GALVESTON COUNTY, Texas – Galveston Area Ambulance Authority (GAAA) Clinical Compliance Officer Bradley Starkey
and Margaret Williams, who oversees GAAA quality assurance, on Friday were awarded the EMS for Children Crew of
the Year Award from the EMS for Children State Partnership, Texas.
Starkey and Williams were recognized for their exceptional efforts in developing a more robust pediatric care program
at GAAA aimed at improving emergency care to its youngest patients.
“Winning this award is unexpected, but very appreciated,” Starkey said. Williams added, “I want to thank the field crew
for being so great and caring for our pediatric patients. Brad and I would not have been able to be awarded the EMSC
Children’s Award without their ability to care for our county’s pediatric patients. To our field crew, you guys are
absolutely resilient and we are proud to work beside you all.”
The EMS for Children Crew of the Year Award was presented during National EMS Week, observed May 15-21, and
following National Emergency Medical Services for Children Day, observed May 18. GAAA responds to more than 1,000
calls a year involving pediatric patients. As pediatric-related call volume increases at GAAA, Starkey and Williams took it
upon themselves to enroll in an eight-month long Pediatric Emergency Care Coordinator (PECC) program to home in on
their skills and learn how to build a more robust pediatric program.
“Our service has a high volume of pediatric patients. We all know how to treat children, of course. However, working
with children in an emergency is not only stressful for the child, but also stressful for the healthcare workers taking care
of them,” Starkey said. “Being a PECC allows us to better understand the needs and work with our community partners
to create better awareness and training with each other that benefits the patient.”
As Starkey and Williams trained to be PECCs, they shared their knowledge with fellow crew members, and GAAA was
able to achieve 100 percent quality assurance and quality improvement on every pediatric patient, provide direct
feedback to GAAA crew members and make evidence-based changes to clinical practice guidelines.
GAAA provides services to pediatric patients ranging from specialty care and emergency evacuations to a high volume of
drownings due to the geographical region it serves. The pediatric program is also set up to recognize real-time needs to
increase quality of medical care to patients. Starkey said the next goal is to create a seamless transition in patient care
between GAAA and local emergency departments.
“We want to create an environment where we can maximize patient care and give our pediatric patients the best care and experience on what may be a very bad day for them,” Starkey said.
Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic created challenges in providing pediatric care. GAAA worked with the Galveston
County Health District to put practices in place that created better patient outcomes and continuity of care when
partnering with hospitals and other facilities.
“I couldn’t be prouder of Brad and Maggie,” said GAAA EMS Director Amy Weber. “They recognized a need and stepped
up to better serve our team and community. We will continue to expand our pediatric program and plan on providing
education to not only our EMS staff, but to the communities in Galveston County. Evidence-based medicine is critical to
quality of life, and we are passionate about providing that to the communities we serve.”
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Public Health Services · Coastal Health & Wellness · Emergency Medical Services · Animal Resource Center
The Galveston County Health District (GCHD) is the local public health agency for Galveston County, Texas.
GCHD provides services and programs that protect the everyday health and well-being of Galveston County.
P.O. Box 939 La Marque, Texas 77568 • (409) 938-7221