Tag: Indiana

40 Under 40: Celia Cuevas (Superior Air-Ground Ambulance Service Inc. – Merrillville, IN)

40 Under 40 nominees were selected based on their contributions to the American Ambulance Association, their employer, state ambulance association, other professional associations, and/or the EMS profession.

Celia Cuevas
Station Manager
Superior Air-Ground Ambulance Service Inc.
Merrillville, IN

Nominated by: Jeff Collins


Celia “Cece” Cuevas was born and raised in East Chicago, Indiana. Cece got into EMS for many reasons but the number one reason has to do with an old co-worker Andre. When Cece was 10 years old, she was shot three times in a drive by shooting as an innocent by stander. Cece was in and out of consciousness before a medic picked her up and carried her to an ambulance. This medic’s name was Andre. Andre took care of Cece on the ambulance and at the hospital, making sure that she was well taken care of. Andre saved Cece’s life and she grew up wanting to be just like him. When Cece was old enough, she went to EMT school and was even able to work side by side Andre. Cece is the skilled medic she is today thanks to Andre’s help and inspiration.

Reason for Nomination:

Cece is an amazing person and a major asset to the management team at Superior Air-Ground Ambulance. Cece is very warm and out going. Cece completes each task that is given to her and is constantly striving to be the best health care provider possible. Cece has over come many challenges in her life and is well deserving to be recognized as one of the American Ambulance Association’s 40 Under 40 Honorees.


View all of the 2020 Mobile Healthcare 40 Under 40 Honorees

40 Under 40: Anthony Taylor (Indianapolis EMS – Indianapolis, IN)

40 Under 40 nominees were selected based on their contributions to the American Ambulance Association, their employer, state ambulance association, other professional associations, and/or the EMS profession.

Anthony Taylor
Lieutenant Paramedic & EMS Educator
Indianapolis EMS
Indianapolis, IN


Nominated by: Kelly Russ (Indianapolis EMS – Indianapolis, IN)


Anthony J. Taylor has worn many hats in the healthcare industry, and he has worn them admirably. While completing secondary education, Anthony has held positions doing revolutionary work in public health, disease intervention, pre-hospital emergency medicine, and academia at the university level. With six years clinical experience as an Emergency Medical Technician, and only one year clinical experience as a nationally registered Paramedic, Anthony has already been a vital to policy and protocol changes within the operations and academic services at Indianapolis EMS (IEMS). While enrolled in paramedic school at IEMS, Anthony was also completing graduate work at Indiana Wesleyan University and received his Master of Public Health degree within just a few months of his capstone phase of paramedic school. Despite the difficulty of those two tasks combined, Anthony was awarded the Paul K. Jolliff Award for Academic Excellence upon the completion of the Paramedic Science Program within the Indiana University School of Medicine’s (IUSOM) Health Professions Department. Impressed by his academic ability and strong work ethic, Anthony was offered a position within the same department just one month after he graduated and currently works as volunteer faculty for the IUSOM, and full-time faculty for Academic Services at IEMS teaching Anatomy and Physiology, a pre-requisite for IEMS’ Paramedic Science Program. Anthony is also a central part of curriculum building for the Paramedic Science program, analytics, and from time to time, information technology for some of the Indiana’s first hybridized paramedic programs.


Reason for Nomination:

From a very young age, Anthony J. Taylor has strived for perfection in his education and his professional ventures. Being raised by a single mother, who worked more than full-time hours, Anthony’s story could have gone one of two ways. Working in public service, more times than not, we see the story that ends with the single mother trying her best, but unfortunately the children still falling through the cracks. However, like Japanese pottery, Anthony’s mother filled those cracks with gold and celebrated their family’s imperfections so that her children would become not only successful members of society, but also sympathetic and loving adults; a vital characteristic of EMS leaders of the future.

With his sights set on becoming a physician, Anthony enrolled in an emergency medical technician class while completing his undergraduate studies. What Anthony didn’t realize while trying to supplement his income in medical school, was that he ended up discovering a love for pre-hospital medicine. It was then, in 2014 that Anthony decided to pull back from medical school and begin his professional journey in Emergency Medical Services (EMS). In a very short time, Anthony has become a nationally certified EMT and Paramedic, a Primary Instructor for the State of Indiana, won academic excellence awards, the State of Indiana’s EMS Governor’s Cup, and been hired as full-time faculty for the largest EMS academic staff in the State of Indiana.

Despite his successes, Anthony continues to strive for more. While taking on a more than full workload with his new position, Anthony continues to work operationally on the streets of Indianapolis and Morgan County, Indiana as a paramedic and is applying to doctoral programs.

