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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


EMS Week 2016: Honoring those who Help Protect Health and Keep our Health Care System Strong

Author: Nicole Lurie, MD, MSPH, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response & Edward J. Gabriel, MPA, EMT-P, CEM, CBCP, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Published Date: 5/17/2016 4:30:00 PM
Category: Observances; Public Health Preparedness; Response & Recovery;

This week, May 15-21, 2016, we celebrate our Emergency Medical Services (EMS) professionals. The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) would like to take a moment to personally thank all EMS professionals for the essential role they play in protecting the health of our nation each and every day.

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Accidental Death and Disability: The Neglected Disease of Modern Society, the seminal work regarded by many as the catalyst for the development of modern day emergency medical services in the United States. This year also marks the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the EMS Agenda for the Future, another milestone that charted a path for the continued evolution of EMS and guided many of the changes of the past two decades.

We have not solved all of the challenges identified in 1966—or even in 1996—and our society now faces new risks and hazards not contemplated all those years ago. However, we have made tremendous strides. We have seen extraordinary advances in the pre-hospital care of trauma patients, improvements in the care of the victims of sudden cardiac arrest, and have seen exciting demonstrations of how EMS can expand roles to improve the health of the population. These advances translate into better care and healthier communities.

This week, we celebrate not only the EMS practitioners who selflessly serve us today, but those pioneers who built the foundation upon which our current system sits, as well as those who dedicate their work to further advance the field of EMS. Your work is an essential component of the health care system and your continued dedication to the field strengthens the health of Americans each day.

So from all of us here at ASPR, Thank you for your caring, your compassion, and your commitment.


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