COLUMBUS, OH — Douglas F. Kupas, MD, FAEMS, FACEP, was recognized with the 2020 Rocco V. Morando Lifetime Achievement Award for his lifetime of commitment, contributions and leadership to Emergency Medical Services (EMS). The award is NAEMT’s most prestigious and is generously sponsored by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (National Registry). The presentation was made during NAEMT’s annual General Membership Meeting held virtually on Sep. 15.
Dr. Kupas is director of Mobile Integrated Healthcare for Geisinger Health System, his professional home for the past 30 years. He is an EMS physician, Professor of Emergency Medicine, Resuscitologist and the EMS Medical Director for the State of Pennsylvania for the past 20 years. A board-certified emergency physician subspecializing in EMS, Dr. Kupas is an avid researcher and passionate advocate for EMS practitioner and patient safety. His clinical interests include CPR, hypothermia, end-of-life care, EMS patient and practitioner safety and EMS airway management.
National Registry Board Chair Heather Davis said, “For Dr. Kupas, like Rocco Morando, there is no such thing as status quo. We are either getting better or we’re getting worse. Both of these gentlemen are about using their gifts of wisdom and innovation, and the care they provide to patients, to make EMS better for both patients and providers.”
Dr. Kupas’s EMS career began 40 years ago when he joined Lower Kiski Ambulance Services in Leechburg, PA, on his 16th birthday as a volunteer. He later became a paramedic and then a physician. He earned his medical degree from Thomas Jefferson University and completed his residency and emergency medicine residency at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA.
Since then, he has only moved forward. Dr. Kupas serves as the associate chief academic officer for Geisinger’s Medical Student and Resident Affairs, assistant dean for medical student affairs at the Temple University School of Medicine at the Geisinger Clinical Campus, and an associate at Geisinger’s Department of Emergency Medicine. He is a member of many local, state and national organizations and has numerous honors, awards and publications to his credit, including development of an anonymous patient safety event reporting system.
NAEMT President Matt Zavadsky said, “Dr. Kupas has had a ‘storybook’ EMS career beginning as a volunteer at the age of 16. He has revolutionized EMS throughout his career, leading advanced in cardiac care, breaking bad news to families of cardiac arrest victims, helping to advance mobile integrated healthcare and ambulance safety and operations. It is a privilege to bestow this honor to Dr. Kupas!”
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