2020-2021 AGEM Candidate Statements

The Academy of Geriatric Emergency Medicine (AGEM) 2020-2021 elections will open on January 30, 2020. Balloting information will be made available in AGEM’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 

Scott M. Dresden, MD, MS
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

S DresdenI graduated from the University of Michigan with my bachelor’s degree, and Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine with my MD. I completed emergency medicine residency at Boston Medical Center, afterwards I came to Northwestern for a fellowship in Health Services and Outcomes Research where I earned my MS. I have been working to improve emergency care for older adults since finishing my fellowship in 2013.

I am currently the Director of Geriatric Emergency Innovations (GEDI) at Northwestern. We are proud to be a Level 1 Geriatric Emergency Department and continuously work to improve our program. My research is currently funded by an R01 from AHRQ, we are performing a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the impact of GEDI on hospitalizations, repeat ED visits, and Health Related Quality of Life for older adults who are vulnerable or frail.

I have been an AGEM member since 2013. I served as the Chair of the Communications and Awards Subcommittee from 2016-2019. I oversaw the development of the AGEM website on the new SAEM platform in 2016 and worked to keep it up to date until 2019. I was a board member at large from 2017-2019, and am currently serving a 1 year term as treasurer.

During a 3 year term as president-elect, president, and past-president, I would work to advance AGEM’s strategic plan to continue to be the preeminent resource for Geriatric Emergency Medicine research, knowledge translation, education, and patient care. Over the next 3 years, my primary goal would be to support AGEM members to achieve academic success. This can best be achieved through high quality research, education, and knowledge translation which can be facilitated by AGEM. I would help AGEM to lead, support, and communicate research which identifies best practices in geriatric emergency medicine. Additionally, helping trainees to identify opportunities within academic geriatric emergency medicine as well as to work with current researchers in geriatric emergency medicine and other fields to examine relevant research questions will help to expand the reach of AGEM beyond current members.

It has been a pleasure serving AGEM and I look forward to the opportunity to lead this amazing organization of talented and compassionate individuals.

Secretary Candidate Statements

Kei Ouchi, MD, MPH
Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School

K OuchiI am a practicing emergency physician and a home hospital physician (providing hospital-level care at patients’ home) engaged in clinically-oriented research. As a physician board certified in Emergency Medicine and Internal Medicine, I see a gap in the quality of end-of-life care for seriously ill older adults and their goals. As more seriously ill older adults visit the ED, the role of the ED in our health care system is expanding from providing only acute, disease-oriented care (e.g., gunshot wounds) to include patient-centered, goal-concordant care (e.g., end-of-life care) that requires the application of geriatrics and palliative care principles. Emergency Medicine specialty is already experiencing this shift yet lacks scientific evidence to implement effective goal-concordant care for seriously ill older adults. My research aims to leverage the ED visit as a sentinel moment to facilitate advance care planning for seriously ill older adults. I envision a future where Emergency Medicine specialty will embrace the principles of geriatrics and palliative medicine to provide end-of-life care concordant to patients’ goals.

Prior AGEM experience: I served as the Member-at-large for the last two years and contributed to maintain the Author Spotlight section of the website.

Why I’m running for the office: Through the secretary position, I hope to continue to work with an amazing group of AGEM executive committee to advocate for geriatric issues in the ED. I will also help foster career development of early-stage, geriatric investigators. The secretary position will allow me to better understand the different roles within the executive committee to help cultivate the new generations of the committee members.  

Treasurer Candidate Statements

Lauren Cameron Comasco, MD
Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine

LC ComascoI proudly trained in Detroit, Michigan serving a challenging and underserved population, graduating from Wayne State University School of Medicine and completing my residency at Henry Ford Hospital in 2017, where I served as Chief Resident. In June 2019, I completed by Geriatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship from Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine/Beaumont Health in Royal Oak, MI. During my fellowship, I helped to redevelop the fellowship curriculum and create a Geriatric Emergency Medicine Program. Currently, I serve as the Geriatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship Director and Director of the Danto Family Comprehensive Geriatric Emergency Medicine Program, leading our Department’s efforts toward Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation. Over the past two years, I have had the privilege of serving as Secretary for AGEM and am hoping to continue to serve within AGEM as Treasurer over the next year.

