About Us

We exist to provide Native Americans high quality and dependable emergency medical care through dedicated physicians. We are committed to making this a reality across the country.

Our Mission

To partner with rural and Tribal communities to provide excellent emergency care, delivered with purpose, to the communities who need it the most.

Our Vision

We envision a future where every community, especially those in resource poor areas, has access to high quality emergency care provided by dependable, compassionate, and qualified emergency medicine clinicians.

Our Goal

Pinnacle exists to provide Native Americans and hospitals with access to high quality and dependable emergency medical care through dedicated physicians. We are committed to making this a reality across the country.

Our Values

Integrity

We believe that our goal of providing exceptional care to underserved communities cannot be undermined by massive corporate overhead or administrative roadblocks.

Teamwork

Our teamwork is evident from the moment we step foot in a new facility. Our partners communicate with site leaders and have boots on the ground from day one. The result is simple: a direct line of communication between our physicians and Tribal leaders, whether that be in a hospital or community setting.

Commitment

As a group of physicians with decades of combined experience in Tribal health we understand the commitment to respectful cultural care.

Respect

In the time of greatest need we are able to deliver the results patients deserve in a manner that is respectful of their unique heritage.

Our Promise To Providers

We are first and foremost an Emergency Medicine staffing company.  We pride ourselves on providing 100% coverage to Tribal and IHS Emergency Departments with Emergency Medicine board certified and board eligible physicians AND experienced Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) that have the training and expertise to thrive in any environment.  Providing the kind of care that our patients deserve starts with hiring a team of excellent providers.

We are a mission driven company, and we exist to address health disparities in emergency care in Native American communities.  Recruiting and retaining the best physicians and APPs is the only way we can make this dream a reality.

Therefore we make a promise to you.  We are a different kind of locum tenens company.  Here are a few ways that we are changing the game:

  • Public Benefit Corporation
  • Transparency
  • Community Reinvestment
  • Physician owned
  • Social Enterprise Funding
  • W2 employment
  • Pipeline for IHS and Tribal Hospitals

RATES:

Our rates do vary based on location, difficulty, and travel needs.   We have several types of employment models including Independent Contractor (IC), as well as both half-time and full-time W2 positions (with benefits) for physicians interested in making a bigger commitment and impact.  Please send us a message if you’re interested in learning more about our different employment models.

INSURANCE:

We cover malpractice with an indefinite tail.  Coverage is $1,000,000/$3,000,000 by claims made.

PAYMENT POLICY:

We pay an all-in rate that includes bonuses for holidays, “emergency coverage”, and total number of shifts worked.

TRAVEL:

Travel is not included but we do our very best to find & provide  housing at all of our sites.

RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS:

We take a lot of pride in this one.  We will never charge a buyout fee for any employee that would like to work at an IHS site full-time.  We will also never prevent you from working at a site that wants you there, even in the event of losing a contract.  We believe this should be the standard in our industry.  Unfortunately it is more often an exception.

PEMG History

Pinnacle was established by a group of dedicated emergency physicians who believed that access to high-quality emergency care in Native American and rural communities is a right. For thousands of people in these communities this right is yet to be a reality, and we seek to offer a solution.

As leaders practicing in reservation emergency departments we saw first-hand the challenges faced by patients with limited access to high quality emergency care. The most important resource to combat inequities in health care – dependable, highly trained, and compassionate emergency medicine clinicians – was lacking. Multiple qualified physicians sought work at reservation hospitals but frequently met with bureaucratic barriers. We created Pinnacle to navigate these bureaucratic hurdles and facilitate the employment of quality physicians with the hospitals that need their services.

In 2017 we offered our staffing service to our first partner hospital. We provided them with high quality emergency physician services, successfully covered 100% of their scheduled emergency shifts, and shared documentation templates, order sets, and protocols. We even helped create a cloud scheduling system.

As of 2019 we’ve expanded coverage to four Indian Health Service (IHS) hospitals. As we grow, we keep the unmet need of reservation hospitals at the front of our mind, and we hope to include them in our planned expansion to the Great Plains.

In 2020 we partnered with Arc Health, the first public benefit staffing company seeking health equity through providing exceptional primary care and hospitalist services to traditionally underserved communities. Together we now offer a full suite of healthcare services including outpatient and inpatient services. We believe that our combined leadership, experience, and focus on serving underserved communities allow us to recruit and retain uniquely skilled and compassionate healthcare providers that provide unequaled care to the patients they serve.

Our Team

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Ken Bernard
MD, MBA

Ken grew up as a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa on the Great Plains. He earned his undergraduate degree in Biology at Yale University, and his medical and Master of Business Administration degrees from Harvard University. He has conducted extensive research and studies on health care disparities and barriers to quality care that affect Native Americans and Alaskan Natives, authoring the only national study profiling the characteristics and challenges facing the Indian Health Service, to date. His work is a reflection of the marriage of his native roots and his professional pursuits. As a Native American physician, Dr. Bernard is grateful to have the opportunity to bring excellent care to Indigenous communities

Certifications and credentials: American Board of Emergency, Arizona medical license, ATLS, ACLS, PALS, BLS.

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Louis Yu
MD

Dr. Yu serves as the Director of Emergency Services for Arc Health and Pinnacle EMG. He completed residency training in emergency medicine at the University of California, San Francisco in 2019. There he won awards for research in trauma care and patient advocacy. Additionally, he worked with an NGO, Last Mile Health, training the first cohort of community health worker quality improvement officers in Liberia. Dr. Yu is passionate about bringing the best emergency care to the patients that need it most.

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Candie Moran
Emergency Medicine Practice Manager

Candie joined the Pinnacle EMG team in 2020 and now serves as Arc Health’s Emergency Medicine Practice Manager. Prior to joining the Arc Health and Pinnacle teams, she worked in various healthcare settings including large urban community hospitals and trauma centers where she gained 15+ years’ experience in healthcare management and operations. Candie is avidly dedicated to empowering organizations through effective, collaborative, and meaningful leadership processes. Candie was born and raised in northern New Jersey and currently resides in Florida with her partner, two sons and their dog.

Join the Mission

Let’s work together to provide the quality emergency care that our Native American communities deserve.