EMS & Disaster Medicine Faculty

Mark Merlin DO, EMT-P, FACEP
Mark Merlin DO, EMT-P, FACEPFounder
Dr. Mark Merlin is the Founder of the NJ EMS Fellowship. He is Vice Chairman of Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center/Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health, and Professor, Emergency Medicine, Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School. 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, FAEMS, FACEP
Navin Ariyaprakai MD, EMT-P, FAEMS, FACEPProgram Director
Dr. Ariyaprakai is double boarded in Emergency Medicine and EMS & Disaster Medicine. Has been responding to EMS calls since 2000. Dr. Navin as he is better known as, currently works as the 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/Mass Gathering Medicine for several groups covering events from a Yankee’s game, to a mud run, to the NYC Marathon. And as a Tactical Physician cover various local and federal police operations. When his is not working he is a known foodie and traveler.
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Ammundeep Tagore MD, MSHA, MBA, FAAEM, FACEP
Ammundeep Tagore MD, MSHA, MBA, FAAEM, FACEPAssociate 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. He is Core Faculty Attending for the EM Residency at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. He additionally is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Rutgers NJ Medical School. Dr Tagore also is Associate Medical Director for MONOC New Jersey’s Hospital Service Corporation. He Serves as a Board Member for the MD1 Program and is a Board of Directors (At-Large) for AAEM Young Physicians Section. 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
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.
Jeff Behm, MBA, FACPE
Jeff Behm, MBA, FACPE
Jeff Behm is the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for MONOC, the Monmouth-Ocean Hospital Services Corporation which is a non-profit hospital cooperative with acute care hospital members including RWJBarnabas Health, Hackensack Meridian Health, CentraState Healthcare System, and Deborah Heart and Lung.  MONOC operates the single largest MICU (paramedic) program in the State of New Jersey.  In addition to MICU services, MONOC provides Air Medical Critical Care Transport and Air Medical Emergency Scene response, as well as Ground Interfacility Specialty Care Transport.
Jeff has had leadership roles with the NJ Association of Paramedic Programs where he is currently the secretary. Jeff is a member of the NJ Mobile Intensive Care Unit Advisory Council, the NJ EMS Council, and he was the previous chair of the Specialty Care Transport sub-committee of the NJ EMS Council. Jeff has been a New Jersey paramedic for over 27 years and will become the President and CEO of MONOC on July 1, 2019.
Jeff is a servant leader with a passion for EMS and Population Health. He is responsible for the integration of EMS and medical transport across the 13 member hospitals and health systems of MONOC. In addition to his MBA, Jeff is a Fellow of the American College of Paramedic Executives, and a member of the Golden Key Honor Society and the Delta Mu Delta Honor Society in Business. Jeff was honored to serve Vice President Dick Cheney in August 2001 and July 2003 as part of the United States Secret Service Medical Protection Detail. Jeff also volunteers as a youth travel soccer coach.
Patrick Davis MD
Patrick Davis MD
Dr. Patrick Davis is board certified in both Emergency Medicine and Emergency Medical Services. He works as an Emergency Physician with Emergency Medical Associates, at Clara Maas Medical Center in Belleville, NJ. Dr Davis is the Assistant System Medical Director of MONOC as well as Vice-Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board. He is a past Supervisory Medical Officer for NJ1DMAT. Dr. Davis a part of the Core Faculty of the Fellowship in Emergency Medical Services, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center/Barnabas Health. He holds faculty appointments as Clinical Instructor in the Department of Emergency Medicine of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, New York Institute of Technology, College of Osteopathic Medicine as well as Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of New England, College of Osteopathic Medicine. Prior to receiving his medical degree from SUNY Downstate, Dr. Davis spent 18 years as a paramedic and paramedic instructor in New York City.
