS for 15 years. Prior to working for WCEMS Gonzales was a medic in the Unites States Army. He holds an associate of applied science degree in EMS professions from Temple College as well as a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in emergency management administration from West Texas A&M University.
Shannon Graham, LP, BS, began her career as a combat medic in the US Army in 1997; began civilian EMS career in 2005; earned Associate’s in EMS from Brazosport College in 2007; has been Texas paramedic since 2008; EMS educator since 2008; earned BS in Emergency Health Science from UTHSCSA in 2014; became a coordinator in 2015; developed the Pearland ISD EMT Program; graduated from TAMU in May 2020 with MS – Education for Healthcare Professionals; Coordinator/Program Director for Alvin CC since August 2018.
Steven “Kelly” Grayson, AGS, NRP, CCP, has been a critical care paramedic and EMS educator for twenty-five years. Grayson is president of the Louisiana Association of EMS Educators and a board member of the LA Association of Nationally Registered EMTs. He currently works as a critical care paramedic for Acadian Ambulance in southwest Louisiana and is the owner and founder of MEDIC Training Solutions. He is an award-winning columnist for EMS1.com and EMS World Magazine. His books, En Route and On Scene, are available through Amazon and booksellers nationwide.
Brandon Heggie is a firefighter/paramedic who has been working in fire and EMS for over a decade. He has numerous experiences ranging from being a tactical medic on a SWAT team, to a high angle rope rescue tech. Heggie provides in-depth knowledge in aggressive simplistic medical assessment and care. He is currently working as an acting lieutenant firefighter/paramedic for a busy cross-staffed department. He obtained an Associate’s degree in emergency medicine and health services. Education is not supposed to be difficult. It should be simple, fascinating, remarkable but more importantly, retainable. Heggie provides a high energy educational approach where the group has fun using stories, pictures plus interaction between students and instructor to maximize the learning experience.
Larry Hill, BA, MAG, LP, CCP, DMT, FP, has been in EMS for over 35 years. He has worked in remote and rural EMS on five continents and in urban EMS services in major cities. He has spent over 10 years working in rural services in Presidio, Terlingua, and Bastrop, Texas. He is the founder and executive director of the Medic Outpost nonprofit, which equips and trains first responders in remote areas around the world. He currently lives in Houston.
Travis Hill, LP, BS, began his initial higher education at the Alvin Community College in 2007, finishing with an Associate of Arts in 2009. He then continued education at Sam Houston State University, finishing with a Bachelor’s of Science, including a minor in psychology, in 2011. After a brief career in private security and investigations Hill returned to school for a career change. Returning to Alvin Community College he obtained EMT-B license in 2013, AEMT license in 2015 and Paramedic license in 2017. After six years on the street at an active 911 EMS service, Hill made the decision to return to school again, this time as an educator. He is now the clinical coordinator for the Alvin Community College EMS program, and a full-time instructor responsible for both EMT-B and ECA certification courses.
Stephen Hines, Paramedic, is the clinical practice learning manager for the London Ambulance Service, one of the largest ambulance services in the world, handling over 5000 calls per day. He has attended several major incidents in his career, spanning over 20 years, and played several different roles. He is a keen international speaker and has presented on a range of topics around the world.
Rick Howard, RN, AEMT, got into the EMS/fire service as a volunteer in 1984 as an EMT/firefighter for Lehi City, Utah. In 1987 he began working in an emergency room as an ER technician while in nursing school. After graduating nursing school Howard worked in all levels of emergency departments. His love is in emergency medicine with emphasis in trauma, and he has worked for about 27 years with IHC, with most of those in a level one-trauma center as a charge nurse. Howard is adjunct faculty in the emergency services program at Utah Valley University and teaches all levels of EMS. He has been providing clinical education for a medical device company, as well. Howard received an Associate’s degree in nursing and Bachelor’s degree in public management from Utah Valley University. He recently retired as a battalion chief for Lehi Fire Department and now spends time spoiling his grandkids.
