Newly Elected Board Members Fall 2021

EMRA is pleased to welcome the newest members and representatives to the EMRA Board of Directors. 


Abbey Smiley, MD

The Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio


I am running for the position of President Elect with the belief that our generation of physicians will be the generation to transform our healthcare system and, as the largest resident organization in the world, EMRA and its members are poised to be that catalyst of change.

In April the ACEP Workforce report was released, predicting an oversupply of 9,413 EMPs by the year 2030. Now, more than ever, our specialty needs bold leadership to create a better future for our specialty and for our patients. As a professional organization, we must examine the implications of the expansion of corporate interests within Emergency Medicine- including the contribution to scope creep, the deterioration of the EM physician job market, and the safety of our patients. Further, we must increase collaboration across professional organizations and unite our voices.

As an Ohio ACEP Board Member and Vice Chair of EMRA’s Health Policy Committee, I have been committed to asking the hard questions and using my voice to create meaningful change. I ask for your vote as we take the first steps towards creating a better future, together. Our collective action or inaction now will shape the landscape of healthcare for years to come.

Abbey Smiley - CV

Vice Speaker

Amanda Irish, MD, MPH

University of Connecticut


My goal as EMRA speaker is to ensure emergency medicine residents voices are heard and to foster communication within the greater EM community. I will work diligently and energetically with my colleagues to maintain an atmosphere of respect and openness enabling identification, discussion, and development of policy to support the diverse needs of current and future residents alike. Expanding on the strengths of EMRA, I will focus on addressing the many existential threats faced by our members, developing resolutions to strengthen our role and enable us to continue providing essential care to those who rely on us.

I have leadership and policy experience as a US Marine, a graduate of EMRA’s leadership academy, and in my current board positions on my state’s ACEP chapter and medical society. I am privileged in these roles to develop and promote policy affecting fellow physicians but also to advocate on behalf of underrepresented populations. I am exceptionally well-organized, have an eye for detail, excel at managing multiple tasks, am passionate about actualizing others’ ideas, and consistently see the development of projects through to their conclusions. Given my experience and enthusiasm for this role, it would be my honor to serve as your EMRA Speaker.

Amanda Irish CV

Director of Education

Erin Karl, MD

Hennepin County Medical Center
Bloomington, Minnesota


As the Immediate Past Chair of EMRA’s Education Committee, I hope to serve as your next EMRA Director of Education. Currently, I am the Medical Education and Simulation Fellow at Hennepin County Medical Center. As a fellow, I have the time needed to fully commit myself to effectively contributing to the EMRA Board of Directors.

After serving in numerous EMRA leadership roles over the past six years, I already have prior experience with the Director of Education’s formal responsibilities. As a medical student, I sat on the EMRA Board of Directors and partook in the day-to-day work of the board, so I also intimately understand what it takes to be a creative and productive board member.

I currently serve as an advocate for EMRA and all emergency medicine residents on the ACEP Education and Academic Affairs Committees, as well as the ACEP Scientific Assembly Educational Meetings Subcommittee and the CORD Advising Student Committee in Emergency Medicine. These roles have prepared me to successfully advocate for you and your education on a national level.

I would be honored to advocate for you all and serve as your next EMRA Director of Education!

Erin Karl CV

Secretary - Editor

Jessica Adkins, MD

University of Kentucky Emergency Medicine Residency
Lexington, Kentucky


As an EM resident fascinated by health policy, forever building my clinical knowledge through EM Resident's cases and studies, and a journalist at heart, I would be honored to serve you as EMRA’s Secretary-Editor.

My unorthodox background includes an undergraduate degree in journalism. During that time I published dozens of articles including long-form features, news stories, and video content for my university newspaper and the national American Songwriter Magazine. Though now the subject matter has changed from human-interest stories and musician features to medical topics, I have continued to use my journalism experience as a writer and editor for the medical laboratory Wild Health. In this role, I have written and edited numerous press releases, proposals, and summaries of scientific data with a focus on readability for both physicians and laypeople.

In my tenure as your Editor-in-Chief, I would uphold the standards of EM Resident by carefully reviewing each submission and discussing with the authors any significant concerns. Articles should all be factually sound, compelling, polished, and grammatically correct. I also aim to include authors of underrepresented backgrounds and a diverse range of perspectives. I would be proud to share your voice with a national audience as Secretary-Editor.

Jessica Adkins CV

Member at Large

Blake Denley, MD

Ochsner Health
New Orleans, Louisiana

46-6 New Board - Nick Salerno_300.jpg

My life mantra is to desperately love like I myself wish to be desperately loved, which I think is best accomplished through service.

Though love may not be the first motivating factor you think of when considering candidates for a position such as Member-at-large, it really is the essence of all that I do. Having love and genuine care for others as my principal driving factor has given me an inclusive, progressive-thinking mindset, and I am motivated to always push for innovation and betterment within the organizations I work with.

The fluidity of the Member-at-large position matches my personality well, and I would love addressing a wide variety of issues as they arise throughout the year. I would also want to serve as a direct voice to the Board for EMRA members, ensuring appropriate representation. Though most of my leadership experiences have been at the state and local levels, I would love the chance to serve on the national level, and I would greatly appreciate your vote.

Fun Facts: I am a 7-time Jump Rope World Champion, I was a Ralphie Handler at the University of Colorado, and I have a Golden Retriever named Aspen.

Blake Denley CV

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