OSF Saint James - John W. Albrecht Medical Center

Pontiac, Illinois

About Us


To provide the best quality care to the citizens in our service area through support for the Emergency Medical Services agencies, and by focusing on training, education, recruitment and equipment within our rural EMS system.

In late 1992, OSF Saint James - John W. Albrecht Medical Center saw a need to be involved with helping the area EMS agencies, so they hired an EMS System Coordinator on a part-time schedule to start the application process. The position became a full-time position within six months. In the summer of 1993, OSF Saint James became an Illinois Department of Public Health designated “Resource Hospital." With this designation, the hospital became an “EMS System” starting out with just two agencies. Resource hospitals have the responsibility to train and educate, along with all patient care activities for all of the EMS agencies within the EMS System. Our mission is to assist the area rural and urban agencies to provide the best possible care to their communities.

As of 2019, our EMS system consists of 24 EMS agencies which includes ambulance services, fire departments, 911 dispatch, and industries. The total number of EMS providers within the EMS system is approximately 275 strong. Our service area covers Livingston County and portions of Woodford, LaSalle, Grundy, Ford, Marshall and McLean counties.


EMS Medical Director

Dr. Neal Rushforth is the Emergency Services Medical Director for OSF Saint James - John W. Albrecht Medical Center. He is responsible for the overall training and education in the System and each of the providers who operate under his medical license. Dr. Rushforth attended Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield, Illinois, and completed his residency at Resurrection Medical Center in Chicago where he was Chief Resident. Dr. Rushforth is board certified in Emergency Medicine and has been an Attending Emergency Physician at both OSF Saint Francis and OSF Saint James since 2012.

EMS System Manager

Andrew Larsen is the EMS System Manager for OSF Saint James - John W. Albrecht Medical Center. He is responsible for all operations within the EMS System and providing oversight and assistance to system agencies and providers. The System Manager also coordinates Emergency/Disaster Operations for OSF Saint James by conducting drills and exercises as well as ensuring proper policies are in place. Andrew has been in EMS for over 20 years with both rural and urban agencies. Andrew is an EMT-P, Illinois Lead Instructor and an instructor for ACLS, BLS/CPR, PALS and ITLS. Andrew has an associate degree in business and a bachelor's degree in health care/EMS Management. He has been with OSF HealthCare since 2015. To contact Andrew, please call (815) 842-4938.

EMS System Coordinator

Tonya Johnson-Wilcox is the EMS System Coordinator for OSF Saint James - John W. Albrecht Medical Center. The EMS System Coordinator is responsible for all American Heart Association (AHA) coordination, agency inspections and assists in operations of the System. Tonya has been in EMS for 20 years, starting out as a first responder and eventually becoming a paramedic. Tonya has experience with both rural and urban EMS practices in addition to years of teaching various EMS classes. Tonya is an EMT-P, Illinois Lead Instructor, ACLS, BLS/CPR, PALS and ITLS instructor and holds an associate degree. Tonya has been with OSF HealthCare, working in the EMS office, since 2005. To contact Tonya, please call (815) 842-6821.

EMS Educator

Michael Mercer is the EMS System Educator for OSF Saint James - John W. Albrecht Medical Center. The Educator is responsible for all system education programs and classes throughout the system. Michael will be assisting agencies with educational needs, developing new training programs, teaching new EMS classes as well as attending system trainings throughout the year to assess our strengths and opportunities for improvement. Michael has been in EMS for over twenty years, the last fourteen as a Paramedic in the Memorial System in Springfield. Michael also has Critical Care Certification and National Registry Certification as well as State of Ill. Lead Instructor license. Michael has a Bachler’s degree from Western IL as well as BLS, ACLS, and PALS  Instructor certifications. Michael has been with OSF since July 2019. To contact Michael, please call 815-842-4984.

Emergency Preparedness Specialist

Open position, please see OSF Careers if interested.