June 12, 2006

Contact: Luke Frank, Senior Public Affairs Representative, 272-3679

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ALBUQUERQUE , NM The UNM Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Academy welcomes Melissa Alexander-Shook, M.S., as its new director.

Alexander-Shook hails from George Washington University in Washington , D.C. , where she was an assistant professor in emergency medicine. Additionally, she served as the paramedic program director for didactic, laboratory and clinical education with responsibilities that included classroom and laboratory instruction in EMS and participation in international EMS education projects.

In her duties as new academy director, Alexander-Shook will assist in providing and managing updated curriculum content via education methods that promote the crucial critical thinking and problem-solving skills EMS providers need.

Steve Weiss, M.D., will serve as the EMS Academy 's new medical director. Dr Weiss is a professor of emergency medicine at UNM's Health Sciences Center and has been involved in EMS for more than 20 years as medical director for several programs in Colorado and Tennessee . His duties will include improving the Academy's ability to track student performance, evaluating changes in curriculum design, and improving the interaction of the EMS students with the emergency medicine residents and faculty in the Department.

UNM's EMS Academy , part of the Department of Emergency Medicine, offers a paramedic program both for a non-credit certificate and as part of a Bachelor of Science degree in Emergency Medical Services.

The paramedic program at UNM is one of only 13 bachelor's degree programs in the U.S. , and one of only three programs that are part of an academic department of emergency medicine. This unique position allows UNM to offer educational and clinical opportunities available at only a few centers throughout the country.

In addition to new educational and medical direction, the Academy is focusing its philosophy on what it does best providing the highest quality paramedical education, producing innovative EMS research, and developing outreach programs second to none.

For more information on the EMS Academy , call 272-5757 or visit hsc.unm.edu/som/emsacad/index.shtml