MedStar Helps Reunite Baby, Mom After Tragic Crash

(Details and video courtesy of Fox 4 News and Medstar.)

On June 25, Sergeant Colby Bozo and his wife Kristen were driving home when their vehicle was struck by a stolen car being pursued in a police chase. Sadly, Colby Bozo was killed on impact, and Kristen, then 37 weeks pregnant, was very seriously injured and required an emergency caesarian section.

AAA member MedStar Mobile Healthcare, in coordination with John Peter Smith Hospital, and Cook Children’s Hospital surprised Kristen by arranging for her to see her newborn baby for the first time. Staff took a detour to Cook Children’s Hospital during mom’s ambulance transfer from JPS in Fort Worth to Baylor Rehabilitation Center in Dallas.

George Church, a MedStar Operations Supervisor who helped coordinate the reunion, said at the time, “I’ve been in EMS a long time, and there are very few moments that get to me any more—this one got to me.”

Great job, MedStar, JPS, and Cooks Children’s!

Video from Fox4News.com

Supporters of Kristen and the baby are invited to donate at a Fund.ly page.

The AAA is Calling for Nominations

The AAA has officially released its 2015 call for nominations.  This year, the AAA is looking for candidates to fill the position of Regional Director.  All 5 regions currently have at least one opening.

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Learn & Save: Your Guide to Credit Card Processing Agreements

AAA understands that ambulance services sometimes operate on razor-thin margins. One relatively painless way to reduce operating expenses is to ensure that you are getting the best possible deal on credit card processing. While card processing may seem like a commodity service, it’s not—taking a few moments to become educated on the basic elements of your processor contract may save your service thousands annually.

AAA Guide Tailored to Ambulance Services

AAA worked with industry expert and CardPaymentOptions.com CEO Phillip Parker to develop a card processing guide for ambulance services. We invite you to read it now in the AAA Member Center. Go Now►

New for 2015! Payline Data Partnership

AAA has teamed up with Payline Data, LLC to bring members ultra-low rates and overnight funding on card transactions. Learn more.

[Not yet a member? Learn more about AAA membership.]

Katrina & Rita: Share Your Story

As we approach the ten year anniversary of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, AAA is working to gather the stories of the many members who rallied to assist in these crises.

Do you have a memory, photo, or video you would like to share with the ambulance service community? If so, please complete the brief form below, and we will add your story to our retrospective.

All content contributors will be entered into a raffle for a free registration to AAA’s 2016 Stars of Life.

Spotlight: Sean Kukauskas

Sean Kukauskas
Boston, MA, USA
Director of Ambulance Services, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
Member, AAA Education & Membership Committee

Tell us a little about yourself, please.

I was born and raised in Massachusetts. I have three children, two boys and a daughter. My oldest son, Tyler (20 years old), is in the U.S. Army stationed at Ft. Bliss in Texas. My daughter, Kaylin (19 years old), is a college student, and my youngest son, Sean, is 14 and will be a high school freshman this fall. I am an avid long distance runner. I recently completed my first marathon earlier this year, the 2015 Boston Marathon.

How did you come to work in the industry? How long have you been involved?

Kukauskas, Sean - Spaulding - 2015.07.15 - FamilyAfter high school I joined the U.S. Navy as a mechanical calibration technician for nuclear powered submarines. After getting out of the service, I eventually found myself looking for a solid career. I always had an interest in medicine, so a friend of mine who was an EMT helped me get into EMT school. I have been involved in EMS since then, eventually earning my certification as a Paramedic. I just celebrated my 23rd year in EMS.

I spent the majority of my career working for private fire-based and hospital-based EMS services as a field provider and educator. I have spent the past four years as the Director of Ambulance Services for the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. Spaulding Hospital Ambulance Service is one of the largest hospital based services in Massachusetts. We have 17 vehicles that provide over 16,000 ALS, BLS, and chair car transports annually. Our primary focus is the non-emergent interfacility transportation of patients between the four hospital within the Spaulding Network and our affiliated acute care hospitals.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

As cliché as it sounds, I enjoy making a difference. Whether it is to my patients or for my staff. I like the ever changing envrionment of EMS. Each call, each day, is something new.

What is your biggest professional challenge?

Trying to find that right balance of service and performance while maximizing revenue. At the same time employee engagement and retention are just as importand and challenging.

What is your typical day like?

My typical day starts early to face commuter traffic coming into Boston. Once in my office, I will review the stats from the previous day, respond to emails as needed, and work on the tasks for the day—whatever they may be at that time. I may jump on a truck for the day or for a call. Meetings and then more meetings. At some point during the day I try and get a training run in. Usually I try to finish up some light work at home later in the evening.

How has participation in AAA membership and advocacy helped your organization?

I have found the networking to be invaluable. Chances are someone in in the AAA has encountered a similar situation or issue before. Having a network of colleagues from across the country gives you an avenue to discuss what has worked and what hasn’t.

The AAA helps me grow and improve my department with fresh ideas. The education offerings, the networking opportunities, and reimbursement advocacy all help strengthen our profession. I have been a member of the Education and Membership Committee for the AAA for about two years. I really enjoy working with the other committee members to find and develop new and creative ways to improve the AAA Annual Conference and Tradeshow as well as exploring new opportunities for our members.

Never Miss an Email

AAA recently upgraded our email system to enable us to send even more powerful and engaging member newsletters. Don’t miss out on this great content covering best practices, government advocacy, and operational excellence for ambulance services.

Please add info@ambulance.org to your safe senders list. Usually, this is as easy as adding us to your address book.

In case you have stricter security settings, here are additional instructions from Constant Contact for some popular email programs:

CMS Issues Proposed Rule for Calendar Year 2016

On July 8, 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a display copy of a proposed rule titled “Medicare Program; Revisions to Payment Policies under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2016”.  The proposed rule makes a number of changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.  It also makes certain changes to the Medicare Ambulance Fee Schedule.  These proposed changes are summarized below.

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