Improving global prehospital and emergency health care, public health, and disaster health and preparedness

Board of Directors

Kristine Gebbie, DrPH, RN
Board ChairUnited States / Australia

Dr. Gebbie, DrPH, RN holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing (St. Olaf College, Minnesota; and University of California, Los Angeles), and a doctorate in public health (University of Michigan School of Public Health). She currently resides in Adelaide, South Australia, where she has adjunct faculty appointments at both Flinders University’s Torrens Resilience Institute and the University of Adelaide School of Nursing. Her long career has included positions in clinical nursing, hospital management, academia, and the public sector. Faculty appointments culminated in the Elizabeth Standish Gill Professorship at Columbia University School of Nursing, followed by appointment as Dean of the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing, Hunter College, City University of New York. Prior to those positions she directed the public health agencies for two states (Oregon and Washington), and established the AIDS Policy Office in the Clinton White House.

Dr. Gebbie’s interest in disaster preparedness, response, and recovery is grounded in her extensive work to bring the public health community and the wider emergency response community into effective collaboration, particularly following the anthrax bio-terrorism event in the United States. She has worked with federal, state and local colleagues from multiple health disciplines to develop guidelines on practical emergency preparedness plans for public health agencies, clinics and medical offices, guidance on adapting care under emergency conditions, and courses on emergency preparedness for all levels of health workers. She continues this work in Australia, where she also participates in research on disaster resilience at family and community levels. Her work has been published in nursing, medical, public health and emergency preparedness journals, both in the US and internationally. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Nursing, and a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine.

Hilarie Cranmer, MD, MPH
Board Vice-Chair / SecretaryUnited States

Dr. Cranmer is an emergency physician, researcher, and educator working to advance practice standards for humanitarian responders. She has participated in the response to major humanitarian disasters, serving in the field during the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the US; was the Technical Advisor on Ebola for International Medical Corps during the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in West Africa; and as Incident Commander for her teams deployed to the Philippines for Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 and the Nepal Earthquake in 2015. As the founding director of education and humanitarian studies at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Dr. Cranmer designed an innovative training program that culminates in a simulated disaster field experience as well as founded the Global Women's Health Fellowship housed at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

She is also the first director of Global Disaster Response at Massachusetts General Hospital’s (MGH) Center for Global Health and serves as Vice-Chair and Secretary of the World Association of Disaster and Emergency Medicine. Cranmer is an Associate professor at the Harvard Medical School, Department of Emergency Medicine and also at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, in the Department of Global Health and Population. She continues to practice emergency medicine as clinical faculty in the Department of Emergency Medicine at MGH. She has recently been recognized by her work with the 2015 Institute for International Medicines’ Humanitarian Crises Response Award and the 2015 Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health Alumni Award of Merit, its highest honor annually bestowed.

Walid AdbouGalala, MBBS, EMDM, MSc, JBEM, MAcadME

Dr. AbouGalala is a Consultant in Emergency and Disaster Medicine at Hamad Medical Corporation in State of Qatar, being member of the first batch trained in Emergency Medicine in the Arab countries. He is a Board Certified in Emergency Medicine from Jordanian Medical Council (2007). Additionally, he has a Master's Degree in Disaster Medicine, from Novara University, Italy (2005) and Master's in Medical Education from Maastricht University, Netherlands (2010).

Currently, Dr. AbouGalala holds following positions in the state of Qatar: Consultant in Emergency Preparedness and Response, Ministry of Public Health; Coordinator of the National Health Committee for Disaster Management, Ministry of Public Health; Medical Technical Consultant for Major Incident Preparedness, Hamad Medical Corporation; and Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Emergency Medicine Department, Hamad Medical Corporation. One of his main responsibilities the development of the National Health Emergency Management Framework. He has helped develop several Emergency Plans for different sectors locally and regionally and established many training centers in Disaster Management, Resuscitation, and Trauma Management within the region.

Dr. AbouGalala also works as a Temporary Advisor to WHO-EMRO in Disaster Risk Reduction. He is the Founder and Member of the Scientific Committee, Arab Diploma in Disaster Management for Health Professionals and a Founding Member of the Arab Resuscitation Council. In addition, he is the Medical Director, Emergency Medical Service Program, College of North Atlantic Qatar. Dr AbouGalala is an Educator at European Resuscitation Council, Advanced Life Support (UK), and the American College of Surgeons.

