Senior leadership team

Allina Health Emergency Medical Service's senior leadership team


Brian LaCroix, president/EMS chief   

LaCroix began his career in 1983 having worked as a volunteer firefighter, EMT, paramedic, educator, author, peer counselor, manager and executive officer.

He is currently a Fellow in the American College of Paramedic Executives and president-elect of the National EMS Management Association where he serves as liaison to the Paramedic Chiefs of Canada. He has also served in the past as Chair of the Hennepin County EMS Council, Chair of the Century College EMS Advisory Board, on Allina Health's Heart Safe Communities Steering Committee and member of the Regina Hospital Foundation Board.

In addition to his role in EMS, LaCroix has responsibility for corporate security services and system fleet management across Allina Health and oversees an employee group of more than 900 employees.

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Charles Lick, MD, medical director

Dr. Lick is responsible for the care delivered by Allina Health Emergency Medical Service's personnel. He sets equipment and training standards and service protocols.

Throughout 20-year career, Dr. Lick has worked with community, health care and civic organizations to advance the cause of early defibrillation for sudden cardiac arrest. He founded Allina's Heart Safe Communities program, which was designed to increase the survival rate of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests by placing automated external defibrillators in public places.


Andrew Stevens, MD

Dr. Andrew Stevens assumed the position of Associate Medical Director with Allina Health Emergency Medical Service (AHEMS) in June 2016 and works in partnership with Medical Director Charles Lick, MD.

Dr. Stevens formerly held positions of Deputy Medical Director for Indianapolis EMS, Indianapolis Fire Department and Wayne Township Fire Department, Assistant Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine, Deputy Medical Director for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police S.W.A.T. team, and Medical Director of the Mazda Road to Indy Racing Series and acted as Medical Director of Indiana University paramedic education. He also served as principal investigator for a research project using community paramedics to treat pediatric asthma patients.

Dr. Stevens grew up in Minnesota and received his B.S. in Biology from the University of Minnesota. He received his medical degree from Creighton University and completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine and fellowship training in out-of-hospital care at Indiana University School of Medicine. 

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Mark Anderson, director of finance

Anderson is responsible for all aspects of finance related to operating Allina Health Emergency Medical Services, including capital acquisition, monthly financial reporting, budgeting, forecasting, and cost and revenue analysis. In past work, he was responsible for initial statistical measures of Response Time Reporting, Unit Hour Utilization, and transport time analysis. Anderson takes great pride in working as a servant-leader for the many men and women on staff that provide medical care to those in need. He holds a bachelor of Business Administration degree in Economics and plays fiddle and mandolin in his free time.


Jeff Czyson, director of operations

Jeff began his EMS career in 1987 and held multiple positions as both a clinician and educator before entering leadership in 1999. His career has been highlighted by relationship-building and collaborative efforts yielding the EMS Incident Response Plan, the Minnesota Department of Health CBRNE guideline for EMS, the creation of the Minnesota School Safety Center and the EMS Multi-Agency Coordination Center to name a few. Jeff is a certified Emergency Manager in Minnesota and during Hurricane Katrina and Rita commanded a six-week, 48 person EMS deployment to assist the City of New Orleans. He led the creation and implementation of several response plans including an EMS-Hospital Radiological response plan which received the Governor's Private Partner Award.

In his current role, Jeff is responsible for ambulance service in portions of Anoka, Hennepin, Ramsey, Sherburne, Isanti, Wright, Scott and Dakota County. Jeff has a Baccalaureate Degree in Organizational Leadership and serves on several EMS committees and boards at various levels.

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James Soukup, director of dispatch communications

Soukup joined Allina Health EMS in December, 2017. He has been an Emergency Communications Director for 36 years working at two previous consolidated communication centers, one in Florida and the last one in Durham N.C. He serves on several national committees and is instrumental in modernizing 9-1-1 communications across the nation. While in Durham, Jim's emergency communication center was the first in the nation to implement direct 9-1-1 texting in August 2012. Since then the lessons learned have enabled other centers across the country to implement this technology. While employed in the State of Florida, Jim was also the Emergency Management Director for Citrus County, one of three in the State to have a nuclear power plant within its borders. Jim was also the first chair of the Tampa Bay Region Domestic Terrorism Task Force following the events of 9/11. 

The Allina Health Emergency Medical Services Communications Center oversees over 400 calls per day across a wide geographic area. 

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Russ Myers, EMS chaplain   

EMS professionals come face to face with the hard realities of human suffering, ranging from chronic, low-level distress to potentially traumatic events. At Allina Health EMS we care about our employees' emotional, mental, physical and spiritual well-being. 

The chaplain is part of that support, demonstrated by ride-alongs, sit-alongs, outreach, follow-ups and conversation with people at every level of the organization.

Myers has been an Allina Health chaplain since 1993 and is board certified by the Association of Professional Chaplains. He is author of "Caring for the Caregiver" (EMS Strong, 2017) and was featured in "How an EMS chaplain helps after a difficult call" (EMS1, Feb. 5,2018) and "Lending a layer of support" (Journal of Emergency Dispatch, Nov/Dec 2015).

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Kevin Miller, deputy chief

A paramedic for 32 years, Miller leads Allina Health EMS Operations for all emergent and non-emergent divisions. This encompasses over 120 communities across Minnesota. This work provides 911 ambulance services to over a million people in these communities. Miller oversees 29 leaders and a staff of over 500 Paramedic, EMT and support staff. Allina Health EMS has more than doubled in size since he joined the organization in 2008. Miller has a rich public safety background with includes law enforcement, military, municipal and hospital based EMS systems, volunteer system, and atypical EMS response models. His tenure includes EMS leadership positions in both Minnesota and Texas.

He is a gubernatorial appointee to the Minnesota Emergency Medical Board by both Governors Dayton and Pawlenty. His current Board Term expires in 2019 and currently serves as the Board's Vice Chair. Miller completed Bethel University's Organization Leadership program in 2008.

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Susan Long, director of clinical services

A paramedic for 30 years, Long oversees quality and safety functions, internal and external education activities.

In 1997, Long joined Allina Health Emergency Medical Services as an operations manager in our North Metro ambulance operations. She has subsequently provided leadership in ambulance and support services, staffing, education and quality.

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Joan Mellor, director of external affairs

Leading our community and government relations, Joan works to create an external environment where our organization, communities, and patients thrive.  She joined Allina Health EMS in November 2017. Prior to her current role, she was VP of organizational planning & development at Evolution Health, a mobile integrated healthcare start-up based in Dallas, Texas.  Prior to this she led philanthropic projects for the Medtronic Foundation for more than 17 years that resulted in improved systems of care and survival rates for acute cardiac conditions in the U.S. and globally. Mellor earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business and French from the University of St. Thomas, and a Policy Fellowship from the University of Minnesota, Humphrey School of Public Affairs.