As we all settle back into ‘reality’ after AMTC in Long Beach, I’d like to take the time to pass along some items to the Membership. With nearly 2500 attendees, AMTC 2015 was again the event for clinical, administrative and aviation disciplines, as well as over 150 companies displaying products and services directly applicable to air and critical care ground medicine. The host programs, CALSTAR, LA County Fire, Mercy Air, and REACH Air Medical, were a great welcoming committee. Make sure you check out the AMTC Opening Video. I hope you enjoyed the warm weather and the great city! My thanks to the AAMS staff for putting on a great conference.
First, I’d like to thank the AAMS Board for electing me to serve as your Board Chair. I’m eager to embrace this new role on the Board and advance the Association’s goals and objectives. The Executive Committee is made up of Vice Chair Graeme Fields (Region VIII Director, NSW Ambulance – Aeromedical and Medical Retrieval Services), Treasurer Doug Garretson (Region V Director, STAT MedEvac), and Secretary Chris Hall (At-Large Director, PHI Air Medical). Marty Arkus (Med-Trans Corporation) will remain on the Executive Committee as the Past Chair.
I’d like to thank the outgoing Board Members for their service – Vicky Spediacci, Jonathan Collier, Michael Frakes, and Gerry Pagano. I would like to specifically recognize Craig Yale for his service to the AAMS Board, and to the industry as a whole, as he also leaves his board seat after serving for the better part of the past 17 years. I also extend my gratitude to Clyde Deschamp for his six years of service to the Board as the Public Member. He has been a great resource for the Board. We also swore in several new Board Members including Scott Kirby (LifeMed Alaska), Dr. Shannon Sovndal (Denver Health Medical Center/North Colorado Medical Center), Frankie Hurst (AirMed, Univ. of Utah), Anthony Pellicone (North Shore – Long Island Jewish Center EMS) and Rob Hamilton (Med-Trans Corporation). I look forward to getting to know and working with the new Board Members.
As you can imagine, a large part of our discussions in the Board Meeting revolved around the continued efforts on the Government Relations front and our Medicare efforts. Multiple steps have been taken to get an official cost score from the CBO as well as having offset language drafted; two important steps in getting our legislation considered by the health committees. We are hopeful these efforts will pay off in the near future. We are working with the ground ambulance community to make sure that our combined medical transport communities’ concerns remain at the top of the priority list in the minds of legislators who are dealing with competing healthcare priorities.
Marty Arkus, as Chair during the AAMS Membership Meeting on Sunday, presented the AAMS Chairman Awards to three individuals that go above and beyond in service to our industry. Douglas Garretson was recognized for his dedication and equitable leadership of the Government Relations & Advocacy Committee. Dr. Russell MacDonald was honored for his dedication to the 2014 Foundation Grant Committee and promotion of air medical communities’ world-wide research efforts. Dr. MacDonald is an integral piece of the Foundation’s research efforts and an exceptional mentor to new researchers in the field. Finally, Marty recognized Phoenix Air Group for the program’s commitment to excellence, their patients, and efforts in response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak. I am honored to be a part of a community where dedication to patients in need is first and foremost.
The AAMS Annual Membership meeting was held this year at the 2015 AMTC on Sunday, October 18th. The meeting attendance was terrific this year, with approximately 100 members in the room. The full meeting’s minutes will be posted in the AAMS Member Portal later on this month. AAMS will also send out a note when the document will be available for download online. You can review most of the items covered during the meeting in Rick’s Annual Membership Update email, which was sent out to the membership back on Oct. 1st. Highlights of the meeting were the aforementioned Chairman’s Awards and the discussion about the newly redesigned AMTC 2015 Mobile App. I also extend a hearty congratulations to the AMTC Community and AAMS Award Winners! In case you missed the awards show, you can view complete 2015 Award Winners List with their excellent videos.
The MedEvac Foundation’s events held during the AMTC were also a great success. The Golf Tournament and the Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys Benefit concert raised over $58,000 in support of the Foundation’s research, education, and programs designed to improve and advance emergency medical transport. Thank you to all the sponsors and participants of those events. Another successful fundraiser for the Foundation was the Great American Safety Drive, the major fundraising initiative for 2015. This year’s extended Drive brought the message of safety to almost 60 host program locations – thank you to our host programs and all the safety event participants throughout the 5-month GASD! The 2015 GASD raised over $140,000 funds. A hearty congratulations to the GASD Raffle winners, Bill Price from Vidant EastCare, winner of the 1969 Pontiac GTO and Kari Antalek from Florida Flight 1, winner of the 2015 Chevy Camaro. Thank you, Air Methods and Metro Aviation, for your generous donation of the two cars that made the 2015 GASD Raffle a reality. If you are interested more information about the Foundation, or would like to make a donation, visit medevacfoundation.org.
In closing, it’s an honor and privilege to be able to serve as your AAMS Board Chair. For the first time, AAMS has an international Chair and Vice Chair. I believe this is a positive step for AAMS and will help solidify our global position. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions, comments, or concerns.
Dave Evans, Chairman
AAMS Board of Directors