EMS & Disaster Medicine Faculty
Mark Merlin DO, EMT-P, FACEPProgram Director
Dr. Mark Merlin is the Founder and Program Director of the NJ EMS Fellowship. He is Vice Chairman of Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center/Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health. Dr. Merlin founded three EMS/Disaster Medicine Fellowships and has the first accredited program in New Jersey. He has authored over 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts and abstracts in Emergency Medicine and EMS. Dr. Merlin is the Chief Medical Officer and System Medical Director of MONOC, which is New Jersey’s largest EMS system. In this capacity he oversees over 700 paramedics, EMT’s, nurses and physicians in the 911 System servicing over 50% of the state delivering EMS patients to 43 hospitals in NJ. He has been medical director of multiple rotary (helicopter) and fixed wing Air Medical services. He has overseen the transport of critical patients throughout the world.
Navin Ariyaprakai MD, EMT-P, FAEMSAssociate Program Director
Dr. Ariyaprakai started as a Paramedic in the Hudson Valley New York. After training in EM and EMS & Disaster Medicine, Dr Ariyaprakai currently works as Associate Program Director for EMS & Disaster Fellowship at Newark Beth Israel. Deputy Medical Director for MONOC New Jersey’s Hospital Service Corporation. Flight Physician for several Air Ambulance companies doing both domestic and international critical care transports. Event Medicine for several groups covering Tough Mudders and NYRR races including the NYC Marathon. And as a Tactical Physician cover various NJ State police operations. He is Double Boarded in Both Emergency Medicine and EMS & Disaster Medicine.
Ammundeep Tagore MD MSHA MBAAssociate Program Director
Dr. Tagore prior to entering medical school worked in the Texas EMS system for almost 10 years and joins us from Texas as Associate Program Director for the EMS & Disaster Medicine Fellowship at Newark Beth Israel. Dr Tagore also is Associate Medical Director for MONOC New Jersey’s Hospital Service Corporation. Other affiliations include his role as a Flight Physician for multiple air ambulance agencies. Dr Tagore is also active in event medicine, working for MepPrep Group covering Tough Mudders and NYRR races including the NYC Marathon. One of Dr Tagore’s professional interest is TEMS and is currently a Tactical Physician for the NJ State Police TEAMS Unit (SWAT Team).
Robert Bauter MAS, NRP
Mr Bauter is Director of Clinical Services for MONOC, leading a department that oversees the clinical practice of approximately 250 paramedics, 150 EMTs and 25 RNs. Mr Bauter’s responsibilities also include development and implementation of clinical standards of practice, keeping MONOC at the forefront of the state of the science in EMS. Bob holds instructor certifications in ACLS, PALS, PHTLS, ITLS, PEPL and EMS Safety. He is also faculty for the MONOC / Ocean County College Paramedic Education Program, and has presented multiple research abstract posters at EMS Today, CDC Trauma Conference, ACEP Scientific Assembly as well as various New Jersey Conferences. Bob graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from Ohio Wesleyan University and obtained his Master’s Degree in Administrative Science from Fairleigh Dickenson University.
Daniel Friedman DO, EMT-P
Dr Friedman trained at Nova Southeastern University College of osteopathic medicine with receiving his EM training at Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami Beach, FL. Dr Friedman completed his EMS Fellowship at NBI and has since stayed on as Core Faculty. He additionally is a representative for Centrastate on MONOC’s Medical Advisory Board.
Matthew Harris MD EMT-P
Dr. Matthew Harris is one of a select few physicians in the country to be dual trained in EMS & Pediatric Emergency Medicine. He practices as an EMS physician in New Jersey and New York and was named the section chief of prehospital pediatric protocols for NYC EMS at Remac. He has extensive experience in flight medicine, both domestic and international, and serves as a tactical physician for the New Jersey State Police Swat Team. Dr. Harris is an active prehospital researcher with work focusing on resuscitation and pediatric trauma. He lectures frequently on issues related to pediatric pre-hospital care and resuscitation. Dr Harris has recently accepted a position as the Medical Director of Pediatric Critical Care Transport for Denver General.
Margaret A. Keavney JD, MHA
Ms. Keavney was a volunteer EMT and a NJ paramedic before attending law school and graduate school at Tulane in New Orleans. She has limited her practice to health care and employment law for the past 24 years. Licensed in New Jersey and Louisiana, she advises clients of her firm Keavney & Streger, LLC on EMS regulatory issues, risk management, Medicare and HIPAA compliance, and other legal concerns of pre-hospital providers. Former General Counsel of MONOC, she is a Certified Ambulance Compliance Officer and past member of the American Ambulance Association’s Ethics Committee, as well as serving as a Commissioner at the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS). She enjoys working with the EMS Fellows and breaking new ground in pre-hospital care.
Ronald Klebacher DO EMT-P
Dr Klebacher attended Richard Stockton University, and began working in EMS as a paramedic with both MONOC and Community Medical Center. Concurrently , he worked as a police officer before heading to Kansas City, MO. to attend medical school at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. He completed a residency at Saint Michael’s Medical Center and is board certified in Emergency Medicine. Dr. Klebacher recently completed his fellowship and continues on as core faculty at NBIMC. He also assists as a tactical physician with the New Jersey State Police TEAMS unit, is the Medical Team Manager for New Jersey Urban Search and Rescue Unit, and assists with New Jersey Office of Emergency Services as well as working clinically in several Emergency Departments.
