Getting to know PRAXES Procurement Co-ordinator Dave Sumarah
In 2013, Emergency Medical Technician Dave Sumarah, decided to apply for a paramedic position with PRAXES Medical Group after receiving a suggestion from a friend who was working with the company. After having worked for many years with Emergency Medical Care in various locations around Nova Scotia, Sumarah was ready for something a little different. A few months after successfully securing the paramedic position at PRAXES, the procurement co-ordinator position became available and once again, he didn’t hesitate to embrace the opportunity. Today, the Fairview, Nova Scotia raised Sumarah balances several roles at PRAXES and says he enjoys the engagement of building on his skills and tackling new challenges. He took some time to answer a few questions on his dynamic, fast-paced career.
Could you explain what your role as procurement co-ordinator entails?
I get to wear several different hats with PRAXES but the procurement co-ordinator role is one that I’m especially proud of because I’m learning so much. Procurement involves working with clients who require medications and equipment for their off-site clinics or off-site ambulances and travel bags. It’s making sure that whatever our clients’ personnel may need will be in place and we work in tandem with the EMwerx software. So, if a client calls in we will often know what medications and equipment they have in place. Many companies have different requests and legislations – every client is specific and it’s interesting to navigate that. Additionally, I work as a healthcare technician with Doctor Haigh to facilitate screenings for those workers who need to meet physical requirements for their jobs. I also work as a paramedic at the Burnside Correctional Facility so I’m still always very hands-on involved. I find that balancing these three roles keeps me engaged and constantly learning.
What makes working with the team at PRAXES unique for you?
We’re a small, concentrated office and the roles and responsibilities for everyone here can overlap. For example, if one or two of our key players have to travel or attend a site visit, the other players will step up and make sure that all our clients’ needs are being met. I find that PRAXES is a great environment for encouraging adaptability and we’re all multi-taskers. We pride ourselves on tackling issues that may be unexpected and we’re always willing to accommodate. A request may mean going off-site or on the off-hours but we make it happen, no matter what.
In your opinion, what makes PRAXES different than other telemedicine suppliers?
It’s hard to say exactly but I think that one aspect is that we have a software system that our clients really like. It’s efficient and adaptive and the information is available with the touch of a button but more than anything I really find that PRAXES puts the client first. We really push for client satisfaction and that’s something that you don’t always find elsewhere. It’s refreshing. We go above and beyond to make sure our clients are looked after.
What do you think are the most important skills you need for your position at PRAXES?
One of the skills I’m most experienced in is treating injuries and illnesses and getting it done and that’s something I’ve done for a long time. This is what I do at the Burnside Correctional Facility and this is old hat to me. But in the clinic, sometimes we are screening people who may be relatively healthy but have minor issues. For example, the captains and crews of fishing vessels who need to be screened may feel that we are slowing them down and that this will effect their livelihood. In fact, we are here to help and want to address any health issues they may have – be it high blood pressure or simply the need to have a healthier diet. One skill that I think is crucial is the ability to communicate and be empathetic with our clients – to let them know we are on their side.
What do enjoy most about working with PRAXES?
Honestly, I feel valuable and I always get the sense that I am contributing to the welfare of the company and the team. PRAXES makes me feel like I am an important player and to me that is just so huge. It keeps me very motivated and ready to take on the next challenge.
When you’re not working, what are some of your favourite pastimes?
I used to play basketball and I do like to stay fit so when I have some spare time I go to the gym and try to keep up on cardio and running. I smoked for 18 years and I quit in 2009 so I’ve really been trying to get back to a healthy lifestyle and this is becoming more and more important to me. I used to be very sociable but I really appreciate family life nowadays. I love spending time with my wife and three-year-old little boy. These days, I’d much rather be playing on the floor with my son than pretty much anything else!