2020-2021 ADIEM Candidate Statements

The Academy for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Medicine (ADIEM) 2020-2021 elections will open on January 30, 2020. Balloting information will be made available in ADIEM’s discussion page.

Before casting your vote, please take a few moments to read through the candidate statements listed alphabetically under each position heading.

President-Elect Candidate Statements

Alden Landry, MD, MPH
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School

A LandryI am an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Assistant Dean for the Office for Diversity Inclusion and Community Partnership, Associate Director and Advisor for William B. Castle Society, and Director of Health Equity Education at Harvard Medical School. I am also the founder and co-director of the non-profit organization Motivating Pathways. I received my Bachelor of Science degree from Prairie View A&M University in 2002 and his medical degree from the University of Alabama Birmingham School of Medicine in 2006. I completed my residency in Emergency Medicine at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in 2009. In 2010, I earned a Master’s in Public Health degree from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and completed the Commonwealth Fund Fellowship in Minority Health Policy at Harvard University. I am an active member of ADIEM and held prior leadership roles including Member-at-Large for 2 years and Secretary/Treasurer for 1 term. I have lectured in the Pre-Day Workshops leading discussions on workforce diversity and difficult patients in the ED. I also served on the Diversity and Inclusion Strategies Task Force leading in the development of a Diversity Inclusion Scorecard for SAEM.

I am running for the position of President-Elect of ADIEM because I recognize the value of the academy. Having been a member of ADIEM, I have grown both personally and professionally, building a network and a community. I have benefited from the work of the academy, listening and learning from colleagues, and using it as a platform for my academic success. I feel a sense of obligation to continue the work of past leaders within ADIEM to promote a culture and climate of inclusion and belonging throughout SAEM and support the development of future academicians from diverse backgrounds in both residency and early career development. I hope to increase the diversity among SAEM as a whole and work with the organization to ensure that diversity is seen in the leadership of the organization. I also will work to increase the health equity content presented at the conferences and displayed in the research forums by working with the various committees and other academies to ensure that this remains an area of focus for our organization.

Secretary-Treasurer Candidate Statements

Venkate (Ramana) Feeser, MD
Virginia Commonwealth University Health System

VR FeeserI completed medical school at George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, DC, emergency medicine residency at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD and currently serve as faculty attending physician and Director of Quality and Safety for the Department of Emergency Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System in Richmond, VA. Although I do not have any previous board experience, I have served as a member of ADIEM since 2016 and currently also serve on SAEM’s Membership Committee, SAEM’s ED Administration and Clinical Operations Committee, ACEP’s Quality Improvement Patient Safety Section Website Editor and ACEP’s Ethics Committee. I have previously served on SAEM’s Ethics and SAEM’s Research Committees.

I have long been an advocate and ally for the mission of ADIEM and desire to bring my strong skill set, organizational skills, and passion to the role of secretary-treasurer for ADIEM. If elected, I would expect to serve to support the other leaders of the ADIEM Executive Committee in accomplishing our top priorities. I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to have direct mentorship in diversity and inclusion from Past President of ADIEM Joel Moll since he also serves as residency program director at my institution. I interview for our medical school, residency and also have served as chair of our faculty search committee and an area that is dear to my heart is identifying best practices and working on efforts to recruit more diverse candidates for our medical school, residency, and faculty and also expand diversity and inclusion in our specialty at the state and national level. As part of this work, I would want to continue building the membership, mentorship, and scholarship from ADIEM and SAEM. What I may lack in leadership or expertise, I make up for by my sense of integrity and drive to serve others and by my desire to work hard to exceed expectations whenever possible. For those of you that know me, ADIEM is the one of the main reasons I belong to SAEM and I would be honored to serve as a leader to promote its values and mission.


Member-at-Large Candidate Statements 

Al'ai Alvarez, MD


Cassandra Kim Bradby, MD
East Carolina University

C BradbyI am a proud graduate of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN where I was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha as an M4. From there, the match brought me to SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn, NY, where I served as the chief resident of education. Since 2014, I have served as Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Vidant Medical Center and East Carolina University and now serve as their Residency Program Director after 4 years in the role of APD. I have been involved with D&I efforts throughout my 5 years in NC, as the Vice Chair for Diversity and Inclusion for my department, as well as the Chair of the Vice Chairs for Diversity and Inclusion for ECU Brody School of Medicine. I also serve as the Faculty Advisor for the ECU Chapter of the Student Medical Association and the Chair of the GME Committee for Diversity and Inclusion at Vidant Medical Center. Through SAEM, I have been involved with the Membership Committee, as well as AWAEM and ADIEM. I am the 2018 recipient of the Hidden Gem Award from AWAEM and the current Faculty Advisor for the Social Media for ADIEM.

