the office of emergency
It's fall � a time when many people regroup, refocus, and return to work after summer vacation. The staff here at the Office of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) hope you've had a chance to take a break from your busy schedules because this fall, EMS in Washington will be busier than ever. Work on National EMS Education Standards continues and EMS data collection will expand as part of the National EMS Information System (NEMSIS). Along with our Federal and national partners, we will conduct the first meeting of the congressionally-mandated Federal Interagency Committee on EMS (FICEMS) and stand up the National 9-1-1 Office. We will meet with EMS and 9-1-1 constituent groups to complete tasks assigned to the Office of EMS for the national pandemic flu implementation plan, and deliberate EMS workforce issues to identify further actions that will help ensure a stable EMS workforce. We hope the EMS Update will keep you up-to-date on our ongoing projects and new activities.
We are also pleased to announce we'll have additional staff at the Office of EMS. Cathy Gotschall has joined the Office of EMS from NHTSA's Office of Planning and Budget. Prior to coming to NHTSA, Cathy spent 11 years as the director of research for Emergency Trauma Services at Children's National Medical Center and was the research specialist for the EMS-C National Resource Center . Cathy has a doctorate from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
This fall we will also add one more staff person to our ranks who will be responsible for providing staff support to FICEMS. Please help us welcome these folks as we continue to support EMS services at the national, State and local level.
EMS Public Health Fellowship
EMS operates at the crossroads of health care, public health, and public safety. Since EMS providers work in the community, they are often the first to identify public health problems and issues. The emergence of significant health problems is often heralded by their arrival in the emergency department � often arriving via EMS . Recognizing the role of EMS in public health is important to ensure EMS is integrated with community health care services. NHTSA's EMS Public Health Fellowship was developed in collaboration between the Association of Schools of Public Health and NHTSA to further the coordination of public health and EMS . The intent is to provide a program in which the Office of EMS gains public health expertise, while the fellow gains insight into the workings of a national level EMS agency.
Julie Krueger, a recent master's degree graduate of the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, joined the Office of EMS in September 2005 as NHTSA's second EMS Public Health Fellow. The position allows her to play a major role in increasing linkages between public health systems and EMS systems nationwide.
During the past year, Julie has been focusing on policy and preparedness issues, primarily pandemic flu planning and the establishment of FICEMS. During the second year of her fellowship, Julie will continue these efforts and help bring a public health approach to national EMS . For more information on NHTSA's EMS Public Health Fellowship, contact Julie Krueger or Gamunu Wijetunge.
For the past 10 years, NHTSA has offered emergency physicians the chance to work directly with the program development staff and public affairs office at NHTSA. The medical fellowship program gives physicians an opportunity to contribute medical expertise directly to a NHTSA program on issues of mutual interest and mutual benefit. Started by former NHTSA Administator Dr. Ricardo Martinez, the first emergency physician to receive a one-year appointment as NHTSA Medical Fellow was Dr. Jeff Runge, who subsequently became NHTSA Administrator in 2001. Our current Medical Fellow is Dr. Christopher Kahn, who is starting year two of his appointment as NHTSA's Medical Fellow.
Dr. Kahn is an emergency physician at the University of California , Irvine , who is completing a fellowship in emergency management and emergency medical services as well as a master's program in public health. He joined the Office of EMS in 2005, working on issues including ambulance safety, the Technology and EMS project, and a feasibility study for an EMS workforce safety and health surveillance system. During year two, Dr. Kahn will be focusing on pandemic flu planning and the development of an evidence-based system to support clinical and operational decisions in EMS.
For more information on NHTSA's Medical Fellowship program, contact Laurie Flaherty.