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Donnie Woodyard, Jr

EMS Leader, Educator & Author 

  • Executive Leadership

  • EMS Systems/Operations

  • Financial Management

  • Relationship Building

  • Stakeholder Engagement

  • Technology Integration

  • Strategic Visioning/Planning

  • Continuous Improvement

  • Budget Management

  • Multinational Coordination

  • Program/Project Management

  • International Diplomacy

  • Disaster Response Management

  • Grant Management

  • Board/Council Expertise

  • Diplomatic Communication

  • Public Health Advocacy

  • Team Mentoring

A Bit About Me

I bring over 30 years of experience to the health care sector, having worked in diverse roles across government, private, and non-profit organizations. My career has been centered on nurturing leadership qualities, creating unified teams, encouraging positive workplace environments, and mentoring emerging leaders. Engaging stakeholders, strategic planning, and effective problem-solving are integral to my professional approach. I have played a role in enhancing processes and integrating technology into healthcare operations.

My philosophy is centered on motivating and empowering team members, with a focus on organizational growth through thoughtful decision-making and talent development. I place a strong emphasis on building robust relationships and maintaining clear communication.

My EMS career has taken me through various settings - from urban to frontier, and from domestic to international locations. I have worked in fire-based, hospital-based, and private sector EMS. Additionally, my clinical experience includes roles as a flight paramedic, critical care paramedic, and an austere/wilderness paramedic. As an EMS systems leader, administrator, and regulator, I've served as the CEO of a multi-national private sector EMS company, the State EMS Director in Louisiana and Colorado, and the Chief Operating Officer for the National Registry of EMTs.


Academically, I am equipped with a background in academic writing and hold expertise in EMS leadership. I have a Master of Management & Leadership and am currently pursuing a Doctor of Public Administration degree.

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Work Experience

2020 - 2023

2020 - 2023

2016 - 2020

2013 - 2016

2010 - 2016


2016 - 2010

Additional Experience

Interstate Commission for EMS Personnel Practice 

Executive Director (2023-Present)

Chair of Commission (2022-20223)

Vice Chair of Commission (2020-2022)

  • In July 2023, appointed to lead and provide strategic vision for the EMS Compact Commission, the United States governmental body responsible for administering the interstate practice of Emergency Medical Services.

  • Elected as Chair of the Commission by the Member States, before assuming the Executive Director role.

  • Regularly represent the Commission at national and state-level events.

  • Actively collaborate with stakeholders to advance the objectives of the EMS Compact.

Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment

Branch Chief, Emergency Medical & Trauma Services

  • Led Colorado's Emergency Medical and Trauma Services Branch, focusing on reducing morbidity and mortality from sudden illnesses and injuries as per legislative mandates.

  • Collaborated with stakeholders to champion legislative reforms, resulting in updates to the state's EMS Act and the unification of ground ambulance regulations.

  • Provided pivotal leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic, multiple largescale disaster responses, and the inaugural year of the State's EMS Sustainability Task Force.

  • Oversaw a comprehensive range of regulatory responsibilities, including:

    • Certification and licensure of EMS providers.

    • Recognition of institutions offering EMS initial training and continuing education.

    • Licensure of air ambulance agencies.

    • Administration and management of multi-million-dollar grant funding programs.

    • Supervision of investigations, enforcement actions, and statewide trauma systems.

    • Designation and oversight of hospitals as trauma centers.

National Registry of EMTs

Chief Operating Officer | Chief Information Officer

  • Oversaw executive leadership across various departments including information technology, cybersecurity, stakeholder relations, communications, marketing, plant operations, safety and security, crisis management, and project management.

  • Acted as a pivotal figure during the formation of the EMS Compact, frequently advising the Compact Commission and state EMS officials. Contributed expertise on topics such as administration, cross-border EMS operations, and EMS personnel data exchange. Presented testimony in legislative sessions, championing the EMS Compact initiative.

  • Orchestrated and supervised a portfolio of state, federal, and military contracts, ensuring alignment with organizational goals.

  • Fostered partnerships with stakeholders, legislators, and federal agencies to advance the national EMS certification standard and regulatory mandate.

  • Spearheaded the creation and staffing of new teams to bolster organizational growth, including units for project management, federal-military relations, marketing, and cybersecurity.

  • Demonstrated leadership by frequently stepping in as Acting Executive Director during the primary executive's absence. Regularly collaborated with the Board of Directors and the leadership team to craft the organization's strategic vision.

