2007 National Heroes Awards Recipients


On June 19, during the Annual EMSC Grantee Meeting in Washington, DC, six individuals received a 2007 National Heroes Award for their commitment, creativity, and resourcefulness in successfully addressing one or more challenging Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) issues.

The recipients include:

Marianne Gausche-Hill, MD
2007 EMSC Lifetime Achievement Award

The recipient of the 2007 EMSC Lifetime Achievement Award, Marianne Gausche-Hill, MD has devoted a significant part of her life to promoting and advancing pediatric emergency care. Her contributions to the field have forever changed the manner in which we care for children throughout the entire continuum of care. She is what one nominator described as a “quintuple threat”— a great clinician, a skilled educator, an accomplished researcher and productive writer, an effective leader, and finally, a passionate advocate.

Dr. Gausche-Hill has achieved the rank of professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She serves as the director of Emergency Medical Services, the EMS Fellowship, and the Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship Program for the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. In addition to her academic work, she also maintains an active practice of emergency medicine at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Torrance.

She is an author of numerous textbook chapters, journal articles, and other educational media. Of special note is her longstanding leadership for both the APLS and PEPP programs.

As a researcher, Dr. Gausche-Hill has been the principal or co-investigator on several notable clinical studies in the field, including the pre-hospital airway management project published in JAMA. More recently, she completed an ambitious assessment of emergency department preparedness for pediatric emergencies and an evaluation of pediatric readiness guideline implementation and quality of care.

She has promoted the interests of children and EMSC within such national organizations as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Emergency Physicians, the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, and the American Board of Emergency Medicine. She has participated on numerous EMSC grant review panels, task forces, advisory committees, and various working groups. The products of these efforts have ranged from Guidelines for Pediatric Equipment and Supplies for BLS & ALS Ambulances to the Guidelines for Emergency Department Preparedness for Children.

Sue Fuchs, MD
2007 EMSC Advisory Board Member Award

Sue Fuchs, MD is the recipient of the 2007 EMSC Advisory Board Member Award. This award recognizes an advisory council member who works collaboratively with EMSC at the state level and has taken on a leadership role to improve pediatric emergency care in one or more states.

Dr. Fuchs is a highly-regarded clinical researcher and an expert in the field of pediatric emergency medicine. For the last two decades she has worked as an emergency or attending physician at two prominent children’s hospitals: Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh and Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. No matter where she worked, she immediately became a driving force for pediatric emergency medical care. She served as chair of the PALS Advisory Group for the Pennsylvania American Heart Association, worked on pediatric emergency medicine initiatives through the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and worked with the Pennsylvania EMSC program. In Illinois, she became a member of the Illinois EMSC Advisory Board in 1997 and then served as its elected vice-chair in 1998. She continued in this role until 2006, at which time she was elected chair. Currently, she serves as the lead physician for a newly formed Pediatric Specialty Team within the Illinois Medical Emergency Response Team.

Dr. Fuchs has contributed to the development of several nationally recognized programs such as TRIPP, APLS, PALS, and PEPP as a reviewer and/or chapter contributor. She has authored more than 20 peer-reviewed journal articles; written more than 60 reviews, published papers, and textbook chapters; and contributed to six software and web-based publications.

Marie Renzi of Delaware
2007 EMSC Project Coordinator of Distinction Award

Marie Renzi of Delaware is the recipient of the 2007 EMSC Project Coordinator of Distinction Award for her comprehensive understanding of her state’s pediatric emergency medical care issues and for successfully integrated EMSC into state EMS programs for the long term.

In 1997, Marie became a “founding member” of the Delaware EMSC program after the state received its first EMSC grant. Under her leadership, Delaware conducted two comprehensive pediatric emergency care needs assessments, then implemented and completed a five-year plan based on the findings.

One of Maria’s greatest assets is her ability to bring several organizations together for a common cause. She has initiated and sustained relationships with a number of pediatric-related organizations, including her most recent collaboration with A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children. With this partnership in place, paramedic students are now guaranteed a significant amount of clinical time in the pediatric emergency department.

Marie has also diligently served on many committees and task forces over the years. She is currently a member of the State Coordinating Council for Children with Disabilities, the Delaware Safe Kids Coalition Board, and the State School Health Services Commission. More recently, she was appointed by Governor Ruth Ann Minner to serve on the State’s Child Death and Stillborn Commission.

