We are proud to offer experienced training led by instructors with many years of medical experience. Our instructors are passionate about empowering others to be confident in a medical emergency.
Jen Wilson, WEMT, Lead Instructor
Jen is the president of Vital Education and Supply, with 30 years of experience. Jen’s favorite class to teach is Stop the Bleed. She loves watching the students–initially tentative about dealing with severe trauma–leave empowered to help.
Jen started Vital Education after the death of a family friend who suffered a cardiac arrest at age 39. She saw the impact his premature death had on his family and vowed to provide CPR training to anyone who would sit and listen. The halo in the Vital Education logo is in honor of that friend.
“I would like my students to know that helping is never wrong,” she says. “Even if you don’t know what to do, trying to do something is better than doing nothing.”
Shandra Jamison, MA, RRT
Shandra is a Simulation Program Manager, with 28 years of experience in her field. She says she likes teaching because she enjoys seeing the moment the education “clicks” and the learners feel confident and competent with the skills they have just learned.
Being properly trained has helped Shandra in medical emergencies by being able to communicate clear roles and responsibilities, while promoting high quality, effective CPR in times of chaos. The most important thing she would like her students to learn is to call 911, maintain a calm presence, and delegate roles.
Katie May, RN, BSN, CPN
Katie is a school nurse with 17 years of experience. She is passionate about teaching, and loves to see that “lightbulb” moment when the students are able to apply what they have learned. Katie wants her students to leave class feeling confident in an emergency situation with the skills they have learned to perform CPR. She wants them to be the ones who volunteer to help when it is needed.
Katie’s training has helped keep her prepared in case of a medical emergency. She is the only nurse at her school, and knows that if there were an emergency, she would be more than ready to help.
Eva Palmer, RN, MSN, CIC
Eva is a registered nurse and infection preventionist, with 35 years of experience in her field. She feels that taking the initiative to learn CPR or other life-saving responses is both important and courageous. Eva likes to remind her students that in an emergency, you do not need to be the most experienced; you just need to know how to get things started until more experienced help arrives.
Eva recognizes that having professional medical experience provides a certain level of comfort in emergency situations. However, no situation is ever the same, so there is always an opportunity to learn from others and acquire new skills.
Leon Lomax, EMT (ret)
Leon has been Vital Education’s most established instructor, and has been teaching for Vital Education since it was founded in 2008. He was the first instructor hired to work with Jen.
Leon retired after 29 years from the Army National Guard in 1996 as a Master Sergeant, having started as a combat medic and food inspector. He became licensed to practice as an EMT in the US in 2000 and started the EMT Program at Kraft Foods. That same year, he started working at Provena Covenant Medical Center (PCMC) and Pro Ambulance. Leon worked and taught for Pro Ambulance EMS system for 17 years. After PCMC became OSF Healthcare, Leon has volunteered there for the last five years.
Leon’s favorite classes to teach are Heartsaver First Aid/CPR/AED and BLS for Healthcare Providers. He enjoys the positive responses to the classes, and hearing about the skills learned in class being useful in the real world, and giving back to his community.
Teddy Lacroix, FF, EMT
Teddy Lacroix is a longtime veteran of Fire and EMS Services. Teddy started his career at the age of 15 as a Jr. Firefighter. He has filled many roles and positions through the last 13 years. He is an active Firefighter with Clinton Fire, an EMS and CPR instructor and an Emergency Room tech with Warner Hospital.
Nita is an RN, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Management. After working at Christie Clinic in both Peds and Family Practice for 10 years, she retired from school nursing after 22 years.
As the only nurse in a school district of over 3000 students, with ages from 3 to 22, it was important to ensure that as many staff were trained in First Aid/CPR/AED as possible. Nita has been an instructor for the last 25 years, most recently joining the Vital Education team, after working with Jen for many years during her school nursing tenure.
Nita’s favorite part of teaching is the interaction with the participants and helping them realize that everyone has a role to play in potentially saving a life or responding to an unexpected medical situation in their unique environment.
Michael Roedelbronn, EMT
Michael is a Research Safety Professional [or Health Physicist, whichever sounds cooler :-)] at the University of Illinois and a physics instructor at Parkland College. He spent several years as an officer on various submarines, and in the reserve had the opportunity to train aircraft carrier teams on submarine warfare. He has maintained CPR certification for most of the last 40 years and has been teaching for nearly 30 years. He decided it would be great to combine two of the things he loves and started teaching for Vital in 2020.
His favorite classes to teach are the long, tailored ECSI First Aid/CPR/AED, in part because it gives the opportunity to present more material that the shorter classes do not, tailored to the specific needs of the customer.