Paul E. Pepe, MD, MPH

Dr. Paul Pepe, Professor of Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, Public Health and Riggs Family (endowed) Chair in Emergency Medicine (EM) at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, heads an academic EM program of about 80 faculty and 70 residents/fellows based at the county emergency-trauma center, Parkland Hospital (~120,000 annual adult patients seen), and the North Texas Poison Control Center (>90,000 annual consults). He is also the City of Dallas Director of Medical Emergency Services for Public Safety, Public Health & Homeland Security and jurisdictional Medical Director for the regional EMS system (~¼ million EMS incidents, ~3,000 paramedics/first responders in Dallas and ~18 surrounding cities/agencies in Dallas County) as well as Medical Director for special services for DFW International airport, the Dallas Police Department & the Dallas Metropolitan Medical Response System for counter-terrorism & disaster mitigation.

An extremely distinguished academician (more than 500 published scientific papers/abstracts, including many landmark publications in multiple disciplines), Dr. Pepe has served simultaneously as a high-level municipal or state employee for over three decades. Renown for a grass-roots, “street-wise” style in planning, implementing and overseeing a “systems” approach to saving lives, both operationally and through clinical trials, his programs have resulted in some of the highest cardiac arrest and trauma survival rates worldwide.

His approach of routinely responding into the streets with medics and first-responders became a role-model for a new generation of physicians who provided medical oversight of EMS systems and formed the basis for a new specialty practice now officially recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties

One publication of his, the original American Heart Association “Chain of Survival” paper -- in which he and fellow co-authors delineated the survival advantages of stewarding longitudinal linkages in resuscitative care -- is now cited symbolically or in writing in nearly every CPR-related publication worldwide. Likewise, he co-chaired and wrote the executive summary for the 2001 National Institutes of Health (NIH) - National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) forum to reform national stroke care, featuring his “Chain of Recovery” concept.

His publications have included original descriptions and measurements of physiological mechanisms (e.g., “Auto-PEEP”), intrepid clinical concepts (e.g., deferred rescue breaths in CPR), and ground-breaking clinical trials (e.g., deferred IV fluids for trauma). Published years ago by Dr. Pepe and colleagues, these concepts are now part of mainstream medical practice or cutting-edge research. He also has worked with former U.S. Surgeon Generals regarding national emergency training initiatives and many of his studies, injury prevention programs and media interactions have consistently affected public policy, legislation and federal executive orders.

As a founding Steering Committee member for the 2000 NIH PULSE Initiative, he also has helped to set national priorities for cardiac and trauma resuscitation research. He has been. Involved in the great majority of U.S. prehospital clinical trials for trauma resuscitation published to date and, several years ago, the NIH formally designated his EM program as a federally-funded resuscitation research center that has conducted numerous clinical trials over the last five years with continued funding for at least the next six years.

Among previous public service positions, he served as an assistant to the medical directors of the Seattle Fire Department EMS (1977-82) and then became the first Physician Director for the City of Houston Emergency Medical Services System (1982-96) and, subsequently, Commonwealth Emergency Medical Director for Pennsylvania under Governor Tom Ridge. Dubbed by the media as Pennsylvania’s “top doc”, Dr. Pepe reviewed and approved all statewide emergency care protocols, including those for resuscitation and weapons of mass effect (WME) and he fostered grassroots EMS injury prevention programs and statewide CPR-AED training for school children.

In an initiative later adopted by the American Medical Association, American College of Emergency Physicians and others, he helped to spearhead development of the National Disaster Life Support® course series, developed for the nation’s healthcare workers under pilot grants from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Injury Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Dept of Homeland Security (DHS), and the U.S. Dept of Health & Human Services (DHHS).
Accordingly, he and his group in Dallas have now been named formally as part of a CDC Exemplar Center for Public Health Emergency Preparedness for these purposes and, as subsequently chronicled in the media, they played major roles in many of the successful aspects of the response to Hurricane Katrina when they were requested to become imbedded special consultants for the Louisiana Secretary of Health and related response teams.

In addition to local and state public service, Dr. Pepe has served for years as emergency medicine-trauma consultant to various entities such as the White House Medical Unit, U.S. Secret Service (USSS), FBI, U.S. DHHS, NIH, network news organizations, and even the National Basketball Association (NBA) Trainers. He also coordinates the so-called “Eagles” consortium, a cohesive and highly-influential de facto coalition of the jurisdictional 9-1-1 (EMS) system medical directors for the nation’s 30 – 40 largest cities and pivotal federal agencies (e.g., FBI, USSS, ATF, DHS, White House Medical Unit).

An omnipresent global lecturer, he has won numerous health policy, community service, academic, educational and professional society awards, here and abroad, including distinguished alumnus awards and a formal citation for courage and life-time public service in the U.S. Congressional Record.

He was recently nominated “Texan of the Year” and was elected to Mastership in the American College of Physicians (MACP) for numerous lifetime achievements. Often featured on network news and prime-time broadcasts (e.g., Rescue 9-1-1 pilot, ABC News Nightline special, "In the ER", TLC’s award-winning, "The Strongest Link", & Larry King Live), he has been called a “Mentor to Millions” and an “Advocate for the Injured”.

When receiving an award in Washington, DC in 2005 for lifetime achievements in emergency medical services, presented by then U.S. Surgeon General, Richard H. Carmona, on behalf of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), Dr. Pepe was also cited as “the most accomplished emergency medical services physician of our generation” and has since been named a “Hero of Emergency Medicine” by his peers at ACEP. He was also honored as the “Preeminent Innovator in Emergency Medical Services” by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch and was selected 2009 EMS Innovator by the Journal of Emergency Medical Services. He was also selected as one of four finalists for the Emergency Medicine Foundation’s 2010 national Emergency Department Director of the Year.

Most importantly, he is the devoted father of Lauren, 19, and Michael, 17, and is married to former ABC and CBS News Producer, Linda (Miller) Pepe with whom he has co-authored textbook treatises on public speaking and media interactions.

Articles by Paul E. Pepe, MD, MPH


Featured Careers




Register for

the JEMS


it's FREE!

JEMS Connect




Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts