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 9-1-1 system medical directors across the nation.
About the Name of the Award’s Namesake:
Simply stated, Michael Keys Copass, M.D. is seen globally as the quintessential EMS Medical Director. For the past three and a half decades, he has operationally stewarded the medical elements of the most heralded EMS system worldwide (the Seattle Fire Department Medic One Program) and he has done so in an extremely intensive, hands-on manner, initially as the program’s first Deputy Medical Director and Director of Paramedic Training, and later as its primary Medical Director, a position he still holds today. As the recognized gold standard among EMS medical directors, he has also served as an ultimate role model, both directly and indirectly, for many successful EMS medical directors around the globe. In addition to its perennial ground-breaking research efforts and many on-going innovative program modifications, the City of Seattle EMS program has hosted many hundreds of official representatives from communities around the globe. As a result, Medic One has directly made an impact upon the emergency medical care, operational performance and life-saving effectiveness of innumerable EMS systems in the United States and abroad. In turn, this tremendous public service has led to the salvaging of thousands and thousands of lives each year on many continents. Though they deserve much of the credit themselves, the supportive residents of the city of Seattle and the dedicated members of the Seattle Fire Department (SFD) – including the visionary and very brilliant original founder and Medical Director of the SFD Medic One Paramedic Program, Dr. Leonard Cobb – all attribute much of their own successes and effectiveness to Dr. Copass’ untiring and extremely compulsive pursuit of unparalleled excellence in medical care as well as his resolute focus on responsible education, integrity in research, and, of course, his unwavering compassion for patients, their families, and, above all, their immediate and long term well-being.
Michael Keys Copass , M.D.
Left Panel - Michael Copass and “Portable 55” (walkie-talkie radio) circa 1980 at Harborview Hospital in Seattle;
Middle Panel - Dr. Copass with EMS Leader, Dr Raymond Fowler (left);
Right Panel - Seattle Medic One response unit.
Michael Keys Copass Award Recipients*
John Jui, MD
Dr Jui is the EMS Medical Director for Multnomah County (City of Portand, Gresham, Port of Portland, AMR Multnomah County, Multnomah County 911 Dispatch), Professor of Emergency Medicine OHSU, and Medical Director of Oregon State Police, United States Forest Service Region 6 Incident Medical Specialist and Redmond and North Cascade Smoke Jumpers. He is also the Deputy Team Leader of the federal Oregon 2 Disaster Medical Assistance Team (OR2-DMAT).
He is board-certified in emergency medicine, internal medicine, and infectious disease and has a Masters in Public Health (epidemiology). He has had a long standing interest in population based research and has been a co-investigator on a number of national scientific investigations including Rapid Early Action for Coronary Treatment (REACT), Public Access Defibrillation 1 Trial (PAD1), Emergency ID Network, Sudden Unexpected Death Syndrome, and Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium.
2012 David Keseg, MD
Dr. David P. Keseg M.D. FACEP is a Residency Trained and Board Certified Emergency Physician who has practiced Emergency Medicine for over 33 years. He has served as Medical Director of the Columbus Division of Fire for over 26 years. He is also Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine for The Ohio State University and Director of the EMS Fellowship Program there.
He is a proud member of The U.S. Metropolitan Municipalities EMS Medical Directors Consortium or EAGLES coalition. He has authored numerous articles on EMS care as well as been a speaker at many EMS conferences.
2011 Terry Valenzuela, MD
Mark Eckstein, MD
2009 David E. Persse, MD
Dr. Persse's career in medicine started with ten years experience as a field paramedic and paramedic instructor in upstate New York and New Jersey. After receiving his pre-med training at Columbia University in New York, he then attended Georgetown University School of Medicine. Graduating with honors in emergency medicine from Georgetown, Dr. Persse then completed residency training in emergency medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California, one of southern California's busiest trauma centers and paramedic base stations. During residency, he was already involved in several key resuscitation and prehospital care research projects, including laboratory and clinical investigations of pharmacological interventions used in advanced cardiac life support (ACLS).
After residency, Dr. Persse completed a resuscitation research fellowship at the Ohio State University where he pursued several laboratory projects relating to defibrillation, invasive monitoring, ventricular fibrillation waveform analysis and neuroprotection, both during and following resuscitation. Dr. Persse was then awarded a grant from the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine and completed fellowship training in emergency medical services and resuscitation at the Baylor College of Medicine and the City of Houston Emergency Medical Services program. During this fellowship, he was instrumental in establishing and managing one of the world's largest cardiac arrest databases. He also became involved in studies regarding pediatric injury prevention, the use of warning lights and sirens, criteria for waiving resuscitation in the field and neurologic outcome after resuscitation from cardiac arrest. He continues to be actively involved in paramedic education, both locally and nationally. Dr. Persse has served as an examination writer and reviewer for the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians.
Following his EMS fellowship Dr. Persse became the Assistant Medical Director for the Emergency Medical Services system of Houston, overseeing field operations and clinical research trials. He then moved to California to become the Medical Director of the Los Angeles County Paramedic Training Institute, and the Assistant Medical Director of the Los Angeles County EMS Agency. In 1996 Dr. Persse returned to Houston to assume the role of the Director of Emergency Medical Services for the City of Houston. In May of 2004 he was appointed by City Council as Houston’s Public Health Authority. In his role as Public Health Authority Dr. Persse is responsible for the medical aspects of clinical care quality management, disease control and public health preparedness. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the South East Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council and the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians.
Dr, Copass presenting the award to Dr. Persse
Photo courtesy of Scott Cravens, Publisher EMS Magazine
Jim is Professor Emeritus (Emergency Medicine) at the UCSD School of Medicine and the City of San Diego EMS Medical Director. He attended Syracuse University (Chemistry) and Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and completed a medicine residency at UCSD Medical Center. He has been a member of the UCSD Dept. of Emergency Medicine and involved in EMS since 1980. Jim was a San Diego Life Flight helicopter physician (1980-86), founded the UCSD EM residency (1988) and championed the creation of the San Diego regional STEMI, stroke and public access to defibrillation programs. He developed the San Diego Serial Inebriate Program (SIP) and the EMS-based Resource Access Program (RAP) to address chronic alcoholics and other high EMS users. He is a co-investigator in the NIH ROC trials and serves as an emergency medicine expert at the National Quality Forum. His research currently seeks to exploit EMS systems and health information technology to develop population-based healthcare solutions. He won the SAEM National Faculty CPC Competition (1996), and received the UCSD Chancellor’s Award (2006), the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness Pursuit of Solutions Research Award (2007), the Michael K. Copass Award (2007), the UCSD Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award (2010) and an EMS Innovator Award (2013). The San Diego County Medical Society has recognized Jim as a Top (EM) Doc seven times. His wife Renee is a nurse; they have 3 sons.
S. Marshal Isaacs, M.D.
At the start of the new fiscal year for the City of Dallas, Dallas City Manager, Mary Suhm, along with City of Dallas Director of Medical Emergency Services, Dr. Paul Pepe, and newly-appointed Dallas Fire Chief, Eddie Burns, Sr., made a major surprise announcement disclosing the appointment of Dr. Marshal Isaacs as Medical Director for the 2,000 member Dallas Fire Rescue Department. A nationally recognized EMS medical authority, Dr. Isaacs had been the longstanding Medical Director for the San Francisco Fire Department (SFFD).
In addition to his DFR duties, Dr. Isaacs will serve as a senior Attending Physician and Faculty Member in Emergency Medicine (EM) at the Parkland Hospital Emergency-Trauma Center and as a full Professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. He has already received the highest level evaluations from the resident staff and he has become a Co-Investigator for the Dallas site in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Resuscitations Outcomes Consortium (the ROC).
Following his formal training, Dr. Isaacs then joined the faculty of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine. Based as a faculty member and attending EM physician at the county’s sole level I trauma center, San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH), Soon thereafter (1994), Dr. Isaacs was asked to assume the role of Medical Director for the City’s Paramedic Division (a health department service at that time).
In July, 1997, the San Francisco Department of Public Health Paramedic Division and the SFFD were merged into a single agency and Dr. Isaacs had the honor of serving as the Medical Director for San Francisco’s re-organized EMS operational agency. Until his recruitment this year to Dallas, he served as the SFFD Medical Director for those dozen years with outstanding reviews from city officials, paramedics, firefighters and colleagues alike. During his 12-year tenure with the City of San Francisco, he received multiple kudos for advances in patient care, prehospital care research, and proliferation of AEDs throughout the community.
