Top 100 Women of Impact: Jamie Pafford-Gresham

Jamie Pafford-Gresham

President, Pafford Medical Services

About me: I have heard the word “ambulance” every day of my life, and because of that I am passionate about rural EMS and the development of the health care safety net we provide communities across the state. As the ambulance provider in 17 counties in Arkansas and the president elect of the American Ambulance Association, it is my role to ensure these vital services are accessible, protected and property funded. Our crews make it easy to tell the stories of their great work through advocacy efforts. But on a daily basis, keeping people safe and ensuring our medics’ safety and success is a job I do not take lightly.

Lives in: Hope • Works: Statewide

Best Career Advice: Pay the little guy first! When I was a teenager, my dad would allow me to write checks for him. He said we need to take care of our neighbors, the corner gas station, the small businesses, and that taught me the value of relationships.  

Lesson Learned the Hard Way: The firsthand experience caring for patients in rural communities is eye-opening. When you are the only health care professional after 5 p.m. and the nearest hospital is 45 minutes away, you have to ensure you have great people with the latest equipment and should not settle for less. 

Proudest Moment of Impact: Our company has been blessed with numerous monumental achievements. But for me, the most humbling and proudest was the Arkansas Business of the Year award ceremony and looking around to see all of the people who supported those efforts, including my mom, who started the company with her paycheck 56 years ago. That was the pinnacle.

Call to Action: Paramedics are the Swiss Army knife of health care professionals, and many EMS systems around the country are the health care safety net of their community. With that charge, figuring out how we properly fund those vital services we expect at a moment’s notice without delay is the challenge for everyone around the table. 

A Women’s Foundation of Arkansas Initiative

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