2020-2021 AEUS TREASURER CANDIDATE STATEMENTS
Candidate statements are listed in alphabetical order.
Josie Acuña, MD
University of Arizona
I received my medical education at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. Following medical school, I trained at Staten Island University Hospital as an emergency medicine resident. Afterwards, I returned to the University of Arizona to complete a fellowship in emergency ultrasound. I continued on at the University of Arizona as core ultrasound faculty member. As a faculty member I have worked closely with the various colleges at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Campus lecturing on the use of bedside ultrasound and providing hands-on ultrasound teaching sessions to students and faculty. Within the College of Medicine, I have been involved in projects to integrate ultrasound education into the core curriculum. Since residency and continuing into my career as a faculty member, I have also been heavily involved in ultrasound research.
I have long since been an active member of SAEM. As a resident I attended SAEM’s national conferences and participated in the early years of SonoGames. As a fellow, I was in the founding class of the SAEM’s ARMED (Advanced Research Methodology Evaluation and Design) course. It was through this experience in particular that I was able to learn more about the inner workings of SAEM and develop lasting relationships with its most active members. I’ve also had the privilege to present a number of research abstracts and lecture on emergency ultrasound at SAEM’s most recent national conferences. As a junior faculty member, SAEM has already provided me with multiple opportunities that have benefited me and have helped me advance my career. I feel that the best way I can support SAEM and its members is by taking on a leadership role through AEUS. I am prepared and motivated to function as treasurer for AEUS. My goals during my term would be to maintain open and timely communication and increase member participation. I look forward to the opportunity to promote and contribute to the development of AEUS/SAEM.
Lauren D. Branditz, MD
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
I earned my undergraduate degree in Biology from The Ohio State University in 2009, and my medical degree from The Ohio State University College of Medicine in 2013. I completed my Emergency Medicine residency training at Christiana Care Health System in Delaware. After completing residency, I was lucky enough to be accepted into Ultrasound Fellowship back home at Ohio State, where I have stayed on as faculty. I am proud to be a member of our department’s residency core faculty group. I also serve as Assistant Director and Education Director of our Division of Ultrasound which is housed within the Department of Emergency Medicine. These roles have allowed me to play an integral part in the organization and growth of ultrasound related educational programs impacting medical students, as well as residents, fellows, and attending physicians from various departments within our medical center. I have served on my department’s Board of Managers for the past 2 years and was recently re-elected for a second term (2019-2021). Among other projects, as a board member I was able to promote the continued education of my EM attending physician colleagues by advocating for a supplemental pay bonus to those who participated an in-house POCUS review course. I am proud to report that participation among attending physicians in my department was 100%.
I admire the work done by the leaders of SAEM’s Academy of Emergency Ultrasound, and would be thrilled to become part of the team. As treasurer, I would help the organization succeed by keeping track of finances while also potentially searching for ethical income opportunities that may allow for expansion of the programs offered by AEUS. I would strive to assist with the expansion of opportunities for current and potential new members, post on social media to promote organizational offerings, promote the innovations of the group and our individual members. I am honored to be nominated to the AEUS Executive Committee. I believe I am up to the task and hope you will consider voting for me as your next AEUS Treasurer.
Kimberly M. Rathbun, MD
The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University
Christopher D. Thom, MD, RDMS
University of Virginia Health System
I attended University of Virginia for medical school, followed by a residency in Emergency Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University. Immediately following residency, I completed a 1 year fellowship in Emergency Ultrasound at Thomas Jefferson University, with graduation occurring in June 2014. Since fellowship completion, I have been on faculty at the University of Virginia, fulfilling the role of Assistant Director of Emergency Ultrasound before transitioning to Director of Emergency Ultrasound in 2019. I am also active in residency education as one of the Associate Program Directors. Prior AEUS experience includes three years working as a Round 2 station designer for SonoGames. I’ve held previous Board positions with Virginia ACEP and the Medical Society of Virginia.
Like many of you, my interest in AEUS stems from a basic underlying passion in the utilization of point-of-care ultrasound in the emergency department. We all have cases where ultrasound has made tangible and occasionally life-saving changes in our ability to care for patients as emergency physicians. Used competently, it is a toolset that provides emergency physicians a manner in which to practice at the top of their abilities. It is this reality, and those experiences, that drive my desire to see point-of-care ultrasound succeed and thrive.
AEUS has done terrific work in the advancement of this field, and we have benefited greatly from our organization’s initiatives and leadership in the past. However, new challenges and opportunities continue to surface on the horizon, which makes continuing innovation in our organization imperative as we move forward. Private insurer payment denials, incorporation of handheld ultrasound devices, appropriate advanced practice provider training and credentialing, encouraging investment by UME curriculum committees for point-of-care ultrasound education, resident and fellowship educational curriculum, and novel applications like TEE are a few such examples. These are areas in which I would want to bring increased focus and attention through the AEUS Executive Committee.
Improved communication, both through the website and through email, would also be beneficial to our membership and allow for improved transparency between the Executive Committee and the membership at large. Keeping members abreast of the activities, initiatives, and progress of AEUS will be a priority. Re-invigorating task forces where it makes sense to do so could also afford more interested and motivated parties participation in our academic organization. In addition, the membership of AEUS may benefit from a yearly recap newsletter that details work on issues such as the above. This would ideally serve to keep AEUS membership abreast of key topics, as well as areas where AEUS can provide assistance to members. Such a newsletter could also include a recap of the AEUS annual meeting agenda items, as well as a summary of the research articles that were nominated for the year. A section describing the most consequential innovation in EUS could be an interesting portion of a newsletter as well.
Finally, in the specific role of treasurer, my goal would be to provide accountability and transparency regarding the finances of the section. Keeping detailed records and analyzing spending patterns will be a task taken on in earnest. In summation, I understand that we have some challenges behind us and others ahead. It would be my intention to work with AEUS to push our speciality forward and ensure point-of-care ultrasound continues to grow in its effectiveness in delivering emergency care.