CORPUS CHRISTI, TX, May 20, 2016 —Corpus Christi Medical Center (CCMC) celebrates Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week by honoring EMS professionals for their commitment to preventing death and disability from injury or illness. The EMS of the Year—Brilliant Star of Life Award was established by CCMC to honor one EMS professional who best exemplifies the positive impact of EMS on the health of the community and pre-hospital care.

“Corpus Christi Medical Center is appreciative of its lifesaving partnership with Emergency Medical Services professionals,” said Jay Woodall, Corpus Christi Medical Center CEO. “We applaud EMS professionals for their extraordinary teamwork, clear communication and critical care support.”  

This year’s EMS of the Year – Brilliant Star of Life Award winner Lester Garza received an overwhelming number of votes from staff and physicians at CCMC-Bay Area, The Heart Hospital and Doctors Regional. EMS Garza is a beloved leader in the medical community. During the past years as a paramedic, Lester has assisted in saving countless lives and caring for patients as if they were family. Additionally, Lester raises money for the Firefighter’s C.A.R.E. Campaign benefiting local cancer patients.

“Lester is a gifted paramedic,” said Dr. Alicia Hart, Emergency Medicine at CCMC. “Outside of work, he is also an outstanding family man.  I nominated Lester as the world is a much better because of him and we are thankful.”

EMS Professionals Nominated for the EMS of the Year Award:
City of Corpus Christi - Nathan Alcoser, Jose Gonzales, Pete Maldonado, Stacy Blair, Orlando Torres, Eric Gomez, Israel Pimentel, John Dodge, Thomas Cruz, Randy Lopez, Randy Paige, Mickie Flores, Frank Montoya, Ray Rabagos
Allegiance - Adrian Garcia, Diana Gafford, Lorenzo Medina
Air Med - Jose Pablo, Ubach Gutierrez, Richard Durante, Hector Lozano
City of Robstown - Johnathan Morton, Daniel Garza, Kevin Sanchez

According to the American College of Emergency Physicians (AECP), the first Emergency Medical Services Week was declared by President Gerald Ford from Nov. 3-10, 1974. At the time, EMS was a new profession, and EMS practitioners were just beginning to be recognized as critical components of emergency medicine and the public health safety net. In 1992, EMS Week was moved to the third week in May.

A lot has changed over the years. The EMS is now firmly established as an essential public function and a fundamental part of the medical care continuum. On any given day, EMS practitioners help save lives by responding to medical emergencies, providing both basic and advanced medical care at the scene of an emergency and en route to a hospital. EMS practitioners care for their patients' medical needs while showing care and compassion in their patients’ most difficult moments.

About Corpus Christi Medical Center
Committed to the care and improvement of human life, Corpus Christi Medical Center has been a growing part of South Texas for the past 50 years.  What began as a 26-bed facility in the early 60s has grown into a multi-campus health care system offering a full range of medical services, outstanding clinical care and superior technology. From caring for fragile newborns to complex cardiovascular patients, Corpus Christi Medical Center ensures the community receives the highest quality medical care available. The campuses of Corpus Christi Medical Center are Doctors Regional, Bay Area, The Heart Hospital, Northwest Regional, Bayview Behavioral Hospital, Northshore Emergency Center, and Radiation Oncology at Corpus Christi Cancer Center. For more information about Corpus Christi Medical Center, visit

About HCA Gulf Coast Division
HCA Gulf Coast Division is a comprehensive network of hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, emergency centers, and diagnostic imaging facilities.  It offers a complete continuum of specialized health programs and services that meet the needs of Greater Houston and South Texas’ residents and businesses.  HCA affiliated facilities in the Gulf Coast Division include: 13 hospitals, 8 ambulatory centers, 7 off-campus emergency centers, and a regional transfer center that provides one-phone-call access and support for patient transfers into and out of the HCA Gulf Coast Division Affiliated Hospitals, as well as access to ground and air transportation within a 150-mile radius.  For more information, visit our website at