I am running for the Member-At-Large position for ADIEM because I am passionate about diversity and inclusion in Emergency Medicine and medicine as a whole. I have been an active member of ADIEM for the past few years and would like to take on a greater role in the academy. I would like to work with the other academies to help bridge the gap in diversity and inclusion awareness and education – ex. development of curricula to help teach residents/faculty about D&I topics, or perhaps a toolkit on a similar topic. My goal as a Member-At-Large would be to increase awareness of ADIEM to other organizations and academies and to help broaden our impact as a whole on Emergency Medicine as a specialty.

Harinder S. Dhindsa, MD, MPH, MBA
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine


Renee C. Johnson, MD, MPH
University of Texas Health Science Center

R JohnsonQualifications:

(1) I’ve completed the TCEP Leadership and Advocacy Fellowship, during which I served as an ex-officio member of TCEP and participated as a voting council member during the annual American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) conference. Throughout my tenure with TCEP, I’ve participated in policy-making decisions regarding EM practice within Texas, the creation of position statements for our members, board development, and strategic planning of the annual TCEP conference. I remain involved in TCEP, and anticipate running for an official board position in the future.

(2) McGovern Medical School Diversity and Inclusion Committee: 2019-present I am appointed to a 3-year term to serve on this committee, with representatives from various medical departments, and it has been an absolute pleasure thus far. It has allowed me to survey the entire climate for D&I at my institution, outside of solely my department, and collaborate with others regarding ongoing and future efforts. Thus far, our efforts have been centered on strategic planning of the creation and dissemination of an unconscious bias curriculum.

(3) Governors EMS Advisory and Trauma Council (GETAC): 2018-present My appointment to the GETAC Medical Directors Committee has allowed me to remain in-tune with prehospital medical care in a broader sense. I have gained experienced in parliamentary procedures, strategic planning, organizational development, as well as public relations while in this role.

(4) As the sole EMS Medical Director for two EMS agencies, some of my responsibilities include: the training and discipline of multiple EMTs, the creation of the clinical care provided, the implementation of quality improvement efforts, and extracurricular community involvement. As a result, I’ve had the opportunity to gain experience in a number of the skill areas expected of an ADIEM executive board member. These areas include strategic planning, organizational development, financial management/control, and communications/media relations.

Why and Intended Accomplishments:

There are two major areas within which I would like to contribute to ADIEM.

  1. Since obtaining my MPH, I’ve had an increasing interest in population health. This interest, combined with the completion of my fellowship training in EMS, has led me to explore issues within the prehospital realm that disproportionately affect underserved populations. Identifying and stimulating discussions around the barriers to utilization of prehospital medical care services for underserved populations is an area of expertise that I would like to provide as a member of the ACED-IT.
  2. I was honored to be asked to serve as a mentor for a newly created position within my department—Vice Chief in Diversity and Inclusion. Within this role, I have ignited discussions amongst the residents and faculty regarding D&I issues that inevitably affect us on a daily basis, personally and professionally. I intend to give a voice to the residents and strive to ensure a more comfortable and welcoming work environment for everyone. I have noticed that guidance is often needed along the way when creating something new, and addressing sensitive topics. As such, another task I would set out to accomplish if chosen to serve on the ADIEM board is to create a curriculum and mentorship pathway for faculty who are getting started with D&I efforts at their institutions. Additionally, I would like to develop materials that can be used within the residency and medical schools to infuse D&I concepts into the teaching of medical students and residents. Along these lines, I would also recommend offering workshops at regional and national meetings, which would serve as a means for its members to hone their skills around disseminating D&I issues at their respective institutions. A repository of lectures by ADIEM members and D&I articles would also be useful, as this would allow colleagues to share information and remain abreast regarding relevant subject matter. Not to mention, the repository could serve as a guide for those searching to bring Grand Rounds lecturers to their institution. This would serve as an enhancement of the current ADIEM Speakers Bureau Resources list.

