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VCU Health team members receive highest state award for excellence in emergency medical services

The Governor’s EMS Awards highlight the unwavering dedication of VCU Health team members and our continued excellence in prehospital care.

Group of people standing next to each other holding certificates Several VCU Health team members received awards for their work in pre-hospital care in May. (Left to right: Beverly Harris, RN, Jennifer Farmer, MSN, Matthew Jensen, RN, and Benjamin Nicholson, MD). (Contributed photo)

By Sara McCloskey

VCU Health team members were among the medical providers and organizations to receive the Governor’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Award this year. The recognition, presented by Gov.

Glenn Youngkin in late May, recognizes providers’ hard work and dedication to providing emergency care across the commonwealth.

These awards are considered the highest honor an EMS provider or organization can receive at the state level. They are administered by the Virginia Department of Health’s Office of Emergency Medical Services.

Out of the 13 awards, 5 were given to team members who work with VCU Medical Center, VCU LifeEvac, Virginia Commonwealth University and volunteer EMS organizations.

The 2023 Governor’s EMS Award recipients include:

  • Award for Outstanding Contribution to Leadership in EMS, the Kent J. Weber Trophy): Beverly Harris, RN, BSN, CFRN, MSHA, NRP, FP-C, CMTE, aviation clinical site manager for VCU LifeEvac.

  • Award for Physician with Outstanding Contribution to EMS, the Frank M. Yeiser Trophy: Benjamin Nicholson, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at VCU School of Medicine and VCU LifeEvac.

  • Award for Nurse with Outstanding Contribution to EMS: Matthew Jensen, RN, VCU LifeEvac.
  • Award for Outstanding Contribution to EMS for Children: Jennifer Farmer, MSN, RN, CCRN, CPN, CPST, NRP, Lakeside Volunteer Rescue Squad. She is also the director of nursing for Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU’s Transitional Care Unit at Brook Road.
  • Award for Outstanding EMS Agency: James City County Fire Department. Amir Louka, M.D., emergency medicine physician and associate professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at VCU School of Medicine, serves as the department's operational medical director.

All these awardees were also inducted into the Old Dominion Emergency Medical Service Alliance’s Hall of Fame last year. The alliance’s awards highlight excellence in emergency prehospital care.

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