Pinnacle Conference recognizes, honors EMS leaders

EMS professionals Hunt, Page and Zuschlag were honored for their impact in the EMS service

SAN ANTONIO — Three EMS leaders were honored with awards last week at the 11th annual Pinnacle EMS Leadership Forum, a national conference for senior EMS leaders representing all types of service delivery. 

Richard Hunt, MD, Senior Medical Advisor at National Healthcare Preparedness Programs, David Page, M.S., Director of the Prehospital Care Research Forum at UCLA and Richard Zuschlag, Founder and CEO of Acadian Ambulance Service, were each recognized for their exemplary work helping to advance EMS as a profession.  

Hunt received the Joseph P. Ornato Award for Clinical Leadership in EMS. The award—named after the luminary professor, researcher and medical director for the Richmond Ambulance Authority —is presented each year to an individual who exemplifies both an unwavering commitment and an innovative approach to advancing clinical leadership in EMS. 

Richard Zuschlag (left) is honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by Jay Fitch. (Photo/Pinnacle)
Richard Zuschlag (left) is honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by Jay Fitch. (Photo/Pinnacle)

“Rick is a natural leader, and it springs from a patient-centered approach to every job he’s ever taken, whether at the CDC, the White House, or as a medical director,” Keith Griffiths, a long-time colleague of Dr. Hunt said as he presented the award. 

Dr. Hunt serves as Senior Medical Advisor for the National Healthcare Preparedness Programs in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Previously, Dr. Hunt was Distinguished Consultant and Director of the Division of Injury Response at the National Center for Injury Prevention Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Page was presented with the Pinnacle EMS Leadership Award. Presented each year, the award recognizes an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to advancing the EMS profession through a leadership role.

“David has been the inspiration behind the Freedom House EMT training initiative, providing opportunities for individuals from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds to enter the EMS field,” Jay Fitch, PhD, founding partner of Fitch & Associates said. “Pinnacle recognizes the importance of this program and Page’s leadership to make it a reality.”  

Page is the director of the Prehospital Care Research Forum at UCLA. He has over 30 years of active service in EMS and continues to work as a field paramedic for Allina Health EMS in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area.

 Zuschlag was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. This award, presented only once before in Pinnacle history, recognizes an individual who has made a significant impact on EMS over his or her career.

“At his core, Richard is an innovator — and some of those innovations have truly shaped our profession,” Fitch said. “Much of Acadian’s focus on service, growth and innovation has been a result of Richard’s ideas, business sense and tenacity.”

Richard Zuschlag founded Acadian Ambulance in 1971 after working for Greenville Broadcasting Company and Westinghouse Electric Company Space and Defense Center. Acadian now employs more than 4,000 people, providing ambulance services as well as security, training and more

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