With the growing geriatric population, caring for these unique individuals is complex and multifaceted. As a member of AGEM’s Executive Committee, I would like to continue to raise awareness of the importance of geriatric education. By encouraging residencies to enhance their geriatric curriculum, we will have residents who are better trained to care for the geriatric population. We can make a direct impact while also making physicians aware of AGEM and our mission. Additionally, I would like to promote Geriatric Emergency Medicine Fellowships around the country. Through advertising and supporting these fellowships, we will gain more geriatric trained emergency medicine physicians. This will in turn not only directly impact our individual patients but the communities in which they reside.

Member-at-Large Candidate Statements

Manuel A. Celedon, MD
VA Greater Los Angeles (GLA) Healthcare System/David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

M CeledonI attended the University of California, San Diego as an undergraduate, then the University of California, Los Angeles for medical school. I completed residency training in EM at Harbor-UCLA from 2012-2015. I practice EM at the Greater Los Angeles VA and Harbor-UCLA hospitals.

As one of the Geriatric EM physician champions at the GLA VA and I am helping to develop the infrastructure to become an accredited Geriatric ED. I am dedicated to improving medical education at the medical school level and increasing student exposure to various aspects of EM, including Geriatric EM. I am a founding member of the GLA VA Emergency Medicine Research Group, where we provide medical students with early exposure to quality improvement projects and clinical research.

As our veteran population ages, we need our facilities to adjust to the different needs of this patient population. I developed one of the first VA ED-Buprenorphine programs and have experience creating scalable resources to help other VAs be at the cutting edge of EM. I am running for office in order to provide the VA EM perspective and to develop resources that will help other VA EDs become accredited in Geriatrics.

Jill M. Huded, MD
Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center/Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

JillHudedI am a Geriatrician by training, currently working clinically in the 4th largest VA Medical Center’s ED. I was first exposed to Geriatric Emergency Medicine in 2013 through Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s GEDI-WISE program. Learning from GEDI leaders Scott Dresden and Ula Hwang changed the trajectory of my academic and clinical interests, as several years later I went on to join the Cleveland VAMC and build the VA’s first (Level 1) Geriatric Accredited ED. I am co-director of Cleveland’s Geriatric Emergency Room Innovations for Veterans program (which has provided a platform for aging-friendly care in nine other VAMCs). I lead the VA Geriatric ED Advisory team, which brings together national leads in EM and Geriatrics for weekly meetings discussing clinical, educational, research, and non-VA collaborative initiatives. Active focuses include empowering 20 VAMCs to achieve geriatric ED accreditation by June 2020. I currently serve on AGEM’s Didactics Committee.

The importance of aging-friendly emergency care is recognized by all AGEM members, and there is a huge need to initiate geriatric specific programs in a thoughtful and efficient that builds upon the work of others while concurrently tailoring to local needs. Networking with leaders in this field was paramount in building a Level 1 GED from the ground up in less than 3 years. In an effort to continue AGEM’s incredible momentum, I hope to link “new” and seasoned providers together to share clinical and QI ideas so that we can build upon each other.

Charles L. Maddow, MD
The University of Texas Health Science Center/McGovern Medical School-Houston

C MaddowI am pleased and proud to stand for your consideration to be AGEM Member-at-Large. I am a graduate of the Temple University School of Medicine and completed my EM residency at the University of Chicago in 2001, after which I began my academic career. Currently I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the McGovern Medical School, part of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, where I am Director of Emergency Geriatrics and have been endowed as the Wyatt Foundation Distinguished Professor In Geriatric and Palliative Medicine. Geriatric Emergency Medicine represents the third stage, perhaps the early elderhood, of my career. In the first stage I learned the principles of Board functions and processes as I completed my second term as EMRA Speaker and served on the Board of New York ACEP. The second phase of my career was devoted to medical education, as I served as Core EM Clerkship Director And Director of Undergraduate Medical Education. It was during this period that I truly recognized myself as an academician and educator- roles that I continue to hold and cherish to this day. I began to explore my creativity and problem-solving skills, assisted by what I learned through the ACEP Teaching Fellowship, and took pride in developing programs and curricula that “couldn’t” or “perhaps shouldn’t” be done, yet which turned out very well. Later, Geriatric Emergency Medicine found me, and while my current title carries many operations responsibilities, I nonetheless view my role through an academic lens, emphasizing the teaching of the principles distinctive to Emergency Geriatrics, to emergency medicine residents and medical students, and the investigation of what we do. Like many of us I suspect, I am largely self-taught In Geriatric Emergency Medicine, albeit with the strong support of my department and school, and I have often operated as a “one-man show.” There are many ways in which I hope to support and develop our Academy’s members in this office, but for brevity’s sake I will offer just one. We learn well by example and case studies. For all of us, but particularly for those of us who are more newly cultivating our knowledge of Geriatric Emergency Medicine, and of the negotiating and “marketing” skills for the activities that serve our specialty and advance our careers- whether to hospitals, schools, IRB’s, or to supporters of research, I would like to develop a bank of anonymized case studies that address the hurdles and solutions our various members have experienced as practitioners of Academic Geriatric Emergency Medicine. I would be gratified to receive your support.  

