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Geisinger emergency physicians among first 200 in U.S. to receive EMS Board Certification

CONTACT: Matthew Van Stone: 570-808-3248
May 6, 2014

DANVILLE, Pa. – Douglas F. Kupas, MD, FACEP, and David J. Schoenwetter, DO, recently became two of only 201 physicians in the country to receive EMS Board Certification by passing the first certification exam for physicians in Emergency Medical Services (EMS). EMS is a medical subspecialty that deals with the medical oversight of ambulance agencies and the pre-hospital care of patients directly in the field.

According to the American Board of Emergency Medicine, the purpose of EMS subspecialty certification is to standardize physician training and qualifications for EMS practice, improve patient safety and enhance the quality of emergency medical care provided to patients in the pre-hospital environment, and facilitate further integration of pre-hospital patient treatment into the continuum of patient care. 
“This new board certification is an important final step in recognizing a specialized knowledge, skill and experience needed to provide patient care in the unique situations that occur outside the hospital,” said Dr. Kupas. “In addition to providing medical expertise to EMTs and paramedics by radio and telephone, Geisinger physicians provide direct patient care in the field with local EMS agencies and LifeFlight, at mass gathering events like the Bloomsburg Fair, as medical support for tactical law enforcement agencies and in preparing for and responding to mass casualty incidents and disasters.”

Geisinger emergency physicians provide EMS medical direction for the EMTs and paramedics of 29 EMS agencies and more than 600 EMS providers in central and northeast Pennsylvania.

Dr. Schoenwetter is the medical director for EMS Programs and LifeFlight at Geisinger. Dr. Kupas is the medical director for Danville Ambulance Service and the Commonwealth EMS Medical Director for the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Both physicians started their medical careers as paramedics, and in addition to administrative duties, both respond to treat patients in the field as parts of their roles with Geisinger.
About Geisinger Health System
Geisinger Health System is an integrated health services organization widely recognized for its innovative use of the electronic health record, and the development of innovative care models such as ProvenHealth Navigator® and ProvenCare®. As the nation’s largest rural health services organization, Geisinger serves more than 2.6 million residents throughout 44 counties in central and northeastern Pennsylvania. The physician-led system is comprised of more than 20,800 employees, including a 1,000-member multi-specialty group practice, eight hospital campuses, two research centers and a 450,000-member health plan, all of which leverage an estimated $6.1 billion positive impact on the Pennsylvania economy. The health system and the health plan have repeatedly garnered national accolades for integration, quality and service. In addition to fulfilling its patient care mission, Geisinger has a long-standing commitment to medical education, research and community service. For more information, visit, or follow the latest Geisinger news and more on Twitter and  Facebook.

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