Edgar Ordonez, MD, MPH
Baylor College of Medicine

E OrdonezIt is an honor to introduce myself as a candidate for the Academy for Diversity & Inclusion in Emergency Medicine Member-at-Large position. I attended medical school at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey- New Jersey Medical School, where I completed my Doctor of Medicine and Master’s in Public Health Degrees. I then did a combined emergency medicine and internal medicine residency at Christiana Care Health System. After completion of my residency, I became an academic faculty member at the Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) with a dual appointment in the Departments of Emergency Medicine and Medicine. My current leadership positions include being assistant program director for the emergency medicine residency, medical director of the ED chest pain unit, and most recently took on the role of medical director of utilization management for Ben Taub Hospital. I also chair two committees within the emergency department and continue to be a member of the admissions committee for the medical school. My leadership involvement with ADIEM has been in the role of Membership Committee Chair since May of 2019.

During my undergraduate years. I made It my focus to be a champion for diversity and inclusion and took on leadership roles in various organizations. I continued to be an active member in diversity related organizations throughout my undergraduate medical education and residency years in various leadership roles. Now, as academic faculty, I have continued to be a champion for diversity, inclusion, and equity. I have served as a Faculty Inclusion Ambassador for the Baylor College of Medicine, a member of the Faculty Inclusion Task Force for the BCM emergency department, and have been given the opportunity to take part in the Baylor College of Medicine Center of Excellence in Health Equity, Training, and Research as a junior faculty scholar for this academic year.

My interest in running for a Member-at-Large position with ADIEM is because I am passionate about what the Academy offers its members. I am eager to help lead and shape its involvement within SAEM and help continue to provide mentorship, leadership, education, and research opportunities for its members through networking and collaboration. Thank you for considering me for this important position, and I look forward to working with you in the future.

Aasim I. Padela, MD, MSc
The University of Chicago

A PadelaI am an emergency medicine physician, community health researcher, and bioethicist. Of particular relevance to this ADIEM post is that my scholarship has contributed (i) new data about how religion impacts healthcare disparities, (ii) policy recommendations about accommodating religious identity in medical care, and (iii) teaching tools to improve cultural sensitivity and workforce diversity. From 2016-18, I served on ACEP’s Diversity Taskforce and co-conducted a systematic review of the state of knowledge regarding diversity and inclusion interventions in healthcare. I am also partnering on a qualitative study to examine emergency medicine clinicians’ experiences with race, religion, sex, and age-based discrimination. Aside from this work, I launched the first emergency medicine-based studies on physician perceptions of patient requests for concordant care, authored critical commentaries on the ethics and practice of cultural competency in emergency care, and co-convened panels on these topics at SAEM conferences through my role as Chair of the Ethics Committee from 2015-18 and as an ADIEM member. I hold an MD from Weill Cornell Medical College and an MSc in Healthcare Research from the University of Michigan. I completed residency training at the University of Rochester, completed a research fellowship at the University of Michigan, and a clinical medical ethics fellowship at the MacLean Center at the University of Chicago. Prior to that graduate work, I received Bachelor’s degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Classical Arabic and Literature from the University of Rochester, and studied Islamic theology and law in a Muslim seminary.

Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) within our healthcare workforce seeks to accomplish many goals, and is much more complex that just having a diverse group of individuals at the frontlines of clinical service, or sitting in the C-suite boardroom. D&I is also a means towards building a healthcare environment that serves ethical and societal ends. In other words, D&I is both an end and a means. Having diverse clinicians and healthcare system leaders is an end-goal for pipeline programs and policies that aim to rectify injustices, reduce biases, and address the structural issues that have long-kept individuals of certain backgrounds from being an equal part of the house of medicine. Yet, D&I is also a means of assuring that our workforce and leadership advocate for the diverse populations we serve and that healthcare is equitable, of high-quality, and hospitable to all. My motivation towards service as ADIEM Member at-large is to help us to understand this complexity. In this post, I desire to foster scholarship on outcomes and best practices for D&I, and to use data to shape policies and goals related to D&I. Additionally, I would like to broaden conversations about D&I so that these focus not only on the identity markers of race/ethnicity and gender, but also encompass diversity of thought, experience, and values so that inclusion becomes more holistic and just.