Bruria Adini, PhD

Dr. Adini has a PhD in Management of Health Systems. She is involved in both field and academic activities in which she facilitates the research of challenges identified in preparing for and managing varied emergency situations and implementing the findings to promote effective management of emergencies and disasters. She is involved in planning and implementation processes aimed at ensuring effective responses to different hazards that pose risk, including in studying, teaching, and validating policies.

Since 1987, Dr. Adini has specialized in emergency preparedness and response of healthcare systems to mass casualty events and disasters. She served in the Medical Corps for 17 years, including four years as Head of the Emergency Hospitalization Branch, where she was responsible for the emergency preparedness of all general hospitals. For three years, Dr. Adini headed the Emergency Hospitalization Department in the Ministry of Health (MOH). Since 2000, she has served as a Senior Consultant to the MOH on emergency management.

Dr. Adini has directed various training courses on behalf of the MOH, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the World Health Organization (WHO). These courses aimed to develop and enhance emergency management competencies among healthcare personnel. She is a faculty member of the Department of Disaster Management and Injury Prevention in the School of Public Health, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, at Tel Aviv University. She is a board member of Local Authorities Confronting Disasters and Emergencies (LACDE), as well as a member of the Israeli National Council for Trauma and Surgery.

Dr. Adini researches various aspects of emergency preparedness and response, including advanced methods of evaluating capacities and utilization of social media in emergencies.

Limor Aharonson-Daniel, PhD

Prof. Limor Aharonson-Daniel, heads the Department of Emergency Medicine in the Faculty of Health Sciences of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and is the founding director of PREPARED Center for Emergency Response Research at BGU. She has a BSc in statistics from the Tel Aviv University and a PhD in Community Medicine from the University of Hong-Kong. With vast experience in injury epidemiology, she developed Multiple Injury Profiles (MIP), and was among the developers of the Barell Body Region by nature of injury diagnosis matrix. Her current interests are in the academization of disaster preparedness and response and the development of methods and instruments to facilitate practically oriented studies of disasters, including physical and psychosocial aspects. Prof. Aharonson-Daniel has initiated and is currently leading several disaster related community initiatives including the BGU volunteering university project and "signs in crisis," a smartphone application facilitating communication for deaf people during emergencies.

She formed and is co-chairing the Conjoint Community Resiliency Assessment Collaboration, an interdisciplinary work group that developed the Conjoint Community Resiliency Assessment Measure (CCRAM), a standard instrument for the measurement of community resilience in the face of disaster. Prof. Aharonson-Daniel has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and authored several book chapters both on Injury Research Methods and on Disaster Preparedness Assessment. She is a member of the CDCs' International Collaborative Effort (ICE) on injury statistics, a core Member of the Global Burden of Disease study "Injuries Expert Group," a member of the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine (WADEM), and the American Public Health Association (APHA) Injury Control, and Emergency Health Services (ICEHS) section. She is an active reviewer for several journals and serves on the editorial board of Injury Epidemiology and Disaster Health.

Knox Andress, BA, AD, RN, FAEN
United States

Knox Andress, is the Emergency Preparedness and Education Coordinator for the Louisiana Poison Center, Assistant Director with the Department of Emergency Medicine, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, in Shreveport, Louisiana. Previously, Mr. Andress served as an ED and ICU registered nurse for the CHRISTUS Schumpert Health System, in Shreveport. Since 2002, Mr. Andress has served as Louisiana Region 7’s, Designated Regional Coordinator for 26 hospitals in Health and Human Services, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Hospital Preparedness Program. Focus includes “all hazards” hospital planning and response including incident coordination, mass fatality planning, crisis communications, and mass casualty patient and evacuee tracking.

Stella Anyangwe, MD, PhD
South Africa

Stella Anyangwe, MD, PhD is a medical doctor and a global health expert. She served the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) for 17 years as Country Representative in Seychelles, Mali, Zambia, and South Africa, and as African Regional Programme Coordinator for Disaster Risk Management. She retired from the UN in 2013.

Prof. Anyangwe is presently Honorary Professor of Epidemiology at the School of Health Systems and Public Health of the University Of Pretoria, South Africa. She is also a member of the Health Programme Committee of Amref Africa and Board member for Africa for the World Association of Disaster and Emergency Medicine. Prof. Anyangwe is from Cameroon, West Central Africa.

