Obituary for Steve Williamson

It is with deep sadness we share the passing of beloved family man, friend, colleague, and former AAA President Steve Williamson. H. Stephen Williamson Obituary H. Stephen Williamson, 68, of Hope, Arkansas, formerly of Tulsa, Oklahoma, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, and uncle passed away suddenly on November 3, 2018 at his home. Preceded in death by his mother, Evelyn Williamson, father, Hershel Williamson, and first wife, Pat Williamson, Steve is survived by his best friend and wife Rebecca Williamson (Smith); his two adored daughters Jennifer Thomas (Jason) of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Ashley Schneeberg (Matt) of Jenks, Oklahoma; his brother, Mark Williamson (Theresa) of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; and his five step children, Blake Burruss (Rachel), Krista Sands, Holly Chapman (Joel), Sarah Lyn Smith and Jay Darrin Smith. He was an exceptional grandfather to his beautiful grandchildren and step grandchildren, Asa and Will Thomas, Kate and Ava Schneeberg, Barrett Burruss, Addysion Sands, Brycelyn Wiedel, and Gabe Chapman. He is also survived by numerous cousins, nephews, a niece, and his aunt, Blanche Wilson. H. Stephen Williamson was the president and chief executive officer of Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) since the Authority began operations in 1978, and served for over 39 years. (more…)

2017 AAA Legislative Awards

The American Ambulance Association is proud to announce the winners of the 2017 AAA Legislative Awards, in recognition of their strong advocacy for emergency medical services. Each legislator was chosen for their ongoing service to the ambulance services of the United States. 2017 AAA Legislator of the Year Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) – Press Release, Facebook Post, Twitter Post 2017 AAA Legislative Recognition Award Recipients Senators Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) – Press Release Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) – Press Release Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) – Press Release Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) – Press Release Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) – Press Release Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) – Press Release Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) – Press Release Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) – Press Release Representatives Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) – Press Release Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) – Press Release Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS) Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) – Press Release Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX) Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) – Press Release Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) – Press Release Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH) – Press Release Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT)...

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AAA Members on Capitol Hill

This week, AAA members were once again on Capitol Hill meeting with members of Congress. AAA Government Affairs Committee Chair, Jamie Pafford-Gresham of Pafford EMS, met with entire Congressional Arkansas delegation. While on the Hill, Jamie also met with members from Oklahoma and Mississippi. AAA Board Member, Kim Godden (Superior Air-Ground Ambulance), Payment Reform Committee Chair, Asbel Montes (Acadian Ambulance Service), and AMR VP Federal Reimbursement & Regulatory Affairs, Deb Gault were also on the Hill for meetings this week. Collectively the group met with over twenty Congressional offices this week. Thank you to all of our members for their hard work fighting for permanent Medicare relief. We appreciate you taking the time to visit Washington and meet with your representatives. Pafford EMS CEO, Jamie Pafford-Gresham, and Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas Pafford EMS CEO, Jamie Pafford-Gresham, and Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas 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!

To address the importance of the work that the payment reform committee is doing, we must consider the value of the part that small providers play in the healthcare delivery system today, and how imperative it is that we accomplish goals such as moving from Supplier to Provider status for all ambulance services in order to set the table for reimbursement that is more creative than just fee for transports. For example, 73% of all ambulance services who are credentialed by Medicare do less than 1,000 transports per year, which does not add up to sustainability for ambulances services endeavoring to adhere to best practices in providing emergency medical care.   A vast majority of those services represented in the 73% are the first line—and in many cases the only line—of emergency medical care in their communities.

—Jimmy Johnson
CEO, Life EMS
Past President, American Ambulance Association
Co-Chair, American Ambulance Association Payment Reform Committee
Enid, OK

Life EMS’s Jimmy Johnson on Sustainable Reimbursement

Spotlight: Jimmy Johnson

Jimmy Johnson President, Life Emergency Medical Services Immediate Past President, AAA Board Enid, OK Tell us a little about yourself. I was born and raised in Frederick, OK – a small town in the southwest. I attended college for two years at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, and finished my last two years at Phillips University with a degree in Business Management. Throughout college I worked at Life EMS as an EMT, and in 1972 I was offered the opportunity to purchase half of the company from the original owner. A few years later, my partner sold the second half of the company to me. I am a OU football fan, and I love to golf and to cook. I have a wonderful supporting cast in Pam and our three sons. What do you enjoy most about your job? The people I work with. I have this never ending respect for paramedics. They’re a highly skilled creature in a fairly small arena of medicine – cardiac issues, trauma, some pediatric emergencies. They’re as good as it gets. They may start an IV between a toilet and a bathtub, or between a bed and a wall, or in a ditch at 10 degrees below zero, or at a (more…)

Spotlight: Rebecca Williamson

Rebecca Williamson Compliance Officer, Muskogee County EMS Medicare Regulatory Committee Co-Chair, AAA Board & Committees Tulsa, OK Tell us a little about yourself. I was born in Muskogee, OK and currently live in Tulsa, OK. I received my nursing degree from Connors State College and my bachelor’s degree in English from Northeastern State University. I began working at Muskogee County EMS as a paramedic 24 years ago, have moved through the ranks over the years, and have held my current title of Compliance Officer for about 12 years. When I’m not doing EMS, I am the Director of Nurses at Kids’ Space, a child advocacy center in Muskogee. I’m married to Steve Williamson, CEO/President of EMSA, and between us we have 7 children and 6 grandchildren. What do you enjoy most about your job? It’s always a challenge. Nothing is ever the same. I enjoyed being a paramedic because it was always different and no two patients were alike. Even though I’m now in administration and I’m dealing with Medicare, Medicaid, and insurance and regulatory issues and legislation, it is still never the same between days. I never feel like I have everything figured out, so there’s always a challenge in my (more…)

Spotlight: Jamie Pafford-Gresham

Jamie Pafford-Gresham CEO, Pafford EMS Co-Chair, AAA Government Affairs Committee Hope, Arkansas, USA Jamie’s LinkedIn Tell us a little about Pafford EMS. Pafford is a family business started by my parents in Magnolia, Arkansas in 1967 with just a station wagon! Some in the industry would call this a “Mom and Pop” organization, but my brothers and I now operate in four states nearly 100 ambulances with 550 employees, three helicopters, two fixed wing medical aircraft and a large billing company. We respond to 90,000 calls a year in 28 counties and parishes. Our corporate office is located in Hope, Arkansas. Can you share with us a little about Pafford’s culture? Communicating to our employees our philosophy and beliefs while living by the same set of rules strengthens their understanding of how important it is to us to practice what we preach. [quote_right]Our mission statement comes from the Bible, and is very simple: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.[/quote_right]Our mission statement comes from the Bible, and is very simple: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. We teach our employees to think of each patient as a family member (one you like!) (more…)