2020-2021 GEMA Candidate Statements

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

Jennifer A. Newberry, MD, JD, MSc
Stanford University School of Medicine

J NewberryGEMA must continue to invest in the mentorship and sponsorship of junior faculty and trainees in the US and abroad. Emergency medicine systems and infrastructure continue to grow throughout the Global South and every year more residency programs emerge. GEMA must support these pioneers through deliberate mentorship programming and sponsorship to become academic emergency medicine leaders. GEMA should continue to strengthen membership amongst these faculty by advocating to bring down the cost of SAEM membership and increase advocacy.

As President-Elect, I will work with the GEMA Ex-Co to increase membership broadly, grow global health-specific research training, and support rising faculty in their advancement. As a Member-At-Large initially and now as the SAEM Program Committee Liaison, I have worked hard to add value to the GEMA Ex-Co and to strengthen GEMA programming for our membership. Last year I helped to re-draft the GEMA bylaws to be consistent with our current practices and provide better guidance for the Ex-Co moving forward. In addition, I planned and moderated the panel “Empowering Women through Emergency Care Development in LMICs”. I strongly believe the central themes discussed by the panel – role modeling, mentorship, sponsorship – are key functions that GEMA as an organization, and we as members, can play to more deliberately and effectively empower women, in all positions, through global health development.

This year I served as lead author on GEMA’s SAEM proceedings concept paper, “Fostering a Diverse Pool of Global Health Academic Leaders Through Mentorship and Career Path Planning.” Global health mentorship remains scattered among few academic departments, leaving many junior faculty without the mentorship they need and desire. I will work with the Ex-CO to create targeted programming at the SAEM regional and national level to develop global health-specific research training and grant writing support. I will also support continued efforts to pair mentors and mentees across departments and nations to help rising faculty receive mentorship and sponsorship. 

Secretary Candidate Statements

Matthew Strehlow, MD
Stanford University

M StrehlowI am an Associate Professor and Vice Chair in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Stanford and the Director of Stanford Emergency Medicine International. Over the past decade and a half, I have worked in prehospital and emergency care across Asia and Africa. I am the founder of the On-Line Medical Research program in India and focus my research on the epidemiology of emergencies in developing nations, maternal and neonatal emergency referral systems, and gender-based violence. In Cambodia, I worked on improving prehospital and facility-based emergency care systems under two USAID funded grants serving as Senior Technical Advisor for the Quality Health Services project. My online, open-access emergency medicine training program and sepsis gaming programs have been utilized by providers in over 100 countries. Previously, I served on the GEMA BOD as the Program Committee Liaison.

I am honored to be considered for the position of Secretary of GEMA. Over the past few years, it has been energizing to engage with SAEM and GEMA to advance our joint mission of supporting academic emergency medicine in the US and beyond. My goals as a leader within GEMA will focus on the following: 1) engagement with academic emergency medicine providers beyond US borders – GEMA had <10 international members as of 2018, 2) advancing women leaders in global health - in conjunction with a number of other global organizations recently focusing on the advancement of women leaders, and 3) promoting GEMA’s activities in SAEM Pulse and other publications.