Odeda Benin-Goren, PhD, RN, CEN
Dr. Benin-Goren is the Academic Coordinator of the International Emergency Management Course Ben-Gurion University in Israel. She works as an Emergency Preparedness Consultant in the Department for International Cooperation in the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In this role, Dr. Benin-Goren is involved in the development of Emergency Medicine and Trauma and trains medical and nursing staff worldwide. Since 2008, she has been a United Nations Disaster and Assessment Coordination (UNDAC) expert, in the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affair (OCHA), United Nations. In this capacity, she takes part in UNDAC-OCHA activities when disasters strike.
Marvin Birnbaum, MD, PhD
United States

Marvin L. Birnbaum, MD, PhD, holds the current positions of Emeritus Professor of Medicine and Physiology with the University of Wisconsin. He is the Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, the official journal of the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine (WADEM). He is the association’s previous Board Chair and is also past President of the organization. Dr. Birnbaum is co-editor of the Health Disaster Management: Guidelines for Evaluation and Research and has compiled a book on the medical aspects of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami for the Southeast Asia Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Dr. Birnbaum formerly served as Medical Director of the Emergency Education Center and the Paramedic Training Program with the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. He also worked as Medical Director of EMS for the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics at the University of Wisconsin and as the Medical Director for the Madison Fire Department.

Rowena Christiansen, BA Hons, LLB, Grad Dip Ed, MBA, MBBS, ACCAM, DCH, MEH

Dr. Rowena Christiansen is a medical educator in the Melbourne Medical School and Medical Officer at Ormond College, both part of the University of Melbourne, and also works in the prehospital arena as an emergency doctor. Her medical experience includes Registrar positions in Anesthetics, Rural and Remote/Emergency Medicine, and Neonatal/Pediatrics (and some O&G training). She has undertaken post-graduate qualifications in Civil Aviation Medicine, Child Health and Emergency Health (majoring in Disaster Health and Emergency Management) and Space Studies. Rowena enjoys sharing her knowledge as a BLS, ALS, and PALS instructor. She has special interests in disaster management, prehospital and wilderness medicine, extreme environments, and aerospace medicine.

Dr. Christiansen is currently the Chair of the Australian Ski Patrol Association Medical Advisory Committee, the RACGP representative on the Australian Resuscitation Council and ANZCOR, and an independent member of the Ambulance Victoria Quality Committee. She is a member of the WADEM Oceania chapter and Disaster Metrics, EMR and Mass Gatherings sections. Dr. Christiansen is currently undertaking research related to expeditionary medicine and resuscitation science. In addition to her medical career, she also has a wealth of experience as a lawyer, management consultant, and small business owner/operator.

Leonard Cole, PhD, DDS
United States

Dr. Leonard A. Cole is an expert on bioterrorism and terror medicine. He is an Adjunct Professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (Emergency Medicine) and at Rutgers University-Newark (Political Science). At the Medical School he is Director of the Program on Terror Medicine and Security. He is on the Advisory Board of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, a trustee of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and a former board member of the Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Alumni Association.

His numerous publications include articles for professional journals as well as the New York Times, Washington Post, and Scientific American. His ten books include The Anthrax Letters (National Academies Press/Skyhorse, 2009), named an HONOR BOOK by the NJ Council for the Humanities. He is also co-author of Local Planning for Terror and Disaster: From Bioterrorism to Earthquakes (Wiley, 2012). A member of the Aspen Institute’s WMD Working Group on Homeland Security, he is co-author/editor of WMD Terrorism (an Aspen Institute Report, 2012).

Graham Dodd, MD, MSc

Graham Dodd is a practicing physician and clinical instructor in both the Departments of Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine at the University of British Columbia. His interest in disaster medicine and emergency management began in 1998 after helping to direct a rural hospital evacuation from wildfire while practicing in Salmon Arm, BC. That experience eventually led to the 2010 completion of a Masters degree in Disaster and Emergency Management (DEM) from Victoria, British Columbia’s Royal Roads University (RRU). As the first physician enrolled in that program, Dr. Dodd's interest quickly became the better education and engagement of physicians in DEM, an area that continues to be of relative scarcity in Canada.

