Earlier this week CSFE announced our 2020-21 Faculty Affiliates, all of whom we are very excited about working with during this coming year. Today, we want to highlight one of our affiliates, Assistant Professor and Director of the Emergency Medical Care program at WCU, Jackson Déziel.

As a paramedic by trade, Jackson has been in Emergency Medical Services, EMS, for almost 20 years. With a Ph.D. in public policy from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and a Masters of Public Administration from North Carolina State University, his research focuses on EMS, health economics, and public policy.

Currently, his academic research focuses on the function of health economics when it intersects with emergency medical services, “I’ve recently done work with economic signaling theory with budget maximization theories, then bringing EMS into that and saying that these theories still hold, just because we are not a hospital or nursing unit doesn’t mean these aren’t true,” said Jackson.

For his research with CSFE, Jackson will be focusing on emergency medicine policy regarding the Covid-19 pandemic; how we have responded, how we should have responded, how we will continue to respond, which practices and policies have worked, and which have not worked.

“I’m going to be focusing on the systems that we had in place, that did not prepare us for this. From an emergency medical services standpoint, we have this National Incident Management Systems that we are trained on and that tells us how to respond to these big events, but we have learned that we were trained for one-off, singular events,” said Jackson. “Then, with this pandemic, we tried to use our training to manage the pandemic, but there is no real start and there is no real stop. This is not a one-off, localized event, it is happening everywhere.”

Jackson hopes with this research, along with the research being conducted globally, that there will be an effective change to local, regional, and national policy to handle these types of events in emergency medicine. Locally, Jackson hopes to see an increase in community paramedics to serve underrepresented populations in our rural area, “As a vaccine comes down the pipeline, as testing gets more and more widespread, especially in this rural area where it’s not easy for people to get primary care and the access to health care isn’t there,” Jackson said. “We in the EMS area would have an opportunity to go out directly to them.”

We are very excited to welcome Jackson Déziel as a member of our Faculty Affiliates and to witness the impact of his research. On the horizon, Jackson is looking towards doing more research on the mental health of first responders and has recently submitted a piece on EMS demand in relation to social determinants of health.

Thanks to Jackson for making his work a part of CSFE.

Photo by Mike Legeros, @LegerosFire