Treasurer Candidate Statements

Member-at-Large Candidate Statements

Vijaya Arun Kumar, MD, MPH
Wayne State University

VA KumarI completed my medical school and diploma in public health from India, then completed my residency, fellowship in clinical research in emergency medicine and a master’s in public health in the United States. My research focus is cardiovascular emergency medicine and global health, I have authored numerous publications and am the principal investigator for more than 10 clinical studies. I have gone on to build on this foundation by achieving a high level of sustained productivity for the last 5 years which include funded grants, publications and recognition at local, national and international levels. I a member of the institutional review board at WSU, on the editorial board of Michigan Journal of Public Health and a manuscript reviewer for annals of emergency medicine. While I have been formally involved in the development of curriculum for the international emergency medicine (IEM) fellowship and global and urban health and equity (GLUE) course, I believe my most impactful teaching at WSU has resulted from small group and one-one mentorship of students, residents and fellows. I have conducted numerous clinical research workshops globally and is presently working on developing a Global Health Research Collaborative at Wayne State University. My global health interests include development of clinical research, upliftment of women’s health and improvement of emergency medicine in resource limited, low and middle-income countries, I am the newly appointed chair of the research education section of the Emergency Medicine Education & Research by Global Experts (EMERGE) network and the associate director of the global health section in the department of EM. I have been part of multiple collaborative research efforts and networks and in developing EM residencies globally. Having worked with multiple countries in developing their research infrastructure I am presently leading the development of a global health research training workshop at Wayne State University which is due to begin from July 2020.

I developed a passion for global health during my Public Health course in India and continued to work on developing a career in global health through my journey as a resident and fellow. Working as clinical researcher in cardiovascular emergency medicine and collaborating with our partners in multiple global sites, I have realized the lack of research capacity in many of these sites. Over the last couple of years, I have been focusing my energy on developing a center for Global Health research collaboration and to the end have been an integral part of both the EMERGE network at University of Michigan and the Global Health efforts at Wayne State University. I have also been involved with the research efforts at SAEM being on the research committee and involved with the resident learning series. Bringing my experience both from India and the US to the board of GEMA will bring a different perspective and an opportunity to develop innovative approaches to improve the global delivery of emergency care through research, education, and mentorship. My aim is to work with like-minded colleagues to enhance SAEM's role as the key global organization that augments, supports, and shares advances in global research, education, and mentorship in the field of emergency medicine.

Kristiana Kaufmann, MD, MPH
Wayne State University/Detroit Medical Center

K KaufmannI was born and raised in the Detroit suburbs and attended the Wayne State University for medical school, University of Cincinnati for residency, and University of Illinois at Chicago for my International and Global Health Emergency Medicine Fellowship and Masters in Public Health. After spending a year abroad, I returned to Wayne State University in 2013 and after several years was invited to form and lead the Global Health Section and the Global and Urban EM Fellowship (formerly the International Emergency Medicine Fellowship) at the Wayne State University (WSU) Department of Emergency Medicine. In addition, with my partner Dr. Ijeoma Nnodim Opara, we co-created and lead the WSU Global Health Alliance and its Global and Urban Health Equity Scholars Program, a 2-year certificate program for residents, fellows, and interdisciplinary graduate students. I am active with the American College of Emergency Physicians Ambassador program through my long-standing work with Health Frontiers in Lao People’s Democratic Republic, including development of and advisor to the new Lao EM residency training program. My work in Detroit has led to the creation of the Hands-On Practical Emergency Skills (HOPES) first aid training for incoming students in the WSU School of Medicine and as the faculty adviser for the First Aid First WSU student organization aimed at teaching first aid in the Detroit community. My other volunteer work includes serving as the Eastern Michigan Region Medical Advisor for the National Ski Patrol and actively patrolling as a Senior patroller and Outdoor Emergency Care course director at Alpine Valley Ski Patrol in White Lake, Michigan. In my spare time, I like to play catch with my dogs Mork and Mindy and to play ping-pong with my family.

If elected, I would like to look at standards for faculty reimbursement, buy down, and other departmental support across the board to ensure that the faculty supporting global health, public health, social EM, and other service based EM are fairly compensated for their time and expertise.