Suh Hughart, EMT-P, has worked in different sectors of EMS, including private, hospital-based and 9-1-1 ambulance services. She is an active member on the medical advisory committee for San Marcos Hays County EMS (SMHCEMS). Hughart is a full-time field paramedic and EMS instructor for SMHCEMS. Additionally, she works part time as a faculty member at the Centre for Emergency Health Sciences, teaching procedural medicine. Hughart is set to present a lecture on human trafficking at the 2020 EMS World Expo, and her article “Hidden in Plain Sight” was published in January 2020 by JEMS.
Jeff Jarvis, MD, MS, EMT-P, is the EMS medical director for Williamson County EMS and Marble Falls Area EMS in central Texas. He maintains his clinical practice at Baylor Scott & White Hospital in Round Rock, Texas. He is board certified in both emergency medicine and emergency medical services. He began his career in EMS over 30 years ago, has worked in three states as a paramedic, and retains his active paramedic license today. He teaches extensively and has authored multiple articles on EMS issues in both peer-reviewed and industry journals. His research interests include airway management and clinical performance measures. He discusses EMS research on his podcast “EMS Lighthouse Project Podcast” and looks forward to hearing comments or feedback on Twitter @DrJeffJarvis.
Melissa Kendrick, RN, BSN, MBA/MHA, CFRN, LP, is a 30-year paramedic and 20-year flight nurse. She has worked EMS in rural and suburban Texas. She was a shock trauma ICU nurse and flight nurse at Memorial Hermann in Houston. She was the clinical education coordinator for Texas and California for PHI Air Medical, and she is currently the chief flight nurse for CHI St. Joseph Air Med 12 in Bryan, Texas. She holds a Bachelor of Science in both biomedical science and nursing, and she has a Master’s in both business and healthcare administration.
Emily Kidd, MD, FACEP, FAEMS
Jay Kovar, MD, FACEP, EMS Medical Director is an honors graduate of UT Austin and UT San Antonio Medical School. Kovar completed training in emergency medicine, serving as chief resident and principle investigator in human resuscitation research at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. He is board certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine and Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians. Kovar has served multiple agencies as chair of emergency services and EMS medical director and is currently the medical director for 18 aircraft of PHI Air Medical group in Texas. He is an advisor to multiple area hospital systems for trauma, STEMI, stroke, sepsis, resuscitation, and procedural sedation protocol development.
CJ Lance, NRP, FP-C is a paramedic in Houston, Texas, for Cy-Fair Fire Department. Lance has eight years of experience in prehospital emergency medicine. His has served as a field training officer, shift supervisor, and flight paramedic. Lance also has critical care experience through his work in lung transplants as a lung donor consultant. His experience in education comes from instructing ACLS, PALS, PHTLS, and multiple ventilator and trauma courses. Lance currently serves as the vice president of advocacy for the Association of Texas EMS Professionals and on the Blinn College EMS Advisory Board.
James Langabeer, PhD, FAHA, is internationally recognized for research in emergency medicine and public health. He is a tenured professor of emergency medicine and vice chair of population health at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. His research focuses on emergency, cardiovascular and addiction medicine. Langabeer is a Fellow of the American Heart Association. He currently leads a national clinical trial for opioid use disorder, called the Houston Emergency Opioid Engagement System (HEROES) and is leads the Addiction, Cardiovascular, and Emergency (ACE) Program. He is the associate editor for Western Journal of Emergency Medicine and the national chair of the American Heart Association’s Ambulatory Quality committee.
Steven LeCroy (Ret.) MA, CRT, EMTP, spent more than 30 years with St. Petersburg Fire & Rescue and retired as a captain paramedic. Currently he is the director of EMS Sales at Mercury Medical. In addition, he has been an adjunct instructor at St. Petersburg College since 1984 and has been certified as a respiratory therapist since 1978. He has been retained as an EMS Expert in over 100 cases across the United States. LeCroy has been a national speaker and has published articles in both EMS World and JEMS magazines. He is also the author of “Handling the pressure what every paramedic and EMT should know about CPAP” as well as a chapter titled “Equipment Technology for Noninvasive Ventilation in the Pre-hospital Setting” in the text Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation: Theory, Equipment, and Clinical Applications published by Springer International Publishing Switzerland.
William Leggio, EdD, NRP, presented at NAEMSE and is a board member of NAEMSE; technical expert panel member of Agenda 2050; previous paramedic program coordinator and assistant professor at Creighton University; published in peer-reviewed and professional journals; currently standards and practices coordinator for Office of Medical Director, City of Austin, Texas.
Thomas Liebman, FP-C, MBA, CMTE, is the Northern Nevada Regional Director for Global Medical Response (GMR). Previously he was the quality and regulatory affairs manager for Med-Trans Corporation. Starting his EMS career as a volunteer EMT in 1981; Liebman has spent more than 30 years working as a paramedic for ground and air services, and more than 15 years in the volunteer fire service. He serves on the board of directors for the National EMS Memorial Service and is chair of the board of regents at the Medical Transport Leadership Institute (MTLI) – a leadership school administered by the Association of Air Medical Services.
Daniel Limmer, AS, Paramedic, I/C, is a paramedic and police officer who has been involved in EMS and law enforcement for 40 years. He is a lecturer in the EMS degree program at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington, and an EMS instructor/coordinator in Maine. He speaks at EMS conferences around the world. He is a co-author of several textbooks including Emergency Care, EMR Complete, the education standards Transition Series for EMT, AEMT and Paramedic, and EMPACT. He develops smartphone and web-based review apps for the emergency service fields through his company.
Ginger Locke, EMT-P, is a paramedic, faculty at the Austin Community College EMS program and a podcast host.
Dusty Lynn-Page, RN, MSc., EMT-P. With over 35 years of pediatric critical care experience, Lynn-Page started her career in the neonatal ICU. She later began working with a pediatric trauma team and then pediatric ICU. Caring for post-op congenital heart disease patients lead her to become an ECLS specialist. She trained as a paramedic when she became an EMS outreach coordinator in Washington, DC. Lynn-Page began teaching PALS in 1989 and has taught many topics related to pediatric resuscitation since. She has had the opportunity to teach in several states across the nation, as well as many other countries. She has the heart of a teacher and finds success when the transfer of knowledge has occurred from her experience and teaching to those in attendance. When not teaching locally, she enjoys traveling with her husband Bob Page, or sharing time together in their home in Virginia.
Rick Maricle, BAAS, NRP, FP-C, is the EMS chair for the Texas Operational Canine Care Committee. He is a certified flight paramedic and EMS coordinator with 10 years of EMS experience and previously spent 11 years as a police K9 trainer. Maricle is a founding member of the K9 Tactical Emergency Casualty Care Subcommittee and currently is the EMS education coordinator at Bexar County District 7 Fire Rescue in San Antonio.
Bob Matoba, M.Ed., EMT-P, serves as the lead instructor for the St. Anthony Paramedic Academy in Lakewood, Colorado. He has been involved in EMS for over 37 years. His career has spanned almost every aspect of the EMS profession, first as an EMT and paramedic for private ambulance companies, EMS coordinator for medical oversight, EMS system consultation in the private and public sector, all the way to the EMS chief for a metropolitan fire department. Matoba has been blessed by having the opportunity to present at multiple EMS conferences throughout the nation. He has made it his mission to educate clinicians, rather than technicians. He strives to provide education that has relevance and takes pride in the fact of continuing to be an actively practicing paramedic on an ambulance.
Gene McGowen, BS, RN, is a pediatric transport and PICU charge nurse representing Shriners Hospitals for Children – Galveston. He has been a nurse for over 35 years, specializing in the management of pediatric burn patients. Prior to his nursing career, McGowen served his country as a combat medic in the United States Army. When not on duty, McGowen enjoys sharing his knowledge and experience in treating burn injuries with providers of all disciplines.