Anthony is definitely a future leader in EMS and well deserving to be selected as one of the American Ambulance Association’s 40 Under 40.


View all of the 2020 Mobile Healthcare 40 Under 40 Honorees

40 Under 40: Kelly Russ (Indianapolis EMS – Indianapolis, IN)

40 Under 40 nominees were selected based on their contributions to the American Ambulance Association, their employer, state ambulance association, other professional associations, and/or the EMS profession.

Kelly Russ
EMS Educator
Indianapolis EMS
Indianapolis, IN


Linked In 
Nominated By: Anthony Taylor (Indianapolis EMS – Indianapolis, IN)



With eight years of clinical experience as a Paramedic, Kelly Russ currently serves the roles of Lead Instructor of the Paramedic Science Program at Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services and as a volunteer faculty member at the Indiana University School of Medicine. After completing her Master of Public Affairs degree from Indiana University, Kelly continues to challenge herself in the workplace by working to expand EMS education and to advance paramedic science programs in Indiana. Currently, Kelly is in the process of applying to doctoral programs.


Reason for Nomination:

Despite facing challenges during her childhood and early working career, Kelly Russ took a leap of faith and dove headfirst into the field of Emergency Medical Services and immediately fell in love with the profession. With nine years of EMS experience, Kelly has chosen to pursue her passion of educating students and has been an instructor at Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services (IEMS) for the past five years. In this time, Kelly has balanced teaching full-time, completing a bachelor’s degree, a Master of Public Affairs degree, clinical field time, and raising six children as a single mother. Early in her teaching career, Kelly earned the position of Lead Paramedic Instructor among our faculty and has continued to take on more and more responsibilities with each working day. It is safe to say that Kelly is the super glue that holds our paramedic program together. Whether engaging with community members, designing fundraiser events, developing innovative curricula, facilitating psychomotor practical examinations, or coordinating the program accreditation, Kelly continuously goes above and beyond her job responsibilities and demonstrates an unmatchable work ethic.

Passion is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept.” Through Kelly’s work and the ongoing success of her students, it is easy to see that she truly embodies what it means to be passionate for EMS. Kelly has devoted much of her career as a Field Training Officer, Clinical Preceptor, and Paramedic Educator to further advancing the EMS profession and to preparing students to take on the role of providing Advanced Life Support care in the mobile health care setting. Kelly personally identified a geographic shortage of educational opportunities in the southern portion of Indiana and through collaboration has launched the first satellite paramedic education program in the state, incorporating live online courses. As one of Kelly’s former students, I can attest that her knowledge and positive outlook on the profession is remarkable and that she instills a sense of responsibility, confidence, and clinical knowledge in each of her students. Though all of these components are part of an educator’s role, Kelly distinguishes herself by truly caring for each student as they progress through the program, complete required examinations, obtain their license, and advance in their careers. From the student perspective, Kelly has an innate maternal instinct that allows for inclusion and cohesion within each cohort of students. Kelly forges a personal connection with each student and remains in contact to discuss runs and simply ‘check in’ post-graduation.

Kelly has fought hard to overcome many challenges and continues to put that determination into her teaching to help mold the best paramedics possible so that they can continue to provide high quality mobile health care. In the past decade, Kelly has continuously advanced her career and those of her students. Kelly’s legacy will leave a lasting footprint in Indiana. It is with utmost excitement and confidence that Indiana EMS nominates Kelly Russ for distinction as one of the American Ambulance Association’s “40 under 40” honorees.


View all of the 2020 Mobile Healthcare 40 Under 40 Honorees

2017 AMBY Winner: Porter EMS

Porter EMS Named 2017 AMBY Award Winner

Contact: Jessica Marvin
Telephone: 703-610-9018
Email: jmarvin@ambulance.org

Washington, DC– McLean, VA — The American Ambulance Association (AAA) has named Porter EMS a recipient of a 2017 AMBY Award. Each year, the AMBYs highlight excellence in EMS and the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit that epitomize AAA members.

Porter EMS is being recognized with an AMBY Award for the development of charitable giving and engagement programs that strengthened the Porter County, Indiana community. Representatives from Porter EMS will receive their AMBY at the AAA Awards Reception during the 2017 Annual Conference & Tradeshow in Las Vegas.

