Administration and Leadership, Spotlight

2020 Eagles Annual Award Winners Announced

A previous Gathering of the Eagles.

Note from Jim Augustine, MD

The week of June 12 was the week the Eagles were to convene in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We would have started the conference and had hundreds of appreciative attendees. We missed that experience this year, but look forward to our opportunity next year, at a time when we will not be as threatened by COVID-19.

Our award winners are incredible individuals, with careers in EMS that spanned many years and are filled with service to their communities and the Eagles. Congratulations to each!

We have had an unprecedented year in the Eagles, and thanks to all of you for making this great assembly such a positive and productive effort. This organization is built around service, collaboration, and humility. You should celebrate those characteristics, and the way we served our world.  There is more to come! Best to each of you!

The “Eagles,” a de-facto coalition derived from the Metropolitan Municipalities EMS Medical Directors Alliance, is comprised of most of the jurisdictional EMS Medical Directors for the 60 to 70 largest cities’ 911 systems in the United States, and the chief medical officers for several pivotal federal agencies such as the FBI, U.S. Secret Service, White House Medical Unit, as well as numerous global counterparts – from Paris to Auckland and from Berlin to Manila.

This small but cohesive cadre of leading emergency medical services specialists are responsible for stewarding the medical protocols and respective training for all aspects of day-to-day 911 / 999 / 112 / 000 type emergency responses within their respective jurisdictions, encompassing well over 1/3 of the U.S. population and more than 120 million citizens worldwide.  

They seek and drive the best practices for early resuscitative interventions for trauma, stroke, cardiac care and other critical emergencies, not to mention the medical aspects of homeland security, public health emergencies, and disaster management in these high-risk venues.

Their ability to deal with these significant responsibilities is, in many ways, facilitated by the close cooperation of this unique convocation of physicians, who remain in daily contact through both email and mobile communication, as well as in weekly webinars and large national annual conventions.

Of note, the Eagles generally serve as the main interface between local government and the medical community at large in these high volume metropolitan municipalities. Armed with a large volume of data and veteran experience in these large population settings, the Eagles are always eager to share their findings, experience, and practical knowledge with others.

2020 Paul E. Pepe Award

Winner: Dr. Michael T. Osterholm

Dr. Michael T. Osterholm

For Outstanding National Contributions to Emergency Medical Services

Michael T. Osterholm (born March 10, 1953) is an American infectious disease epidemiologist, regents professor, and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

From 1975 to 1999, Osterholm served in various roles at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), including as state epidemiologist and Chief of the Acute Disease Epidemiology Section from 1984 to 1999. While at the MDH, Osterholm strengthened the departments role in infectious disease epidemiology, notably including numerous foodborne disease outbreaks, the association between tampons and toxic shock syndrome, and the transmission of hepatitis B and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in healthcare workers. Other work included studies regarding the epidemiology of infectious diseases in child-care settings, vaccine-preventable diseases (particularly Haemophilus influenzae type b and hepatitis B), Lyme disease, and other emerging and re-emerging infections.

From 2001 through early 2005, Osterholm, in addition to his role at CIDRAP, served as a Special Advisor to then–Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) Secretary Tommy G. Thompson on issues related to bioterrorism and public health preparedness. In April 2002, Osterholm was appointed to the interim management team to lead the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), until the eventual appointment of Julie Gerberding as director in July 2002. Osterholm was asked by Thompson to assist Gerberding on his behalf during the transition period. He filled that role through January 2003. Osterholm was appointed by Mike Leavitt, Secretary of the HHS, to the National Science Advisory Board on Biosecurity in 2005.

Osterholm is a frequently invited guest lecturer on the topic of epidemiology of infectious diseases. He serves on the editorial boards of nine journals, including Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology and Microbial Drug Resistance: Mechanisms, Epidemiology and Disease, and he is a reviewer for 24 additional journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and Science. In March 2020, he appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic.

Osterholm was the principal investigator and director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-supported Minnesota Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (2007–2014) and chaired the Executive Committee of the Centers of Excellence Influenza Research and Surveillance network.