Teresa McLaughlin, Paramedic/Coordinator, returned to her native Texas after 27 years of emergency medical services experience in New York. A paramedic, she has worked for many progressive systems, including New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, FDNY EMS, Lenox Hill Hospital, Transcare EMS at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center and Bronx Lebanon Hospital. As a certified instructor/coordinator, she has taught EMT and paramedic courses in New York City and in Suffolk County New York and most recently for the Texas A&M TEEX Paramedic program. She has served as the committee chairperson for a large-scale EMS Drill competition for five years. She has strong dedication to the volunteer system where she served as training coordinator and directed an EMS Youth Squad/Explorer Post. Described as enthusiastic and approachable, she utilizes her strong clinical experience and knowledge base, creating an ideal learning environment.
Juan Mejias, NRP, FPC, is a clinical education manager for Life Flight Network in eastern Washington. He has designed, implemented and managed an education program for a large air medical provider. He has experience in rural, busy metropolitan, and air medical EMS systems. He is also a member of ATEMSP, NAEMT, and NAEMSP.
Ronna Miller, MD, is associate medical director, UTSW/Parkland BioTel EMS system; founding faculty, NDSLF National Training Center of Texas; and vice-chair for Community Disaster Life Support (CDLS), 4th edition. Her background is adult/pediatric general; trauma and burn surgery; HazMat technician. Her special interests include EMS education, disaster medicine, weapons of mass effect and resuscitation.
Eloy Garcia Mondragon, MD, is a licensed medical doctor and paramedic who has spent 27 years as lead paramedic and physician in charge of ERUM, the advanced life support service for Mexico City. Garcia was a team leader on one of the first advanced teams into Haiti after the earthquake. He has years of experience as an EMS educator and specialist for the Mexican Ministry of Health. Garcia specializes in rural EMS development and is the medical director for the Medic Outpost Nonprofit.
Kenneth Navarro, LP, is an assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, where he serves as chief of EMS education development for a multi-jurisdictional EMS system. Navarro also serves as a content consultant for various project teams at the American Heart Association.
Darren Noak, EMTP, is a captain at Austin-Travis County EMS in the public information office where he manages public information requests, media requests and develops social media content. Noak’s messages are read by hundreds of thousands of readers who follow Austin-Travis County EMS public safety messaging.
Wes Ogilvie, MPA, JD, LP, NRP, is a Texas attorney with extensive experience in state government. In addition to his career as an attorney, he has been involved in Texas EMS for over 15 years in a variety of capacities as both a field provider and educator. He has worked in a variety of locales from rural to urban, both with first response and transport operations. He is a licensed paramedic and EMS instructor in Texas as well as a Nationally Registered paramedic. He’s also an unlicensed critic of barbecue and chili.
Bob Page, M.Ed., NRP, CCP, NCEE, is an internationally known speaker, instructor, author and paramedic. He is recognized for his energetic, humorous and motivational style. Page takes ordinarily dry and hard-to-teach topics and transforms them into a fun learning experience. He holds a Master’s degree in adult education. Page has been an instructor for almost four decades teaching a variety of adult education courses from customer service to advanced medical care. He has presented over 3000 seminars worldwide. He was recognized by his peers in Missouri as Missouri’s “Most Creative Educator” in 2009 and was awarded the Legends That Walk Among Us Award from NAEMSE is 2012.
Casey Patrick, MD, FAEMS is the assistant medical director for Montgomery County Hospital District EMS and is a practicing emergency physician in multiple community emergency departments in the Greater Houston area. His EMS educational focus is on innovative paramedic teaching via the MCHD Paramedic Podcast. Dr. Patrick’s prehospital clinical research involves the investigation of paramedic use of bolus intravenous nitroglycerin for acute pulmonary edema and push-dose epinephrine for patients in shock.
Stuart Pickell, MD, MDiv, has been presenting on the topic of end-of-life care for many years. He has a pediatric/internal medicine practice. He serves as the chair of the Tarrant County Ethics Consortium, which is sponsored by the Tarrant County Medical Society and has served on various Fort Worth area ethics committees for several years. He is chair of the Texas MOST(POLST) Coalition.
Jason Pickett, MD, EMT-P, is a paramedic, emergency physician, medical director and podcast host. Jason serves as the deputy medical director for Austin Travis County EMS.