Elizabeth “Betsy” Smith, RN, NREMT-P of Virginia
2007 EMSC Provider Leadership Award

Elizabeth “Betsy” Smith, RN, NREMT-P of Virginia, is the recipient of the 2007 EMSC Provider Leadership Award, which recognizes a clinically- based health professional who has dedicated his or her time, talent, and energy to achieve the highest level of care for children in the community.

For 14 years, Betsy worked in the emergency department at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC. In 2002, Betsy moved to Virginia and began volunteering as a paramedic with Roseland Volunteer Rescue Squad. Under her leadership as chair of the Roseland Rescue membership committee, the squad successfully increased its volunteer membership by 30 percent and increased its EMT pass rates to almost 100 percent.

In addition to her work at Roseland Rescue, Betsy serves on the Board of Directors of the Charlottesville Safe Kids Coalition. When she is not volunteering, Betsy works as a flight nurse for PHI AirCare 5 Medevac.

Betsy’s greatest impact on EMSC has been the countless hours she has devoted to children with special health care needs. She co-authored the Special Children’s Outreach and Prehospital Education program or SCOPE, an award-winning program designed to improve the pre-hospital provider’s knowledge and comfort level when encountering children with special health care needs. In addition to the SCOPE textbook, Betsy developed a corresponding train-the-trainer program and several educational videos, including: “Children with Special Health Care Needs,” parts 1 and 2; “EMS Outreach and SCOPE;” and “On Scene Challenges.”

Shauna Hatton-Ward of Utah
2007 EMSC Family Representative Volunteer of the Year

Shauna Hatton-Ward of Utah was selected as the 2007 EMSC Family Representative Volunteer of the Year. This award is given to a family representative who has provided commendable service that has made a significant positive impact on addressing the emergency medical needs of the children in his or her community.

Shauna’s expertise in caring for and understanding the needs of children in emergency situations began with the birth of her daughter, Amberlee, 24 years ago. Amberlee experienced an anoxic event at birth that resulted in severe cerebral palsy. Amberlee’s life of medical complications has provided Shauna the experience that enhances and enlightens her perspective regarding family-centered medical care.

From 1995 to 2000, Shauna was the Parent Support Coordinator in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. In this position, Shauna was instrumental in the development of the NICU Cuddle Volunteer Orientation program. The program’s remarkable success landed her a promotion to Director for Family-Centered Services at the hospital. In this position, she chaired the Parent Advisory Board and directed the Family-to-Family Program. Her crowning achievement while with Primary Children’s was the fundraising and construction of the “angel garden”—a small, garden-like sanctuary located just outside the hospital where a sick child or weary family member could find a few moments of peace among the flowers, benches, and water.

In addition, Shauna has served on many family-centered care-related committees and boards, including serving as the family representative to Utah’s EMSC program. Her never-ending dedication to EMSC was demonstrated most poignantly this past year. In April of 2006, her son, Louie, was diagnosed with leukemia. Shauna supported Louie’s care non-stop. Throughout this period, Shauna remained dedicated to Utah EMSC, attending all EMSC Advisory Committee Meetings, the Annual EMSC Grantee Meeting, and the Utah EMSC Retreat.

Howard Corneli, MD, MS
2007 Outstanding EMSC Research Project

Howard Corneli, MD, MS, is the 2007 recipient of the Outstanding EMSC Research Project for his study “Oral Dexamethasone for Bronchiolitis: A Multi-center, Randomized Controlled Trial.” This award highlights an individual who has completed a significant EMSC-related research study that confirms current practice or has the potential to impact the provision of pediatric emergency care at a national or international level.

Bronchiolitis is the leading cause of hospitalizations in the U.S. for children two and younger; resulting in 100,000 hospitalizations per year and more than $700 million a year in hospital charges. According to Dr. Corneli, bronchiolitis may be the most common serious illness of childhood lacking evidence-based treatment.

Using a large, rigorously designed multi-center trial of dexamethasone for infants with moderate to severe bronchiolitis, the authors showed that contrary to current medical thinking dexamethosone is not effective in treating infant bronchiolitis.

The study was conducted using the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN) and enrolled more than 600 children in three years across 15 sites. This important study has definitively answered an important clinical question.

Dr. Corneli’s study has been accepted for publication in a leading medical journal.