Sponsored byThe Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS)


Building Resiliency into Your Leadership – Hazard Vulnerability Assessment
Gary White, MBA, MEP, EMT-P, High Definition Coaching

This session will help participants assess their day to day leadership skills. And it will provide you with an action plan for increasing their leadership resilience on a daily basis.

Who’s Awesome? You’re Awesome! The importance to Empowering Employees for Organizational Success
Marla Werner, FP-C, NRP, MedFlight of Ohio

We will review principals in Empowering employees, from learning to value them and let them know it, sharing the vision of leadership to include goals and direction.  Trusting your employees to make the right decisions and making sure they know you trust them.  Empowering them to make decisions by making sure they have the tools they need to do so.  Delegating responsibilities that influence development and decision making.  Provide feed back and and problem solving ideas assuming the problems are the system not the person.  Listen and learn to ask questions giving positive feedback and learning opportunities and always rewarding frequently.  Helping employees feel appreciated is one of the single most important aspects of Empowerment.

Utilizing a Pharmacist in Your Total Quality Management Program
Kevin Collopy, BA, FP-C, CCEMT-P, NRP, CMTE, NHRMC AirLink/VitaLink Critical Care Transport

Adding a pharmacist to an critical care transport total quality management program improves patient safety by introducing a true pharmacology subject matter expert into the protocol development team. Come hear how one agency added an emergency medicine pharmacist to their TQM program and the impact it has had on ensuring patient safety while improving the transition of care between the field and emergency department..This innovative approach to total quality management has reduced variation between the prehospital and hospital settings and has led to an expanded prehospital scope of care.

The Biology of Leadership
Cody Winniford, BA, LP, CCP-C, FP-C, PHI Air Medical

How can leaders get the best results possible out of their teams? By building the environment where those results are even possible. Leaders who do not understand their power, often accidentally create toxic environments. How? By not understanding how their behavior is impacting their team. Leaders must understand how they are impacting the environment in which their teams operate and how that impact affects team performance. This presentation will describe the neuro-hormonal and biological aspects of leadership and encourage leaders to modulate their behaviors to ensure their team members can perform to their best potential.

Climbing the Clinical Ladder: An Employee Engagement Strategy
Kolby Kolbet, MSN, RN, CFRN, CMTE, Life Link III

There are far too few opportunities for flight crew members to develop themselves professionally without leaving the front lines doing what they love most. In an effort to develop leaders from within our organization, Life Link III created a Clinical Ladder which allows our front like clinical staff to create a road map to develop themselves professionally and receive recognition for their efforts. Take a walk with us as we guide you through this employee engagement initiative. We will highlight the trials and tribulations as well as the overall success of the program over the course of the past three years.

The Business of Peer Support
Sherri Dean, BSN, MHA, RN, PHI Air Medical

The conversation surrounding the value and development of a Peer Support team has typically focused on the emotional experiences of individuals.  This session will address the value from a corporate perspective for our organization.  The development, evolution, data, culture, lessons learned and ROI will be discussed in the presentation.

So Now You Are Responsible To Review Contracts – What Do All Those Words Mean?
Linda Hines, BSN, JD, MedFlight of Ohio

Understanding contractual basics and process are important for business professionals.  Organizations come in all sizes-some have an in-house legal counsel, others use their offsite corporate legal counsel and some are smaller and engage outside counsel. This program offers a foundation and then applies the content providing examples, tools, resources and real life examples.  Focus will include standard contract types, clauses and include discussion of insurance clauses.

Champagne Simulations on a Beer Budget: How to Get the Most from Your Simulations
William Rowland, BS, NRP, FP-C, Vanderbilt LifeFlight; Lee McMurray, MSN, RN, CEN, CFRN, NRP, CMTE, Air Methods Corporation

Simulations have become a staples of high-quality medical education. Hospitals and schools create multi-million dollar simulation labs with top of the line equipment, but how can a department with limited resources tap into the power of high fidelity simulation? How do we tap into this to make our 10 minute round robin scenarios more engaging and effective. Simulations live on a spectrum, at one end of the spectrum is a full motion, immersive simulator with high quality telemetry and debriefing tools. At the other end, you have your stereotypical EMT class where a student is asked to lay on a floor and act out a scenario from a one page piece of paper and the proctor filling the gaps with a box of expired supplies, oxygen adjuncts and c-collars. Almost every EMT student has been instructed to lie on a floor and act out an injury or illness for their fellow classmates. Small budgets and limited resources necessitate the need for creative solutions like rehabbing manikins from Ebay and turning a 30 year old antique ambulance into High quality mobile simulator.  A cost effective option that will rival some of the most high end simulation labs available for a fraction of the cost. This process open your eyes to the possibilities, as well as the limitations of rehabbing old equipment, while finding creative solutions to solve problems.

