Sunstar COO Takes Helm of Ambulance Association
Sunstar is the name of Pinellas County’s ambulance service.
PINELLAS COUNTY – Mark Postma, vice president of Paramedics Plus and chief operating officer of Sunstar Paramedics, has been elected president of the American Ambulance Association.
The national trade association represents hundreds of ambulance services across the country and serves as the voice for the ambulance services industry. The association promotes health care policies, and provides research, education and communications programs for its members to effectively address the needs of the communities they serve.
“I look forward to working together with the AAA board, members and volunteers to continue our mission to build the future of the ambulance services industry,” Postma said.
Postma will lead the AAA for the next two years with a focus on several key initiatives, including continued advocacy for sustainable reimbursement for ambulance services. The Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates for patient care and transport often less than the cost, leaving emergency medical services with a shortfall. Ambulance service providers are incurring hundreds of dollars of losses per patient, which is an unmanageable and unsustainable financial model.
“In many areas of the nation, small emergency medical service operations provide residents’ only access to health care,” Postma said. “It is imperative to reach reimbursement levels that can sustain all EMS providers, but it’s especially important for small rural providers.”
Under Postma’s leadership, AAA will lobby for all states to adopt the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services Ground Vehicle Standard. These standards will help ensure the highest level of safety for patients and providers, enhance the quality of patient care and safe patient movement, and support efficient EMS operations and the inclusion of relevant emerging technologies.
Postma said he also plans to strengthen the organization. He will implement a capital campaign to create a $1 million reserve fund. He said he would like to see the AAA staff more clearly communicate how the organization is serving as the voice and clearinghouse for ambulance services through its social media and its new tagline, “Representing EMS in America.”
Postma previously served as the AAA president-elect, co-chair of the organization’s Professional Standards Committee and on the AAA Board of Directors. In addition, he represented the AAA on the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services as vice-chair of its board of directors and chairman of the CAAS Grant Committee.
A nationally registered paramedic since 1982, Postma has led Sunstar Paramedics since 2004, and gained additional responsibilities with a promotion to vice-president of Paramedics Plus in 2011. He holds an associate’s degree in paramedicine from Minnesota State University, bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University and a master’s degree in health care administration from St. Francis University in Joliet, Illinois.
The election results were decided by a national vote among all AAA members and announced at the annual American Ambulance Association Conference and Tradeshow in Las Vegas.
The American Ambulance Association was formed in 1979 in response to the need for improvements in medical transportation and emergency medical services. The AAA represents hundreds of ambulance services across the United States that participate in emergency and nonemergency care and medical transportation. The Association serves as a voice and clearinghouse for ambulance services, and views prehospital care not only as a public service, but also as an essential part of the total public health care system.
For information about Sunstar, go to pinellascounty.org.
For information about the American Ambulance Association, go to the-aaa.org.
Photo of Mark Postma courtesy of the American Ambulance Association.
Sunstar | Paramedics Plus | American Ambulance Association | EMS | TB Reporter
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