Sean Kivlehan, MD, MPH
Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School

S KivlehanThank you for considering my nomination for the Member-at-Large position in the Global Emergency Medicine Academy of SAEM. I have been involved with GEMA for several years: first as a resident and fellow member, and for two years as the chair of the Grants and Development Committee. As chair of that committee, I helped coordinate the creation of new $5,000 International Emergency Medicine research grants that were successfully awarded this past fall. Additionally, I currently serve at the immediate past chair of the Global Emergency Medicine Fellowship Consortium (GEMFC), which is hosted by SAEM. In this role I help coordinate the efforts of the 36 International Emergency Medicine Fellowships in North America, developing best practices, refining our mission, and increasing our visibility. I am also the Assistant Managing Editor of the Global Emergency Medicine Literature Review (GEMLR), in which role I manage 24 researchers who annually evaluate the GEM literature, many of them GEMA members. Finally, I am the Fellowship Director on the Global Emergency Medicine Fellowship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

As the Member-at-Large of GEMA, I hope to continue to be a voice for the GEMFC and GEM Fellowships in general. My experience in leadership roles across several organizations has provided with ideas and opinions that could inform the GEMA executive committee discussion in a productive way. My specific goals on the board will be to improve our membership and visibility, while refining our mission. I will support the strengthening of junior researcher training and education through grant programs and media. Thank you again for considering my nomination.

Medical Student/Resident Representative Candidate Statements

Mercy Dickson, MD, MBA
Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

M DicksonPrior to residency, I completed all of my professional education in Texas. I completed medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, and obtained my MBA from the University of Houston, Victoria. My interests are in EM and prehospital systems development within Nigeria.

Growing up in northern Nigeria, an emergent trip to the hospital was a luxury for many around me. Decades later, our system is improving, but there is still much work to be done. I was born and also raised in the US. These experiences have shaped my interests in global EM. As a medical student, I had the privilege of serving as student representative on the professionalism committee that included the president of the university, among other leaders. It is in this position that I witnessed, first hand, the importance of having varied voices at the table. There is positive power in having diverse voices within a governing body. The practice of medicine is ever changing, and the voice of the rising generation in any organization is vital. As a resident, my goal is to obtain well-rounded experiences that prepare me to contribute in global EM to the best of my abilities. I am running for resident representative because it is an opportunity for me to advocate for and relay the authentic voice of my cohorts to the board. I have been a benefactor of others who have advocated on my behalf. It also allows me the opportunity to be intimately involved, learn from the processes and decisions that shape our organization, and further develop my leadership skills. I get the added benefit of learning from and working with others who share my interests. I am excited to build on the work that has been done, and coming up with new ways to improve resident and membership engagement in GEMA.

I trust that this experience will be useful as part of a foundation that allows me to be a better physician. My goal in joining the GEMA board as resident representative is to give back to the organization, and ultimately the community - abroad and near.

Thank you for your consideration.

William Bruno, MD
Los Angeles County + University of Southern California (LAC+USC) Medical Center

W BrunoI completed an undergraduate degree in biopsychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Afterwards, I matriculated to the University of California, San Diego where I completed my undergraduate medical education. I am currently a third year resident in emergency medicine at LAC+USC Medical Center in Los Angeles.

My interests in global health have always been inseparable from my ideals of becoming a doctor. The world is smaller and more connected than ever before, and the most pressing public health challenges will need to be addressed with a global mindset that recognizes that epidemics know no borders.

If given the opportunity to serve GEMA as a resident representative, I would work to facilitate professional development and career guidance specifically aimed toward residents. Though many express interest in global health at the start of residency, forming tenable, sustainable career goals with regards to Global Emergency Medicine can be challenging for a busy resident. Demanding clinical schedules and—depending on the institution—often limited exposure to experienced global health experts can limit otherwise passionate and motivated residents from making global health a major part of their long-term careers. With GEMA’s community of experienced global health professionals, there are endless opportunities to improve resident mentorship.

Being the resident representative for GEMA is the perfect forum for me to not only continue to refine my own interests, but to advocate for other aspiring global emergency medicine professionals to continue to push the field to exciting new horizons.

