EMRA 2022 Board Candidates

President-Elect

Oluwatosin Ayotunde, MD

Spectrum Health/Michigan State University | Grand Rapids, MI

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View Oluwatosin's CV

In the past I have struggled with purpose, not desire. From sitting in a public health class and learning about how African Americans suffer worse health care outcomes in almost all disease processes, to watching women get their
protections stripped away in a society that strives to portray the desire for equity. EMRA has helped me find a purpose. EMRA has helped me find a voice to speak up for don’t have the platform or ability.

I have gained a lot of connections with EMRA, first serving on the Administration and Operations committee, and now helping lead the Health Policy committee. The skills that I have gained have helped me become a better leader and person. I have learned that in order to lead, you must be willing to follow others and embolden their purpose. This is what I hope to continue as a leader in EMRA. I want to be the liaison for positive change through innovative goals from my colleagues as well as myself. I want to be an advocate for everyone to have a portion of the American dream when it comes to healthcare, regardless of factors that are outside of their control.

Blake Denley, MD

Ochsner Health | New Orleans, LA

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My life mantra is to desperately love like I myself wish to be desperately loved, which I believe is best accomplished through service. Having love and a genuine care for each resident’s well-being, success, and fulfillment is core to my pursuance of the EMRA President-elect role.

As our specialty is at a challenging place in its evolution, I commit to ensuring the resident voice is heard and elevated—an essential given that we will be the most affected by our specialty’s future. I am confident I have the needed skills and tact to represent EMRA to other organizations and leaders within EM. You, the members, are the true strength of EMRA, and you will be my greatest consideration in all decision-making.

I ask for your vote so I may continue serving you, your program, and our specialty. Serving on the EMRA Board of Directors I have developed a substantial understanding of our organization, its past, and its inter-workings, which I know would be invaluable if elected. EMRA is an elite, one-of-a-kind organization thanks to our members (you!), staff, and former/current boards, and I commit to maintaining that status while continually pushing us forward.

I appreciate your support of my candidacy.

THUY NGUYEN, MD

University of Connecticut Integrated Residency | Hartford, CT

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The role of an emergency physician has always been an important one, but the last few years have elucidated just how vital we are when it comes to our patients at the bedside, the communities we serve, and the healthcare systems
in which we are the frontline. As we are accustomed to caring for “whoever comes through the door,” I want to ensure that emergency physicians-in-training have steadfast support, no matter what the concern may be. Whether it is workplace safety, workforce abundance, or scope of practice delineations, it would be my absolute honor to champion for our collective interests as your EMRA President.

Early in our careers, it is crucial we are supported in such a way that promotes fulfilment and longevity, and my goal is for EMRA to continue providing the resources, outlets, and platforms to foster such support. Never should a problem be too large, or an idea be too grand, because my plan is to ensure that our EMRA works for all of us. Just as our patients are deserving of care anytime, anywhere, and anyplace—we, too, deserve advocacy when it comes to any issue, for any venture, and at any point of training.

Vice Speaker

Jacob Altholz, MD

Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at University of Las Vegas/Nellis Air Force Base, Mike O’Callaghan Military Medical Center

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When I think about the Vice Speaker and Speaker positions, they are about helping and amplifying voices to the powers that be rather than pushing any sort of personal goal or policy. While I am as fervent as any of us when a
debate breaks out regarding consolidation of healthcare, systemic barriers to care, or payment structures, I believe my skills and experience are best suited to helping others find and use their voices. My goal as hopeful Vice Speaker is to help facilitate the advocacy we, our colleagues, and our patients deserve.

My own foray into organized medicine began as a medical student at the Association of American Medical Colleges on their student board, getting my feet wet in late 2018 and then working in full force once the COVID pandemic
began. Once residency began, EMRA was the natural successor. I am lucky that I have been able to be involved as a fellow the Health Policy Academy, as the chair of the Reference Committee for CORD ’22, and in meeting with
Congressional Offices at the Leadership and Advocacy Conference, equipping me with experience and passion to ensure the EMRA Representative Council hears you.

Michaela Banks, MD

Louisiana State University New Orleans Health Science Center | New Orleans, LA

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I am running for EMRA Vice Speaker with the intention to amplify the voices of emergency medicine residents across the nation. In the rapidly changing landscape of Emergency Medicine, it is imperative that trainees' opinions and concerns are heard as we are the future of emergency medicine. I will ensure that all residents have a forum to express their thoughts, as well as discuss and develop future policy in line with the current and potential factors that may threaten the culture of EM and the quality of training.

