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The EMS Today Show: Mike Taigman Speaks on Stress Management in the Age of COVID-19

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JEMS Editor Emeritus A.J. Heightman talks with EMS visionary, researcher and educator extraordinaire Mike Taigman about living with stress and stress management in EMS, which has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Mike and his wife Sascha recently released their insightful book “Super-Charge Your Stress Management in the Age of COVID-19.”

Mike Taigman is the leading expert in improvement science, resilience, and stress management at First Watch based out of Carlsbad, California. Mike’s broad experience helps him turn data into actionable information, helps teams build their resilience using our neuroscience-based ResilientFirst system, and teaches stress management techniques that can be used by anyone anywhere.

Mike facilitated the development of EMS Agenda 2050 a vision for EMS in America 30 years in the future. Inspired by the “people centered” aspect of Agenda 2050, Mike works with some of the world leading physicians and researchers to bring evidenced-based leadership, education and practices to the EMS industry. These practices help create organizations where employees are resilient, joyful, thriving, and providing compassionate care during long careers.

As a young street paramedic in Denver, Mike honed his clinical skills caring for patients and helping new paramedics learn to provide solid clinical care with kindness and compassion.

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As a popular conference educator, author of more than 600 articles in professional journals, an associate professor in the graduate program in emergency health services management at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and an associate adjunct professor in the master’s program in healthcare administration and interprofessional leadership at the University of California San Francisco, Mike has focused on helping professionals save more lives, reduce suffering, and be more effective leaders.

As a consultant, Mike has worked with EMS, fire, and public health in 48 of the 50 states, most of the Canadian provinces, Israel, Palestine, Australia and throughout Europe. His expertise includes EMS street survival, patient centered leadership, effective quality/performance improvement, and resiliency. He holds a master’s degree in organizational systems and is frequently part of the faculty for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

Mike’s wife Sascha Liebowitz is an accomplished writer and author of “Living Every Minute of It,” a blog about living each day with patience, tolerance, kindness and love towards oneself and others. A former New York lawyer, Sascha now lives in California focusing on family, writing, and being of service to others. She holds a BA from Columbia College and a JD from New York University School of Law.

This episode of the EMS Today Show, and Mike and Sascha’s book “Super-Charge Your Stress Management in the Age of COVID-19,” will give you important tools to develop and maintain resiliency and get through this difficult time in your EMS career.

In a testimonial about the book, Donald M. Berwick, MD, MPP, President Emeritus and Senior Fellow, Institute for Healthcare Improvement said it best, “Managing … stress is a continual task for the healing professions—more challenging perhaps in the era of COVID-19, but, frankly, always with us.”

Dr. Berwick goes on to say that the book “draws on a wide library of science, teachings, and experience and distills it all into a readable and useful collection of practical, attractive techniques. Each one seems not only promising, but frankly, fun.”

His concluding remark really sums up why a book by Mike Taigman will be so helpful to emergency service personnel: “This book brings optimism and oxygen at a time when we badly need both.”