Spotlight: Matt Zavadsky
Fort Worth, TX, USA
Public Affairs Director, MedStar Mobile Healthcare
Tell us a little about yourself, please.
Originally from Connecticut and have lived in Lincoln, NE; Augusta, GA; Orlando & Daytona Beach, FL; Lacrosse, WI and now Fort Worth in the Republic of Texas since 2008. Married to my best friend, Tessa, and we each have grown children, and one grandchild (so far!). Aside from doing what I love at work, Tessa and I are avid Harley Davidson Riders (“it’s not a motorcycle, it’s a lifestyle”). We also do a lot of volunteer work with the North Texas Patriot Guard Riders and the Fort Worth Police Code Blue Citizen’s on Patrol program. I’m also a licensed amateur radio operator and certified storm spotter working with the Tarrant County (TX) Radio Amateur’s in Emergency Service (RACES) program.
How did you come to work in the industry? How long have you been involved?
My dad died suddenly in 1979. The hometown Trumbull, Connecticut volunteer ambulance crew that came to help him so impressed me that I signed up to volunteer the week he died. I started as a “driver” at age 17 and was originally trained in a High-Top Cadillac ambulance (the best unit I ever worked in!).
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Two things. First, making a difference! Whether you are an EMT, Paramedic, EMD, billing specialist, maintenance tech, logistics tech, scheduler, whatever—what we do MATTERS in people’s lives. Second, is the innovation occurring in the healthcare system, and the role the ambulance industry is now playing in the healthcare system every day, literally! The ability for us to define and redefine our profession’s future is an incredible in the environment we are in today!
What is your biggest professional challenge?
Keeping up with the rapid pace of change in the healthcare environment AND helping others see the future. There are a handful of leaders in our profession who can truly see the opportunity that lies ahead of us and are daring enough to take the risk to do something totally different. At the same time, helping our own folks, the people who really matter at the patient contact level, understand how important they are to our future as an industry.
What is your typical day like?
Up at 3:10 a.m., workout with Tessa at the MedStar gym, in the office by 6:00 a.m. to get more done before 8:00 a.m. than I’ll get done the rest of the day. Run from meeting to meeting to community events, in between try to get projects done until I leave for home at 6ish to finish up emails in the evening…
How has participation in AAA membership and advocacy helped your organization?
The education and communication is invaluable. The daily happenings updates, the education at events like the Annual Conference and Tradeshow, combined with the collaborative work with committees for things like government affairs, professional standards and reimbursement reform is invaluable. The ideas shared by visionary entrepreneurs that do this work every day helps make our profession stronger, both locally and nationally.