  • Mentored and developed mid-level management, emphasizing growth, innovation, and collaboration.

  • Managed the operations division's budget, contributing to the finalization of the organization's annual budget.

  • Played a key role in devising the organization's Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) and its disaster recovery strategy. Achieved a significant transition, moving 97% of staff, including the national call center, to remote roles during the COVID-19 pandemic, without any operational interruptions.

Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals

Director of the Bureau of EMS | State of Louisiana

  • Accountable to the Secretary of Health, directed the planning, coordination, licensing, and regulation of Louisiana's EMS system, serving a population of 4.6M with over 1M patient interactions annually.

  • Managed the licensing process for 20K EMS professionals and oversaw 3K EMS-related educational courses annually.

  • As a member of the ESF-8 leadership team, had direct supervision over disaster-related EMS assets, inclusive of a readiness cache of 1K ambulances and 4K personnel.

  • Achieved a 35% revenue boost and elevated state budgetary provisions by 300%; successfully reclaimed multiple crucial federal grants for the Bureau of EMS.

  • Fostered collaboration with diverse stakeholder groups, leading to consensus on EMS System design and the seamless transition from a manual licensing system to an e-licensure model.

  • Distinguished as the national EMS Representative for the US Federal Highways Administration Executive Leadership Group (TIM-ELG).

  • Directed the bureau's fiscal operations, and actively contributed to the presentation and defense of the Health Department's budget before the legislature.

  • Spearheaded the bureau's response during the Ebola crisis, collaborating closely with state, regional, and federal partners.

  • Regularly consulted with and advised higher-ups on matters affecting the state's EMS or disaster response capabilities, offering decisions, insights, and directions on various concerns.

  • Held a pivotal role as a senior member of the state's ESF-8 disaster leadership team, overseeing extensive disaster-related EMS resources.

Falck (Pvt) Ltd./Med1 (Pvt) Ltd.

Chief Executive Officer | Managing Director

  • Pioneered and led Sri Lanka's premier international-quality provider of Emergency Medical Services (EMS), home health, and urgent care services.

  • Strategically established and incorporated Med1 (Pvt) Ltd, designing business models, introducing services, and securing investments from prominent partners, including the World Bank and two of Sri Lanka's leading companies.

  • Assembled a high-caliber C-suite team, formulated and executed the company's strategic vision, and deliberately shaped a distinct corporate culture.

  • Introduced an innovative health funding approach grounded in a sustainable microfinance model, scaling the workforce to over 100 full-time employees within three years.

  • Expanded the business's reach by launching various verticals: emergency ambulance services, non-emergency transport, home care, pharmacy, urgent care centers, and air medical services.

  • Steered the negotiation process during Med1 Pvt Limited's acquisition by Falck A/S of Denmark, ensuring a smooth leadership transition post-acquisition.

Medical Teams International

Director of Disaster Response | Country Director, Haiti

  • Spearheaded the immediate medical response, setting up and administering multiple field hospitals, in the aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

  • Successfully established and oversaw various field medical units, delivering care to over 186,000 individuals.

  • Demonstrated fiscal prudence in managing a multimillion-dollar disaster response budget; collaborated seamlessly with multinational organizations such as US-AID, WHO, PAHO, and the UN.

  • Deployed and administered a team of 100+ medical professionals in a challenging disaster context.

  • Directed initial disaster response operations and ensured a smooth transition to the long-term recovery leadership team.

Medical Teams International

Country Director, Sri Lanka | EMS & Trauma Systems Consultant

Promoted into executive leadership roles in the aftermath of the 2004 Asian tsunami and during the civil war humanitarian crisis. Commanded a rapidly expanding multi-national staff of 600, managing a multifaceted budget and program implementation. Successfully merged the organization’s tsunami recovery initiatives, encompassing community health, hospital construction, and emergency trauma service expansion. Elevated the agency's reputation with the host government, UN, US authorities, and the diplomatic community.

  • Instrumentally shaped the national (public) EMS system as the Subject Matter Expert (SME), setting standards and initiating the Sri Lankan Registry of EMTs. Entrusted by the Cabinet Secretary of Health to aid in designing the national trauma system, policy, and regulations. Advocated for quality assurance, national EMS guidelines, and took charge as Editor-in-Chief for two Pre-Hospital Care Textbooks in Sinhalese and Tamil.