He continues to have particular interests in physician and health practitioner disaster education, better engagement of those providers in DEM, hospital and community health emergency planning, mass casualty management and disaster triage. Dr. Dodd has recently assisted several groups of community physicians in BC to develop plans and processes to augment their local hospital emergency response and thereby increase their communities’ overall disaster resiliency. He is currently practices as an urgent care and family physician in Kamloops, as well as a health emergency management consultant.

Robyn Gershon, MT, MHS, DrPH
United States

Robyn Gershon is a Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at the School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco. She has a joint appointment at University of California, Berkeley, where she currently teaches two disaster courses, one on Public Health Disaster Preparedness and Response and the other on Global Disasters. She is currently developing a third course on Hospital Disaster Preparedness. She received her doctoral training from Johns Hopkins University, School of Public Health, where she was on faculty for several years. Prior to her doctoral studies, she served as the Director of the Department of Biological Safety at Yale University. Dr. Gershon is a Professor Emerita from Columbia University, the Mailman School of Public Health, having spent more than a decade there as a research faculty member.

Dr. Gershon is an occupational and environmental heath interdisciplinary research scientist, with a focus on public health disasters. She has conducted more than one dozen large scale disaster studies in the past decade. Her work has focused on barriers and facilitators to disaster preparedness– especially with respect to vulnerable populations and essential workers- including the health care and public health workforce. Dr. Gershon’s research is designed to inform policy and practice, as exemplified by her landmark “World Trade Center Evacuation Study,” which helped lead to the first changes in the New York City high rise fire safety codes in more than 30 years. Her most recent study, “Mass Fatality Preparedness in the US,” is the first national study on the operational capabilities and readiness for the management of mass fatalities within the US. Dr. Gershon has published more than 100 peer review articles on her research.

Tatsuro Kai
Zhongmin Liu, MD, PhD

Prof. Zhongmin Liu graduated from Nanjing Medical School in 1986 with the Master’s Degree of Cardiothoracic Surgery. In 1992, he received his PhD at Shanghai Second Medical University. Since then, he has trained and practiced as a cardiothoracic surgeon. Later, he worked as the President of Shanghai East Hospital, and the Chief Surgeon of the Trauma & Emergency Department and the Cardiothoracic Surgery Department.

Prof. Liu has been devoted to disaster and emergency medicine. In 2006, he founded the Trauma Research Institute of Tongji University and worked as one of the pioneers of the modern emergency and disaster medicine in China. He led a medical relief team in Sichuan Earthquake in 2008. The lessons and experiences from the Sichuan Earthquake rescue raised the urgency of building a comprehensive disaster medicine system in China. In his effort, the first Disaster Medicine Department in China was established in Tongji University in 2008. Chinese Society of Disaster Medicine was founded in 2011 under the efforts of Dr. Liu, which indicates the qualitative development of disaster medicine in China. The society organizes academic activities, provides trainings for the public and the professionals, makes specific guidelines to improve the practice, edits and publishes the disaster medicine textbooks for higher education, and advises the government in policy and decision-making.

As a result of Prof. Liu’s efforts, the very first “ Safe Community” in Shanghai was designed and built. A relief material warehouse was built inside this community and the residents in the Safe Community undergo the training for the disasters and emergency response regularly. This mode will be promoted citywide and the whole country gradually. A complex for contingency reserve supplies and training center for disaster medicine is under construction at the moment.

During 2010 China Shanghai World Expo, Professor Liu set up the emergency medical rescue team, and it was soon upgraded to a representative of China's health emergency medical rescue teams, which became China's important Disaster Emergency medical rescue force. The team has been carrying out its missions brilliantly in the regional and national disaster medical rescues and as the medical backup for local events including: the medical backup for Shanghai World Expo 2010, the medical backup for Shanghai International Marathon, the medical rescue for the terrorist attack in Kunming and Urumchi, the medical rescue for the Kunshan Explosion.

In 2015, as the commander of Chinese health emergency medical rescue team, Professor Zhongmin Liu led the team to Russia to participate in the Sino-Russian joint drill on earthquake disaster health emergency. In 2016, the team became the first International Emergency Medical Team in the world which certified by the World Health Organization (WHO), and will be ready to accept the WHO's disposal in the future, to participate in international medical rescue mission.

