About the Founder
Catherine A. Parvensky Barwell, M.Ed., RN, PHRN, EMT-IT
Catherine began her career in Emergency Services in 1985 as an EMT and quickly advanced to an instructor in 1986. She received her RN diploma from Brandywine School of Nursing, B.S. in EMS Administration from Hahnemann University, and M.Ed. in Instructional Systems, Training Design and Development from Penn State University in December 1993. Catherine is currently certified as a Prehospital Registered Nurse (the Pennsylvania equivalent to a Nurse Paramedic) and one of only 17 EMS Instructor Trainers recognized in Pennsylvania.
Catherine is an adjunct faculty member for the Allied Health Department at Delaware County Community College, teaching Medical Terminology, Conditions of Illness, and Patient Care Assistant courses preparing students for EKG technician and Phlebotomy certification exams. She was previously an Assistant Professor and Program Director for the M.S. in Health Care Educational Technology program at Hahnemann University. While at Hahnemann, she was instrumental in the development of Hahnemann’s distance learning program, offering the first online courses in the area. Since then, she has developed numerous online training programs and currently teaches website development and computer-based training.
From 2006 until January 2011, Catherine managed the EMT training program at Good Fellowship EMS Training Institute in West Chester, PA. Under her direction, the quality of the EMTs graduated by the institute improved significantly, obtaining pass rates of 100% and average test scores of 83.5% on state certification examinations.
During her career in EMS education, Catherine has served as an EMT Instructor and Instructor Trainer, Course Coordinator, State Fire Academy Instructor, American Heart Association CPR/First Aid Instructor Trainer, Chester County Regional EMS Training Coordinator, and Director of Training for Chester County Department of Emergency Services. As Director of Training, she was responsible for all aspects of all EMS, Community, Fire and Hazardous Materials training as well as 9-1-1 Public Information programs. She implemented the first Police AED training program in the Commonwealth, training and equipping numerous Police Departments in Chester County with life-saving AED units. In addition, she developed and piloted the original First Responder to EMT bridge course adopted by PA DOH.
As part of the Regional EMS Council, Catherine was responsible for ensuring compliance with education standards and administration of state certification examinations. In addition, she participated in numerous statewide committees working with the PA DOH Division of EMS in curriculum development, continuing education standards, and development of state certification examinations. In 1994, Catherine was awarded the Pennsylvania Department of Emergency Services’ State EMT Instructor of the Year award.
Catherine has served as a presenter at several state and national EMS Conferences including multiple JEMS conferences. She is also an accomplished author, having written over 25 EMT and Paramedic textbooks, workbooks and instructor resource materials for Elsevier Health Science Publishers, Prentice Hall, and most recently Jones and Bartlett Publishers. Her first book, Teaching EMS, published by Mosby/Elsevier, was one of the first textbooks devoted entirely to teaching new instructors how to effectively teach EMS providers. Her most recent EMT Transition textbook published in October 2011 by Jones and Bartlett Publishing. Catherine has also authored a series of children’s books titled The Adventures of Tommi Lance which teach children about safety. An innovator, Catherine also developed AED Alive, a computer based training program which taught CPR/AED, as her M.Ed. thesis, and sold it in 1993 to Laerdal Corporation, the manufacturer of Resusci Anne CPR manikins.
Catherine is also an instructional designer, implementing numerous training programs. She is currently working on development of a curriculum and instructional materials for the EMS Agenda for the Future transition to a new set of guidelines for Emergency Medical Responder, EMT, Advanced EMT and Paramedic training programs adopted throughout the Country.
In addition, Catherine is the principal of Integrated Learning Technology, Inc., a website design and development firm established in 2000. She has developed countless websites for small and large businesses and has implemented numerous online training programs. In this venue, Catherine has been able to incorporate all her knowledge and skills in instructional design, EMS, education and technology, to produce some of the most dynamic training programs available.
During her career, Catherine has trained thousands of emergency services providers and is committed to producing the most prepared graduates of any training program in which she is affiliated. This dedication came as a result of arriving at the scene of an accident involving her sister and when she looked around at the first responders, EMTs, and Paramedics at the scene, she realized she had taught every one of them and thought “Oh my God, they only know what I taught them.”
In addition to her certifications as PHRN, CPR/First Aid Instructor, and EMT Instructor Trainer, she has also been certified in EVOC, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, Basic Trauma Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Advanced Trauma Life Support, Firefighting I, Radiological Monitoring, Hazardous Materials Operations, Hazardous Materials Awareness, Radiologic Emergenci es, and Incident Command Systems. She has also participated in the coordination of numerous Mass Casualty Incident drills and manned the Chester County Emergency Operations Center during numerous county-wide disasters. Catherine is also a “Master of Disaster”, specializing in moulage, the art of using make-up to add realism to the classroom.
In her spare time, Catherine serves as the President of the Board of Directors for the Marshallton United Methodist Church's preschool, President of the Downingtown Middle School Music Parents Association, is a member of the MUMC choir and serves as a merit badge counselor for Chester County Boy Scouts of America.