Who we are

CALS Rural Emergency Medical Education is a Minnesota-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. CALS is an acronym for Comprehensive Advanced Life Support, our exclusive curriculum that addresses the broad educational needs of doctors, advanced practitioners, nurses and paramedics working in rural, remote and global emergency departments.

CALS was started in 1996 in Minnesota by a grassroots coalition of volunteer health care providers who had the goal of improving patient care and outcomes in rural settings. The effort was led by Dr. Darrell L. Carter, a family physician in Granite Falls, and Dr. Ernest Ruiz, then Chief of Emergency Medicine at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC).

Their early discussions led to the formation of a multi-disciplinary task force, under the umbrella of the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians. Its goal was to create an advanced life support course tailored for the unique needs of rural providers. In the enusing years, dozens of volunteers contributed thousands of hours to formally start the CALS program.

A  generous grant from the state of Minnesota helped the program grow and expand, advancing rural emergency care in Minnesota along the way. The CALS program then grew significantly, expanding beyond the borders of Minnesota. In 2004 CALS became an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

CALS Today

CALS now teaches courses across the midwestern US and Canada, and is working to develop affiliate programs and partnerships around the world. CALS enjoys a close association with the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians and the University of Minnesota. The organization is currently headquartered on the University of Minnesota campus, within the Department of Emergency Medicine.

The CALS Program is proud to be the exclusive provider of emergency training to U.S. embassy medical personnel around the globe.


To improve patient care in rural, remote and global settings through comprehensive, customizable and team-focused advanced life support education.


CALS is working to be the premier source of quality emergency and critical care education in resource-constrained settings.


Our resources and curriculum are carefully customized for locations where technological support is limited, experience infrequent and specialized personnel unavailable.


We strive to provide leading-edge and evidence-based medical information.



We believe each member of the health care team provides value.

Financials and Governance

CALS strives to exceed IRS recommendations for the financial controls and efficiency of tax-exempt, nonprofit organizations. We undergo regular audits by the accounting firm of Olsen Thielen and are in compliance with all IRS and state reporting requirements. We were awarded our 501(c)(3) status in 2004 and operate as a nonprofit corporation.

For a copy of our latest 990, please contact us.