Implementing a Shared Governance Model in an Emergency Transport Program
Scott James, MBA, RN, CFRN, NEA-BC, The George Washington University Hospital, Center for Trauma and Critical Care

Shared Governance is a model of nursing practice that is designed to integrate core values and professional practice to create quality care, nurse empowerment, and employee satisfaction and retention.  This session will discuss the implementation of shared governance in a transport business setting as it applies not only to nurses, but to all disciplines working in an emergency transport program.  Key topics will include: surveying the program for shared governance readiness, education of staff members, establishing a shared governance structure and setting ground rules, developing outcome-based expectations for staff, and using the governance structure for empowerment and staff retention activities.

A Quarter Century of the AMTC:  Quotes and Learnings from 25 years of Educational Sessions
Andrew Hawk, MD, CareFlight Air & Mobile Services

Beginning in 1994, I have annually attended the AMTC and the respective educational sessions.  Over the years, the educational sessions have provided learning opportunities that I have compiled via speaker quotes.  In addition, speaker quotes from the annual AMPA pre-conference have been included.  These quotes have been applied as learning points and often expanded to learning topics for our program’s educational system. Taken in total, they have changed the day to day clinical care that our critical care crew members provide.

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There 2
Cody Winniford, BA, LP, CCP-C, FP-C, PHI Air Medical

Merely being “qualified” to be a leader often leaves much to be desired as far as effectiveness as a leader. However, many people are selected for leadership positions because they “meet the qualifications” or check the boxes on a job description. We must stop defining leadership through styles and platitudes and help people to BECOME the leaders they were meant to be by giving them tools to codify beliefs and behaviors into a leadership philosophy that ENABLES them to lead across all professional, cultural, and generational boundaries. This presentation will provide a background in the need for new approaches to leadership development and will provide a 5 step plan and toolkit for developing an empowering personal leadership philosophy.

“Team Dynamics”: It’s More Than a 7:48 Video…
Daniel Holmes, AA, NRP, FP-C, EMSI, JeffSTAT

Working in teams is a fact of life. Every day each of us is called upon to work in conjunction with others in both our professional and personal lives. The functionality of these teams impacts corporate culture, patient care, safe operations, base morale, job satisfaction, and overall success of the organization. Additionally, as Millennials and iGen’ers continue to enter our organizations, the expectation of working in teams increases amongst our workforce. We’ll discuss the steps to building a successful team and the stages all teams move through as they grow. Also, we’ll learn how to use “Team Building Exercises” to identify the stage our team is in, and how we can help them progress to the next stage. Conflict within teams is natural and productive, but what do we do when unhealthy conflict arises? Finally, we’ll review some essential skills for leading innovative teams.

TQM: A View From the Bottom
Leslie Rostedt, BSN, BA, AAS, RN, CEN, EMT-P, NHRMC AirLink/VitaLink Critical Care Transport

Total Quality Management is a theory typically utilized by management and presented from a leadership perspective.  Our system includes general staff members as part of this team and provides a unique perspective to Total Quality Management. This presentation will show how including staff members in the team improves the overall process while avoiding pitfalls that would occur in a management only committee.

Power and Authority, Leadership Lessons from the Ground Up
Daniel Nayman, MBA, NRP, FP-C, WakeMed Mobile Critical Care; Cory Oaks, MPA, NRP, FP-C, CCP-C, Classic Air Medical

The skill of management and the art of leadership in the science of medicine. Regardless of the title held, supervisor, paramedic, manager, educator, nurse, director, president, orientee, vice-president, EMT, or CEO, our responsibility, our entire job, is to achieve results and reach goals. As our responsibility grows the authority we are granted to help us achieve those results tends to grow as well. The power to achieve results, however, isn’t based on the position you hold or granted with a promotion, it is achieved by the inspiration and trust that you instill in others. In this discussion we will review critical leadership traits and practices, and how to implement those practices to achieve greater organizational and individual success.


Other Duties as Assigned: Taking Colleague Engagement and Leadership Development to the Next Level
Bryan Evans, BS, FP-C, CMTE, Lehigh Valley Health Network MedEvac

Other duties as assigned.  What’s in it for me?  What’s your 5 year plan? All of these phrases we regularly hear.  In this session we’ll discuss the challenges of recruiting and retaining talent.  We’ll discuss opportunities to engage talent and develop future leaders.  See how this not only increases ownership and accountability, also helps with recruitment, retention and succession planning.