Development & Grants Officer Candidate Statements

Adam R. Aluisio, MD, MSc, DTM&H
Warren Alpert School of Medicine, Brown University  

A AluisioI am an Assistant Professor in Emergency Medicine with an appointment in the Division of Global Emergency Medicine at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. I received my Medical Doctorate from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and my Masters of Science in Public Health in Developing Countries from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine before completing specialty training in Emergency Medicine at the State University of New York at Downstate in New York City. I have focused sub-specialty training in Global Emergency Medicine and Tropical Medicine. I have designed and implemented clinical translational research in Afghanistan, Haiti, India, Kenya, Liberia, Peru, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and the United States. My work in these settings has focused predominately on improving acute healthcare delivery in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) via research and is germane to my desire to serve as the incoming Development & Grants Officer. I have applied for and attained grant funding from multiple sources for Global Emergency Medicine research including from the NIH, CDC, Gates Foundation and multiple other foundation sources. I am also active in education and program development in global emergency medicine both domestically, as an associate fellowship director, and internationally where I mentor trainees and junior faculty from East Africa and Haiti. Additionally, I have served on organizing committees for multiple international emergency care conferences. As a long time member of SAEM/GEMA I would be honored to serve and assist with the further development of this very important body in global emergency medicine as the Development & Grants Officer.

Having received many benefits from being a GEMA member via education, mentorship and participation in formative think tanks resulting in key publications, I would be honored to give back to the global emergency medicine community through service on the board. As an executive committee member I would aim to increase the research activities of GEMA internationally, and particularly for non-US members with a larger goal of fostering collaboration and aligning research endeavors with the needs of such members (particularly from LMICs). As well, further pursuit of funding to support research and development initiatives in global emergency medicine would be a primary goal that I would focus on in the Development & Grants Officer position. This would be via attempting to improve access to the resources available within SAEM, specifically around dissemination and publication of research, and to search for and to secure more external funding sources to assist in the development of research platforms for the broader global emergency medicine community.

IT Chair Candidate Statements

Branden Skarpiak, MD
University of Texas School of Medicine at San Antonio

SAEM Program Committee Liaison Candidate Statements

Shama Patel, MD, MPH
Columbia University

S PatelI am an emergency medicine physician who has worked globally for over 10 years. I started off working with Native Americans as an AMERICORPS volunteer involved with community health in rural Nevada, which led me to pursue a Master in Public Health focusing on global epidemiology from Emory University. During my time at Emory I developed a project to decrease female genital cutting occurring in refugee populations in Georgia as well as worked on nutrition programs for a USAID program.

After completing my MPH, I took a position at CDC with the Global AIDS Program as part of the PEPFAR program where I worked as a technical advisor in HIV prevention with high risk populations (injection drug users, sex workers and men who have sex with men) in sub-Saharan Africa and south-east Asia. During my time at CDC, in concert with local partners and the Kenyan government, developed a dedicated HIV/STI prevention and treatment clinic for high risk populations in Nairobi. This clinic remains functioning to this day. While at CDC I also led the development of a toolkit on HIV/STI prevention in injection drug users and implemented an international rapid assessment in Mozambique, which was presented at the International AIDS conference in 2008 and subsequently published.

After three fruitful years working at CDC, I decided to pursue medicine at Medical College of Georgia after, which I completed an Emergency Medicine residency program at Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey. During her time at Morristown I engaged in research, medical education and completed an international elective in Nepal.

After residency, I decided to complete an International Emergency Medicine Fellowship at Columbia University starting. During fellowship I completed the ICRC Health Emergencies in Large Populations in Baltimore, MD as well as the University of Minnesota tropical medicine diploma course. I responded as a member of New York Presbyterian to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico serving as a lead physician responding to both emergency care and inpatient needs. I spent over 4 months in Rwanda providing residency leadership to the masters in emergency medicine training program including developing didactics, exams, and providing simulation. Currently I work in concert with the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health to implement the WHO Basic Emergency Course as well as the WHO Emergency Care Systems Toolkit.

I served as secretary for GEMA this year. As part of my role I was the liaison with the pulse submission committee and garnered articles from our membership. I served on the executive committee and believe my year has prepared me to take on the program committee position. Thank you for your consideration.