Like other areas of the healthcare continuum, emergency medical services [EMS] is an industry that has undergone considerable evolution in recent years, and more change undoubtedly is on the horizon. St.Charles County Ambulance District [SCCAD] is developing and promoting best practices to integrated community healthcare thanks to Assistant Chief David Lewis, who recently became a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives [ACHE], a national professional society for healthcare leaders.
“The healthcare management field plays a vital role in providing high-quality care to the people in our communities, which makes having a standard of excellence promoted by a professional organization critically important,” says Deborah J. Bowen, FACHE, CAE, president and CEO of ACHE. “By becoming an ACHE Fellow and earning the distinction of board certification from ACHE, healthcare leaders demonstrate a commitment to excellence in serving their patients and community.”
Fellow status represents achievement of the highest standard of professional development. Only 9,100 healthcare executives hold this distinction. Candidates must fulfill multiple requirements, including passing a comprehensive exam, meeting academic and experiential criteria, and demonstrating professional/community involvement. Fellows are also committed to ongoing professional development and undergo recertification every three years.
“Assistant Chief Lewis’s leadership, problem-solving abilities and ability to develop strategic, collaborative solutions to issues in our industry and community make him an invaluable asset to our organization,” said SCCAD Chief Taz Meyer. “His attainment of the ACHE’s Fellow distinction points to his dedication to constant growth and improvement.”
Since his arrival at SCCAD in 2015, Lewis has been instrumental in the development of several new initiatives that see paramedics collaborating with healthcare partners across the community to improve outcomes. Examples include a hospital readmission avoidance program operated in collaboration with Barnes Jewish St. Peters and Progress West Hospitals, and a behavioral health telemedicine partnership with Behavioral Health Response that connects qualifying patients with masters-trained counselors as opposed to routing these individuals to an emergency department.
Lewis also spearheaded the creation of the District’s Substance Use Recovery Response Team. Developed in early 2017 to help those affected by the opiate epidemic, the program received the American Ambulance Association’s Community Impact Award for its unique approach to linking patients with treatment, giving them a chance at recovery.