Stephen Rahm, NRP, is an educator, author and lecturer. Rahm currently oversees the Office of Clinical Direction at the Centre for Emergency Health Sciences and manages all clinical efforts at Bulverde Spring Branch Emergency Services. Rahm has authored numerous textbooks, videos, and articles and is additionally named on multiple journal articles and scientific posters. He is the Centre’s co-chair and faculty member in procedural and anatomical programs, as well as multi-lead ECG interpretation and more. Rahm is a frequent speaker at local, regional, state and national conferences, where he presents on a wide variety of emergency-medicine related topics.
Taylor Ratcliff, MD, FACEP, FAEMS, FF/EMT-LP, started his career in EMS with EMT school in 1995 and completed his paramedic training at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in 1999. He worked for Lubbock EMS from 1997 until 2009 and the Lubbock Fire Department from 2002 until 2005. Ratcliff attended medical school at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine and completed residency training through the Scott & White, Texas A&M Emergency Medicine Residency Program in Temple. He currently works as an academic faculty physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine in Temple. Ratcliff is the division director of prehospital medicine and is the EMS medical director for the cities of Belton, Harker Heights, Copperas Cove and Llano as well as AMR Waco, McLennan County and the Temple College Health Professions program. He is an assistant medical director for the Temple-based PHI EMS helicopter, Med 1-5. Ratcliff also provides medical direction for many Bell County first responder organizations and the Bell County Communications center and is the physician medical director for EMTF team 7 in the Central Texas region. Ratcliff serves on the GETAC as the EMS education member, is a site visitor for CoAEMSP and is the president-elect of the Texas Chapter of the National Association of EMS Physicians. He volunteers as a Firefighter/Paramedic with the Morgan’s Point Resort Fire Department.
Justin Reed, LP, BS, FACPE, is the Assistant Chief for Cy Fair Fire Department. He is an honor graduate of Western Carolina University earning a Bachelor’s of Science in Emergency Medical Care. Reed has served as the Chair of the NEMSMA Quality Improvement Committee and is a Fellow of the American College of Paramedic Executives.
Holly Riley, Aging Services Coordination manager, has over 20 years’ experience in the field of aging with the state. She works throughout Texas to establish partnerships that influence aging policies and programs and cultivate healthy lifestyle options for older adults. Her office implements innovative programs and campaigns that address the importance of preparing for our futures, including the Aging Texas Well program, Age Well Live Well campaign, and the internationally recognized Texercise program. Riley serves on many workgroups, including the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities, Texas Cardiovascular and Stroke Prevention Partnership, Texas Falls Prevention Coalition, Behavioral Health and Aging workgroup, and the Texas Respite Advisory Coalition.
Kiersten Robinson, Paramedic, has three years of experience working with and advocating for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. She is also a parent and field medic for San Marcos Hays County EMS.
Ernesto Rodriguez, MA, LP, has over 38 years of experience in emergency medical services, including fire service, statewide, private sector and municipal third-service models. Rodriguez currently serves as EMS chief at Austin-Travis County EMS in Austin, Texas. Rodriguez holds a Bachelor’s degree from West Texas A&M University and a Master’s degree from Liberty University. Rodriguez is one of six improvement advisors in the nation who specialize in emergency medical services and have completed training through the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. He is a founding board member of the Texas EMS Alliance (TEMSA). Rodriguez served on the Technical Expert Panel of the EMS Agenda 2050 project. As one of ten members of the Agenda 2050 project, Rodriguez is playing a pivotal role, along with experts from across the nation, in developing the future vision of the EMS industry.
There is More Than Critical Thinking! A Review of Higher Order Thinking
Paul Rosenberger, BS, MPA, EdD, is co-chair of the EMS Education Standards revision team. He presented on two other occasions at the Texas Summit. This presentation has been delivered numerous times across the United States.
David Sanko, BA, NRP, started in EMS in 1982 as an EMT and has had NR-paramedic certification since 1987 along with a BA from Boston University. He has extensive experience in the Denver metropolitan region as a Nationally Registered paramedic and instructor for multiple private/ public agencies, including Flight for Life. He is also a volunteer firefighter /paramedic, co-founder/owner of Pridemark Paramedic Services, adjunct faculty for local community colleges, instructor for Denver Health EMT-Basic and Paramedic School, and currently with Centura Health–Prehospital Services Department as the EMS Coordinator.
