Our Taylor & Francis Online search bar background has recently changed and depicts the view over Washington D.C. and the famous Washington Memorial from Holland and Knight, the hosts of April’s Government Relations Academy for National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP).
But what exactly is going on in the photos? What other advocacy work has the society carried out? And what advice does Dr. Brent Myers, the President of NAEMSP, have for early career researchers considering joining a society? Read on for the full story behind the picture.
Please can you tell us a little about the Government Relations Academy that we’ve been photographing. How did this event start? Who is it aimed at?
The Government Relations Academy was established last year by members of NAEMSP’s Advocacy Committee in order to provide members with a more sophisticated understanding of the relationship between EMS issues, policy, and advocacy. After the academy’s greatly successful first year, this April we were fortunate to see a doubling in attendance, demonstrating an increase in member engagement on the policies that impact their patients. Our members are extremely knowledgeable and passionate and so one of our key government affairs related goals is to ensure that interested NAEMSP members possess the necessary skills to influence policy to improve patient care and allow EMS providers to perform their jobs in more ideal circumstances.
What other advocacy work do you carry out as a society, and why is advocacy so important to NAEMSP?
NAEMSP’s advocacy efforts to promote and influence best practices in EMS are continuous, primarily at the national level. This includes engagement of a top tier Washington D.C. lobbying firm, cooperation with other national organizations when our interests align, and frequent travel of NAEMSP leadership to D.C. to meet with legislative staff and elected officials. Through our state chapters, we also support local and state advocacy efforts. Although we focus on federal advocacy as an association, giving our members the tools needed to be effective advocates on a local level is a priority.
NAEMSP is hard at work in D.C. but our members are also capable of being very powerful advocates for change in their own communities. EMS providers know better than perhaps anyone that one person - particularly when they’re knowledgeable, dedicated, and supported by a team or organization - can make a crucial difference. Empowering members to be patient advocates can make a real difference in their local communities and it furthers NAEMSP’s efforts to improve patient outcomes and the circumstances in which EMS providers perform their jobs.
In addition to advocacy work, NAEMSP also has a blog, a society journal Prehospital Emergency Care and an accompanying podcast. How do these help to carry out the society’s mission?
One of the fundamental goals of our association is to ensure patients in the care of EMS systems receive evidence-based care to produce optimal outcomes. Our peer-reviewed journal, Prehospital Emergency Care, is considered one of the preeminent emergency medicine journals. It has emerged as a primary resource for those in the emergency medicine discipline to engage with and learn from the ever-growing body of practice knowledge. We also publish a podcast and blog, which, along with our website and annual meeting, serve as vehicles to share information with members and the greater medical community. All of these serve NAEMSP’s true mission: to provide leadership and foster excellence in EMS.
What advice would you give to an early career researcher considering joining a learned society like NAEMSP?
Finding the necessary resources to help in your career growth can be a challenge. A recent survey to our membership found that the majority joined NAEMSP because the educational opportunities help them do their jobs better. Not to mention the community aspect of joining NAEMSP: you’ll find like-minded professionals that understand all that is involved in the EMS world. NAEMSP is home to members at all career levels, inclusive of providers in-training, pre-hospital providers, physicians, and other interested parties. Our committee structure is open, meaning any member is welcome to join and learn more about areas of interest. Those interested in future leadership within NAEMSP, as well as in their careers, can follow a path of committee involvement to board level positions.