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Dr. M. Riccardo Colella named State EMS Medical Director

RicardoColellaRiccardo Colella, DO, MPH, has been named state emergency medical services medical director effective immediately. Dr. Colella succeeds Dr. Susan Martens whose term ended June 30.

Dr. Colella is professor of emergency medicine, pediatrics and the institute for health equity at the Medical College of Wisconsin, where he also is chief for the section of EMS medicine. Dr. Colella is the founding program director for the ACGME EMS Fellowship Program, as well as the International, Scholars and Distance Based EMS Fellowships, and remains engaged in several international EMS development programs and activities through MCW Global Health. He practices clinically in the emergency departments at Froedtert Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

Dr. Colella is the director of medical services for the Milwaukee County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) System, a national leader in EMS serving a population of approximately one million citizens. He was appointed by Governor Walker to the State EMS Board, served on the EMS Physician Advisory Committee and was a past chair of the Southeast Regional Trauma Advisory Council, among other appointments.

Dr. Colella has an extensive background in EMS, public health, technical rescue, and critical care transport that spans over three decades including service in volunteer, municipal and private agencies. He received his medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed an internal medicine internship at Cook County Hospital, his emergency medicine residency at the Medical College of Georgia and his EMS Fellowship at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Colella also received his Master of Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“When I began my career as a paramedic, I had the privilege to care for one patient at a time; as an emergency physician I care for several patients at a time, and as an EMS physician, I care for a community or region,” said Dr. Colella. “As the State EMS Medical Director, I will have the privilege to support an organization responsible for the care for the entire state’s population and to work with all stakeholders to improve the access and quality of EMS.”

As state EMS medical director, Dr. Colella will work with the Office of Preparedness and Emergency Health Care’s EMS Section staff to oversee the licensure and education of the state’s 18,000 EMS providers, more than 800 EMS agencies, as well as statewide prehospital care protocol development and implementation and the implementation of recent legislative initiatives for community EMS/paramedicine, flexible staffing, and dispatcher-assisted CPR.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Colella as our state EMS medical director and look forward to his work with OPEHC and the EMS Section in moving our state EMS system forward.” said Jeff Phillips, director of the Office of Preparedness and Emergency Health Care.