AJ McKechnie MPHc, CPHBiostatistician
Mr. McKechnie has worked with various colleges around the Nation in helping advance the statistical knowledge of higher academia. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Health Science with an emphasis in research methodology. Through the mentoring of his professor, Dr. Bruce Thomas, he began his career and research in epidemiology and advanced statistics. After completing his undergraduate degree, he entered the Master of Public Health program at the University of South Florida College of Public Health where he is finishing his concentration in epidemiology with an emphasis in applied biostatistics specializing in emergency medicine research. Mr. McKechnie has advanced training in SAS Software and statistical modeling that allows him to further the methodology and evidence-based practices of present clinical standards. Through his advisement and analysis for the New Jersey hospital system and fellows he has provided extensive guidance towards biostatistical inference in the field of Emergency Medicine.
Andrew Parrish MD EMT-P
Dr. Parrish is currently the EMS Medical Director of Community Medical Center, the site of the largest Emergency Department on the East Coast. He is originally from Orlando, Florida and graduated college from the University of Central Florida. During that time he worked on a 911 ALS unit as a paramedic. He additionally was a lifeguard during he summers. Dr Parrish has been in New Jersey for 6 years and completed residency at Hackensack University Medical Center. After completing residency, he remains a part of the EMS Fellowship as teaching faculty. He loves actively making a difference on the front lines of medicine.
Zaffer Qasim, MBBS FRCEM FRCPC(EM) EDIC
Dr. Qasim is board-certified in emergency medicine and critical care medicine. He completed residency training in Manchester, England, where he also served for several years as an EMS physician with the region’s Med-ALERT BASICS prehospital care system. He moved to the United States to complete his surgical critical care fellowship at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, and has active interests in prehospital care, advanced trauma resuscitation, and medical education through simulation.
Vince Robbins FACPE, FACHE
Since 1990, Mr. Robbins has served as the President & Chief Executive Officer of MONOC, New Jersey’s single largest EMS and mobile healthcare shared service hospital cooperative. While leading MONOC, he has grown the company fifteen-fold, dramatically expanding the wide range of services it provides, more than doubling the hospital members of the consortium, while continuing to provide reduced cost shared services for its 15 member hospitals and over 120 municipalities throughout New Jersey. He is President of the National EMS Management Association, sits on the Board of the Savvik Foundation and the Editorial Board of EMS World magazine, and is the representative for Hospital Based EMS systems and Chairman on NHTSA’s National EMS Advisory Council.
Josef Schenker MD, EMT-P, FACEP
Dr. Schenker began work as an EMT in NYC in 1990, working both as a volunteer and for the NYC 911 system. He spent 1 year living in Israel working as a medic for the national ambulance service. Dr Schenker became a medic in 1995 and worked both 911 and transport EMS services. He attended medical school at Loyola University Chicago – Stritch School of Medicine, and worked with Loyola Lifestar air ambulance. Dr Schenker completed residency at New York Methodist hospital followed by an EMS Fellowship at FDNY. Currently, Dr. Schenker is the Chairman of the NYC Regional Medical Advisory Committee and Medical Director of the Largest Proprietary ambulance service in New York State. Dr. Schenker is board certified in both Emergency Medicine and Emergency Medical Services, and sits on the ABEM EMS Scoring standards committee.
David Shotwell JD, EMT-P
Mr Shotwell began working as a paramedic several years before becoming a lawyer. He frequently provides education, legal services, and consulting in EMS law, legal issues related to information protection and disclosure, and health care compliance related topics. Mr Shotwell is a graduate of the University of Delaware and Rutgers University Law School, and completed Corporate Healthcare Compliance certification at George Washington University. He is currently the corporate attorney, the corporate healthcare compliance officer and a paramedic at MONOC. He has been active in both career and volunteer EMS with extensive experience in operational, administrative, and leadership issues in fire, EMS, and ocean safety. He is a seasonal lifeguard at the New Jersey shore, a FIT Responder Trainer, a volunteer firefighter, former fire chief and fire district attorney, and bicycle rickshaw driver.
Michael Westrol MD EMT
Dr. Westrol started his career in emergency services at the age of 16 as a firefighter. While in college at Princeton University, he completed the EMT curriculum and has maintained it ever since and also served as a lieutenant in the Princeton Fire Department. He continued his education at Rutgers – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School followed by a residency in emergency medicine there as well. Upon graduation, he spent a year completing the EMS/Disaster Medicine fellowship at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. Particular interests of his include mass gathering/event medicine, EMS physician field response, and air medical transport. He is among some of the first physicians in the country to now be double-board-certified in emergency medicine and EMS. His full-time job is an Emergency Physician and Assistant EMS Medical Director of AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City, NJ, where he helps oversee a rotor wing service, ground BLS/ALS/SCTU, and the special events section. He maintains per diem positions with Newark Beth Israel, MONOC, Rutgers University EMS (where he is the medical director), and some fixed wing air ambulance companies.