Celebrating 28 years with EMSC - Happy Retirement, Debbie Kuhn!

  • Published February 29, 2024
Debbie Kuhn

In 1996, the Spice Girls dominated the charts, “Independence Day” was a box office hit, AOL was top technology, and Beanie Babies were considered an investment. It was also the year that Debbie Kuhn accepted the position of EMSC State Partnership Program Manager for Nebraska. As we get ready to wish her well in her retirement, we thought it would be fun to ask her questions about her 28 years with EMSC!

What is your proudest moment/project?

"I think my proudest moment was the partnership with the Nebraska–Iowa Kiwanis Pediatric equipment bag project. Katrina Altenhofen (NE EMSC Program Manager at the time) and I presented a vision at a Kiwanis conference to purchase pediatric equipment bags for ambulance services in Nebraska and Iowa. Members at the conference were donating their own money to move forward with this project. We were able to provide equipment and training to about 75% of the services in both states as well as reaching out to the International Kiwanis Organization to provide a bag for American Samoa who needed equipment at that time."

What would you like to see from EMSC in the future?

"That's a tough question. Not every state has EMSC under state government, some are with hospitals and universities. Government is getting tougher to move documents through for approval in a short amount of time. I also would like to see EMSC approach the American Hospital Association, to bring that organization on board to push hospital recognition. In Nebraska, we don't have any control over hospitals. Going to the top might make recognition easier to achieve."

What will you miss the most about EMSC?

"Definitely my EMSC family. The friendships that I have made over my tenure will always be cherished. I look back at pictures and smile and at our adventures and meetings throughout the years."

What do you look forward to in retirement?

"This is a new journey for me and right now it is a roller coaster of emotions. My daughter, her husband and my granddaughter are moving back to Nebraska from South Carolina. I will have both my daughters, son-in-laws and three beautiful granddaughters close to me. I am planning a trip to Hawaii with a friend, plus Katrina and I are going to take a trip to Dayton, Ohio. My uncle was a pilot in World War II and he flew his plane on its last flight to the museum there."

How has the program changed since you started?

"The program has changed so much. In the early days, there were no performance measures to meet. Each state evaluated what areas they needed to work on to improve pediatric care with the EMS agencies. Now, each state has the same performance measures to meet and that is the mission. The path is the same for every state, the difference is which path works better for you to reach that destination."

Learn more about the State Partnership program here.