FAN work in the field

  • Published March 28, 2024

Featuring members of EMSC’s Family Advisory Network (FAN). Learn more about the FAN.

Name: Greta James-Maxfield

State/Territory: Texas

Recent advances in medical technology allow more children and youth with special health care (CYSHCN) needs into the mainstream. Emergent assessment of these children can be very difficult due to the fact their “baseline” is very different than other children. Their unique physical and mental conditions may also be unfamiliar to the provider and often pose barriers to the routine assessment and management.

The Assessment and Management of Children and Youth with Special Healthcare Needs (CYSHCN) course is presented by the Texas EMS for Children Program in collaboration with Dell Children's Medical Center and Texas Parent to Parent (TXP2P). This class is designed to provide EMS personnel with cognitive knowledge and practical, hands-on training to prepare them for the assessment and management of CYSHCN. The course is designed for all levels of EMS providers and focuses primarily on basic assessment and management. However, equipment is available in the appropriate skills stations to demonstrate troubleshooting home ventilators, left ventricular assist devices (LVAD), and advanced airway management using tracheostomy and/or stoma for advanced level providers. The program brings together EMS professionals with special needs children and/or their parents or caregivers from TXP2P, to provide a unique perspective to the challenges and common misperceptions of emergency assessment and management of CYSHCN.

Greta James-Maxfield is one of the Family Advisory Network (FAN) representatives for the Texas EMSC Program and serves as the liaison between the Texas EMSC Program and TXP2P. Greta recruits parents and their children from within the TXP2P organization to participate in this class for our EMS personnel. Additionally, Greta provides a presentation on what TXP2P is and provides information and resources that are a vital part of the emergency care providers toolkit. Greta, the other parents, and especially their children are a valuable resource in the classroom by providing real-life experiences with non-simulated and unscripted interaction.

In 2022, Dell Children's Medical Center physician education team, Texas EMSC, and TXP2P reviewed and revised the program to reflect current best practice guidelines. Greta took the lead for TXP2P to ensure continued promotion of patient- and family-centered care principles that emphasize the child, not the disorder. Additionally,they continue to provide unique opportunities for direct interaction by providing a safe setting for dialogue. The revised course has been provided twice since December 2022 - including the 2023 State of Texas EMS Conference as a preconference workshop.

For more information on the Assessment and Management of Children and Youth with Special Healthcare Needs course, please contact Texas EMS for Children Program Manager, Sam Vance: 832-824-EMSC (3672) or