The mission of the AMBY Awards is to showcase creativity and innovation in the ambulance industry by fostering a culture of collaboration, cooperation and a passion for excellence in patient care. For additional information about the AMBY Awards or how to submit a nomination for next year, visit https://ambulance.org/amby-awards/


About the American Ambulance Association
Founded in 1979, the AAA represents hundreds of ambulance services across the United States that participate in emergency and non-emergency care and medical transportation. The Association serves as a voice and clearinghouse for ambulance services, and views pre-hospital care not only as a public service, but also as an essential part of the total public health care system.

AAA Mission Statement
The mission of the American Ambulance Association is to promote health care policies that ensure excellence in the ambulance services industry and provide research, education, and communications programs to enable its members to effectively address the needs of the communities they serve.

American Ambulance Association Announces 2017 AMBY Award Winners

The American Ambulance Association is proud to announce the recipients of the 2017 AMBY Awards. The AMBYs highlight excellence in EMS and the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit that epitomize AAA members. The mission of the awards is to showcase creativity and innovation in the ambulance industry by fostering a culture of collaboration, cooperation and a passion for excellence in patient care. This year’s awards will be presented at the Annual Conference & Trade Show Awards Reception on Tuesday, November 14, 2017. Please join us in congratulating our 2017 winners!

Community Impact Program

NorthStar EMS, Inc.
St. Charles County Ambulance District

Employee Programs

MEDIC EMS Agency (North Carolina)

Quality Improvement Programs

MEDIC EMS Agency (North Carolina)

Public Relations Campaign

Medic Ambulance Service, Inc. (California)
Sunstar Paramedics

Other Programs

Porter EMS

Learn more about the AMBYs.

Senate Confirms Seema Verma as CMS Administrator

On Monday, the Senate voted 55-43 to confirm the nomination of Seema Verma to be the new Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Ms. Verma was involved in designing Indiana’s Medicaid expansion.

Ms. Verma will be working alongside HHS Secretary Price to help implement President Trump’s healthcare agenda.

House Holds Hearing on Veterans Choice Program

The House VA Committee hearing started at 7:30 p.m., but it was well-attended and lasted until 10 p.m. The witnesses included Senator John McCain (R-AZ), VA Secretary David Shulkin, and representatives of the VA Office of Inspector General and the Government Accountability Office. Senator McCain and Secretary Shulkin were both warmly welcomed by Members of the Committee on a bipartisan basis.

Chairman Roe (R-TN) emphasized the need to act quickly to extend the authorization for the Veterans Choice Program, which expires on August 7. To that end, the House VA Committee is voting today on a bill to eliminate the sunset of the program’s authorization. In addition, the Committee will consider broader legislation later this year to make comprehensive reforms to the Choice Program. He noted that the VA has additional funds available but will not be able to spend them once the authorization expires. A copy of Chairman Roe’s opening statement is available here.

Secretary Shulkin testified in support of extending the Choice Program, and he clarified that the VA was not seeking additional funding – just the authority to spend funds already obligated. He noted that the VA already is being forced to deny Choice Program coverage to veterans whose episodes of care would extend beyond the August 7 expiration date (e.g., pregnancy).

Secretary Shulkin also urged Congress to support the VA’s efforts to bring appointment scheduling in-house for care coordination purposes. However, the VA OIG witness noted challenges in records going out to community-based providers and coming back to the VA. The GAO witness also underscored the need for the VA to have better systems in place in order to effectively coordinate care, which will take time to procure and implement. Rep. Brownley (D-CA) echoed that point, calling the VA’s information technology systems a “Model T in a Tesla world.” Rep. Esty (D-CT) also urged improvements in the VA’s information systems and expressed concern that veterans are being improperly billed.

Other Members, including Rep. Wenstrup (R-OH) and Rep. Poliquin (R-ME), raised concerns about continuing delays in the processing of claims and payments to providers. Secretary Shulkin agreed that providers deserve to be paid for their services, noting his own experience as a physician in the private sector. He acknowledged that the VA is not processing enough claims electronically today, and he advised that he plans to pursue options outside the VA for systems procurement going forward.

Many Members also raised serious concerns about treatment of PTSD and mental health conditions for veterans, including Rep. Wenstrup (R-OH), Rep. O’Rourke (D-TX), Rep. Sablan (D-MP), Rep. Banks (R-IN), Rep. Rutherford (R-FL) and Rep. Takano (D-CA). Rep. O’Rourke emphasized that suicide among veterans is the most serious crisis, and Secretary Shulkin agreed that it is his number one priority. The Secretary announced that the VA will begin providing urgent mental health care that also will include individuals other than those service members who were honorably discharged. He added that the VA needs 1,000 more mental health providers, as well as telemental health services, and is looking to expand community partnerships to address suicide.

Rep. Banks noted interest among Indiana veterans in greater access to alternative treatments for PTSD and traumatic brain injury. Secretary Shulkin underscored that he is “most concerned about areas like PTSD, where we do not have effective treatments.” He also advised that the VA has established an “Office of Compassionate Innovation” (separate from the VA’s Center for Innovation), which will focus on finding new approaches to health and physical wellness and explore alternative treatment options for veterans when traditional methods fall short.

Rep. Wenstrup inquired about the VA’s GME and residency programs, as well as its associations with academic institutions. Secretary Shulkin responded that the VA is “doubling down” on partnerships with academic medical institutions.

Chairman Roe concluded his remarks by emphasizing the need to extend the Choice Program authorization soon and to consolidate the VA’s community-based care programs. He also expressed support for the VA’s decision to stop developing its own information technology internally.

AAA Board Member Meets with VP Mike Pence

AAA Board Member and Chair of the AAA’s new Non-Emergency Task Force, Kim Godden, Vice President of Legal & Government Relations at Superior Air-Ground Ambulance Service, Inc., recently had the opportunity to meet with new Vice President, Mike Pence. Kim worked with the Vice President during his time as Governor of Indiana and used this meeting to remind the Vice President of issues facing ambulance services around the country. Kim was also able to relay to Vice President Pence how important permanent Medicare relief is for ambulance services around the country. Thank you, Kim, for all of your hard work on the AAA’s advocacy efforts!

Superior Air-Ground Ambulance Service, Inc. President/CEO, David Hill III, Vice President, Mike Pence,
and Superior VP of Legal & Government Relations


Have you met recently with a Member of Congress? Are you interested in getting involved with the AAA’s advocacy efforts? If so, email Aidan Camas at acamas@ambulance.org!

Spotlight: Kim Godden

Kim Godden
Vice President of Legal and Government Relations
Superior Air-Ground Ambulance Service (Michigan, Indiana, Illinois)
Region 3 Alternate, American Ambulance Association Board
Elmhurst, IL

Tell us a little about yourself.

I grew up in Barlett, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. I received my BA in History and Political Science from Purdue University and my law degree from DePaul University College of Law.

After graduating from Purdue, I worked for the Illinois Attorney General’s Office while attending law school in the evening. While with the Attorney General’s office, I was an policy analyst/attorney for criminal justice and victims’ rights initiatives. During this time, I reviewed, drafted, and testified on various legislative and regulatory initiatives.

In 2007, I was able to bring this experience to the ambulance industry when I joined Superior. In addition to sitting on the AAA board, I also sit on the boards of the Illinois State Ambulance Association and the Indiana EMS Association. I also participate on the government affairs committee for the Michigan Association of Ambulance Services.

In addition to overseeing government relations and regulatory and compliance matters for Superior, I oversee the legal department which manages litigation, contracts, real estate and employment matters.

Kim with her family.
Kim with her family.

I have been married to my husband, Nick, for 16 years and we have two daughters, Hannah (8) and Amelia (6). As for hobbies, kids and work keep me busy, however, when I have a chance, I enjoy running and reading (not at the same time).

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy problem-solving and advocating for such an amazing industry. The ambulance industry is often overlooked and misunderstood. EMS providers are busy caring for patients, therefore, we rarely have time to create awareness and support for our industry – I get to beat the drum for private EMS!

What is your biggest professional challenge?

My biggest challenge is changing the perception that private industry isn’t as good or worthwhile as public agencies. There is a misconception that because a company is for-profit, their goals, mission, and level of compassion differ from those of a public or nonprofit entity. Superior employs over 2000 dedicated, devoted EMS professionals—whether caring for patients, working in dispatch, or managing the back office, our entire team is dedicated to bringing the best care and customer service to our patients.
[quote_right]Superior employs over 2000 dedicated, devoted EMS professionals—whether caring for patients, working in dispatch, or managing the back office, our entire team is dedicated to bringing the best care and customer service to our patients.[/quote_right]

What is your typical day like?

Every day is different due to travel and attendance at various meetings. On a typical day, I try to drop my daughters off at school at 8:30 and I am in the office by 9:15. Usually the day is filled with meetings and conference calls on a myriad of topics, with the constant interruption of emails that need attention and various “walk-ins” for legal consultation. No two days are the same, which I enjoy. I am usually home by 7:00 p.m., and after bedtime stories, I am back on the computer responding to the day’s emails or catching up on reading. My 2016 resolution is to unplug and try to leave work at work, but we all know that EMS is a 24-hour business, so I won’t be 100% successful and it will occasionally follow me home.