Julie “Jules” Scadden, Paramedic, EMS-Educator, has been involved in EMS for over 28 years and currently serves as the director of EMS for Dysart Ambulance Service, a blended volunteer/paid ambulance service in central Iowa. Scadden also serves as co-chair on the Iowa EMS-C Advisory Council, the Service Director representative on the Iowa Scope of Practice Committee and is vice-chair of the National Volunteer Fire Council-EMS/Rescue Section. She is currently a member of the EMS-C/HRSA Pediatric Readiness Stakeholder Group and Workshop. She is an EMS educator and presenter at regional, state and national EMS conferences with a focus on pediatrics and children with special healthcare needs. Scadden is a reviewer and writer of EMS educational materials.
Joseph W. Schmider is the State EMS Director for the Texas Department of State Health Services. Prior to his time in Texas, he was the EMS director for the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Schmider has served as a firefighter/EMT since 1974. He served as squad chief for Dublin EMS for 10 years and was the regional EMS director for Bucks County for 10 years. He is trained as a firefighter, EMT, EMT-Instructor, a HazMat technician, rescue technician, certified Texas contract manager, and formerly emergency management coordinator for Bedminster Township. Schmider currently serves on the Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services (FICEMS) and chairs the Health and Medical Preparedness Councils for the National Association of State EMS Officials.
Gary Schwartz, MD, is a thoracic surgeon with expertise in thoracic oncology, minimally invasive thoracic surgery, airway surgery, lung transplantation and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. He attended medical school at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and completed his residency in general surgery at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, both in New York City. He then completed a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. Schwartz completed a year of research focusing on thoracic oncology and endoscopic airway interventions. He has contributed to several peer-reviewed publications and earned multiple clinical awards including Chief Resident of the Year and the Charles McBurney Award.
Mark Smith, JD, MBA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, has been a practicing attorney in Texas since 1999. He first became involved in representing ESDs when he became outside general counsel in 2003 for Harris County ESD No. 1, a large EMS-only district in northern Harris County. In 2007, Harris County ESD1 hired Smith as full-time, in-house counsel, where he served as vice president of administration and general counsel. In 2013, Smith moved back to private practice, where he primarily focuses on representing Harris County Emergency Corps and many other EMS and fire providers. Smith is a native Texan and attended Texas A&M University for his undergraduate and MBA degrees. He received his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center.
Christa Stedman, EMTP, born and raised in Austin, Captain Christa Stedman had her eye on Austin-Travis County EMS from a young age. She attended paramedic school at Austin Community College and began her career with Austin-Travis County EMS in February of 2007, at the age of 22. In her tenure with ATCEMS, she has served as a Field Paramedic, Field Training Captain, and is cross trained in Emergency Communications. Captain Stedman currently serves as a Deputy PIO and is our Legal Liaison and Custodian of Records. Outside of work, Captain Stedman is a die-hard hockey fan, and enjoys spending time with her fiancé and their band of 4 legged children, especially when brunch is involved!
Sheila Sotherlund, NRP, LP, CCEMT-P, FP-C, is a Nationally Registered paramedic and a Texas licensed paramedic. She has specialized training in firefighting, rescue, disaster medicine and critical care transport. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in business from LeTourneau University and additional education in chemistry from UT Arlington. Prior to joining EMS, she gained 20 years’ experience in HS&E in corporate America. Sotherlund currently serves as EMS educator for Irving Fire Department. She is also a firefighter with Briaroaks FD Burleson, Texas. Irving Fire is a large urban department with 300+ EMS providers. Briaroaks is a rural, volunteer, ALS first response department providing 9-1-1 services in north Texas. She has served in the past as EMS lieutenant for a neighboring department. Sotherlund enjoys teaching and helping others grow in their chosen profession. Her particular passion is helping others acquire and hone skills that lead to better patient care and seamless integration of the healthcare team.
