Johnson County Med-Act and the Department of Emergency Management and  Communications have joined with eight local fire departments to select Ryan Jacobsen, M.D., as its first full-time medical director.
Dr. Jacobsen will assume the duties of director for the Johnson County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Medical Direction Program on June 3.
“I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve in this new role.  EMS providers in Johnson County have always provided outstanding patient care and my hope is that I am able to assist the EMS system in continuing that tradition of excellence,” he said.
A 2006 graduate of the University of Kansas School of Medicine, he is currently an attending physician at the Truman Medical Center and Children’s Mercy Hospital, both in Kansas City, Missouri.   Dr. Jacobsen is also the associate EMS medical director for the Kansas City, Missouri, Fire Department and an assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of Kansas City, School of Medicine.
Prior to medical school, he served as a paramedic in Iowa City, Iowa, and in Johnson County, Kansas.
“Dr. Jacobsen is an ideal person to be the first full-time EMS system medical director. He began his career as a paramedic in Johnson County and has experience as an EMS medical director.   He brings the talent and enthusiasm the system needs to make EMS in Johnson County second to none,” Ted McFarlane, Chairman of the EMS System Advisory Committee and chief of the Johnson County Medical Action (Med-Act) Department, said.
The medical direction program will serve multiple county and fire agency EMS responders. The program was established to enhance the benefits of having a patient-centered, coordinated pre-hospital system for the delivery of emergency medical services by all agencies which may serve a patient.
The program will monitor emergency medical services in partnership with emergency responders and hospital emergency department services with a goal toward enhanced efficiency.
According to McFarlane, Dr. Jacobsen will provide a single voice in the community to improve patient care.  As the point man for the program, he will coordinate with the hospitals and the medical community to ensure that the delivery of care is seamless and appropriate.
“Patients will benefit from his advocacy on their behalf.  He will be a nationally leader.  Through research conducted within the system, Johnson County will help define how EMS should be delivered,” McFarlane said.
In establishment of the program, Johnson County Government and eight fire departments in the county intend to adopt an interlocal cooperation agreement that will create an advisory board and executive committee to provide oversight for the program, and that will establish a cost-sharing model to fund the program among the participants.
State law requires all EMS agencies to have a medical director.   Since participating agencies are providing financial support, the pooling of dollars allows each agency to enjoy the advantage of a professional EMS medical director who will work for them on a full-time basis, McFarlane said.
“This efficiency will pay dividends,” he added.  “The delivery of patient care will also be more effective with a collaborative approach to training and procedures.  EMS is a team effort and this program optimizes the value of the team.”
More information is available by contacting Ted McFarlane, Johnson County Med-Act chief, at (913) 715-1960 or