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2020 AIMHI EMS Integration Award | Hanan Cohen

17 Aug 2020 3:05 PM | AIMHI Admin (Administrator)

Leadership in Integrated Healthcare, Distinguished ServiceNominated by Cyndy Stone, PatientCare EMS Solutions

As a certified paramedic, community paramedic and Director of Business Development / Community Paramedicine at Empress EMS (partner with PatientCare EMS Solutions), Hanan Cohen has served in the EMS Industry and Hospital Administration for over 30 years.  About 6 years ago, he started a quest to bring Mobile Integrated Health programs (Community Paramedicine (CP) to patients in the Bronx, NY and in Westchester County, NY.  Through his efforts, Empress EMS launched CP programs for both St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx and White Plains Hospital in White Plains, NY. These treat in place programs  primarily focus on reducing readmission of high-risk patients with chronic disease to the hospital and preventing the use of the emergency room for non-emergency issues.  This programs includes personal outreach to patients identified as higher risks and follow up with ER patients to help ensure that they do not return to the ER unnecessarily.     

The development and implementation of these programs helped to prepare the Empress team for what was to come with COVID-19, when the NY State Department of Health called on them to provide the first testing in homes for high-risk patients and in nursing homes during the peak of the outbreak.  In addition, Hanan worked with NYS DOH to open the first COVID-19 drive through testing facility in New Rochelle which became a model for other testing sites opening across the country.     

Hanan is a member of the American Ambulance Association National Corona Virus Workgroup, the Empress lead on the NYS DOH COVID-19 Task Force, a member of the NY Mobile Integrated HealthCare Alliance and a member of the AAA Payment Reform Committee.  His remarkable work in Mobile Integrated Health (MIH) was needed during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The well-established model along with the professional relationships developed through his work in MIH and CP created a clear recipe for operational success.  The stellar work, against many odds, during the crisis has become the focus of national attention.  He contracted the virus himself, although asymptomatic, and continued to lead during this effort while quarantined. He would be a worthy recipient of this prestigious award and a great example of how MIH leaders should lead from the front.

During the pilot phase of the Community Paramedic program developed by Hanan in partnership with other medical professionals,  metrics measured were decrease in Emergency Room utilization and decrease in readmissions, both of which were achieved.  Part of the success was Hanan and his teams efforts to follow-up by phone to those in the high risk category.    

During COVID-19, as the first agency to work with NYS Task Force to activate mobile testing in homes with high risk patients and nursing homes, the procedures were requested by the CDC and other states. Further, developing a consistent employee communication model to provide consistent and accurate information was key to keeping the Empress team motivated and properly informed.  This included but was not limited to frequent supervisor interaction, including supervisors or first wave of COVID-19 calls, daily debriefings, mobile app to maintain a consistent message and reliable information, email, internal Facebook with consistent messaging to ensure that staff were properly informed of protocol, procedure and that they knew they were critically important in ensuring a positive response to this crisis; proactive approaches to training and infection control procedures which were implemented prior to state and federal requirements which included producing videos and hand-outs on proper use of PPE; donning PPE prior to knocking on doors, stepping back after knocking, maintaining limited interactions; repeating screening questions, placing masks on every patient, and more.   

In addition, to follow up on the CP programs' successes, Empress called treat-at-home COVID-19 patients to answer questions, and further assess symptoms.  They delivered food and medications to patients without access, followed up with doctors on behalf of patients to ensure proper medications and home health equipment.  During the very early stages of the outbreak, decontamination was taking 2.5 - 3 hours per vehicle which was a major strain on the business and it's already over-worked employees through this crisis.  To provide relief, Empress hired approximately 20 employee family members and friends who had lost their jobs due to the pandemic.  This provided needed relief to the employees, income for struggling families and a sense that the company understood the challenges and cared about its employees.     Hanan, with his vast EMS and Hospital administration knowledge coupled with his extensive experience with community paramedicine and now with COVID-19 pandemic management have resulted in many requests to consult and speak on the topics.


Hanan is the Director of Business Development and Community Paramedicine at Empress EMS.  He is a paramedic and community paramedic with 30 years experience in EMS and Hospital Administration.  His major focus is on new program design to provide collaborative community health programs with hospitals in Westchester County, NY and New York City.

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