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 ____ Biography: 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 (more…)

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 ____ LinkedIn Nominated by: Kelly Russ (Indianapolis EMS – Indianapolis, IN) ____ Biography: 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 (more…)

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) ____ Biography: 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 (more…)

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/ XXX 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 (more…)

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. Seema Verma, MPH – Biography Senate confirms Seema Verma to head Medicare and Medicaid 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...

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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. I have been (more…)

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) (more…)

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 (more…)