Maple, Class of 1978
Dr. Carol Cunningham, a 1978 graduate of Maple Heights High School, was appointed State Medical Director for the Ohio Department of Public Safety, Division of EMS in July 2004 and is a board-certified emergency physician at Cleveland Clinic Akron General Medical Center and a professor of emergency medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University. She is the co-principal investigator for the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) National Model EMS Clinical Guidelines project and serves on the Ohio Medical Coordination Plan Committee and Pediatric Disaster Coalition. She served as the EMS Medical Director representative on the National EMS Advisory Council (NEMSAC) for 5 years following her membership on the NEMSAC’s Education and Workforce Committee and as an appointed medical director of the federal-supported COVID-19 mass vaccination site at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center in 2022.
Dr. Cunningham received her medical degree and completed an emergency medicine residency at the University of Cincinnati. She has seven years of experience as a flight physician, eleven years of experience as a tactical EMS medical director, and is a fellow in the American Academy of Emergency Medicine and the Academy of Emergency Medical Services.
Dr. Cunningham completed the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative and earned the Executive Certificate in Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School of Executive Education. She also completed the Women and Power, Advanced Crisis Leadership: Innovative Strategies and Designs, Strategic Leadership: Enhancing Your Personal Effectiveness, and Promoting Racial Equity in the Workplace programs at the Harvard Kennedy School of Executive Education and the Homeland Security Executive Leadership Program at The Naval Postgraduate School & The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security. Dr. Cunningham was selected as the 2022 National Preparedness Leadership Initiative Meta-Leader of the Year from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Center for Public Leadership. She is also the recipient of the 2021 University of Cincinnati College of Medicine Distinguished Alumni Award, Crain’s Cleveland Business 2022 Women of Note Award, Lakeland Community College’s 2022 Woman of Achievement Award, and the 2012 American Academy of Emergency Medicine James Keaney Leadership Award.
In addition to her continued duties as a senior oral board examiner, Dr. Cunningham was selected by the American Board of Emergency Medicine to serve on the inaugural Item Writer Panel for MyEMCert, the new examination option for board recertification, as well as the upcoming MyEMSCert for the subspecialty of EMS. She completed a 3-year term on the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) EMS Examination Committee in 2017 after 4 years of service as an item writer on the historic ABEM EMS Examination Task Force. She is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of EMS (JEMS) and has served as a contributing editor for the EMS Insider and on several committees and panels at the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the EMS Program Steering Committee of the National Fire Academy Board of Visitors. Dr. Cunningham is the secretary of the NASEMSO Medical Director Council after serving terms as the chair and the chair-elect.
Dr. Cunningham was appointed to the Executive Steering Committee of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate’s First Responder Resource Group and served on the EMS Support Team of the Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency National Integration Center Strategic Resource Group. She serves on the Mobile Education Team for the Center for Homeland Defense and Security’s Executive Education Program, the OnStar® Public Safety Advisory Council, the Board of Directors of the Committee for Tactical Emergency Casualty Care, the Eversight Board of Directors, the Tri-C Jazzfest Board of Advisors, and the Board of Trustees of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.