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Governor Honors EMS Director for ‘Outstanding Contribution’

December 30, 2013

“No one has dedicated more time and effort advocating for the advancement and enhancement of pre-hospital care in Georgia than Keith Wages.”  With those words, the director of the Office of EMS and Trauma for the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) was honored by Gov. Nathan Deal for “Outstanding Contribution to Profession.” The 2013 Governor’s Public Safety Awards, which were presented in Forsyth, Ga. on Dec. 12.  

Keith Wages accepts a 2013 Public Safety Award from Gov. Nathan Deal.

“Keith Wages is one of the most outstanding members of the department's health protection team,” said J. Patrick O’Neal, M.D., DPH’s director of health protection. “His experience as a former EMS director in the 1990s followed by overseeing EMS for the  state of Minnesota makes him the perfect person to be DPH’s EMS director in Georgia.”

Wages’ dedication goes beyond a job description. He has worked with hospitals, served on a number of boards and has led many statewide initiatives, including the development of 911 EMS systems and the Mission-Lifeline program, which involved the American Heart Association and the Georgia Coverdell Acute Stroke Registry. These projects are just some of the ways Wages’ work has contributed to overall improvements in patient care in Georgia.

Over the course of his 37 years of service, Wages has won numerous state and regional awards while touching the lives of many.

“Keith is a leader who inspires excellence, and it is from his leadership that EMS has excelled to a level of performance in Georgia that is being recognized across the country,” said Peki Prince, EMS preparedness coordinator. “He is undoubtedly one of the most respected leaders in EMS.”

Wages dedication and expertise is recognized on an individual and a statewide scale.

“His experience in the private sector as an international consultant on emergency management provides a depth of knowledge shared by very few EMS directors across the U.S.,” O’Neal said. “I can think of no one more deserving of the Governor’s EMS award than Keith Wages.”

Wages is honored by the accolades from colleagues and friends.

"Words cannot express how much I appreciate the opportunity to represent the Georgia Department of Public Health and serve as its state EMS director,” Wages said. “I am honored to accept the Governor's Public Safety Award on behalf of our entire department, and I cannot thank Dr. O'Neal enough for giving me the opportunity to be part of such a wonderful team."