Keynote Speakers & Faculty

Keynote Speakers 

 Dia Gainor

Dia Gainor

Dia Gainor is the Executive Director and a past President of the National Association of State Emergency Medical Services Officials. Her association’s members are state agencies that regulate and support EMS systems. She worked for two state EMS offices for 27 years, 19 of which was as the Bureau Chief of Emergency Medical Services for the State of Idaho, where she was known for innovative regulatory reform. Dia has a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Health Services Administration, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the George Washington University, is certified by the Juran Institute as a Six Sigma Black Belt, and has 12 years of field experience as a volunteer paramedic and firefighter. In 2008 Dia was appointed by the Secretary of the US DOT to serve on the Congressionally-established National EMS Advisory Council and was selected by the Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to be the Council’s first Chairman, which she fulfilled for 3 years. She is a 2009 EMS 10 Innovators alum and the 2010 James O. Page EMS Award recipient. In 2012, Dia was presented NHTSA’s Public Service Award by Administrator David Strickland for “outstanding national leadership in enhancing the collaboration among highway safety, public health, transportation, and emergency medical services”. The National Wildfire Coordinating Group Incident Emergency Medical subcommittee selected Dia as the first recipient of the Wildfire EMS Distinguished Service Award in 2013. In 2016, named Dia as one of the 14 most influential women in EMS.

 Wendy Barnes 
Wendy Barnes 

In January 2018, Dignity Health welcomed Wendy Barnes, a survivor of child sexual abuse, sex trafficking, and intimate partner violence as HTR Program Coordinator. Wendy is a national speaker, using her own experiences to educate and empower audiences in the fight against exploitation. Her story illustrates how abuse can make a young person vulnerable and serves as an example that freedom and restoration are possible.

When educating health care audiences, Wendy often shares examples of her own encounters with hospitals, clinics, and private practices. Wendy was trafficked by the father of her children for over ten years. During that time, Wendy had multiple encounters with health care professionals and other first responders, including law enforcement officers, fire fighters, emergency department personnel, maternal child health professionals, and private practice physicians.  

Wendy has an Associate’s Degree in General Studies and has written a memoir, And Life Continues: Sex Trafficking and My Journey to Freedom. Wendy also co-authored a chapter in Human Trafficking Is a Public Health Issue: A Paradigm Expansion in the United States (Springer, 2017). Wendy has appeared on talk shows such as Dr. Phil, and her story has been featured in news articles and documentaries like “Flesh: Bought and Sold in the U.S.”

Wendy has consulted for numerous organizations and initiatives, including Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign, Via Christi Health (owned by Ascension Health), Not For Sale, and ImPact Virginia. Wendy has also provided education to law enforcement officers and students at universities, including Vanguard University and St. Mary’s College of California. Wendy is a member of the National Survivor Network and the international Survivor Alliance

Matthew Streger

Matthew Streger

Matthew R. Streger is a paramedic and attorney with more than thirty years of EMS experience. Matthew is a Partner at the law firm of Keavney & Streger in New Jersey and focuses his practice on the needs of EMS agencies and providers. He is the recipient of the 2018 New Jersey State Bar Association Health Law Distinguished Service Award, the 2012 Service to the Bar Award, and led his agency to the 2014 New Jersey EMS System of the Year Award. He is admitted to practice in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Matthew has practiced law since 2006. He is a past Chair of the New Jersey State Bar Association Health Law Section, and a past leader in the Young Lawyers Division. Matthew previously worked in EMS systems in New Jersey, New York, South Carolina and Ohio. He has served as the Executive Director of Mobile Health Services (EMS) at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Jersey and the Deputy Commissioner of EMS in Cleveland. He currently sits on the Panel of Commissioners for CAAS and is a member of the CAAS standards review committee.

Matthew completed his Paramedic Training at the UMDNJ School of Health Related Professions in Newark, New Jersey.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration from the City University of New York, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, a Master of Public Administration Degree from Clemson University, and a Juris Doctor from Seton Hall University School of Law.



Tomas Aragon, MD, DrPH
Health Officer
City and County of San Francisco
San Francisco, California
Howard Backer, MD, MPH, FACEP
California EMS Authority
Sacramento, California
BJ Bartleson, RN, MS, NEA-BC
VP of Nursing & Clinical Services
California Hospital Association
Sacramento, California
Bruce Barton
EMS Administrator
Riverside EMS Agency
Riverside, California
Nichole Bosson, MD, MPH
Assistant Medical Director, LA County EMS Agency
Medical Director, J. Michael Criley Paramedic Training Institute
Los Angeles, California
James Boomhower, BS, NRP, FP-C, C-NPT
Lead Instructor/Test Prep Mentor
Distance CME Instructor
Critical Care Transport Specialist-Paramedic, Boston Medflight
Boston, Massachusetts
Marc Eckstein, MD, MPH, FACEP
Professor of Emergency Medicine
Keck School of Medicine of USC
Medical Director - LAFD
Los Angeles, California
Brian Henricksen, Conference Chair
EMS Administrator
Napa EMS Agency
Napa, California
Kevin Killian
Chief Ranger, National Park Service
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite, California
Tom Lynch
EMS Director
San Bernardino, California
Tammi McConnell, President
EMS Director
Orange EMS Agency
Santa Ana, California
Stephen G. Sanko, MD
Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine
LAC+USC Medical Center
Assistant Medical Director - LAFD
Los Angeles, California
Karl Sporer, MD
Medical Director
Alameda EMS Agency
San Leandro, California
Brenda Staffan
COO, Integrated Services
Reno, Nevada
John Surface
Manager, Ambulance Division
Hall Ambulance
Kern, California
Tarak Trivedi, MD, MS
Emergency Medicine Specialist
Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center
Los Angeles, California
G. Jay Westbrook, MS, RN, CHPN
Visiting Faculty Scholar, Harvard Medical School
Medical Education Speakers Network
Tustin, California
Denise Whitfield, MD, MPH
Director, Education & Innovation, LA County EMS Agency
Critical Care Specialist, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
Los Angeles, California

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