Tim F. Platts-Mills, MD, MSc
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

T PlattsMillsThe following background informs my understanding of the field of geriatric emergency medicine. I have been practicing and teaching emergency medicine since graduating residency in 2007. I am an active researcher in the field of geriatric emergency medicine. I serve as a decision editor for Annals of Emergency Medicine with an emphasis on geriatrics. I am fortunate to have numerous colleagues in the field. I also served as Chair of the Academy of Geriatric Emergency Medicine in 2012.

Geriatric Emergency Medicine is rapidly evolving into a major subspecialty in emergency medicine. The SAEM Academy of Geriatric Emergency Medicine and other organizing bodies led by members of the Academy have had a large contribution to the growth of the specialty. As I see it, the challenges for the Academy and the specialty as a whole are: 1) to serve its members by supporting them in achieving their academic goals; 2) to make sure that the activities, educational content, and recommendations of the Academy are clinically meaningful and relevant to providers and patients; 3) to continue to grow the specialty in ways that are consistent with the values of its members and the priorities of patient-centered care; and 4) to further integrate our work with other aspects of emergency medicine and with the large body of medicine and healthcare including, in particular, the move to value-based care. These challenges are non-trivial, and I do not have simple answers for how to achieve these goals. Nonetheless, I am committed to both the specialty of geriatric emergency medicine and the Academy of Geriatric Emergency Medicine and I would appreciate the chance to contribute to serve as a Member-at-Large.

Resident Representative Candidate Statements

Surriya Ahmad, MD
SUNY Downstate Medical Center/Kings County Hospital Center

S AhmadI graduated from undergraduate education in 2012 from Emory University where I received a BS in Biology and a minor in Spanish. From there I attended University of Louisville School of Medicine in my hometown, Louisville, KY, before moving to Brooklyn, NY for residency at SUNY Downstate and Kings County, where I’m currently a fourth-year resident in the combined Emergency Medicine/Internal Medicine residency program.

I am currently completing my mini-fellowship in Geriatric Emergency Medicine during my residency under Dr. Joel Gernsheimer, my mentor. We hope to bring Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation to SUNY Downstate and Kings County in the near future.

I am a resident member of the AGEM academy, and I would be honored to be the Resident Representative on the AGEM Academy this year. My passion for Geriatrics stems from my upbringing, as I was the youngest in my immediate family by over 13 years and grew up around mostly older adults, including my father who is 50 years older than me. My passion grew through taking care of older adults both upstairs and downstairs over the last four years and becoming more in tune with their unique needs at every step of their healthcare experience. I hope to continue being an advocate for older patients who come into the Emergency Department and hope to continue seeking ways we can improve their care on a daily basis.

Emily A. Benton, MD
NewYork Presbyterian- Cornell/Columbia

E BentonI earned my medical degree from Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at SUNY Buffalo in Buffalo, NY. Prior to medical school, I spent a year studying Gerontology, where my interest in Geriatrics began. I also spent a year serving as an AmeriCorp VISTA Fellow, working with inner city youth. I earned my Bachelor of Science at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY.

While I am new to SAEM, I have been a member of several professional societies throughout medical school and residency, including American Medical Association (AMA), Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association (EMRA) and American Geriatric Society (AGS). As a medical student member of AMA, I served on the Logistics Committee, which was dedicated to organizing part of the interim national meetings, as well as the House of Delegates Coordination Committee (HCC), where I helped revise and edit proposed policies.

I am especially interested in research, particular in geriatrics. As a rising second year medical student, I was selected for the Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) fellowship, where I did research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Through this fellowship, I published as second author of a manuscript entitled, “FRAIL Questionnaire Screening Tool and Short-Term Outcomes in Geriatric Fracture Patients.” I am currently drafting a manuscript entitled, “A Pilot Study Examining the Use of Ultrasound to Measure Sarcopenia, Frailty and Fall in Older Patients.” I plan to continue conducting research throughout residency.

