HHD Faculty Member Participates in Sixteenth-Annual National Collegiate Emergency Medical Services Conference

March 6, 2009

Washington, D.C. - The sixteenth-annual conference of the National Collegiate Emergency Medical Services Foundation (NCEMSF) was held February 27–March 1, 2009 in Washington, D.C. Over 860 representatives of campus EMS organizations from ninety-one schools across the United States and Canada attended the conference.

Mark Milliron, instructor in Health Policy and Administration, was in attendance for the sixteenth time. This year Mr. Milliron facilitated the “Expanding Your Level of Service” round table and the “Administrator/Adviser/Medical Director" round table at the conference. After attending the first conference in 1994 as a delegate from Penn State, Mr. Milliron was elected Chairman of NCEMSF in 1995 and was instrumental in adopting a constitution and establishing the organization as a nonprofit organization, and has been active as a board member and involved in conference planning and the promotion of service-learning opportunities in EMS for students on college and university campuses across the nation since then. Mr. Milliron is currently looking at the expanding field of emergency management through the World Campus program for the Master of Homeland Security in Public Health Preparedness degree from the College of Medicine.

NCEMSF is a nonprofit professional organization committed to scholarship, research, and consultancy activities and to creating a safer, healthier environment on college and university campuses. Comprised of over 250 college campus–based emergency medical service (EMS) agencies trained to respond within minutes and provide care tailored specifically to campus emergencies, NCEMSF's purpose is to support, promote, and advocate EMS on college and university campuses nationwide. The annual conference provides a forum for communication and creates an environment where ideas can be exchanged and problems can be solved.

"This year marked the foundation's sixteenth anniversary and was the largest gathering of collegiate EMS providers to date in terms of the number of attendees and the number of schools represented," said Dr. Scott Savett, NCEMSF vice president and chief technology officer. "Despite an impending winter storm, a record number of collegiate EMS organizations from across the country were able to come together and share information on how to implement or improve campus EMS at their school. Being able to ask a large group of people very specific questions about campus EMS operations is a huge benefit."

"In addition to providing for the acquisition of medical knowledge, campus-based EMS allows student participants to develop certain life skills including leadership, communication, and decision making while simultaneously positively impacting other people's lives," said Dr. George Koenig, NCEMSF president. "What is most impressive about campus-based EMS is that much of this service is provided primarily by students attending those colleges and universities. It is students helping fellow students."

This year's conference seminars included over sixty lectures packed into two days ranging from the treatment and management of various traumatic and medical emergencies to EMS research to leadership and strategic planning for the collegiate EMS agency. Other lectures discussed toxicology, EMS and public health, as well as disaster preparedness. A series of round table discussions took place in which leaders and advisers from various university squads reviewed common problems facing their squads and challenged themselves to find feasible solutions. The conference also featured several skills labs focusing on airway management and enhancing communication skills.

The Saturday morning keynote lecture, sponsored by the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association, "Collegiate EMS: Stepping Stone or the Right Step?" was delivered by Douglas M. Wolfberg, Esq., ’87 H&HD, partner in the EMS law firm Page, Wolfberg, and Wirth, LLC, as well as being a former Penn State University Ambulance Service squad member. Other alumni of Penn State University Ambulance Service participating in the conference included Ron Roth, M.D., ’78 SCI, professor of emergency medicine at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine and medical director of the City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety, who presented "Improving Survival from Cardiac Arrest" and "Non-Orthopedic Sports Injuries." Dr. Roth is also the faculty adviser for the University of Pittsburgh Student Emergency Medical Services Initiative. Regina Arnold ’02 SCI, adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Stephanie Larson ’04 SCI, ’06 MS AGR, a medical student at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, presented "A Difficult Differential: Chest Pain and ECG."

One of Mr. Milliron’s initiatives with NCEMSF has been the administration of the "Striving for Excellence in Campus EMS" program. This program was developed by Mr. Milliron in 1999 and annually recognizes campus EMS organizations for service quality, educational, and service initiatives, and community outreach. This year seven schools were recognized for a three-year period for the outstanding quality of their EMS organizations with the NCEMSF Striving for Excellence award: Columbia University EMS, Cornell University EMS, Muhlenberg College EMS, Rice University EMS, University of Dayton Rescue Squad, University of Delaware Emergency Care Unit, and University of Rhode Island.

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Editors: For additional information please contact info@ncemsf.org.