He is past president of the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists and has served on the CDC’s National Center for Infectious Diseases Board of Scientific Counselors from 1992 to 1997. Osterholm served on the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Forum on Microbial Threats from 1994 through 2011. He has served on the IOM Committee on Emerging Microbial Threats to Health in the 21st Century and the IOM Committee on Food Safety, Production to Consumption, and he was a reviewer for the IOM Report on Chemical and Biological Terrorism.

As a member of the American Society for Microbiology, Osterholm has served on the Committee on Biomedical Research of the Public and Scientific Affairs Board, the Task Force on Biological Weapons, and the Task Force on Antibiotic Resistance. He is a frequent consultant to the World Health Organization, the NIH, the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Defense, and the CDC. He is a fellow of the American College of Epidemiology and the IDSA.

2020 Michael Keys Copass Award

Winner: Dr. Libby Char

Dr. Libby Char

Awarded to that Emergency Medical Services Medical Director who has demonstrated longstanding service, contributions and leadership in the unique realm of out-of-hospital emergency care and who, in addition, has served as a role model, not only for emergency medical services personnel, but also for fellow 911 system medical directors across the nation.

Dr. Libby Char is an Emergency Physician and a proud graduate of the UH Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine. After completing residency training in California, she returned to Hawai‘i to the clinical practice of Emergency Medicine at the Queen’s Medical Center. She has a wealth of clinical and administrative experience, previously serving as the State of Hawai‘i EMS District Medical Director for Oahu. She provided administrative oversight for the City and County of Honolulu EMS system for many years and has expertise in the practice of pre-hospital medicine relating to EMS providers in the state of Hawai’i. She maintains current teaching certifications for various EMS, Disaster and homeland security courses to share her unique perspective on training and clinical practice issues.

In 2011, Dr. Char was the chairperson of the Health and Medical Planning committee for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, involving 21 heads of economies and approximately 10,000 attendees. She coordinated public and private hospitals, emergency medical responders, and county, state and federal agencies, in providing health and medical support and response for this international event.

Dr Char currently focuses her efforts on developing systems of care, training, protocols and emergency response utilizing best practices in the pre-hospital environment. She provides medical direction for several EMS and Fire agencies across the state of Hawai’i.

2020 Ron J. Anderson Award

Winner: Dr. Jon R. Krohmer

Dr. Jon R. Krohmer

Winners of the Ron J. Anderson Award are selected by the members of the U.S. Metropolitan Municipalities Emergency Medical Services Medical Directors Consortium, the de facto coalition of jurisdictional 9-1-1 system medical directors for the nation’s most populous cities, as well as the medical directors/lead medical officers for key related federal agencies and units such as the FBI, U.S. Secret Service, White House Medical Unit, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Collectively, this small, but cohesive, cadre of about two dozen emergency care physicians is responsible for the day-to-day out-of-hospital 9-1-1 emergency and resuscitative care for about 50,000,000 Americans as well as for guiding the medical aspects of homeland security and disaster mitigation in the nation’s highest-risk venues.

Jon R. Krohmer , MD, FACEP, is the Director of the NHTSA Office of EMS in the Department of Transportation . He is the first emergency physician director of the office.

Prior to that, he was the Assistant Director of the ICE Health Service Corps at the Department of Homeland Security . Previously, he was the principal deputy assistant secretary for DHS OHA and DHS deputy chief medical officer. He began serving in that position as a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES) with DHS in September 2006 and served as the acting assistant secretary for health affairs and chief medical officer from August 2008 to August 2009.

2020 Corey M. Slovis Award

Winner: Dr. Kenneth A. Scheppke

Dr. Kenneth A. Scheppke

The Corey Slovis Award for Excellence in Education

Kenneth A. Scheppke, MD, is board-certified in EMS and emergency medicine. He has been practicing emergency medicine for over 20 years and is the State EMS Medical Director for the Florida Department of Health. He is also the EMS medical director for six fire-rescue agencies in Palm Beach County, FL, including Palm Beach Gardens, Palm Beach County, West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, the Town of Palm Beach and Greenacres. For more than 15 years he has trained paramedics and EMTs as medical director for the Palm Beach State College EMS Academy.