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

As we know, with advances in healthcare, people are living longer, and there is frequent need to move patients between nursing facilities and hospitals. We have also seen the advent for advanced level care for patients. Most inter-facility transports involve the discharge of a patient back to a nursing facility, or moving a patient from one facility to another for specialized care. Superior and our colleagues who provide these services are an important part of EMS and the overall continuum of care.

Our organization performs a high percentage of inter-facility transports, and being able to advocate and share the perspective of an agency who performs this discipline has been worthwhile not only to Superior, but to the industry as a whole. Being able to discuss with other providers our shared and differing challenges is important as we craft regulations for the future.

I enjoy working with my fellow board members and AAA staff. We don’t always agree, however we respect one another’s opinions and in the end, this leads to better policy and advocacy for our industry.

Explore AAA membership, or learn more about our advocacy for ambulance services across the country.

Medicaid Waivers to End Coverage of Non-Emergency Transportation

By David M. Werfel, Esq | AAA Medicare Consultant
Updated February 16, 2016

Federal law requires that state Medicaid programs cover necessary transportation to and from health care providers in order to ensure access to care. However, as a result of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act and cost increases, recently, a few states have asked CMS to waive the requirement for non-emergency transportation so they can end coverage of non-emergency transportation.

CMS granted waivers to Iowa and Indiana. Pennsylvania received permission, but the subsequent change in the governor’s office altered the state’s expansion plans and state officials ultimately chose not to use it. Arizona has a pending request to provide prior authorization.

When Iowa was granted the waiver, a beneficiary survey was conducted to determine the impact on access to care. The survey found some beneficiaries with incomes under the poverty level did not have transportation to or from a healthcare visit. Other beneficiaries said a lack of transportation could prevent them from getting a physical exam in the coming year. However, CMS stated the cases of negative impact were not statistically significant enough to discontinue the waiver.

As a result of the complaints, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Frank Pallone, (D-NJ) asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate the impact of these waivers. The report is not expected in the near future. However, when issued, it could embolden other states to seek a waiver.

Spotlight: Mark Postma

Mark Postma
Vice President, Paramedics Plus
President-Elect, AAA Board
Chair, Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS)
Largo, Florida, USA

Can you please tell us a little about yourself? How did you come to work in EMS?

I grew up in a small town outside Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and obtained my EMT license at age 16. I became a paramedic in 1984 and began working in Davenport, Iowa at MEDIC EMS. After working there for 20 years and becoming Executive Director, I began at SUNSTAR Paramedics in 2004. I am the COO for SUNSTAR and Vice President of Paramedics Plus operations (Sioux Falls, Fort Wayne, and Oakland).

I have been married 31 years to my great wife, Lisa. I have two children: Delaney, a registered nurse at Florida Hospital in Orlando; and my son, Parker, a sophomore at the University of Florida. My hobbies are basketball, boating, and IndyCar Racing.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

It is very diverse. As the Vice President, I really oversee daily operations and have great people who work for me. They are local and report out how things are going, daily achievements and challenges.

Paramedics Plus/ETMC is a great organization and is focused on providing great care over financial constraints. I work for a great boss, Ron Schwartz, who fully understands the industry and its daily challenges. We are both from the Midwest and work together on issues.

What is your biggest professional challenge?

Sometimes it is just a challenge wearing my CAAS Chairman hat, AAA hat, SUNSTAR hat and Paramedics Plus hat. Everyday you have to decide which issues need to be the priority. Just glad I own an iPad and have a great staff!

What is your typical day like?

I wake up at 0500 eveyday and read emails and try to read at least 2 newspapers. After that, I run 2-5 miles depending on my schedule. The only days I take off are travel days.

After getting to work or on an airplane, it is interacting with staff until our daily PULSE meetings. Most afternoons are teleconferences from all of our operations or AAA meetings.

I go to lunch with my staff every day whether I am in Pinellas or one of the other operations. Evenings are usually laid back, but the weekends are boating and basketball. I am usually in bed at 9:00 pm!

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

I have been very involved with the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS) as the representative for the AAA for the past 20 years. I am currently the Chairman of the Board and have enjoyed the AAA/CAAS relationship.

Transitioning to the AAA President will have its challenges as it is a huge responsibility. The AAA represents EMS in America, and I would like to see members embrace our organization as the “”go to”” organizations for challenges in our industry.

The AAA membership and advocacy is immeasurable in how it helps our organization every day!