Daniel Friedman DO, EMT-P
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
Matthew Harris MD EMT-P
Matthew Harris MD is an Emergency Physician at Children’s Hospital of Colorado, part of the University of Colorado Healthcare system. He is dual boarded in Pediatrics and Pediatric Emergency Medicine, and is board-eligible in EMS & Disaster Medicine. Dr. Harris has been involved in EMS since 1998, having trained and worked an EMT and a paramedic prior to attending medical school. An experienced flight and tactical physician, Dr. Harris primarily focuses on pediatric prehospital and inter-facility transport. He serves on national boards of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of EMS Physicians, which recently recognized his research as the ‘top academic poster’ at the 2019 annual conference. In line with the MD1 Program’s mission, Dr. Harris is eager to bring the highest quality of emergency care to children in the prehospital setting.
Joslyn Joseph DO, EMT
Joslyn Joseph DO, EMT
Dr. Joseph is the Director of the EMS Clerkship and is a Northern New Jersey native who has been an active member of Emergency Medical Services for the past 14 years. She most recently founded and serves as president of the National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP) – New Jersey Chapter. She is a board certified Emergency Physician who currently practices with EMA. Dr. Joseph began her EMS career as a volunteer EMT at the Wayne Township Memorial First Aid and Rescue Squad in Wayne, NJ and is a certified Vehicle Extrication Technician, Swift Water Rescue Technician, Confined Space Rescue Technician, and Rope Rescue Technician. She attended Lehigh University for her BA in Behavioral Neuroscience and served on Lehigh University EMS (LUEMS) as Lieutenant. Dr. Joseph went straight from college to medical school at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (TouroCOM) in Harlem, NY, and then completed Emergency Medicine residency at Morristown Medical Center in Morristown, NJ. Her professional interests include Pre-Hospital and Disaster Medicine, Resuscitation, Education, and QA/QI. Her personal interests include traveling, hiking, fitness, weightlifting, spending time with her family, and eating sushi.
Margaret A. Keavney JD, MHA
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
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 MPH, CPH
AJ McKechnie MPH, 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 finished 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.
Kevin G. Munjal, MD, MPH
Kevin G. Munjal, MD, MPH
Kevin Munjal is a board-certified Emergency Medical Services physician who did his EMS fellowship at the New York City Fire Department (FDNY). He also holds two Masters degrees, one in Health Policy & Management and the other in Clinical Research. He is the Founder and Chair of the NY Mobile Integrated Healthcare Association (NYMIHA). He is Medical Director for Mount Sinai Community Paramedicine and Online Medical Control. He also serves as physician champion for care transitions for the Mount Sinai DSRIP program. Nationally, he is well-known for his leadership in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) project to develop a national framework for “Promoting Innovations in EMS,” as well as his selection to the Technical Expert Panel of the EMS Agenda 2050 project. He is an accomplished and prolific academic researcher funded through both the National Institute of Health and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation for his work in community paramedicine.
Andrew Parrish MD EMT-P
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
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.
Josef Schenker MD, EMT-P, FACEP
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
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.
Philip E. Solomon, CHMM, CET, EMT-P
Philip E. Solomon, CHMM, CET, EMT-P
Philip E. Solomon has been involved in the emergency response field for over forty years with wide-ranging experience in emergency medical services, disaster preparedness, hazardous materials response, and safety. Mr. Solomon is President of TOPS in EMERGENCY RESPONSE, Inc., a consulting firm providing emergency management, emergency medical, and health & safety consulting for a variety of clients throughout the United States. Phil serves as the Hospital Safety Officer / Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and a Safety Officer for the New Jersey EMS Task Force. Mr. Solomon served as regional safety, training, and compliance manager for a nationwide emergency response company with responsibility for five locations on the east coast. Phil served as the Union County (New Jersey) Emergency Management Coordinator responsible for all-hazard disaster planning, as well as overseeing the Hazardous Materials Response Team and Fire Academy. Mr. Solomon began his career in emergency response as an emergency medical technician and later advanced to paramedic. Mr. Solomon is a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (CHMM) at the Master Level and a Certified Environmental, Safety, and Health Trainer (CET).
Michael Westrol MD EMT
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.
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