Bios 2021

Joseph Alderete, MD

COL Joseph F Alderete Jr MD is a father of 2 wonderful children, Kaden and Jack, and married to Mrs Sunnie Alderete for 19 years. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1997. He then attended medical school at Pennsylvania State College of Medicine and received his MD in 2001. Internship and Residency in Orthopaedic Surgery were both completed at Eisenhower Army Medical Center from 2001 to 2006. Following residency he was a staff orthopaedic surgeon at Reynolds Army Community Hospital from 2006 to 2008. He then attended the Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN for a fellowship in Musculoskeletal Oncology; moving on to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio where he is currently the Chief of Orthopaedic Oncology and the Medical Director for the Center for the Intrepid, Advanced Amputee and Limb Salvage Rehabilitation. He has had 4 combat deployments to Afghanistan serving in positions from staff orthopaedic surgeon to Deputy Commander for Clinical Services and Task Force Chief of Surgery, Iraq. His leadership positions include local, regional, and national roles from Associate Program Director for the SAUSHEC Orthopaedic Surgery Residency to the Medical Board of Trustees for the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation. He has received many awards, military and academic, including the Warren R Kadramas Memorial Educator’s Award for best teaching staff in 2013, AOA, and the Order of Military Medical Merit in 2020.

Gail Atnip

Gail Atnip has 36 years of experience in Medicare.  She worked for TrailBlazer Health Enterprises, LLC for 34 years and September 2012 she joined the Novitas Solutions education team. During the time she has held various positions including claims processing, written correspondence, telephone customer service, and telephone appeal line and the enrollment call center.  She holds the current position of Provider Outreach and Education Specialist where she has served providers for the past 16 years. This team is comprised of specialists who have an extensive background with Medicare policies and claims processing.  The primary focus is to meet the educational needs of the physicians and suppliers.  This is accomplished through conducting workshops, on-site visits and speaking to various groups.

Her specialties include Ambulance, Therapy Services (PT, OT SLP), Psychiatric Services, Non-Physician Practitioners, “Incident To” Services and the liaison for Indian Health Services (IHS).

Brian Choate

Brian’s diverse background consists of 25 years of finance, technology and healthcare revenue cycle. His passion is innovating leading-edge solutions to break-out of stagnant business cycles.

Brian’s start in revenue cycle began in 2009 with Black Ink Systems, where he introduced new technology to the EMS industry for uncovering missed payer sources for EMS self-pay and collection accounts.

In 2014, Brian pioneered a brand-new concept in healthcare, real-time deductible management, assisting providers with in- creasing recoupments from high-deductible insurance plans. Solutions Group, Brian’s organization, now partners with healthcare providers in more than 40 states serving multiple healthcare specialties.

Brian currently serves on the Communications Committee as well as the Balance Billing Data Taskforce for the American Ambulance Association (AAA). He is also a frequent speaker at state and National EMS conferences on reimbursement topics and changing trends.

Cameron Decker, MD

Cameron Decker, MD, LP, FACEP, FAEMS is a graduate of Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine.  He completed his residency in Emergency Medicine and fellowship in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) at Baylor College of Medicine.  

Dr. Decker is double board certified in emergency medicine and EMS medicine, an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, and faculty at Ben Taub Hospital, one of the busiest Level I trauma centers in the country. 

As a Licensed Paramedic, Dr. Decker has an extensive background in pre-hospital care, having been active in EMS through multiple 911 departments.  Before becoming the Medical Director of Harris County Emergency Corps, he worked there as a Paramedic.  He is the Medical Director of Rice University EMS, Aldine Fire Rescue, Eastex Fire Department, Northwest Fire Rescue, Westfield Fire Department, and The Emergency Medical Task Force – 6, the State’s regional response network for large scale medical incidents.  He also serves as a Medical Team Manager for Texas A&M Task Force 1, a FEMA and TDEM US&R team, and is a decorated Master Peace Officer and Tactical Physician with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team.

