James Clifford Findeiss, who died on April 1, 2023, was a man who saw possibilities and possessed the intelligence, confidence, and stamina to turn those possibilities into reality. Always seeking to put his philosophy of “doing well by doing right” into practice, he combined his analytic and creative skills to change emergency medical care delivery in south Florida. In 1973 he co-founded Emergency Medical Services Associates (EMSA), which gradually established a new system of 24/7/365 physician on-site care in south Florida emergency departments. During this same time, as the first Medical Director of Miami-Dade County Fire Rescue and the Hialeah Fire Department, he initiated field care protocols for first responders. An early national leader in the new specialty of Emergency Medicine, Cliff served on the American College of Emergency Physicians' original exploratory Committee on Board Establishment, ultimately becoming Board Certified himself in 1983. He edited two clinical practice books on emergency medicine: Emergency Medical Care and Emergency Management of the Critical Patient.
During the 1990s, he turned his attention to leveraging the importance of physicians as leaders in improving the delivery of patient-centered, efficient, and fiscally sustainable care. In 1993, EMSA became InPhyNet, as it grew into a physician-owned-and-operated multi-specialty practice with a national footprint and service lines including emergency medical physician staffing, institutional care, and primary care managed care. After retirement he continued his entrepreneurial role as a partner in non-medical industry business ventures and as a health care systems advisor and consultant, remaining highly engaged in the Florida College of Emergency Medicine and its Foundation.
An adventurous man, Cliff loved being a pilot, skier, boat captain, fisherman, hunter, hiker, and cigar smoker. He loved music, cowboys, and sports, often watching or attending sporting events with his children. He also loved to travel with his family and enjoyed exploring a variety of food, arts, and cultures around the world. He was a loyal and generous friend and loving husband, father, and grandfather.
Cliff was born in Wichita, Kansas on January 20,1941 to Ernest Eugene and Inez Marcile Findeiss. He graduated from Wichita West High School in 1959, and then from Northwestern University with a B.S. in mechanical engineering in 1964, marrying Pamela Ann Ewing of Wichita, Kansas in 1965. He remained at Northwestern to obtain both an M.S. in Pharmacology and an M.D. in 1968, completed a surgical internship at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami and then proudly served as a Lieutenant in the US Navy Medical Corps. He is survived by his wife Jean Ann Findeiss, whom he married in 1984; his four sisters Marcia, Joan, Pat, and Michele; as well as his four children and his granddaughter in whom his legacy lives on: Dr. Laura Findeiss, Craig Findeiss, Amanda (Findeiss) Rosillo, Allison Findeiss, and granddaughter Elizabeth (Lily) Rosillo.
A celebration of Cliff's remarkable, generous, and accomplished life will be held at a date to be announced in the future.