May 29, 2019

St. Joseph Medical Center Announces First “EMS Stewards of the Community” Awards Winners

Pictured above from L to R: Alfredo Martinez, HFD Asst. Chief; Justin Wells, HFD Asst. Chief; Sam Pena, HFD Chief, Randall Walthall, HFD EMS Award Winner; Kim Bassett, St. Joseph President; Donald Johnson, SJMC EMS Director and Brenden Hayden, Steward System VP of EMS

HOUSTON (May 29, 2019) – Four EMS providers who have gone above and beyond in their interactions within the medical community and St. Joseph Medical Center (SJMC) patients were awarded as “EMS Stewards of the Community” in honor of National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week May 19-24.

The inaugural awards ceremony took place on May 23 and honored the work and dedication of Juan Mendez from Acadian Ambulance Service, and Justin Roberts, Rogelio Salinas and Randall Walthall from the Houston Fire Department (HFD).

St. Joseph, part of Dallas-based Steward Health Care, planned the inaugural event in conjunction with several sister facilities across the company to express appreciation for emergency medical responders, emergency medical technicians and paramedics who dedicate themselves to their profession and to others.

“It was my pleasure to honor these four outstanding individuals and highlight their commitment to caring for patients,” said Kim Bassett, President of St. Joseph. “They have touched more lives than they can ever imagine and they, along with all our local EMS providers, are the hospital’s partners in keeping families and communities healthy and safe.  This award allows us to recognize a few individuals that stand out, and I look forward to honoring many more EMS providers in the years to come.”

Over 100 attendees enjoyed a social hour, dinner and a keynote speech delivered by Gene Kranz, Former NASA Flight Director during the Apollo 11 and 13 missions. Kranz retired from NASA in 1994 after 37 years of federal service, and is currently a writer and speaker.  He told the story that was depicted in the hit film, Apollo 13, which chronicles Kranz’s struggles to devise the plan that would safely bring the ship and its crew of three astronauts home after the oxygen system failed. Actor Ed Harris portrays Kranz in the film, which was directed by Ron Howard.

Award recipients were nominated by hospital staff, community members and peers. The selection committee consisted of an internal group of physicians and EMS directors in communities served by Steward.