Denise Starkey, MPH, MA, is currently the adolescent and adult immunization coordinator at the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) central office in Austin. Here she leads a team on improving adolescent and adult immunization rates in the state of Texas and the Adult Safety Net (ASN) Program partnering with the DSHS Public Health Regions Adolescent and Adult Immunization Coordinators, Local Health Departments, and healthcare professionals. She also currently leads the Hurricane Recovery Crisis Cooperative Agreement First Responder and Cold Chain projects. These two projects focus on increasing immunization in the first responder community and vaccine storage and handling capacity within awarded local health departments. Her academic career includes a Master’s in public health (MPH), concentrating on health promotion and disease prevention, and a Master of Arts, concentrating on biocultural and medical anthropology from California State University, Fullerton.
Jennifer Stout, AS, LP, currently serves as the education and community programs faculty for MedStar Mobile Healthcare. She has been involved in EMS for 10 years and has been instructing for five years. She has served in urban and frontier EMS services and EMS education. She also serves on the GETAC EMS Education Committee and as Affiliate Faculty for NAEMT in various educational programs.
Melissa Stuive, LP, M.Ed., began her EMS journey in 1995 as an EMT-basic. She has spent time working for a private company to working 9-1-1. She graduated as paramedic in 1999 and began teaching in 1999 for a volunteer fire department. She was recruited by the community college and has been there ever since. Stuive is the EMS program director and is working on a doctorate in education.
Janet Taylor, CFRN, EMT-B, CEN, CCEMT-P. After graduating from nursing school in 1998, Taylor worked in various departments through the hospital gaining knowledge and experience in ICU, obstetrics and ER. Taylor has been a flight nurse since 2004 and works full time for Life flight Eagle out of Kansas City. In additional to flying she enjoys teaching part time for EMS conferences across the country and for local paramedic programs. She also writes modules for various online forums. You can see where she will be heading next at www.emsteacher.com. You can also reach her at email@example.com.
Fiona Thomas, B.Sc., EMT-LP, is a recipient of the 2016 Nicholas Rosecrans Award, the 2016 Michael Becker Humanitarian Award, and the 2017 Central Texas 100 Club EMT of the Year Award for her work in first responder suicide prevention. Thomas has 20 years of experience as a paramedic and first responder in central Texas, where she currently works for Austin-Travis County EMS and serves on the Honor Guard. She is a founder of The Code Green Campaign, a nonprofit providing education, awareness, and resources in suicide, substance abuse, and mental wellness concerns for public safety personnel. She has educated providers and laypeople nationwide about first responder resilience and mental wellness.
Larry Torrey, RN, EMT-P, is an emergency RN, paramedic, medical school clinical faculty and EMS educator for more than 30 years. Torrey has served as a full-time and volunteer street medic, a military medic and is currently employed as a nurse manager in an academic medical and trauma center in downtown Boston. He is also active as an instructor in EMS and in special operations medicine for the U.S. military and various government agencies, and in that capacity speaks and teaches nationally and internationally.
Macara Trusty, MS, LP, has served in EMS for over 25 years and has over 12 years of EMS leadership experience. She is a licensed paramedic that holds a BS in business management, a MS in management and leadership, a SHRM SCP certification, Project + certification, and is a certified Just Culture Champion. In addition to her role at Global Medical Response in Arlington, Texas, she also serves as the chair of the Texas Dept. of State Health Services Governor’s EMS and Trauma Advisory Council EMS Education Committee and the Texas NAEMT education coordinator. She has led state-wide cross-functional teams for major projects and continues to share her passion and knowledge for leadership with others.
Becky Valentine, BS, Paramedic, NCEE, MA I/C, has been in EMS since 1992 both clinically and in the classroom. Prior to EMS, she ran group homes for mentally ill/dually diagnosed, on the autism spectrum and intellectually delayed adults for many years. Valentine is an energetic, engaging speaker with a unique approach and perspective. She graduated with a baccalaureate degree in psychology. She has served on the National Association of EMS Educators (NAEMSE) board of directors as well as the Massachusetts/Rhode Island and New England ECC Committees and is currently chairs the NAEMSE Membership and Recognition task forces.