During my MBA program, I gained experience in facilitating communication and served on the school's inaugural diversity committee. I’ve had the pleasure to grow my leadership skills within EMRA as a resident, serving as the Assistant Vice Chair of the International Committee, Resident Co-leader of GEMS-LP, and EMRA liaison to the ACEP DIHE Section. Furthermore, I had the opportunity to serve as the Reference Committee Chair as an EMRA Health Policy Fellow and witness the impact of EMRA's resolutions first-hand. I plan to build upon my aforementioned experiences to ensure the representative council is run in an efficient, yet accessible manner.

I hope to serve you as the next Vice Speaker!

Director of Leadership Development

Ryan Hodgeman, DO

Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University | Augusta, GA

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Over the past decade I have fallen in love with my roles in leadership, both local and national. I have had the pleasure of serving on EMRA committees for the past five years. The opportunity to support others in achieving their goals is the reason I continue to serve. I have done this through one-on-one interaction and big picture, systems-based development.

My interest in the position of Director of Leadership started when I met the current Director, Dr. Maksimenko, who has been a huge support to me over the past few years. I believe my experience has made me well suited for the position, and I plan to continue the excellent foundation started by Dr. Maksimenko, particularly his individual committee support. In addition, I would like to start a longitudinal leadership curriculum entitled “Perspectives in Leadership”: weekly easily digestible emails, with articles, Podcasts, and short stories that culminate in a better understanding of alternate perspectives within our world of Emergency Medicine and how that can make us all better leaders. A core principle of leadership is understanding the people around us.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I am at your service.

Derek Martinez, DO

The University of Oklahoma, Tulsa, School of Community Medicine

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Hello! My name is Derek Martinez, I am a PGY2 from the University of Oklahoma, School of Community Medicine in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I am running for the position of Director of Leadership Development. I am a proud EMRA member and current member of the EMRA Leadership Academy. I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to run for a position in this outstanding organization.

Leadership comes in many different forms but the goals are always the same. To make the people around you better and enable success at all levels. My goal as leadership development director is to build on the work done by Dr.
Maksimenko in recruiting leaders and creating opportunities for residents to advocate for emergency medicine at the local, state, and national levels. EMRA has played a major role in my journey from medical student through residency and I am very excited about this opportunity to expand my role within EMRA. I’m proud to be part of an organization that encourages medical students and residents to be leaders in the field and to provide the highest quality patient care.

I’m looking forward to meeting everyone at ACEP 2022 and I thank you for your consideration.

EMRA Rep to ACEP

Hope Allen, DO

Geisinger Medical Center |  Danville, PA

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Hi, my name is Hope and just like my name, I am hoping to be your next EMRA Resident Representative to the to the ACEP Board of Directors.

I currently serve as the EMRA Program Representative at Geisinger Medical Center. This experience has motivated me to seek election and expand my involvement in EMRA serving you, fellow residents, on the EMRA Board. The
position of the EMRA Program Representative to the ACEP Board of Directors is important because it gives us, as residents, a direct voice to contribute to meaningful improvements and positive changes in the future of Emergency
Medicine. I want to be the spokesperson and serve as that voice on behalf of EMRA to the ACEP Board of Directors. I have cultivated the leadership experiences, within EMRA, and within my own residency program to effectively serve in this position. I currently serve my residency in recruitment efforts. This has given me the chance to work collaboratively with both my fellow residents and faculty. I am a passionate advocate for my fellow residents, and I will bring that enthusiasm to this position.

In closing, I would be honored to receive your support and your vote. Thank you!

Lindsay Davis, DO, MPH

Central Michigan University | Saginaw, MI

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I am excited for the opportunity to be elected as the resident representative to ACEP to represent EM residents to the ACEP board. This role is a bridge that connects the future of our specialty with the present, a way to share EMRAs opinions and bring back information to EMRA members. As an EM resident I feel that I embody a passion for this specialty and a commitment to our patients due to understanding the core issues of emergency medicine, social determinants of health, and our vision for the future.


There are many issues facing residents, including workforce issues, burnout and more. I attended this year's Leadership and Advocacy conference to help give a voice to the legislative issues that ACEP and EMRA are working together to advance. It is important for us as residents to have a voice. I want to be a voice on these issues. I am passionate about continuing the legacy of EMRA of supporting all emergency medicine residents to be the best we can be, the best supported we can be and to be able to do the best for our patients. It would be my honor to serve as the resident representative to ACEP.