Joseph P. Ornato, M.D.
JOSEPH P. ORNATO, M.D., is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia. He is also Medical Director of the Richmond Ambulance Authority, the Prehospital Paramedic System serving the City of Richmond, Virginia.
Born in New Haven, Connecticut, he graduated from Boston University Medical School magna cum laude and completed his training in Internal Medicine at New York City's Mount Sinai Hospital and in Cardiology at New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center. He is triple board certified (Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Emergency Medicine).
Dr. Ornato is an active researcher in the field of cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Dr. Ornato is American Editor of the journal Resuscitation and is on the editorial board of the American Journal of Emergency Medicine. He is past Chairman of the American Heart Association's National Emergency Cardiac Care Committee and the AHA Advanced Cardiac Life Support Subcommittee. He is the American Heart Association’s national representative to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's National Heart Attack Alert Program's Coordinating Committee and he is Chairman of its Science Base Subcommittee. Dr. Ornato is also a Special Consultant to the Circulatory System Devices Panel of the Food and Drug Administration. He chaired the National Steering Committee on the joint-sponsored National Institutes of Health/American Heart Association/Industry Public Access Defibrillation International Randomized Clinical Trial. He is currently Co-Chair of the NIH’s $50M Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (ROC) project, with responsibility for overseeing all prehospital CPR clinical trial research in the 10 US and Canadian sites.
Peter H. Moyer, M.D.
Dr. Peter Moyer trained NYC EMS paramedics from 1976 thru 1984. He was chairman of the NYC EMS Medical Advisory Committee during that time. From 1984 through 1986 Dr. Moyer was medical director of Boston EMS. From 1984 through 2000 he was chair of emergency medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. He is currently professor and chair emeritus at BUSM.
Since 2000 Dr. Moyer has been medical director of Boston EMS, Fire and Police.
He has been involved in the establishment of stroke and STEMI centers in Boston.
Raymond L. Fowler, M.D.
RAYMOND L. FOWLER, M.D., has been involved in EMS as a leading educator, medical supervisor and political advocate for more than two decades. He currently serves as Assocate Professor, Emergency Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; and as the Deputy Medical Director for Operations, Dallas Area BioTel (EMS) System. He has also served as the Medical Director for the Fulton County (Atlanta, Georgia) Fire/EMS program as well as Medical Director for the Douglas County Fire/EMS as well as the Mid-Georgia Ambulance Service.
He is widely-regarded as an outstanding speaker and a public leader in the field of EMS. In addition to serving as President of the Georgia College of Emergency Physicians and as a perennial member (since 1980) of the State of Georgia EMS Advisory Council, he was the second elected National President of the National Association of EMS Physicians and he was also a co-founder and senior faculty member of the National EMS Medical Director’s Course.
In addition to his EMS activities, Dr. Fowler has been a longstanding and talented emergency physician who has also served as an emergency department director and manager. Today, he remains one of the most popular and respected emergency physicians of his generation and as a legendary leader in EMS education and quality assurance.
Leonard A. Cobb, M.D.
James M. Atkins, M.D.
Dr. Atkins graduated from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Texas and performed his internship and residency in internal medicine and his subspecialty training in cardiology at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Atkins has had a long-term interest in cardiac arrest and the care of acute myocardial infarction having written several papers and chapters on these issues. He has been involved in the American Heart Association at the national and local levels having worked on several revisions of the standards for resuscitation from cardiac arrest and the management of acute myocardial infarction. Dr. Atkins has also been involved with the American College of Cardiology Emergency Care Committee for many years. Dr. Atkins was medical director of the paramedic system in Dallas County for 27 years. He was chairman of the accreditation body that accredits paramedic training programs (Committee on Accreditation of Emergency Medical Services Professions). He was involved with the National Heart Attack Alert Program of the NHLBI for the entire 12 years of the program and has chaired the Access to Care Subcommittee and the Executive Committee of the NHAAP. This program tries to educate both lay and professionals to reduce the time to treatment of individuals having a heart attack. He is a Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and works as a cardiologist at Parkland Memorial Hospital, St. Paul Hospital, Dallas VA Hospital, and Zale-Lipshy Hospital. He has received special awards for his service in the area from the American Heart Association, the Food and Drug Administration, and the NHLBI.
*Winners of the Michael Keys Copass 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.