Breaking the Mold: Separating Yourself from the Competition
Abby Walden-Peterson, MHA, CMTE, Atrium Health – Mobile Medicine; Rick Mosteller, Zoll

To better understand who your customers really are, what they are watching/seeing, how to break the mold of the transport industry in party mode while making your customers feel like they are top priority.

Hashtag: Tweeting your Photos on Facebook – Social Media Marketing for Public Safety Professionals
Derrick Jacobus, MA, FP-C, MidAtlantic Medevac and Monroe Township Police Department

Social media technologies are continuously transforming the ways consumers interact with each other and firms. These changes constitute a fundamental shift in the marketplace–consumers have greater opportunities to voice their opinions and connect with other consumers as well as an increased influence over marketers and brands. As a result, the conventional approaches to marketing communications have become more and more challenged. This puts an added emphasis on leveraging social media to engage consumers and propagate ideas, messages, products, and behaviors. The ability to use social media to get people’s attention, build an engaged audience and express your personality is becoming an essential digital skillset in the 21st-century knowledge-based economy. Are you ready to build your presence in the digital world? What should you put out there for everyone to see? How much should you post? What platforms do you want to use? Determine your marketing strategy and learn what you can do for no cost to promoting your brand with paid advertisements. With the money you throw away for “giveaways” and “swag,” you can make a bigger bang for your buck in social media marketing!

Business – Program Development

From the Ground Up: The Journey of Building a New Rotor Wing Base for Success
Keilah Shope, RN, BSN, CFRN; Marla Werner, FP-C, NRP, MedFlight of Ohio

Review the Life Cycle of an organization and how it directly reflects our personal experiences in building a base from the ground up.  The challenges experienced that were expected and those that were not.  From basic needs for the clinical crews and aviation partner, to staffing and the geographic challenges for supplies, deliveries.  Understanding why there are setbacks and milestones and the flexibility to adapt to both and which paths to take to continue grow and to create a positive, productive culture.  Review the staffing challenges from the clinical partners, to leadership and balancing all the new personalities and not having the opportunity to feed the needs slowing but to fast forward almost every aspect of the development and the importance of utilizing seasoned partners from other bases to nurture the growth and progress. We will review this journey, sharing the good, the challenges, and will review tools to use to evaluate were you are in your organizations life cycle, how to get were you want or need to be so you can focus on what is lines up with your Mission, vision and values.

Precepting: Is It a Privilege or a Right?
Dana Clarke, RN, BSN, EMT-P, Houston Physician’s Hospital

This is an old, but needs to be continually re-visited, topic. As times are changing, technology is advancing , more helicopters services are “popping up,” and we are getting younger, less experienced crews, how do we develop a successful training program with limited budgets resources and even more limited experience? Is the senior employee (you know- the one who hates everyone and everything and is just biding his time to get vested or retire) the best one to train the newbie? Or, do you take the chance on the NEW guy training the NEWER guy? Turnover is, unfortunately, commonplace in this industry. We will discuss some best practices and concepts to consider to develop a successful preceptor program and to engage the new employee to put him on the road to success.

Playdate in the Sandbox: Regional Programs Working Together in a Competitive Industry
Cory Oaks, MPA, FP-C, CCP-C, Classic Air Medical; Nathan Morreale, MBA, FP-C, NR-P, University of Utah AirMed; Brent Palmer, BSN, CCRN, Intermountain Life Flight

We all know the medical transport industry is an extremely competitive environment and the state of Utah is no different. After many years of flying over the top of each other we have come together and formed the Utah Chapter of the Association of Air Medical Services. What started as a means to increase communication has evolved into a safety committee, education committee, and best practice committee that has worked to improve patient care throughout the intermountain west. The presenters, all three board members from the local AAMS Chapter, and all three from different agencies, will discuss the evolution to what is now an organization comprised of all agencies within the state as well as those from neighboring states. Join us to learn how these collaborative efforts have made patient care safer, better, and allowed the different programs to “play nice in the sandbox”.

How to Develop a Training Blueprint for Success
Jeremy Norman, BAS, FP-C, NRP; Allen Wolfe Jr., MSN, APRN, CFRM, CMTE, Air Methods Corporation

Training and Education are the cornerstones to maintain quality assurance across any type of work. At many medical transport programs the rational for training is best describe as “we have always done it that way” or “I don’t know why we are doing this”. A sound training blueprint sets the stage for success and guides the team to specific quality or operational goals. A training blueprint is a CAMTS best practice.

