By Dirk Hoffman
Published July 19, 2023
Two faculty members in the Department of Emergency Medicine in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences have been honored with awards from the New York State chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).
Brian Clemency, DO, MBA, professor of emergency medicine and vice chair of academic and faculty affairs within the department, and Joshua J. Lynch, DO, clinical associate professor of emergency medicine, each won a 2023 New York ACEP award.
Clemency received the 2023 New York ACEP Michael G. Guttenberg Outstanding Contribution to EMS Award.
The award is presented to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in New York State through leadership, education, participation in system development and improvement or through exceptional performance of prehospital care duties.
Clemency has been involved in prehospital care for over 20 years, beginning his career as a firefighter and emergency medical technician before completing both medical school and an MBA in health care administration in four years.
He is double boarded in emergency medicine and emergency medical services and has quickly become a local, regional and national leader in prehospital care.
In a nomination letter for Clemency, it was noted that he is responsible for developing a statewide Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (CARES) program in New York.
This initiative, developed through a partnership with Emory University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, links prehospital and hospital data for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests to inform practices and improve the chain of survival for New Yorkers. Since becoming a statewide program in late 2021, over 150 EMS agencies and over 100 hospitals contribute data to the registry.
It also noted Clemency is the site principal investigator for PediDOSE, a multicenter, National Institutes of Health-funded study of prehospital benzodiazepine dosing for the treatment of pediatric seizures using the Exception from Informed Consent process.
The nomination letter also noted Clemency is a nationally recognized leader in EMS physician education. In 2013, he was the founding program director of one of the country's first Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education accredited EMS fellowships at the University at Buffalo.
Clemency is the founding editor-in-chief for the EMS In Training Exam (EMSITE), which is taken each April by EMS fellows from throughout the country. As a partner offering to the EMSITE, he is also the editor-in-chief for the EMS Question Bank, a leading tool for preparation for the ABEM EMS certifying exam.
The nomination letter also noted the historic blizzard in December 2022 made it impossible for emergency services to travel in the city of Buffalo. This led to hundreds of calls to which EMS personnel could not immediately respond.
Clemency, with American Medical Response, initiated a disaster Nurse Navigation/Telemedicine solution to support patients with lower acuity medical emergency calls. Patients whose calls were coded as “BLS Cold” received a call back from a nurse who provided secondary triage and medical advice. This allowed approximately 100 calls in four days to be resolved without sending an ambulance resource.
Lynch received the 2023 New York ACEP Advancing Emergency Care Award.
This award recognizes a New York ACEP member for a significant contribution in advancing emergency care in New York State. Contributions to be considered include: patient care (improved delivery modes, quality care improvement, cost containment); EMS (organization, service, public education, disaster plan); education (new or improved teaching methods, publication(s), education programs, evaluation mechanisms); research or major contribution to a New York ACEP priority objective.
Lynch began his career in emergency medicine by following in his grandfather’s footsteps as a volunteer firefighter. He continues his work in prehospital care by serving as medical director and flight physician for Mercy Flight along with several fire and police departments around Western New York.
Lynch is a national leader in addiction medicine. He serves on the Erie County Opioid Epidemic Task force along with the New York State Buprenorphine work group and is a medication assisted treatment specialist for the Erie County and New York State Departments of Health.
Lynch is actively involved in research and is leading a project to provide widespread access to buprenorphine and expedited linkage to treatment centers in the emergency departments across New York State.
With the support of the New York State Department of Health, he has pioneered the development of a novel statewide electronic referral network known as New York MATTERS (Medication for Addiction Treatment and Electronic Referrals).
The MATTERS program facilitates linking people with opioid use disorder (OUD) with treatment in a timely manner after presenting in the emergency department. The MATTERS program now offers referrals from nearly 200 locations giving patients the option to chose from over 2,000 weekly appointment slots.
In a nomination letter for Lynch, it is noted that Lynch’s efforts increased the number of DEA-waivered ED clinicians in Buffalo area hospitals who could prescribe buprenorphine and, through the MATTERS system, help patients access timely follow-up care, prescriptions, and support.
The letter further noted that since its inception in 2017, Lynch has guided the MATTERS program in expansion throughout New York and included access in various venues, including in correctional facilities and inpatient units, via law enforcement and emergency medical services encounters, and through telehealth services, which are available on a new mobile application so people with OUD may access the program on their own.
“Dr. Lynch embodies the mission of advancing emergency care because of his work in the MATTERS program. He and his team have improved care of patients through improving access, ease, and induction of care in hospital and out-of-hospital settings, education, and scholarship,” the letter stated.
Clemency and Lynch received their award at the organization’s 2023 Scientific Assembly July 11-13 in Bolton Landing, New York, which included the NY ACEP annual meeting.