The UMKC School of Medicine Paramedic Program recently received a glowing report and full accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) for its curriculum and training of future paramedics.
“Accreditation is verification that we’ve been compared to the standard for paramedic training programs and have met that,” said Paul Ganss, MS, NRP, NCEE, CHSE, the school’s EMS education program director. “When they come to our program, students can be assured they’re going to a quality program. They will have the opportunity to gain national certification. They will have the opportunity to be licensed.”
The UMKC paramedics program is part of the Emergency Medical Services section of the School of Medicine’s Department of Emergency Medicine.
Following a three-day site visit by a two-person team earlier this year, the program received a clean report with no citations. One examiner even referred to the UMKC program as meeting the gold standard for programs in paramedic training.
A peer review of the report conducted by the Committee on Accreditation of Education Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions and the CAAHEP Board of Directors recognized the program’s “substantial compliance with the nationally established accreditation standards.”
“There are standards that have been prepared, basically the best practices for training programs across the country. This means our program has been favorably compared to the best programs nationally,” Ganss said.
Paramedics are individuals highly trained to provide medical care including basic and advanced life support to people who suffer injuries or illness outside a hospital setting under protocols approved by a physician medical director.
The UMKC program began training Emergency Medical Technician and Paramedic students in 2012 under the approval of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Bureau of EMS. Its curriculum exceeds both the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Missouri Bureau of EMS.
In 2013, UMKC received a Letter of Review from the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions as the program sought initial accreditation. The Letter of Review process allows graduates of the program to participate in the national certification examination for paramedics that is required for licensure in many states.
UMKC currently has 11 students training in its paramedic program. A new class of trainees will join the program in January.
Matthew Gratton, M.D., oversees the UMKC Emergency Medical Services as chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine. Jay Reich, M.D., FACEP, serves as chief of the EMS section and Erica Carney, M.D., serves as EMS education medical director.