40 Under 40: Nick Romenesko (Gold Cross Ambulance Service, Inc. – Menasha, WI)

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. ____ Nick Romenesko Systems Director Gold Cross Ambulance Service, Inc. Menasha, WI ____ LinkedIn Nominated by: Samantha Hilker ____ Biography: Nick is currently the Systems Director for Gold Cross Ambulance Service, Inc. Nick has 10 years of EMS experience and has proven to be a solutions-oriented systems thinker. Nick is genuine, thoughtful and puts employees at the top of his priority list. Nick is a young, promising leader in EMS. ____ Reason for Nomination: Nick has worked his way up from Paramedic to Systems Director in just six years. Even as a new Paramedic in the Gold Cross system, Nick was eager to get involved, create efficiencies, and solve problems. Nick was quick to volunteer for projects, build community partner relationships, and navigate a path for progress. Nick has been recognized as a Wisconsin Star of Life nominee and was recently awarded a Future 15 award. Nick currently serves on the PAAW Board and was recently elected Vice President of that association. ____ View all of the 2020 Mobile Healthcare 40 Under 40 Honorees

40 Under 40: Chris Anderson (Bell Ambulance, Inc. – Milwaukee, WI)

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. ____ Chris Anderson Director of Operations Bell Ambulance, Inc. Milwaukee, WI ____ LinkedIn Nominated by: Wayne Jurecki (Bell Ambulance, Inc.- Milwaukee, WI) ____ Biography: Chris has been Operations Director for Bell Ambulance since March of 2008. Chris became an EMT in 1999 and a Paramedic in 2004. Chris’s entire EMS career has been spent in Milwaukee, beginning with two years of full-time ambulance work, followed by various supervisory and management roles which led to his current position. In this capacity, Chris oversees all aspects of the operations of the company, from licensed ambulance personnel, maintenance of the fleet and facilities, to supplies, and equipment. Chris enjoys working with other EMS leaders to further the interests of this unique industry. Chris is the President of the Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin, having first been elected to the board in 2011, where he strives to increase the quality of EMS in Wisconsin. In 2017, Chris was appointed by Governor Scott Walker to the Wisconsin EMS Board, where he was recently elected Secretary. ____ Reason for (more…)

40 Under 40: Samantha Hilker (Hilker Project & Strategy Managment – Kaukauna, WI)

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. ____ Samantha Hilker Private Contractor/Owner Hilker Project and Strategy Management Kaukauna, WI ____ LinkedIn Nominated by: Nick Romenesko (Gold Cross Ambulance Service – Menasha, WI) ____ Biography: Sam has been involved in EMS for over 10 years serving as a Paramedic, Field Training Officer, and Staff Development Manager for Gold Cross Ambulance in Menasha, WI. At Gold Cross, Sam helped to secure the transforming complex care grant through Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and helped get the organization’s community paramedic program off the ground. Gold Cross’s community paramedicine program is still active and growing today, and has made a major positive impact for patients throughout the area. After three years of success in the position of Staff Development Manager, Hilker created her own consulting firm focused on project management and strategic planning. Sam has worked for many individuals and businesses to help develop and maintain important projects. Most notably, Sam was integral in beginning a community paramedic program for the ThedaCare system. Sam has a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership which she believes has (more…)

40 Under 40: Nick Eastman (Gundersen Tri-State Ambulance – Onalaska, WI)

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. ____ Nick Eastman Program Manager – Clinical Services Gundersen Tri-State Ambulance Onalaska, WI ____ Nominated by: Tom Tornstrom (Gundersen Tri-State Ambulance – La Crosse, WI) ____ Biography: Nick began his career in EMS in the year 2000 at the age of eighteen as a volunteer first responder in West Salem, Wisconsin. While volunteering, Nick was soon elected as the vice president of the association and then training officer. In 2003, Nick was awarded the West Salem EMS Person of the Year. Nick excelled in his new found passion for EMS and quickly progressed to become a Paramedic and secure work with Gundersen Tri-State Ambulance as a full-time career Paramedic. During his time at Tri-State, Nick has taken on numerous different and progressively challenging roles. From Paramedic, to Critical Care Paramedic, to Shift Supervisor and Technology Coordinator, to Operations Supervisor, and now in his current role as a Program Manager and Educator. In addition to his many accomplishments at Tri-State, Nick has strong interest in computers and technology as well as matters involving logic. (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…)

President’s Perspective January 2019

Dear Fellow AAA Members, Happy New Year from the American Ambulance Association! We enter this new year ready to rise together as an industry to face the mobile healthcare’s challenges and opportunities. Advocacy Update The AAA worked hard in the 115th Congress to achieve many legislative and regulatory wins for the industry. Thanks to the AAA Board, volunteer leaders, staff and consultants, and members alike, we were able to accomplish many of our goals to improve payment policies and overall regulations that will benefit AAA members and the industry as a whole. Last year, the AAA ensured the inclusion and passage of a 5-year extension of the ambulance Medicare add-on payments through December 31, 2022 as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. The AAA also successfully pushed our preferred method for data cost collection using a survey which is the most likely to provide useful data for future payment reform as well as be the least burdensome on ambulance service providers. In coordination with particular AAA members, the AAA worked with Senator Collins to include report language to accompany the FY2019 Senate VA Appropriations bill which directs the VA to use the prudent layperson standard for determining emergency (more…)

Wisconsin Office of Rural Health Interview

In honor of today’s National Rural Health Day, the American Ambulance Association interviewed John Eich, Director of the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health. The transcript below was lightly edited for clarity. Amanda Riordan: Thank you for joining us today. My name is Amanda Riordan, and I am the vice president of member services for the American Ambulance Association. I’m also the administrator for the Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin. I’m so happy to have the opportunity to interview John Eich, the director of the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health. John is an exceptional contributor to rural health in Wisconsin. He’s also a sterling advocate for the power of EMS to assist with public health in the least accessible areas of Wisconsin. I’ll ask John a couple of questions today about the recent Rural EMS Listening Sessions that he conducted in a number of areas across the state. John, thanks again for joining us. Would you mind telling me a little bit about your background and how you became the director of the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health? John Eich: I appreciate your inviting me to talk about some of our programs, so thank you. I took a bit of a wandering (more…)

What I Wish I Had Known

Congratulations! You were selected for the Paramedic Supervisor position, if you accept, we’ll start the transition immediately. I remember the excitement I had when I heard those words so many years ago. The excitement that carried strongly through 2 days of celebrating with my husband, anticipating the new world I was about to be part of; making a mental list of all the mountains I couldn’t wait to move! This excitement was quickly drowned by a sinking feeling deep in my gut. It felt like running out of gas on a country highway at one in the morning and your cell phone is dead; it’s dark, there is nobody around, and you cannot phone a friend. Whether it comes right away, or later—because of the reaction of people we thought were friends or feeling overwhelmed in a new situation you were expected to handle with precision, we’ve all felt that feeling as a new leader. By sharing our stories with one another, the success and the failures, we all grow. I remember getting so much advice from those who walked the road before me, some solicited some not. The stories were sometimes shocking, often comical and always gave me perspective...

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