Building the Foundation to Discuss Race & Health Disparities in EMS

Held Wednesday, December 1, 2021

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View a list of anti-racism resources.

Our first in a series of discussions on diversity, equity and inclusion in EMS, this webinar featured our esteemed panelists, Sylvia Owusu-Ansah, MD, MPH, chair of NAEMSP’s Diversity in EMS Task Force, and Rickquel Tripp, MD, MPH, vice chair of NAEMSP’s Diversity in EMS Task Force, with NAEMSP President Dr. Michael Levy as moderator.

During this discussion we: 

  • Built understanding and knowledge about what is systemic racism and associated terminology
  • Identified ways bias has affected care in EMS
  • Learned about our own implicit biases and starting the conversation with others
  • Reviewed the birth of EMS from Freedom House and its demise due to racism


Sylvia Owusu-Ansah, MD, MPH

Sylvia Owusu-Ansah, MD, MPH, is a board-certified pediatrician, board-certified pediatric emergency medicine and emergency medical physician who is currently the medical director of Prehospital and EMS at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Owusu-Ansah has completed both a pediatric emergency medicine and emergency medical services fellowship. 

She has spent a majority of her career developing curricula and providing education for EMS personnel in both urban and suburban environments, including Washington, DC; Baltimore; and Pittsburgh, as well as government agencies such as the United States Secret Service. She has co-authored the recent Pediatric Education for Prehospital Providers’ recent edition textbook, otherwise known as PEPP, as well as the EMS Textbook’s next edition. Owusu-Ansah is also co-author and first author for the Pediatric Prehospital Readiness for EMS Systems Policy Statement and Technical Report and is currently on the National Committee for Pediatric Prehospital Readiness. She also serves on the board for the National Registry of EMTs (NREMT), for which she serves as chair of the research committee. Research includes c-spine immobilization in the prehospital environment as well as asthma management, seizure protocols, pediatric non-transports, and pediatric airway in the prehospital environment. Sylvia is the chair of NAEMSP’s Diversity in EMS Task Force.

Rickquel Tripp, MD, MPH

Rickquel “Rikki” Tripp, MD, MPH, is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, EMS faculty, and Medical Director of four different EMS agencies: Penn Hills, Lower Valley, SouthEast Regional, and Foxwall. She has chaired the Networking Committee of the Physician Inclusion Council of Pitt and UPMC (PICUP) for four years and now serves as the first Vice Chair of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion of UPMC Graduate Medical Education and first Vice Chair Diversity, Health Equity, & Inclusion of Department of Emergency Medicine. She also is the Co-Chair of UPP EM D, E, & I Committee and Vice Chair of NAEMSP’s Diversity in EMS Task Force. She has created and promoted many initiatives to include “Meet & Greet UPMC” Night; UPMC ME Townhalls addressing systemic racism & health disparities; URM Virtual Recruitment Diversity Brunches, and creating a Department Diversity Champions list for better networking and communication. Dr. Tripp became an UPMC ACES winner for her accomplishments and commitment in D, E, & I in 2019. She was raised in Upper St. Clair, PA and began her academic journey across the East coast and Midwest after high school. She completed her emergency medicine residency at the University of Chicago and EMS Fellowship at UPMC in 2017. In addition to Rikki being a Commander in the US Navy Reserves and her previous service as a flight surgeon while on active duty, she is an exceptional leader, mentor, and educator within the UPMC/Pitt community. 

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