As the resident representative of AGEM, I hope to inspire others to recognize the importance of Geriatric Emergency Medicine and provide tools to help residents, attendings and other providers better care for their geriatric patients. I would like to help generate curriculum for EM residency programs in order to advance the quality of care for geriatric patients in the ED with a unique focus on emphasizing the importance of the residents’ role in their care in the ED. I would also like to identify gaps in current Geriatric EM research in order to encourage residents and attendings to take an interest in pursuing research in this field. Lastly, I would like to look for opportunities to collaborate with EMRA and ACEP for policy development and implementation.

Medical Student Representative Candidate Statements

Lily Leitner Berrin
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

L BerrinI am a second-year medical student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. I graduated Magna cum Laude from Occidental College in 2013 with honors in Cognitive Science and Spanish and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society. My first career was at the Public Library of Science (PLOS) as a publications assistant, and then publications manager of PLOS Pathogens, a community lead open-access science journal. I worked at PLOS for three and a half years before going back to school to pursue medicine. At PLOS, I gained experience working with an executive board of editors and Editors-in-Chiefs, serving as the liaison between the research community and the publisher. This required excellent skills in leadership, organization, and communication.

I did my pre-medical coursework at the Bryn Mawr Post-Baccalaureate program from 2017-2018, before coming directly to the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Although I am a new SAEM member, I have applied to be a medical student ambassador at SAEM20 this year and I recently submitted an abstract to SAEM20. I am running for medical student representative of AGEM to get more involved in an academy that combines both of my interests of geriatric and emergency medicine. I currently serve as a leader in the geriatrics area of concentration at my medical school, coordinating the Geriatric Experience for Medical Student program and the American Geriatric Society Noon Case Series. My past career developed my skills in leadership, consensus building, implementing multi-step projects, communication, and business development. I have continued to grow these skills while serving in leadership roles in medical school.

Understanding how to care for an aging population has been something I have sought out in my medical education through involving myself in our Geriatrics Area of Concentration and seeking out research opportunities to improve geriatric care in the ED and other areas of medicine. Geriatric care is incredibly important in every field of medicine, but it is underrepresented in the curriculum at many medical schools, including my own. Being a part of the AGEM executive committee will enhance my education in these fields. My position as a learner in a new generation of providers, past career, perspective as a non-traditional medical student, and drive to work hard and contribute to a team lend a unique skill set that will allow me to excel as a medical student representative on the AGEM Executive Committee.

If elected to AGEM’s Executive Committee, I hope to accomplish both organizational and personal goals. Areas of need that I see in our current system include geriatric-centered learning at medical schools and service lines for geriatric patients. I hope to create curriculum objectives, modules, and simulation experiences for medical students interested in emergency care that would aid and encourage medical schools to include more geriatric learning opportunities for students. In addition, I believe it would be beneficial to create more extensive protocols and service lines for geriatric patients from the prehospital to post hospital setting with updated recommendations for providers. As a medical student representative, I would work with and support my colleagues on the committee to carry out the joint vision and goals of AGEM. As a medical student, I hope to contribute an additional perspective on issues facing geriatric and general medical care. I want to work with the board to improve geriatric ED care by incorporating the many recent scientific and social innovations in medicine. Furthermore, I hope to learn from the physicians on the board and better understand the challenges they face in their careers both personally and systemically. Having an opportunity to serve on the board of a reputable organization will also give me valuable experience for my career in patient care, leadership, policy, and advocacy. I hope to use this opportunity to begin building a career centered around patient care, but also in contributing to academic societies and advocating for advancement and change for myself, my colleagues, and my patients.

Angel Li
University of Colorado School of Medicine

A LiI am a dual degree MD/MBA student who has collaborated with the geriatrics department at the University of Colorado since my first year of medical school. I have worked on QI projects with the geriatrics department on readmission rates to identify variables that increase risk of readmission. I additionally have helped establish the geriatrics interest group in our medical school and served as the group president.

I am running for office because I want to be involved in identifying opportunities to introduce geriatric emergency medicine as a potential area of interest for medical students. The geriatric patient population continues to grow and will soon overwhelm the limited resources in emergency departments across the country. Geriatric patients present differently and we need additional scholarship to better treat patients seen everyday in the ED. We will need to be proactive in addressing the unique needs of the geriatric population. I hope to increase awareness and also create scholarship opportunities in order to develop a pipeline for future leaders in this field.