40 Under 40: Rachel Taradash (Pro EMS – Cambridge, MA)

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. ____ Rachel Taradash Assistant Director – Pro EMS Center for MEDICS Professional Ambulance Service (Pro EMS) Cambridge, MA ____ LinkedIn Nominated by: Rob Lawrence (AAA Board of Directors) ____ Biography: Rachel Taradash is the Assistant Director for the Pro EMS Center for Medics, a position she has held for the last five years. Pro Center for Medics was the first nationally accredited paramedic program in the state of Massachusetts and offers one of the most rigorous paramedic programs in the U.S., as well as a variety of specialty courses that are designed to allow EMS service providers to achieve the highest standards in the industry. Rachel is responsible for the development of the center’s academic content and implementation of the clinical curriculum. Rachel is a natural educator and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education, which combined with her previous experience as a high school teacher enables her to ensure that the highest possible standard of education and training is delivered. ____ Reason for Nomination: The 40 under 40 are being highlighted (more…)

40 Under 40: Gibson McCullagh (Pro EMS – Cambridge, MA)

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. ____ Gibson McCullagh Director of Special Projects & Strategic Initiatives Professional Ambulance Service (Pro EMS) Cambridge, MA ____ LinkedIn Nominated by: Rob Lawrence (AAA Board of Directors) ____ Biography: During college, Gibson worked with a variety of EMS agencies, including fire-based, private, volunteer, and collegiate. Gibson was the founding EMS Chief of Hobart & William Smith EMS, a student run ambulance service in Geneva, New York. Gibson’s academic capstone work was on the regulatory role of the US Federal Government within modern EMS. After college, Gibson moved to Cambridge where he graduated from the Pro EMS Center for MEDICS’ paramedic program. From 2013 until 2015 Gibson served as the Systems of Care Coordinator at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Office of EMS. Much of Gibson’s work was focused on identifying and implementing best practices through regulation and protocol. Gibson assisted in the implementation of a series of EMS regulatory reforms (national standards adoption) to strengthen Massachusetts’ workforce, protocols, education, and medical director involvement. Since 2015 Gibson has held the position of Director (more…)

40 Under 40: James DiClemente (Pro EMS – Cambridge, MA)

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. ____ James DiClemente Director Pro EMS Center for MEDICS Professional Ambulance Service (Pro EMS) Cambridge, MA ____ LinkedIn Nominated by: Rob Lawrence (AAA Board of Directors) ____ Biography: As Director for the Center for MEDICS, James’s primary responsibility is to design and implement all training and education for Pro EMS employees and more than a dozen outside agencies who contract their training through Pro EMS and Pro EMS Center for MEDICS. This includes creating and delivering H.A.L.O training, new employee orientation, and other training sessions as needed. James also maintains the simulation facilities and equipment used at Pro and Center for MEDICS. As the Paramedic Program Director, James graduates two large cohorts of students per year, ensuring they receive a comprehensive experience resulting in an impressive National Registry pass rate. James and his team have developed a unique program focusing on the benefits of simulation in a paramedic program and he continues to implement cutting edge technology to maximize efficiency. In 2012, James was recognized with Educator of the Year award by the (more…)

2019 AAA Award Winners Announced

The American Ambulance Association is proud to announce this year’s award winners. Awards will be presented at the AAA Annual Conference & Trade Show Membership Meeting on Tuesday, November 5, 2019. Please join us in congratulating this year’s winners! J. Walter Schaefer Award Dr. John Becknell The J. Walter Schaefer Award is given annually to an individual whose work in EMS has contributed positively to the advancement of the industry as a whole. Dr. John Becknell has achieved this honor for his lifelong commitment to improving the health and wellness of mobile healthcare professionals. Robert L. Forbuss Lifetime Achievement Award Dr. John Russell The Robert L. Forbuss Lifetime Achievement Award is named in honor of the first Executive Director of the American Ambulance Association. It recognizes a volunteer leader who has made a significant long-term impact on the association. your decades of service, commitment, and dedication to the private ambulance industry, the AAA, and its members. Dr. John Russell has achieved this through his many years of service to the AAA as a volunteer leader. President’s Award These awards are bestowed by the President to volunteer leaders who have shown commitment to the advancement of the AAA, above and beyond the call of duty. (more…)

Massachusetts Legislative Update

Last week the Senate passed a measure (HB 4640) that would raise the Massachusetts Minimum Wage to $15.00 per hour incrementally over the next five years. The Bill would also phase out the time and a half pay that some retail establishments who currently must pay employees who work on Sundays and certain holidays and establishes a permanent tax holiday. Governor Baker and Massachusetts law makers were eager to move this initiative in an effort to block a ballot initiative. The Bill would also establish a paid family and medical leave program for workers. The paid leave program will be funded by a new .63% payroll tax with contributions from both employers and employees. Businesses with fewer than 25 employees will not have to contribute to the fund. The program would go into effect on January 1, 2021 and would provide for up to 12 weeks of paid family leave, 20 weeks of medical leave, up to a total of 26 weeks in a year. Workers on leave would be paid a portion of their weekly wage with the average cost being $4.25 per employee per week. The Bill has been sent to Governor Baker’s office for consideration but will...

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July Brings Legal Changes for Employers in Many States

Oregon Statewide Transit Tax Important notice to ambulance service employers based in the state of Oregon: there is a new statewide transit tax taking effect on July 1, 2018. Beginning July 1st, employers must start withholding a tax of 1/10th of 1% from the wages of Oregon residents or from non-residents who perform services in Oregon. The Department of Revenue has published detailed information on the statewide tax with a list of available resources to assist employers with compliance. Iowa Lowers Standard for Positive Alcohol Tests Effective July 1, 2018, Iowa employers may lower their standard for taking employment action for positive alcohol tests from the old state standard of .04 to .02. Iowa has one of the strictest employment drug and alcohol testing requirements in the country. Employers are required to have a written policy that is distributed to all employees and job candidates for their review. Employers must establish a drug and alcohol awareness program alerting employees of the dangers of drug and alcohol use in the workplace, and most employees must be provided an option to enter a rehabilitation program instead of being disciplined. In addition, all supervisory staff must attend a two-hour initial drug and alcohol...

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Statement for NBC Nightly News Balance Billing Story 3/9/18

Last night, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt ran a segment on ambulance balance billing. Although provided with a brief one-paragraph statement in advance, they chose to use less than one sentence of it during the broadcast. We have reproduced our original statement below to provide additional context. For a better understanding of the forces driving the costs behind ambulance care, please see this recent longer media response by American Ambulance Association President Mark Postma. Video Story Original Statement Provided by American Ambulance Association Emailed to Eric Salzman on January 28, 2018 | Very brief due to TV news format Ambulance providers, both private and public, serve their communities with lifesaving on-demand mobile healthcare 24/7, regardless of patients’ ability to pay. Ambulance services are saddled with a high cost of readiness as they keep certified personnel, sophisticated technology, and costly medications ready round-the-clock. Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance often reimburse ambulance services at rates below the costs of providing this care, endangering their ability to continue serving families in their time of extreme need. Ambulance services bill patients as a last resort: This necessity is driven by a complex combination of rising patient deductibles, reduced insurance coverage, and unfair contractual (more…)