Michael Furrh

Michael A. Furrh began his career in rural Lavaca County, Tx in 2002 when he was 17 years old. After his EMT class in high school, he was hired by Lavaca County then as a true “ambulance driver.” He’s worked for numerous EMS agencies throughout central and southeast Texas as a Paramedic throughout the last 19 years and has now completed the circle to be the Chief of EMS in Lavaca County. Prior to Lavaca, he served as the EMS Director for Colorado County for 5 years. Chief Furrh has also been involved in bringing rescue services into the EMS field as well as improving relationships between EMS and local, rural hospital facilities. 

He currently sits and has sat on numerous boards for education and EMS advocacy as well as local civic organizations. 

Board member, Texas EMS Alliance 

Board Member, Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council (Past)

Board Member, Golden Crescent Regional Advisory Council

Advisory Board Member, Wharton County Junior College

Advisory Board Member, Victoria College 

City Councilman, City of Shiner

Asst. Fire Chief, Shiner Fire Department 

He has been married to his beautiful wife, Tierra for almost 10 years and is the prideful dad of Dakotah, David and Trista Jo. 

Craig Holzheauser

Craig Holzheauser brings to Cornerstone years of involvement in Texas state and local politics. The son of a state representative, Craig went to work in the private sector after college before beginning a political career at the state capitol in 2012.

Working as a legislative consultant, managing the campaigns of House and Senate members, and serving as legislative director and then committee director of the House Committee on Public Health in his first year of employment, Craig is goal oriented and proven himself to be a quick study. Craig has a keen political intuition and a knack for developing the type of relationships that matter in campaigns, service of an elected official, or success for his clients.

A native of Victoria, Texas, Craig holds a Bachelor of Science in Construction Science from Texas A&M University.

Jeffrey Jarvis, MD

Jeff Jarvis, MD, EMT-P is the Medical Director for Williamson County EMS and Marble Falls Area EMS. He is a practicing emergency physician at Baylor Scott & White Hospital in Round Rock, Texas. His experience in Emergency Medical Services and the broader health care field spans over 30 years, beginning as a volunteer firefighter and EMT. He has served as a paramedic in three states, the Texas State EMS Training Coordinator and Department Chair of EMS Technology at Temple College. Dr. Jarvis serves on multiple committees including the Texas Governor’s Emergency & Trauma Advisory Committee Medical Directors committee, Texas College of Emergency Physicians EMS Medical Directors committee and the American College of Emergency Physicians EMS committee. He has research interests in prehospital airway management and the measurement of clinical performance.

Emily Kidd, MD

Dr. Emily Kidd attended Texas A&M University (BS), The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (MD), The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University (residency), and The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston/Houston Fire Department (fellowship). She is board certified in Emergency Medicine and EMS, and has been practicing emergency medicine for over 21 years and pre-hospital (EMS) medicine for over 16 years. She served as an Assistant Medical Director for the Houston Fire Department and as an Assistant Medical Director and Interim Medical Director for the San Antonio Fire Department. Since 2016, she has served as the Texas Medical Director for Acadian Ambulance Service. Dr. Kidd is also very actively involved in disaster and emergency management at the local, regional, state, and national levels. She was involved in field response and medical direction during Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Ike, and Harvey as well as the H1N1 pandemic, Ebola crisis, West, Texas explosion, and of course the COVID pandemic and recent ice storm. Dr. Kidd held a position on FEMA’s National Advisory Council for 6 years, has sat on the Governor’s EMS and Trauma Advisory Council Disaster Committee for over 14 years, and serves as the State Medical Director for the Texas Emergency Medical Task Force. She was recently elected to the position of President-Elect for the Texas Chapter of the National Association of EMS Physicians.

Nim Kidd

Nim Kidd serves as the Chief of the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM). In this capacity, he is responsible for the state’s emergency preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation activities. Response activities also encompass field response and daily operations to include statewide alert monitoring, management of the AMBER and Silver Alert programs, and the processing of daily requests for assistance from local jurisdictions.

His appointment as Chief of Emergency Management and Assistant Director for the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) began on June 1, 2010. During his tenure, the state has managed 12 Stafford Act presidential disaster declarations, 2 Stafford Act emergency declarations, 58 Fire Management Assistance Grants (FMAG), and over $6 billion in federal disaster funds.

