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.

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.

With the merger of Arc Health and Pinnacle, we hope to be a disruptive force in providing the best emergency care to the most remote hospitals in the country. Having found a model that works in Navajo Nation, we hope to take our expertise working within the IHS system to the Great Plains, Alaska and East Coast. We believe we can provide the best care for patients across the underserved rural areas of the United States, while also advocating for more transparent and fair treatment of emergency care providers within our ever evolving industry.

Our Managing Partners

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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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Zachary Stamile
MD

Zach is a member of the Chickasaw Nation, from rural Oklahoma. He has lived and served within numerous Native American communities as an emergency physician, growing his passionate advocacy for the advancement of Native American health care. He earned his degree at Northeastern State University and later served at the Orlando Regional Medical Center. In 2018, in his role as deputy chief director at Tuba City Healthcare Corporation, he truly felt he could make a difference in the quality of care delivered to Native communities – a sentiment he shared with colleagues Drs. Bernard and Thuet. His special clinical interests are in emergency department ultrasound and critical care.

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

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Wiley Thuet
MD

Wiley hails from rural Utah, earning his undergraduate and medical degrees from Southern Utah University and University of Utah, respectively. During his time in medical school, he was president of the Utah Rural Outreach Program focused on recruiting future physicians from underserved areas. He chose to leave his emergency medicine career in one of the most renowned Texas hospitals to follow his wife, a practicing pediatrician, to move and work at the Navajo reservation. He now works as a full-time practicing emergency physician, dedicated to providing excellent emergent care for the Native American communities.

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

Join the Mission

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