A Note From a Founding Father
Welcome! Thank you for being part of the Savvik Buying Group Family!
In 1997, representatives from three ambulance services sat at my kitchen table for a discussion. That was the year that Congress passed the Balanced Budget Act that created the Medicare ambulance fee schedule. We didn’t know then what impact the BBA would have on our industry, but we guessed it would stress the most vulnerable ambulance operations in America. That day, we decided to incorporate the North Central EMS Corporation to reduce the cost part of the ambulance finance equation.
Turns out, we guessed correctly. Since the fee schedule began in 2002, almost 50 ambulance services have closed in Oklahoma alone. While Oklahoma is a dramatic example, they are not alone. We hope the North Central EMS Corporation mitigated ambulance closures, and based on what we hear from our members, we’ve had a significant impact in keeping you operating.
Ten years ago, we were struggling with trying to figure out NCEMSC’s form and function. It took a lot of hard work by a bunch of dedicated volunteers. Back then, we never dreamed of having a ten year anniversary, we were focused on month-to-month on making this dream happen. There are so many people that contributed to our success. There is the Kellogg Foundation, which gave us a development professor and his assistant from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls for three years to lead us through strategic planning. There are the scores of paramedics, EMTs, and managers who labored diligently to write specifications for our contracts. There are the vendors that stepped up to the table, believed in our mission and that we could succeed, and helped us do so. There are the journals that chronicled our experiences and published them for the industry to read.
We’ve changed a lot. We initially envisioned that NCEMSC would serve 5 states and that we would help other groups of states replicate our model, eventually banding several coops together through common contracts. Instead, you helped us move to a national mission and to become a national leader. Wow, from 3 members in one state to 4,000 in 50 states in eighteen short years!
In terms of the NCEMSC’s development, I’m one of the old guys now. But I’m really proud to have served as president of this great group. I’m also proud of the leadership we’ve had from the board the last few years. Our partnerships with state associations are visionary, collaborative and mutually beneficial. It was the new kids that had that brainstorm.
This year, we’re going to focus on solidifying relationships – with you, with our association members, and with our vendors – to become even stronger so we can serve you for another ten years and beyond.
Take time to review our website and all the benefits that are available to you. Every time you make a coop purchase that benefits your organization, you make us (and your state association if they are affiliated with us) stronger and more capable of serving the industry in the US and beyond. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact our office and we’ll be happy to assist you.
The continued success of our organization is built on or members becoming active with us. We are always looking for individuals like you to share ideas, become a board member or help promote the success of the North Central EMS Corporation. This is a group built with you!
On behalf of myself and the Board, thanks for being part of our family.
Gary Wingrove, NCEMSC Founder
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