KEMSA honors BCC Emergency Medical Services Program Director and Consulting Medical Director

August 18, 2011


Story by: Joe Vinduska

Barton Community College’s (BCC) Director of Emergency Medical Services Education Karyl White and Consulting Medical Director Dr. Joel Hornung were honored by the Kansas Emergency Medical Services Association (KEMSA) on Aug. 13 during an awards banquet at the Marriot Hotel in Wichita.

President of KEMSA Chy Miller said it is the duty of the association to be sure the efforts of EMS personnel and EMS educators are acknowledged.

“The banquet is important to give recognition to people in EMS,” he said. “They can tend to kind of go unnoticed by the general public, and it’s our role is to bring the spotlight to Kansas EMS.”

White received the Don C. White Educator of the Year award, and Hornung received the Physician of the Year award.

The Educator of the Year Award is given annually to an outstanding instructor of initial or continuing EMS education.

White, who was nominated by a former student, said she strives to continue to wear the hat of an educator even though she is the director.

“I felt very honored. It’s exciting because I’m now the director and once someone gets to director position, they can forget where their roots come from,” White said. “It was nice to still have that recognition as an educator.”

White began teaching the EMS curriculum at BCC in 2003 and became director in 2008. The director position has allowed her the opportunity to present her personal perspective on being an educator to the department as a whole.

“My philosophy is that we are the students’ advocates,” she said. “We are going to do whatever we can to help them.”

BCC Clinical Site Coordinator Tom Shuler believes White’s personality and demeanor are the main traits that help define her as a person and professional.

“She can be summarized as a very caring individual, and this comes across in the way she does her job,” Shuler said. “Her care for students can be described as beyond extraordinary. She takes the time to work with struggling students, and I know a lot of other instructors go to her for guidance as well,” he said.

As the medical director, Hornung works with White to ensure that the EMS program at BCC remains in compliance and maintains its accreditation standards.

Karyl White receives Don C. White Educator of the Year Award

A general practitioner at the Family Health Center of Morris County in Council Grove, he said receiving the award from a group of peers was a fulfilling experience.

“These are people that I’ve been working with for the past couple of years , so it was really nice, and I was happy to accept the award,” Hornung said.

White said Hornung has been an invaluable resource for the EMS program. “He’s great to work with, and there are not very many doctors in Kansas that are that involved with EMS like he is,” she said. “We are very, very fortunate to have him.”

Hornung is required to teach as part of the accreditation requirements. White said he always does so with energy and vigor.

“Most people would try to get something easy to teach, but he’s more than willing to teach the difficult topics,” she said. White added that Hornung truly listens to the students and will take the time to slow down and focus on certain curriculum items if they are having problems.

Miller echoed White’s sentiments about Hornung, and said he helps to elevate the program at BCC. “The people who work with him enjoy him,” Miller said. “He’s very smart, active, and very supportive of EMS.”

In addition to the contributions of Hornung, Miller believes the professional agility of White is something that greatly enhances the quality of the EMS department.

“What’s unique about Karyl is that she is unlike any other EMS provider in the state of Kansas because she is a paramedic, but she also has a master’s degree in education,” Miller said. “To find a paramedic with a master’s degree in education is pretty amazing.”

Miller added that White’s work and reputation in the field are also important aspects of what she brings to the table.

“She was a paramedic at Reno County when I was a young paramedic, and she was very well known in the EMS world as being a strong, aggressive, and talented paramedic,” he said.

White earned her paramedic degree from Hutchinson Community College in 1990. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Emporia State University in 1983 and 2003, respectively. Hornung earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Kansas in 1981 and his doctorate from the Kansas University School of Medicine in 1985. Hornung is a member of the Kansas Board of EMS and the Kansas Medical Advisory Council.

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