Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Associates,
Let me begin by expressing my gratitude for your calls, letters, texts, messages, and emails over the past several months. Your kindness and concern have meant the world to me and my family. For those of you who were unaware, I suffered a life-threatening AMI at our February Board Meeting in New Mexico. Thanks to my great friends on the board – especially Dr. Drew Harrell – I was quickly transported by EMS to the University hospital where I received excellent care and as a result, survived.
The journey since then has been long and introspective. It is amazing what a brush with mortality can do to rattle one’s existential perspective. Considering the recent events, the demands of the job, and the need to recover, I have decided to step down from my role as Associate Director of the CoAEMSP.
It has been a distinct privilege to serve our profession as part of the organization the past 14 years – first as a board member and then on staff. I believe together we have made significant gains in our profession and moreover, have developed some terrific relationships. On a continual basis you reminded me of what is possible when we work together for the advancement of our profession.
Personally, I am excited for a new opportunity to teach EMS students of whom I have missed. I must confess, it will also be nice to be home more often. One day I also hope to return to the CoAEMSP in a contracted, technical consultant context; focusing on research to help us further understand the how and why of what we do.
As this chapter closes, my parting advice is to always remember: We are in this together and we all share in a valuable gift that affords us the ability to impact our world in a positive way by being good examples in our programs and to one another. We are works in progress and we never stop learning. As Maya Angelou famously stated, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
Please be good to yourselves and be kind to one another.
God Bless you and thank you for the opportunity to serve you,
A Message from the CoAEMSP Board and Staff
After seven years of service as Associate Director for the CoAEMSP, and seven years as a board member, Gordy Kokx is stepping down due to health issues. We will genuinely miss the day-to-day interactions we had, as well as his unique ability to make us all better educators and people. A search to fill this position will be postponed until a later date.
Both the CoAEMSP and Paramedic education are more solid, credible, and effective, all for the ultimate good of the American public, thanks to the insight and dedication Gordy has contributed to our profession. Because of his experience as a Paramedic, EMS educator, program director, department chair, and acting dean, Gordy brought a firm understanding of the various aspects of the profession to the CoAEMSP. He is credited for designing, implementing, and directing the first public college-based Paramedic program in the state of Idaho. His award-nominated thesis for his Ph.D. addressed development of program director leadership curriculum and training–subjects critical for improving Paramedic education. One of the most significant contributions Gordy made during his time with the CoAEMSP was serving as the main subject matter expert in the development of Appendix G, an important evidence-based measurement of student competency which was introduced in 2017.
Among his colleagues, he is best known for ‘walking the walk and talking the talk,’ his humility, approachability, and genuine nature. True to his nature, Gordy has served as an advocate for Paramedic programs, and has promoted the importance of the affective domain in Paramedic education throughout his career.
Gordy has indicated that he will return to teaching, and we know that he will be an invaluable asset to both his Paramedic educational program and students.
We are delighted that Gordy hopes to one day return to the CoAEMSP. If that comes to fruition, he will be welcomed with open arms as both colleague and friend. We look forward to the times in which our paths will cross and we can re-connect with our esteemed colleague and trusted friend.
Gordy, we wish you all the very best!