Raising awareness and funding research is an integral part of the EMS industry. Without educational research, progress would not be made in its strides for a better future of patient care. With the help of the Pittsburgh Emergency Medicine Foundation (PEMF), those strides are igniting innovation and sparking success for researchers. Since 1985, PEMF assists in funding for education and research projects, first formed in Pittsburgh, Pa. by a group of physicians and other professionals with an interest in EMS and Emergency Medicine.
Understanding the birth of emergency medicine from only 35 years ago is new from a historical point-of-view, and it still remains a new specialty in the realm of medicine with small funding efforts. In PEMF’s 30 years of existence, more than 175 research grants have been presented to dozens of researchers in the public safety sector. Thanks to the awarded grants, more than 75 published scientific papers have received nationally recognized awards.
Beth Wolfe, Executive Director for PEMF, started her journey in the EMS world by studying medical billing for school. Soon after, she found herself in an assistant position underneath Department of Emergency Medicine Chairman Dr. Paul Paris. PEMF was founded by Dr. Paris along with colleagues from the Pittsburgh area as a way to supplement researchers and educators. Wolfe attended events as a volunteer or attendee but quickly developed a passion in the driving forces of PEMF for assisting in the development of new fundraising programs. A few dedicated years later, she proudly climbed her way to interim executive director and kept climbing to the top with perseverance and dedication.
Today, as acting executive director, Wolfe vigorously works with everyone in the industry including physicians, attorneys and wealth management professionals who have been touched by EMS in some way. The Foundation has even begun to roll out the PEMF is Me campaign as a way of sharing stories of patients, families and EM/EMS professionals as a way of sharing how everyone is touched by research being conducted through funding. There is always a connection with EMS, and PEMF aims to bridge those relationships with the fiery passion for emergency medicine.
PEMF is a seed money foundation and has always hit the ground running since its inception. In diverse activities, PEMF organizes events like Wine, Women and Shoes 2019 and Sporting Clays 2019 while hosting a 48-seat intimate dinner for benefactors called Sunday’s Best at Black Radish. Notably, it helped fund young researchers in programs like the residency at the University of Pittsburgh.
The foundation enables researchers to think outside of the box, or in this case, the ambulance or ER, to develop new research methods and areas of focus to ultimately provide better patient care in emergency medicine. With funding greater research projects, many more move on to receive funding from the National Institute of Health (NIH). PEMF provides the resources and the connections to support research and promote education in emergency medicine and EMS.
PEMF strives to always stay relatable and relevant in the public safety realm and encourages the first-hand success of working professionals or those touched by EMS. It remains proactive after 35 years by the long-term, driven success of Wolfe and continues to grow through its dynamic connections throughout the region. Additionally, PEMF is here to help, and grants are always being accepted. Find more about the foundation, get involved and look at the PEMF grant request guidelines to ignite innovation for emergency medicine and EMS.