Prior to serving with DPS, Chief Kidd was appointed to the San Antonio Fire Department (SAFD) in April of 1993. During his time with the SAFD, he was promoted through the ranks from firefighter to District Fire Chief, including Lieutenant in charge of the SAFD Technical Rescue Team and Captain of the SAFD Hazardous Materials Response Team. From 2004 to 2010, Chief Kidd served as Emergency Manager for the city of San Antonio, where he managed the city’s response to over a dozen state and presidential disaster declarations.

Since 1997, Chief Kidd has been an original member of the Texas Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Team and responded to the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center.

Chief Kidd currently serves as a subcommittee chair for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Advisory Council (NAC), a group that advises the FEMA Administrator on all aspects of emergency management nationwide. Chief Kidd also serves as a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) Commissioner with the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM). In this capacity, he is responsible for reviewing and making recommendations on applications for certification and recertification.

Chief Kidd holds a Masters of Public Administration from Texas State University, a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University-Commerce, and two associates degrees. He is both a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM®) and a certified Texas Emergency Manager (TEM®). Chief Kidd is also a Texas Master Firefighter and holds Hazardous Materials and Emergency Medical Technician certifications.

Chief Kidd and his wife, Dr. Emily Kidd, M.D., share three children together.

Judd Messer

Judd Messer is the Chief of Staff for State Representative Trent Ashby (Lufkin), where he has had the opportunity to work extensively on the state budget, as well as issues like public school finance and broadband expansion for rural areas. Before joining Team Ashby, Judd spent time on staff for State Representative Travis Clardy (Nacogdoches) and former State Representative Wayne Smith (Baytown). Prior to his work in the Legislature, Judd served as Special Assistant to Augie Garrido, former Head Coach for University of Texas Baseball.

Judd is a native of Belton, Texas and a proud graduate of The University of Texas at Austin (BA-2013). In his personal life, Judd enjoys serving others and strives to make a difference in his community through volunteer work for charitable organizations. In 2018, Judd was named runner-up for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Man & Woman of the Year Campaign, and he recently completed a stint as Chair of the LLS Austin Leadership Team. He and his fiancé Caroline live in Austin, love to travel, spend time with their families, cheer for the Texas Longhorns, and spoil their chocolate lab.

Jeff Mincy

Jeff Mincy has served as the EMS director at Coryell Memorial Healthcare System since 2009.  He is responsible for five crews of 37 employees that run 450 calls per month. He was selected by the Texas Department of State Health as the 2015 EMS Provider of the Year.

Guy Minshall

Guy Minshall is the Assistant Director and Clinical Manager for Colorado County EMS, the Clinical Manager for Lavaca County EMS and a critical care flight paramedic for PHI Air Medical. Guy was born and raised in Wales, UK where he began a career in the hospitality industry. Guy transitioned from the kitchen to the bar becoming a real-life Tom Cruise when he became the World Bartender Champion back in 1999. He was then recruited by the Hard Rock Cafe restaurant chain and became the Worldwide Beverage Manager, which brought him to the USA in 2000. Guy still did not know what he wanted to be when he grew up so at the age of 40 decided to follow his childhood dream of becoming a flight paramedic. Guy achieved his dream over 5 years ago and when he is not flying you can find him at Colorado County EMS and Lavaca County EMS providing clinical education with a focus on pre-hospital emergency care in the rural setting. Guy can be contacted by email, gminshallccems@gmail.com.

Asbel Montes

Asbel began his career in the ambulance industry in 1999. His EMS career includes directing and leading teams that provided revenue cycle consultation to air and ground ambulance agencies, culminating into the position of Managing Partner of Solutions Group Consulting.

