healthcare resources wasted when he believes
we can handle these patients more effectively.
He’d like to see his system evolve to a point
where we have alternatives to transporting all
patients to the hospital.
He’d also like to see connectivity in the
community increase, with a heightened awareness of the resources available. Dunford also
hopes to see traditional, hospital-based care
for seniors become more effective at home.
“The motivation of everything I do comes
from 35 years of seeing just how messed up
the healthcare system is for vulnerable people,”
He has no shortage of passion or ideas to
improve the industry he so nobly serves. His
is a career EMS providers will continue to fol-
low as the James O. Page/JEMS Leadership
Award is neither the first nor likely the last
honor he will receive. The EMS community
owes its gratitude to Dunford’s college friend
who inspired the path he’s on. We’re all just
glad he picked people instead of algae. JEMS
Lauren Crosby, NREMT, is a freelance writer and a former
editor of JEMS.
1. City of San Diego. (n.d.) About SDPHB. Project Heart Beat. Retrieved
Feb. 9, 2017, from www.sandiego.gov/sdprojectheartbeat/about.
2. Coffman J. (Jan. 23, 2017.) Evaluation of California’s community paramedicine pilot program. Healthforce Center at
UCSF. Retrieved Feb. 13, 2017, from https://healthforce.
3. CSH. (June 15, 2015.) Project 25: Housing homeless reduces costs. Corporation for Supportive Housing.
Retrieved Feb. 15, 2017, from www.csh.org/2015/06/
IN GOOD COMPANY
Each year JEMS presents the James O.
Page/JEMS Leadership Award, named for
founding publisher James O. Page. Like the
accomplishments of its namesake, the award
honors individuals or agencies in EMS who
have improved the industry or brought about
change, often through tenacious efforts.
The 2016 recipient of the award was the
NEMSMA Practitioner Mental Health and
Wellbeing Committee for their efforts to
fight stress, depression and suicidal thoughts
in the EMS workforce.
This year, James Dunford, MD, was nominated by SDFD Paramedic Carolyn Gates.
Gates selected Dunford for the many accomplishments she’s observed under his medical
direction in San Diego.
“His career is so vast and distinguished, yet
he remains such a humble man,” says Gates.
She admires his down-to-earth approach and
recalls him lying on his back in a classroom
to help demonstrate a new technique for the
Valsalva maneuver. Gates also promotes his
far-reaching impact, saying that trying to
name all the programs Dunford has cham-
pioned would be like “trying to understand
War and Peace from the CliffsNotes.”
One of the things Gates appreciates most
is that Dunford is one of the most genuine
men she has ever met. She calls him kind
and caring. It has been a joy for her to watch
Dunford interact with her students, and she
believes it takes a special kind of medical
director to devote the care he does to edu-
cation, “the kind of man deserving of the
James O. Page/JEMS Leadership Award.”