15th Annual Emergency Medical Services Awards

The Honorees Are…

Awards season is typically in February when the Oscars and the Grammys are handed out.  You could debate The Life of Pi was more deserving than Argo or why Taylor Swift didn’t get another Record of the Year but there is no debating the value and contributions of San Francisco’s Emergency Medical Services Agency (EMSA).

During the 15th Annual EMSA Awards Ceremony awards were presented to outstanding individuals for their commitment to emergency medical care.  The honorees are:

Jonathan Baxter, EMT-P
EMS Field Provider Award

Jonathan Baxter is recognized for his years of outstanding service, patient advocacy and promotion of new technologies for EMS.  As an eleven year emergency services veteran, Jonathan joined the San Francisco Fire Department in 2000 and dedicated his career to taking on tough assignments.  At Fire Station 18 he served on the Surf Rescue Unit.  Since 2009, Jonathan has volunteered to work out of Fire Station One- one of the busiest in the nation.   At each station he was recognized for his work and received Meritorious Conduct Awards from the Fire Commission. In addition to his service, Jonathan contributed to projects to streamline patient care documentation and improve patient assessment.

Tae-Wol Stanley, MSN, RN, FNP
Shannon Smith-Bernardin, MSN, RN
Community Members of the Year Award

Tae-Wol Stanley and Shannon Smith receive this award for for years of meritorious service to the chronically homeless.  The Department of Public Health’s Sobering Center is a twelve bed facility that provides thousands of homeless and medically frail clients with sobering, detox and medical respite services. Ninety percent of patient encounters in the Sobering Center result in a discharge to self-care or a shelter, which significantly decreases the impact on EMS, emergency departments and jails.

As the Clinic Director, Tae-Wol manages its programs, budget, and 35 employees. Tae-Wol has also overseen the expansion of the center to field clinics during citywide special events.  In her role as Intake and Sobering Coordinator, Shannon transitioned the staff from LVNs to a mix of RNs and MEAs, wrote its clinical practice guidelines, and designed its referral system.

Jonathan D. Garber, MD
EMS System Hospital Provider Award

As the Chief of Emergency at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center since 1997, Dr. Jonathan Garber has grown the department to include more than 40 physicians and 90 residents. He is highly regarded by his colleagues and students and has been awarded the title of Master Clinician.

Dr. Garber has also been instrumental in helping the VA become more prepared.  Under his leadership, the VA has hosted disaster exercises, created the only helipad in the city, and stored a pharmaceutical cache for prophylaxis during a pandemic disease outbreak. Other innovations and improvements include specialty center designation, inter-hospital communications, ACLS courses, and co-sponsoring an EMS fellowship.

Stephen La Plante, EMT
Raymond Lim Excellence in EMS Award

Stephen La Plante receives this award for his steadfast presence and decades of labor to improve and advance public health, EMS and medical disaster preparedness in San Francisco.  Prior to his retirement in February, Steve was San Francisco’s EMS Administrator.  During his term EMSA hired new staff, wrote a five year strategic master plan, created a program for STEMI and cardiac arrest receiving centers, and reinstated the Exclusive Operating Area that defines the quality and nature of 9-1-1 response to EMS calls.

Steve also contributed to San Francisco’s overall resilience by acquiring a tremendous cache of equipment, including disaster trailers, warehoused medical supplies and pharmaceuticals, and a robust communications system for EMS field providers and between hospitals. These items may serve a critical role should the need arise for rapid deployment of field clinics.

The Department of Emergency Management salutes these outstanding men and women and thanks them for their contributions.


Photos of this year’s EMS Awards recipients:

EMS Awards Group ShotGarcia and EMS AwardeeGarcia with awardee 2Steve and Dr BrownEMS Award Group shotWoman accepting EMS award


About sfdemkristin

A strong believer that we are more prepared than we think, Kristin advocates it is not a looming disaster that inspires us to prepare, but rather the peace of mind that comes from having taken a few simple steps in advance of an emergency to take care of our loved ones. Kristin can be found on Twitter @kristinlhogan.

Posted on July 1, 2013, in Access and Functional Needs, EMS, SF Heroes, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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