Lidia Mayner, BSc, BScHons, BN, Grad Cert Tert Ed, PhD

Dr. Lidia Mayner is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. She is the Director of the Flinders University Research Program for Disaster Nursing, an ICN accredited ICNP centre for R & D and an Associate Director of the Torrens Resilience Institute (TRI). Additionally, she belongs to a number of professional organizations including World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine (WADEM), Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA), HL, and the Asia Pacific Emergency and Disaster Nursing Network (APEDNN). She serves on the Editorial Boards of a number of health, disaster, and emergency-related journals. Dr. Mayner is currently part of the UNISDR Expert Working Group on Indicators and Terminology for the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-20130.

Laurie Mazurik, MD, FRCPC, MBA, EMDM

Dr. Laurie Mazurik has over 20 years experience as a Critical Care Transport and Emergency Physician at Sunnybrook Health Science Centre and Faculty of Medicine at University of Toronto, Canada. She works with others to create critical event models and conducts disaster exercises to inspire inter-professional teams to find solutions to health care shortages. She is currently working with the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Development, to lead a team in the Middle East to develop Medical Guidelines to combat the threats of CBRN terrorism. She has served as a consultant for the Ontario Ministry of Health during SARS (2004), Public Health Agency of Canada (CBRNE Collaborative) and World Health Organization (EOC-Net).

She is the WADEM Congress 2017 (Toronto) Co-Chair and one of the leaders of the "Be Inspired-Inspire Others" theme, that has begun with over 20 web-based Track Teams working to build the Congress Scientific Program. The goal is to create a network of collaborative teams that take on real world prehospital,emergency, and disaster medicine challenges-post congress.

She’s happily married to Graeme Ross, and they have a son Aleks.

Virginia Murray, FFPH, FRCP, FRCPath, FFOM
United Kingdom

Professor Virginia Murray was appointed as Consultant in Global Disaster Risk Reduction for Public Health England in April 2014. This appointment is to take forward her work as Vice-Chair of the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) Scientific and Technical Advisory Group. She is also a member of the International Council of Science Unions’ Scientific Committee for the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk programme and is also the co-chair of the IRDR’s Disaster Loss Data (DATA) project. Prior to this, she was Head of Extreme Events and Health Protection, Public Health England where she developed evidence-based information and advice on flooding, heat, cold, volcanic ash, and other extreme weather and natural hazards events. Previously, she provided evidence-based preparedness, response, and recovery advice on acute and chronic air, water, land, and product-related chemical incidents.

Appointed as Visiting Professor in Health Protection, MRC-HPA Centre for Environment and Health, Imperial College and King’s College, London (2004) and Honorary Professor at University College London (2013), she has published widely. In 2015, she was honored by being given the WADEM Award for Global Leadership in Emergency Public Health.

Demetrios G. Pyrros, MD, EMDM

Dr. Pyrros is the Director of Medical Services of the National Centre of Emergency Care (EKAB) in Greece and President of the European Emergency Number Association (EENA) based in Brussels, Belgium. He has served as  President (2009 -2011) of the World Association of Disaster and Emergency Medicine (WADEM) and as a co-founder of the Greek Chapter of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF-GR) in 1990, and its Vice President until 2001.

Dr. Pyrros holds a European Master in Disaster Medicine (EMDM) and was the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. He has participated in several humanitarian missions with United Nations and EKAB (Armenia 1989, Afghanistan 1990, Liberia 1991, 1993, and 1996, Iraq 1997, P.R. Korea 1998, Turkey 1999, and Cyprus 2000) and has been repeatedly honored by several governments and organizations for his medical interventions during disasters.

Andreas Ziegler, EMDM, MSc, MBA

Dr. Andreas Ziegler was born in 1961 in Vienna and attended school in the same town. He graduated from Vienna Medical School in 1989 and was acknowledged as General Practitioner in 1993. A lifelong interest for emergency management expressed itself early, when he joined the local fire brigade and Red Cross EMS station in the 1970s. Today Dr. Ziegler is employed by the City of Vienna, where he works as Physician and Deputy Incident Commander in the Ambulance Service and fulfills responsible tasks in NBC-Defence and Education & Training.

He is member of many Austrian workgroups on “Hazardous Materials”, “Radiation Protection” and “Decontamination;” further of the WADEM CBRN Task Force and the WADEM Board of Directors. He is further a fully trained member of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. Dr. Ziegler achieved several postgraduate degrees: in 2006 the EMDM (European Master of Disaster Medicine); in 2007 the MSc in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management, as well as an MBA degree.