Over the past 20 years, Asbel has been a member of numerous organizations, including the Healthcare Financial Managers Association (HFMA), the American Ambulance Association (AAA), National EMS Managers Association (NEMSMA), and the National Association of EMTs (NAEMT). Asbel currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Ambulance Association (AAA) and numerous committees and board positions. More notably, he chairs the AAA Payment Reform Committee as the industry navigates the current healthcare changes and the correlation to the air and ground ambulance industry. Asbel has also testified as an expert witness before federal and state health committees regarding ambulance reimbursement and veteran health initiatives related to emergency medicine. In 2016, Asbel was appointed to the Ambulance Transport Alter- natives Task Force for the State of Louisiana by Governor John Bel Edwards. In 2020, Asbel was named to the Air Ambulance and Patient Billing Advisory Committee by the Secretary for the United States Department of Transportation.

Asbel is a respected thought leader on reimbursement initiatives within the industry and is a requested speaker at many healthcare conferences.

Asbel is a contributing author in several EMS magazines and co-authoring the book, Management of Ambulance Services, as published by Prentice Hall in 2014.

Corey Naranjo

Corey is a native Houstonian and graduated from Cypress Creek High school. He has a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies from Texas Tech University and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.  He is currently a doctoral student at The University of Texas Health Science Center, Cizik School of Nursing.

He began his EMS career eighteen years ago, working for a rural service outside of Lubbock.  After graduating from Tech, he joined on with Harris County Emergency Corps (ESD-1) while he completed his paramedic program at San Jacinto College-Central.  While at HCEC, Corey has served as an Attendant, In-Charge Paramedic, and Field Training Officer.  He has specialty certifications in community health, critical care, and EMS education; he also taught for several years at Lone Star College-North Harris as an adjunct faculty member.  Currently, he oversees the Community Health Program at HCEC, and he is passionate about educating the public and individuals about health improvement, injury prevention, and life-saving treatments during emergencies. Corey is passionate about improving access to care, reducing health disparities, and helping to evolve Mobile Integrated Health Care.

Butch Oberhoff

Butch Oberhoff grew up in Baton Rouge, while spending summers and holidays in his father’s hometown of Rosenberg, Texas.  He started as an EMT in 1988 while attending Louisiana State University and worked as a paramedic at Acadian Ambulance before moving into various leadership and governmental relations roles.

Though most of his career has been with Acadian, where he now serves as the Director of Governmental Affairs and Business Development, Butch also spent time as AMR’s governmental relations manager in Mississippi.

Butch now resides in San Antonio when he is not at the State Capitol.  He is married to Cynthia, a neonatal nurse, and has two children.  This year, he was made a permanent member and bass player of the House of Rock and Roll band, which is headed by Chairman Richard Raymond, and includes Chairman Joe Pickett, Representative Bobby Guerra and Representative Pancho Nevarez.  The group performs without charge at many legislative events.

Taylor Ratcliff, MD

Dr. Ratcliff started his career in EMS with EMT school in 1995.  He subsequently completed his Paramedic training at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in 1999 and worked for Lubbock EMS from 1997 until 2009 and the Lubbock Fire Department from 2002 until 2005.  Ratcliff worked as a career Paramedic/Firefighter and ran the City of Lubbock’s medical first responder medical program until leaving to start medical school at Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine.  He completed Residency training at Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple, as part of the Texas A&M Health Science Center.  He is presently board certified in Emergency Medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

He currently works as an academic faculty physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine in Temple.  Dr. Ratcliff is the division director of Prehospital Medicine and is the EMS Medical Director for the cities of Belton, Harker Heights, Copperas Cove and Llano as well as Temple College.  He is the assistant medical director for the Temple based EMS helicopter, PHI Med 1-5.  In addition, he provides medical direction for many Bell County first responder organizations, the Bell County Communications center and is the physician medical director for EMTF team 7 in the Central Texas region.  Dr. Ratcliff serves on the Texas Governor’s Emergency and Trauma Advisory Council (GETAC) education committee and is a site visitor for CoAEMSP.

In addition to spending time with his wonderful family, he volunteers as a Firefighter/Paramedic with the Morgan’s Point Resort Fire Department.  Dr. Ratcliff’s passion continues to be the support of our brave public safety professionals in Texas and furthering the mission of EMS throughout our State.  He can be reached at bellcomd3@gmail.com.