  • Orchestrated multiple field hospitals and conflict zone evacuations, catering to over 300,000 affected individuals. Advanced epidemiology monitoring and surveillance, navigated and executed multiple presidential executive orders, managed pivotal UN and US Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance grants, and handled sensitive communications at the national and international levels.

  • Editorial Advisor – International Journal of Health Systems Resilience

  • Board of Directors – National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) 2014-2016

  • Emergency Medical Services Systems Advisor – World Health Organization, Bangladesh / Vietnam

  • Director of EMS Services & Education – Riverview Hospital, Noblesville, IN

  • Paramedic Program Director & Paramedic Instructor – Ivy Tech Community College, Kokomo, IN

  • Regional Sales Manager – Tech+Med Industries, LP, Indianapolis, IN


2023 - In Progress

Doctor of Public Administration

Liberty University


Master of Management & Leadership (MAML)

Liberty University

summa cum laude


Bachelor of General Studies

Emphasis: Science & Management

Indiana University



Associate of Arts & Science
New River Community College

Critical Care Paramedic Certificate

University of Maryland - Baltimore County


Paramedic Science Certificate

Sinclair Community College

1995 - 1999

Biology Pre-Med

Cedarville University


Emergency Medical Technician - Ambulance

Commonwealth of Virginia

Publications & Conferences

Selection of Publications & Conferences

  • "EMS in the United States: Fragmented Past, Future of Opportunity." Desk Reference for Emergency Medical Services leaders, 480 pages. ISBN: 979-8-9885254-2-4.

  • "Prehospital System Development in Jaffna, Sri Lanka." Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, Cambridge Press, 28.5 (2013).

  • "Essentials of Emergency Care: Bangladesh Advanced Edition." Chief Editor. World Health Organization, November 2009.

  • "Essentials of Emergency Care: Bangladesh Nursing Edition." Chief Editor. World Health Organization, November 2009.

  • "Sri Lanka Pre-Hospital Emergency Care." Chief Editor. National EMT education textbook. Sri Lanka Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition.

    • Sinhala Edition. Medical Teams International, June 2008.

    • Tamil Edition. Medical Teams International, July 2008.

  • "Bangladesh National Guidebook on Emergency Health Care." Chief Contributor, Project Consultant (WHO). WHO and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Bangladesh, November 2008.

    • Advanced Provider Edition, ISBN: 9843000028091.

    • Community Provider Edition (Bangla), November 2008.

  • "Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Worker: Cambodia Edition." Technical consultant and content editor. Cambodia Ministry of Health, November 2008.

  • "Trauma Care Manual." Pocket-guide for trauma management. Colombo, Sri Lanka, January 2009.

  • "Development of an Emergency Medical Technician Textbook in Sri Lanka." World Conference on Disaster and Emergency Medicine, Victoria, Canada, April 2009.

  • "Development of an Emergency Medical Services and Trauma System in Sri Lanka: An Experiential Report." World Conference on Disaster and Emergency Medicine, Victoria, Canada, April 2009.

  • "NGO Role in System Development." Global Primary Trauma Care Conference, Colombo, Sri Lanka, January 5-9, 2009.

  • "Sri Lanka EMS System Development." Emergency Medicine in the Developing World Conference, Cape Town, South Africa, October 4-6, 2007.

  • "Preventing the Secondary Injury of Trauma: A Sri Lanka Model." 2nd Asia-Pacific Conference on Injury Prevention, Hanoi, Vietnam, November 4-6, 2008.

  • "Injury in the Developing World: From Prevention to Care." Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan, October 23-25, 2007.

  • "Pre-Hospital Care Development." First National Conference: Trauma Secretariat, Colombo, Sri Lanka, January 30, 2008.

  • "End-Tidal CO2: The Art and Science." State EMS Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana, September 2005.

  • "The One-Hour AMI: 12-Lead EKGs." State EMS Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana, September 2005.

  • "Riverview Hospital Pre-Hospital Care Treatment Protocols: 2004." Advanced & Basic Life Support treatment and assessment guidelines. Noblesville, Indiana, 2004.

  • "Riverview Hospital Pre-Hospital Care Treatment Protocols: 2006." Advanced & Basic Life Support treatment and assessment guidelines. Noblesville, Indiana, 2006.

  • "Pre-hospital Emergency Pharmacology Drug Reference Pocket Guide." Noblesville, IN, 2006.

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