Chris Velasquez, Paramedic, is the MIH coordinator for the San Antonio Fire Department and has been instrumental in creating their MIH program as well as in making the Acute Care Station a successful program. Velasquez has been a paramedic with the San Antonio Fire Department for 24 years.
Lance Villers, PhD, LP, is chair of the Department of Emergency Health Sciences at UT Health San Antonio. He has been involved in EMS as a paramedic, educator and national speaker for nearly 30 years. He is a member of the University of Texas Academy of Master Teachers, a Distinguished Teaching Professor, and developed the first online BS degree program for paramedics. He has directed EMS educational programs for the US Army Special Operations Command, US Army Flight Medic program, San Antonio Fire Department, and numerous rural and urban fire departments. He is a former member of the Texas Governor’s EMS and Trauma Advisory Council, Education Committee and Texas EMS Educator of the Year.
Veer Vithalani, MD, FACEP, FAEMS, is the Interim Medical Director for the Office of the Medical Director of the Metropolitan Area EMS Authority, which provides medical direction and oversight to the MedStar Mobile Healthcare System. He is also an attending emergency physician & EMS director for the JPS Health Network. Veer is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians and the National Association of EMS Physicians. Originally from San Diego, California, he attended medical school in the United Kingdom in a combined program between the University of St. Andrews and the University of Manchester. He completed his emergency medicine residency as part of the inaugural class at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas.
David Wampler, PhD, LP, FAEMS, has been a paramedic for nearly 30 years. He currently serves as an associate professor of emergency health sciences at UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. His primary role is director of clinical research for the Office of the Medical Director and is a Clinical Training Officer for the San Antonio Fire Department. Wampler conducts EMS Related research for the OMD.
Bryan Winchell, EMT-P, FP-C, CCRN, C-NPT, is a flight nurse/paramedic and clinical coordinator at Flight For Life. He started as a volunteer EMT, then worked as a ground paramedic for five years before becoming a flight medic, cardiovascular ICU RN, and finally flight nurse. Winchell is a gifted speaker, able to relay complex topics in a way that is engaging and practical.
Stephen Wirth, Attorney, Paramedic, is a founding partner of Page, Wolfberg & Wirth, LLC, which represents EMS agencies throughout the United States, and a co-founder of NAAC, the National Academy of Ambulance Compliance. In a distinguished public safety career that spans over four decades, Wirth has worked in virtually every facet of EMS–as a firefighter, EMT, paramedic, flight paramedic, EMS instructor, fire officer and EMS executive–and was one of central Pennsylvania’s first paramedics. Wirth is a dynamic and sought-after speaker at EMS conferences nationwide and has authored numerous articles and book chapters on a wide range of EMS leadership and EMS law topics.
Karen Yates, MSN, RN, RN-BC, CEN, LP, is the chest pain coordinator and EMS liaison at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center. She is a well-known speaker at a variety of EMS and nursing conferences throughout the state. Yates holds a Master’s degree in nursing education, and is board certified in nursing professional development. She is also a licensed paramedic and certified emergency nurse. Yates is the chair of the NCTTRAC Cardiac Committee and a member of the GETAC Cardiac Committee.
Jayce Yeh, EMT/ Service Dog Handler. His past experience includes volunteering with nonprofit service dog organizations, and he has experience with Service Dog Public Education through nonprofit (GUGP).
Matt Zavadsky, MS-HSA, EMT, is the chief strategic integration officer for MedStar Mobile Healthcare in Fort Worth; and the president of NAEMT. He holds a Master’s degree in healthcare service administration with a graduate certificate in healthcare data management and has 30 years of experience in EMS, including volunteer, fire departments and public and private sector EMS agencies. Zavadsky also chairs the NAEMT EMS 3.0 Committee and is the co-author of the book Mobile Integrated Healthcare – Approach to Implementation published by Jones & Bartlett Publishing. In addition Zavadsky is also adjunct faculty for the University of North Texas Health Science Center, Department of Health Management and Policy.