Graig Temple

Graig Temple is the Chief of EMS in Fort Bend County. Growing up as a 4th generation firefighter in Delaware, public service was always instilled in him through his family’s service to the community. Chief Temple is a life member and Past Fire Chief of the Millville Volunteer Fire Company where he has over 30 years of service.

Chief Temple obtained his EMT in 1993, Paramedic in 1996, and has worked as a Paramedic II/FTO for Sussex County EMS (DE), Lieutenant/Shift Commander at the Ocean City Fire Department (MD), and Paramedic III/Supervisor and Clinical Instructor at Cypress Creek EMS (TX). From 2013 to 2015 Chief Temple served as the Assistant Chief of Fire Operations at the Anchorage Fire Department (AK) before accepting the position as Chief of EMS with Fort Bend County.

Chief Temple holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Science and a Master’s Degree in Emergency Services Management from Columbia Southern University. He is member of Class #10 of the TEEX Executive Fire Officer Program and is a Managing Paramedic Officer with the National EMS Management Association. Chief Temple is an avid Astros’ fan, enjoys being a volleyball dad for his step-daughter’s club team and continues to volunteer for the Community as a Lieutenant with the Stafford Fire Department.

Dudley Wait

Dudley Wait works for the Southwest Texas RAC in San Antonio. Before this role, he was employed by the City of Schertz since June 2001.  Until April 2015, he served as the EMS Director for Schertz EMS when he was promoted to his current position as the Executive Director of Public Safety.  He has been in the EMS industry since 1985 when he joined the volunteer ambulance service at Texas A&M University.  Dudley obtained his bachelor degree in Management in 1992 from Texas A&M and during his time there he also became certified first as an EMT and then as a Paramedic.

Dudley has worked in all types of EMS systems to include volunteer and paid, private and public, city and county, fire based and third service.

After graduating from Texas A&M, Dudley took a position as a paramedic with Sunstar Paramedics in Pinellas County Florida.  In his ten year career in Florida, he advanced through a number of positions including field supervisor, Communications Center Manager and finally Operations Manager where he was responsible for the day to day operations of Sunstar, a large county-wide EMS system that answers over 120,000 requests for service annually.

Since arriving in Schertz in 2001, Dudley has overseen the beginning of a new, fully paid municipal ambulance provider that left its volunteer days behind it a few months before his arrival.  In addition, Schertz is situated in an area that has experienced amazing growth and expansion over the last decade.  Our population has increased by over 70% and our call volume has grown by 150% and continues to increase approximately 12% a year.  We have worked to not only keep up with this rapid increase in demand but to also position ourselves in front of it to appropriately plan for our future.

Dudley is also a big believer in regional collaboration and in actively working to improve the ambulance industry.  Dudley currently sits as the Chair of the Governor’s EMS and Trauma Advisory Council’s EMS Subcommittee, is the Treasurer for our Regional Advisory Council (STRAC) and chairs our regions Cardiac Care Committee where doctors, nurses and EMS personnel have built a regional cardiac care system that is unrivaled in the State.

Dudley met his wife Cindy in Florida and brought her back to Texas with him.  They currently have two sons, Zayden and Zachary, who were adopted over the last three years. They also have three “other children” – Sadie, Diesel and Pepper – their English Bulldogs.

Brian Werfel

Brian S. Werfel, Esq. is a partner in Werfel & Werfel, PLLC, a New York based law firm specializing in Medicare issues related to the ambulance industry. Brian is a Medicare Consultant to the American Ambulance Association, and has authored numerous articles on Medicare reimbursement, most recently on issues such as the beneficiary signature requirement, repeat admissions and interrupted stays. He is a frequent lecturer on issues of ambulance coverage and reimbursement. Brian is co-author of the AAA’s Medicare Reference Manual for Ambulance, as well as the author of the AAA’s HIPAA Reference Manual. Brian is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Columbia School of Law. Prior to joining the firm in 2005, he specialized in mergers & acquisitions and commercial rel estate at a prominent New York law firm. Werfel & Werfel, PLLC was founded by David M. Werfel, who has been the Medicare Consultant to the American Ambulance Association for over 20 years.