New Jersey EMS Council Honors Virtua With Multiple Awards

Virtua, a non-profit healthcare system operating in Southern New Jersey, was honored with five awards by the New Jersey Department of Health Office of Emergency Medical Services and the New Jersey Emergency Medical Services Council. The awards program provides a forum for recognizing and honoring the state’s emergency medical services professionals and citizens for their outstanding service to New Jersey residents and visitors. Winners were announced in Atlantic City on Friday, November 13, 2015. 

“We are honored to receive this recognition from the New Jersey EMS Council and the Department of Health,” said Richard P. Miller, President and CEO of Virtua. “Virtua’s EMS staff are professional men and women who regularly demonstrate their commitment to providing nothing short of extraordinary care each and every time they are called into action. As a result, they are heroes to the many families whose lives are impacted by their selfless actions and dedication.”

The honors received by Virtua and Virtua staff included the following:

Outstanding Private EMS Agency of the Year
Virtua was recognized with the Outstanding Private EMS Agency of the Year Award which honors a privately-owned, currently licensed commercial service that has assumed a leadership role in EMS by achievement in areas of patient care, public access to EMS, disaster preparedness, public education and/or training in New Jersey. As EMS Agency of the Year, Virtua demonstrated a positive image in the community and has taken meaningful and visible steps to assure quality of patient care, professionalism of its personnel and identifying and taking steps to improve the service in areas such as response times, quality improvement programs and continuing education.

Outstanding Paramedic of the Year
One poignant moment during the program was during the presentation of the Outstanding EMS Paramedic of the Year Award which honors a Paramedic or Flight Paramedic who has assumed a leadership role in EMS by achievement in areas of patient care, public access to EMS, disaster preparedness, public education, and/or training. The award was given posthumously to Rebecca “Becky” Scott, of Tabernacle, Burlington County who recently passed away on October 27 after a long battle with cancer. Becky’s family attended the event and accepted the award on her behalf.

Last year, when Becky was diagnosed with breast cancer, she refused to let it put her on the sidelines. A consummate professional, Becky continued to grow and excel as a paramedic and as a human being. Ranking in the 90th percentile for skill competency and proficiency in each of the clinical measures monitored by Virtua EMS, Becky’s quick response to every dispatch reflected her enthusiasm and love for not just her job, but also her profession. Becky overcame her illness and continued her work as a paramedic until her last shift, just 12 days before her death.   

Outstanding EMS Educator of the Year
Deborah “Debbie” McClintock, a Williamstown resident whose healthcare career spans 25 years received the Outstanding EMS Educator of the Year Award which honors a certified EMT instructor, course coordinator or clinical educator who has advanced EMS education in New Jersey through outstanding organization or innovation in the delivery of educational programs to EMS personnel. 

As Virtua’s EMT Training Program Coordinator, Debbie took a well-established EMT program and streamlined it into an exceptional, highly successful model of quality. In addition, she expanded her role by taking on an additional position as coordinator of Virtua’s EMS Medical Oversight Review and Education program which offers continuing education and medical direction to more than 30 basic life support squads in Camden and Burlington counties. In this role, Debbie selflessly puts the education of EMTs at the forefront of her career through her numerous innovative education programs. 

Outstanding EMS Safety Award
The Outstanding EMS Safety Award, which honors an individual or agency who has demonstrated excellence in the area of safety in the field of Emergency Medical Services, was presented to SouthSTAR, Virtua’s medical helicopter service that provides on-scene landings and inter-hospital transfers for New Jersey residents. The Virtua SouthSTAR program is one of the safest air medical programs in the country, utilizing a dual pilot approach and the latest in safety avionics such as FLIR, night vision goggles, anti-collision technology, and countless hours of training and education.

First Place ALS Division – New Jersey Simulation Games
Virtua Paramedics Andrew Ecker and Steve Laramie have been awarded first place in the ALS Division of the New Jersey Simulation Games. "Sim Games" is a clinical competition where teams of Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics compete in real life scenarios that test their abilities to provide high quality patient care under extremely stressful conditions. This is the second year in a row that Virtua paramedics have placed first in the “Sim Games.”

“This is the third consecutive year that individuals from Virtua have been honored with both the Paramedic and EMS Educator of the Year awards by the New Jersey EMS Council, as well as finishing first in the New Jersey ‘Sim Games,’” said Miller. “As the defending ‘Sim Games’ champions, Andrew and Steve are outstanding examples of the excellence in patient care that makes Virtua EMS so strong. This recognition speaks volumes about the high standards of quality medical care that Virtua is committed to providing to the communities we serve throughout Southern New Jersey.”

For more information about the New Jersey EMS Awards, visit: www.njemsconference.com/emsawardsprogram.html 


About Virtua
As one of New Jersey’s largest health systems, Virtua helps people be well, get well and stay well through a comprehensive range of health care services. Services are delivered through three health and wellness centers, two ambulatory care centers, three fitness centers, three acute care hospitals, primary and specialty physician practices with 287 physicians plus 87 additional practitioners, urgent care centers, 11 ambulatory surgery centers, home health services, two long-term care and rehabilitation centers, 12 paramedic units and a wide range of outpatient services. A leader in maternal and child health services, Virtua delivers more than 8,000 babies a year. Virtua also provides employment and wellness services to 1,700 businesses and corporations. An innovator in clinical and information technology such as electronic medical records, Virtua is recognized for its ground-breaking partnerships with GE Healthcare, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and Penn Medicine. Virtua employs more than 8,700 people and has been honored as the #1 Best Place to Work in the Delaware Valley every year since 2007. It is the recipient of the Consumer Choice Award from the National Research Corporation. For more information, visit www.virtua.org or www.virtuabroadcastnetwork.org.