Surviving an Incident II: Tactics to Orchestrate the Rescue
Michael Shaffer, BSN, RN, PHRN, NRP, CFRN, CMTE, STAT MedEvac

In the first session, Surviving an Incident – Tactics and Strategies in the Wild (2018), I discussed tactics for survival. In this session, I will build upon the survival component by discussing how to develop a special operations team.  In today’s world, the team needs to be trained in search and rescue, wilderness medicine and tactical medicine.  The team can be faced with many tasks; including searching for a missing air medical crew, treating survivors of a wilderness mishap and participating in a tactical situation.    The goal is to provide insight on the preparation phase. I will discuss the different missions the team may be faced with and offer examples of training modules that will encompass all components of your organization.  We will explore various training options, to include classroom, small group practical sessions, and wilderness sessions, as well as to be compliant with the 10th edition CAMTS standards.

Business – Wellness

I’m Tired… The struggle is real
April Larsen-Oaks, RN, CMTE, Classic Air Medical

As leaders in the Air medical and critical care ground transport field we are constantly monitoring for fatigue and burn out with those we lead. As a leader, we are diligent to spot the signs, counsel our crew members, and form an action plan to assist crew members suffering burnout and fatigue.  Have you ever stopped to think about your own burn out and fatigue as a leader.  Are you able to recognize the signs of professional exhaustion?   A recent poll was conduct on burnout in healthcare management, a staggering ¾ of all managers polled feel burned out. We will take an honest and entertaining deep dive into identifying burnout in leadership, how to recognize burnout in yourself, and how to reclaim our passion for leadership once we become burned out.

Fly the Reds, Ground the Greens: A MCI Review
Lamar Green, NRP, FP-C; Tara McIntire, MSN, RN, CFRN, NREMT, Med-Trans Corporation

Medstar Air Care 1, a Med-Trans helicopter was able to service the Alabama/Florida community in responding to the I-10 bus accident involving high school students returning to Texas from Florida. Medstar is a unique helicopter crew in that the paramedics who fly also have ground EMS and/or Fire roles including in their leadership.  At approximately 0530 AM on March 13, 2018, two charter buses with band students were returning to Channelview, Texas from Orlando, Florida.  The driver of one bus witnessed the other bus leave the interstate, drive a significant distance in the opposite lanes of traffic, and drop into a deep ravine, approximately 60 feet.  It was reported that the bus was carrying approximately 50 passengers, mostly teenage students.

Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM): Because Our “Normal” Isn’t Normal…
Lt. Brett Key, Oklahoma Highway Patrol/Warrior’s Rest Foundation; Kyle Kennedy, DO, FACOEP, Midwest Aerocare/Med-Trans Corporation

Air medical providers face unique challenges on a day to day basis. These challenges are clinical, physical and also often emotional. Understanding the common stressors that can occur and becoming proactive in our approach to managing these stressors, helps to ensure that our crews and our organizations remain healthy. Session will cover common critical incidents encountered by air medical providers as well as describing how these incidents can affect the individual both immediately after the event as well as cumulatively over time. Also discussed will be the role of a Critical Incident Stress Management Team, key components of a successful team and need for structured training for the individuals on that team. As an industry, EMS has a suicide rate approaching 10 times that of the general population. While many stressors are unavoidable, being prepared for these stressors and proactive in our approach to caring for ourselves and our peers is as much our responsibility as the care we deliver to our patients.

Take a PAWS: Helping Each Other Heal: Peer Animal Assisted Wellness Support & CISD for Our Own PAWS = Peer Assisted Wellness Support
Debi Hastilow, RN, EMT-P, BSN, CEN, CMTE; Todd Bailey, BA, MBA, CMTE, MedFlight of Ohio 

Has your give a **** meter been pegged? We take care of others 24/7/365 days a year, but who takes care of us? A critical incident is any event experienced on or off duty that is outside normal experiences that produces stress.  These events can interfere with a crew member’s coping mechanism’s and therefore impact performance and sometimes safety.  This program utilizes best practices to assist in maintaining performance, special support and healing.  Come see how we developed a peer initiated wellness support team for our crews and actually had to utilize it months after it was implemented upon the death of a friend and fellow crew member. A therapy dog and a group of volunteer crew members bolstered spirits and encouraged comrades when and where needs arose, when the going got tough. The speaker will be accompanied by Ollie – therapy dog – to assist with presentation techniques and discussion. Peer Animal Assisted Wellness Support (PAWS) is a new canine support program that aids partners or those in need during and after traumatic incidents, promoting holistic healing and comfort. PAWS includes crew visits to relieve the daily stress’ of air and ground medical transport or dispatch, visits for partners and family members after traumatic events like injury, death, and provides grief counseling. MedFlight is also engaging a newly formed Critical Incident Stress Management Team (CISM) made up select partners who will participate in formal management to assist external flight teams, medical, fire, and law enforcement personnel during times of major incidents, disasters and loss of co-workers when requested. A critical incident is any event experienced on or off duty that is outside the realm of normal experiences that produces significant stress. These events can interfere with a person’s coping mechanisms. The new CISM team will respond to a critical incident, assist the person in maintaining performance in their duties, and when applicable, aid in facilitating contact with special support services.

