The Beginning, 1996 - 1997
Concept Meeting at EMS Today '96 (March 1996) - An informal meeting of persons interested in EMS quality assurance was held in March of 1996 at the EMS Today Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The meeting focused on the idea for the formation of a national EMS quality assurance association. The meeting, organized by Mike Miriovski, was publicized by simply posting flyers around the convention center. Approximately 25 people came to the hour and a half meeting. By the end of the meeting, it was clear that those in attendance believed an organization of this nature would be very beneficial.
National EMS QI Conference (November 1996) - Building on the momentum and encouragement from the Albuquerque meeting, a National EMS QI Conference was held in Chicago, Illinois on November 1-2, 1996. Again, with only scant resources available, marketing of the meeting was quite limited. However, 35 people from across the United States attended. On the afternoon of the second day, time was set aside to determine if a formal organization should be created. Sixteen people attended (which were subsequently referred to as the Chicago 16) and expressed their desire to move ahead with the project. A mission statement and visioning session was conducted. People were assigned to various committees to prepare for the first official meeting, which was to be held in March of 1997 in Cincinnati, Ohio in conjunction with the 1997 EMS Today Conference.
Organizational Development (1996-1997) In the months following the National EMS QI Conference in Chicago, a core group consisting of Mike Miriovsky, Dave Harrawood, Todd LeDuc and Mic Gunderson worked diligently to formally create the organization in preparation for the Cincinnati meeting. Many individuals spent a significant amount of time writing and reviewing bylaws, discussing potential products and services, dealing with membership inquiries and so on. A Board of Directors and officers were elected from among the Chicago 16. These initial terms of office were limited to one year in order to oversee the launch and manage the initial operations of the Association until a traditional membership base could be established and carry on the activities of the new association.
The Quality Era, 1997 - 2003
Board of Directors (March 1997) - The Founding Board of Directors and Officers, serving from 3/97 to 3/98 were:
- President - Todd J. LeDuc, QI Manager, Broward County Fire Rescue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- Vice President - Mic Gunderson, National Quality, Education and Research Director, Rural/Metro Corporation, Scottsdale, Arizona
- Secretary - Mike Miriovsky, QI Coordinator, Lincoln EMS, Inc., Lincoln, Nebraska
- Treasurer - David Harrawood, Quality Improvement Manager, Sarasota County EMS, Sarasota, Florida
- Member At Large - Karen Dutkowski, CQI Coordinator, Salt Lake City Fire Department, Salt Lake City, Utah
- Member At Large - Rosemarie Forster, CQI Coordinator, Milwaukee County EMS, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Member At Large - Al Landry, QI Coordinator, Acadian Ambulance Service Lafayette, Louisiana
First Official Meeting in Cincinnati (March 1997) - At the EMS Today '97 Conference. This was not a formally scheduled event at EMS Today. Those who joined and were at the conference got together to discuss the further development of the Association.
Constrained Development (1998-2002) - Despite a membership base of almost 300 people, the NAEMSQP Board of Directors struggled with development of services for its members and the Association lost much of its early momentum. After a period of time, the Board decided not to ask for membership renewals until it could offer a reasonable package of member services. Without an association management support staff or functional committees to carry out the will of the Board, the association continued to decline.
NAEMSQP Becomes NEMSMA, 2003 - 2006
Reinvention as NEMSMA (2003) - As part of a process for redeveloping and reinventing the Association, the Board of Directors for NAEMSQP voted to approve a change in the focus and name of the Association to serve a broader quality need in the EMS community. The emphasis of the Association to date had been on serving the needs of formally designated EMS quality improvement managers. However, the Board recognized that the philosophy, tools and techniques of quality and performance improvement are valid for every EMS manager who wants to improve their EMS system and the quality of care they provide to patients. Therefore, the name of the Association was changed to the National EMS Management Association (NEMSMA). Its revised mission is to catalyze improvements in the management and performance of EMS processes, organizations and systems.
A New Era (2006) - NEMSMA joins forces with EMS Best Practices, Inc. and launches a membership drive that increases membership to more than 500 for the first time since the late 1990s. New member benefits include an annual subscription to the highly regarded management newsletter, Best Practices in Emergency Services.