Paul Kivela, MD, MBA, FACEP is an emergency medicine residency trained and board certified emergency physician. Dr. Kivela has a broad variety of talents and pursues multiple interests. He was elected and served as President of the American College of Emergency Physicians from 2017-18. His goals are to demonstrate value to the members with every objective and initiative the College pursues and to bring greater transparency to the specialty. As President, he developed many initiatives to develop leadership and ensure the successful future of emergency medicine. He is currently a Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine at University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Dr. Kivela attended undergraduate and medical school at the University of Illinois. He did his emergency medicine residency at the LA County-UCLA after which he completed an administrative fellowship . He graduated from University of Tennessee with his MBA.
Dr. Kivela practiced full-time clinically as the managing partner in a single hospital democratic group in Napa, California from 1999 through 2019. Prior to the that, Dr. Kivela was a member of the founding academic core faculty of the Resurrection-Michael Reese Residency Program and served Michael Reese as both Medical Director and Chief of Service. In 2019, Dr. Kivela took a sabbatical and joined Code 3 as their Chief Strategic Officer. He continues to work to further empowering emergency medicine and developing an emergency medicine based integrated health models so solve the healthcare problems including transitioning to value based care, improved mental health access and care, and effectively delivering treatment to those with addictions.
Dr. Kivela is actively involved in organized medicine, shepherding healthcare policy and the business of administrative emergency medicine. He is an expert in the areas of medical legal malpractice, risk reduction, and error reduction and publishes a monthly article on catastrophic medical malpractice claims with the goal of decreasing medical errors.
He has served as chief medical officer for Medic Ambulance since 2006 and has helped advise and shape county EMS policy. He has also helped oversee the innovative ALS-RN transport program for Solano county and one of the California Community Paramedicine Pilot Projects specifically one that improves outcomes and saves money by decreasing hospital readmissions.
He has lectured both nationally and internationally on many different medical topics. In the past couple of years, he has spoken in Turkey, Mexico, Ecuador, Scotland, Malta, Vietnam, Laos, Korea and Jordan. He works diligently to keep up on medical advances that affect his patients. In the 1990’s he co-founded and developed EMEDS, Inc., an educational company that was the first company to receive accreditation to provide online Category 1 CME in emergency medicine.
He has designed software and has twice been acknowledged to have one of the top 20 annual innovations in academic emergency medicine by SAEM and has a patent pending on a software program that decreases medical errors.
He believes that the key to health is fitness, resilience, mental attitude, decreasing inflammation and the quest to achieve a work-life balance. He has published his theory that the key to surviving COVID-19 is decreasing inflammation and limiting viral load. He has a passion for health and wellness and was founder and has a personalized medical practice, Elan Medical. Although he thinks the term is misleading, he believes the causes of “burnout” are multifactorial and changes need to made in the healthcare system to re-establish physicians in the driver seat to direct healthcare to improve working conditions which will in turn improve patient care.
Dr. Kivela has also worked diligently to improve mental health care in the US. He assigned a task force that developed the ICAR2E algorithm that aims to serve to improve recognition of and initiate early treatment of suicidal patients. He also worked to improve survivability in cardiac arrest and mass casualty events by involving the public in Until Help Arrives program which teaches Stop The Bleed and Hands Only CPR.
Dr. Kivela’s talents are not limited to medicine and he has an appetite for making the most of life and in order to do that requires a high degree of efficiency and working smarter rather than harder. He is a husband, parent, and coach.
He is an accomplished distance runner, winning all-state honors in high school, placing in the top 10 in the Big10 Cross Country Championships in college, and being one of the top regional distance runners in his post-collegiate years winning the Illinois 15Km championship and also being named one of the top age group runners in Southern California by Competitor Magazine. He now combines his running with golf into the hybrid sport of speedgolf. This way he can maintain his fitness and also pursue competitive golf by running between shots. He has been recognized as one of the top Speedgolfers and competed in the elite division at the World Speedgolf Championships, He was the Senior US National Speedgolf Champion in 2021. He can complete a round of golf and run the 5 miles distance in an under an hour. He has been an assistant high school cross country coach whose team for the California State Championship. He has a subpage to his blog with a collection of his insights called insidexc.com
Dr. Kivela also enjoys skiing, travel and photography. He is a member of Physician Ski Patrol at Sugarbowl Resort in Norden, California His pictures have been used in multiple publications. Some of his photos are on his instagram account. Dr. Kivela speaks conversational French and is proficient in medical Spanish.
In 2016, Dr. Kivela made the commitment to decrease his carbon footprint and take advantage of the many benefits of Electronic Vehicles and alternative travel commuting. He frequently rides his bicycle and electric car. He was also the contractor and installer of his own solar field. He is a fan of the tiny house movement and sustainable farming and farm-to-fork.