The Night I Almost Jumped: EMS Culture and EMS Suicide
Matthew Giacopelli, BS, NR-P, Paramedic, York Regional EMS

A look at the reasons why an EMS provider may contemplate and attempt suicide. Case studies of EMS providers who have completed suicide will be presented. The extent of the problem in EMS, and the stigma of mental health that goes along with it will be discussed. The audience will then learn about coping mechanisms and steps to take toward resiliency.

Caring for the Caregiver: Building Resiliency through Yoga, Mindfulness and Meditation
Marie Longo, ACNP-BC, FNP-C, CNP-APRN, Metrohealth Medical Center

Flight crews and first responders are faced with tragedy and death on a daily basis.  This leads to a stress response within the body. Over time these stresses can build up affecting the individual both mentally and physically.   This session will discuss tools to increase resiliency with a focus on Yoga, Mindfulness and Meditation.

911 Buddy Check: Breaking the Stigma of Mental Health
Daniel Mills, FP-C, NR-P, Air Evac Lifeteam/911 Buddy Check Project

A recent study found that more firefighters and police officers died by suicide in 2017 than all line of duty deaths combined. The USA today reported 103 firefighters and 140 police officers died by suicide in 2017 alone. This is just with a presumed 40% reporting. The 911 Buddy Check Project aims to change the stigma of mental health, while bringing awareness to suicide and the issues plaguing the emergency services field. Are you ok? Simple words that often go unspoken. We are reaching pandemic level of suicide, mental health and substance abuse amongst emergency services workers. The time is now to stand up and make a change. The 911 Buddy Check Project is removing the mask and getting real, raw and relevant about mental health and dismantling the deadly stigma associated with not asking for help.

Your Critical Incident Stress Program: Does It Work?
Phil Ward, NRP, FP-C, Travis County Emergency Services/STAR Flight

With increased attention to mental health issues and PTSD in EMS, Fire and Law Enforcement, many organizations have implemented CISM and CIRT programs into their Employee Assistance Programs.  Does your organization have a program in place?  What does it look like and is it effective?  Do your employees have buy-in?  We will share my story, the CISM strategy offered post-incident with my previous organization, and then share PHI Air Medical’s CIRT model and how the team was able to help me years later.

When YOU Become the Trauma: Developing Your Own PAIP
Tammy Chatman, BS, CMTE, Flight for Life Transport System

Every hospital, air and ground medical transport programs as well as first responder agencies has or should have a Post Accident/Incident Plan (PAIP) that they follow in the unfortunate event of an incident or accident. What about you? Do you have your own personal PAIP or do you assume that “They will take care of you?” What does that mean? Being “taken care of” means different things to different people. At the end of the day it is you who is ultimately responsible for your safety and well being. Teenagers have an attitude that nothing will ever happen to them; they are invincible. Many EMS providers think this same thing; bad things happen to other people and those are the people I take care of. It is this attitude that causes us to put planning for the unthinkable on the back burner of our lives. We forget about practicing personal responsibility for ourselves and those we love. If you are involved in an incident or accident and suffer injuries that prohibit you from doing the job you love, short or long term, what will you do? Have you done your homework so that you are not forced into financial ruin? Many of our colleagues choose to ignore pre-planning for life’s unexpected challenges like these. The reasons vary but a lack of preparation can be a recipe for long term disaster to you and your family. Whether you are new to air medical transport and EMS or have been in the industry for many years, this presentation has information that will guide you in developing your own personal PAIP.

When the Help Needs Help
Dana Clarke, RN, BSN, EMT-P, Houston Physician’s Hospital

Hurricane Harvey devastated the city of Dickinson. There were numerous paramedics and firefighters stranded, both at the station AND in their homes, unable to get in or out to help neighbors, their community OR themselves.It was a most HELPLESS feeling. We will discuss those feelings, how to prepare for possible disaster and how to combat those feelings of helplessness in non-controllable situations.