Jason M. Rotoli, MD
University of Rochester Medical Center

J RotoliI attended medical school from 2005-2009 and completed my residency training from 2009-2012 at the University of Buffalo in Buffalo, NY. I was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha during medical school and elected as Chief Resident in 2011-2012. I am currently an Assistant Professor of Emergency medicine and the Associate Residency Director of the Emergency Medicine residency at the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY. Through experiential didactics, simulation, and formal assessment, I seek to improve provider cultural awareness by increasing awareness of the needs of vulnerable populations. In 2017, I was hired as the Director of the Deaf Health Pathways, a medical student elective at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, which focuses on health Disparities in the Deaf community and teaching American Sign Language. Through this role, I hope to have a positive influence on students early in their careers in caring for Deaf ASL users, who are a linguistic and cultural minority. I joined ADIEM in 2016. Since joining, I have delivered annual didactic sessions on cultural awareness of an underrepresented population. In 2017, I founded the Accommodations Committee which is intended to advocate for all people, both patient and provider, who require accommodations (physical, spatial, time, language, etc). As a member at large, I would strive to improve medical student membership and engagement as we need young learners to become advocates early in their careers. I would also continue to be an advocate for diversity at all levels of our organization and in medicine.

Development Officer Candidate Statements

Anika Backster, MD
Emory University

Anika.Backster.headshotI am a flexible, highly organized, and very dedicated person. I have served on the ADIEM executive board as a member at large for the past two years and learned much about its governance and goals. This year will be my second year of having a collaborative (with members across the US) didactic related to diversity and inclusion accepted at SAEM’s national conference. I have been my Department’s Co-Chair for our Diversity and Inclusion Committee since 2016 and run our Facebook and Instagram accounts. In the past I have served as Banquet co-chair (2 years) for my Medical School’s large annual SNMA fundraiser where we would regularly attract over 150 people to participate. I was also the conference director for the first ever national Latino medical student conference (back when the organization was called NLLAMS). Both required networking, fundraising and organizational skills. I hold a Masters in Clinical Research, which again is largely a testament to organizational skills as well as creativity. Explain why you are running for office and what you hope to accomplish if elected. ADIEM already serves its members and academic emergency medicine well by adhering to its mission statement goal of "enhancing the retention and promotion of those historically under-represented in medicine and to create an inclusive environment for the training of emergency medicine providers".

ADIEM should continue to propel its presence and impact in SAEM by further expanding its social networking (we now have a presence on Instagram and Twitter but we could promote and support these better) we could also encourage everyone to participate in the linking or labeling of conference didactics and abstracts that speak to equity, diversity and inclusion. In keeping with expanding ADIEM’s impact we have a partnership with the NMA, but we should still consider outreach and coordination with the NHMA (National Hispanic Medical Association) and other national LGBT organizations. I would consider promotion of diversity and inclusion into residency curricula as another venue that would serve not only our members but also SAEM and our patients better as a whole. Working on and promoting events, policies, and research related to diversity and inclusion is something I have been dedicated to for over a decade and hope to continue as ADIEM’s next development officer.

David Duong, MD, MS
Highland Hospital - Alameda Health System

D DuongOne of my professional missions is to enhance diversity in EM as I believe it can address health care disparities, lead our specialty and the house of medicine towards a more equitable profession, and produce more impactful patient-centered research. In my tenure as an emergency physician and medical educator, I worked to further workforce diversity through teaching and education on a national level, by engaging in research, via mentoring, and by rolling out initiatives on a local level to support those underrepresented in medicine. With these experiences, I have also seen efforts delayed or not come to fruition due to funding and initiatives that could have benefited from more longitudinal vision and planning. I feel I can contribute to ADIEM’s robust missions through providing an additional lens for the executive committee that incorporates development. I aim to work to unlock funds to further our goals by expanding on fundraising strategies and grant opportunities, while maintaining existing funding.

I completed my MD at the University of California at San Francisco, concurrently with a MS in Health and Medical Sciences at the University of California at Berkeley, before undergoing EM residency training and chief residency at Boston University Medical Center. While a member of SAEM for over 10 years and ADIEM for 5 years, I have not held a leadership or executive position within SAEM. However, I currently serve on the ACEP Education committee, as well as the ACEP Maintenance of Certification committee. I recently completed my 3-year tenure as conference Co-Chair of the CORD New Programs and Leadership track. I have further experience serving on an executive committee as a former Member-at-Large on the Leadership Council of the UCSF Academy of Medical Educators.