Aaron R. Kuzel, D.O., M.B.A.

Fellow | University of Louisville School of Medicine | Louisville, KY

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My goal is to ensure your voices as residents are equally represented in decisions affecting your practice in the emergency medicine community. I will work diligently to continue growing leadership opportunities in EMRA while
working with our EM organizational partners to build lasting collaboration. There are many issues and opportunities confronting our specialty; I will ensure the in-training voice is present in all decisions as we are the future of the specialty.

I have been honored to serve in leadership within EMRA and hope to bring this experience to better serve you. As the EMRA representative to the Rural EM Section, I have worked with members to discuss the future of rural practice in EM residency training and encouraging opportunities for emergency physician led teams in rural EDs. Additionally, I worked as a resident representative to my state’s ACEP Chapter and as a delegate to the Kentucky Medical Association advocating for adequate PPE and improving resident wellness throughout the pandemic.

I am committed to defending the autonomy and practice of emergency medicine across the nation including preserving the exceptionality of this profession. I thank you for your consideration and look forward to creating a better future for emergency medicine, together.

Member at Large

Kimberly Herard, MD

Emory University Emergency Medicine Residency | Atlanta, GA

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One thing I love about emergency medicine is being part of a team. The care team lead by residents and attending physicians is grounded in its purpose to provide life-saving care, ameliorate social determinants of health, and improve health outcomes. The foundation of this teamwork lead by and for residents is appreciated in EMRA.

I have long been involved in EMRA where I fostered my interests in international medicine, diversity and inclusion, social health, and now ultrasound. As hopeful member-at-large, I plan to be open to creating, assisting, and supporting a variety of projects that are focused on caring for residents who serve as the heart of our residencies. My broad interests would serve me well as I vow to work for EMRA as we fight to achieve multifaceted support for residents.

We have been training during a difficult time with COVID, discussions of job insecurity, fights to protect resident wellness, and more. I share EMRA’s vision to make certain the resident voice is heard. My goals on the EMRA Board of Directors are to ensure residents continue to have agency to advocate for themselves, robust opportunities to lead and enact positive change, and encourage EM workplace diversity.

THUY NGUYEN, MD

University of Connecticut Integrated Residency | Hartford, CT

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View Thuy's CV

Crucial to the success of any organization is the degree of engagement from its comprising members and the Member-at-Large position provides a unique opportunity to be the liaison between the EMRA Board of Directors and
the thousands of members it serves. Through my role as the EMRA Program Representative over the past year, I have come to appreciate the difference engagement can make and it would be an honor to expand this passion to the
national level. As the Member-at-Large, I would ensure that the Board of Directors works to create an EMRA that is not only supportive and resourceful, but also inclusive, approachable, and accessible to any emergency resident
physician-in-training. Adaptable by nature and continually honed by emergency medicine training, I am equipped to serve EMRA and its member regarding any matter as the Member-at-Large.

Director of Health Policy

DeMario Butts, MD

Ascension Providence Hospital | Southfield, MI

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I am running for Director of Health Policy because I have a deep passion and unwavering devotion to serving the underprivileged and underserved. Healthcare disparities exist all throughout medicine and my ultimate goal in this position is to shed light on this dilemma and eliminate the barriers to quality healthcare. In this position, I intent to build programs to educate legislative leadership on the health and financial impacts resulting from social determinants of health, develop ways to improve access to care, advocate for and empower our patients to be more involved in their healthcare.

I am committed to a strong future for our organization and I believe that together we could be the change that we wish to see. Thank you
for your support.

Kenneth Kim, MD

UCLA Ronald Reagan | Olive View Emergency | Los Angeles, CA

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As the EMRA Director of Health Policy, I hope to represent, serve, and educate the EMRA membership in the broader landscape of Organized Medicine and Health Policy.

In the modern era of healthcare corporatization, legislative medicine, and decreasing physician autonomy, health policy and how we fight for our patients and our specialty outside of the department grows more important by the day. At the same time, health policy can seem intimidating and low-priority for trainees just trying to learn excellent patient care. My goal as your Director of Health Policy is to make the broader health policy landscape an approachable and engaging topic for busy residents and students.

As a liaison to groups such as NEMPAC and EMAF, I hope to both bring resident voices to the table of important decisions, as well as impart the knowledge I gain from being at that table to the general EMRA membership through events like the EMRA/YPS Health Policy Primer.

As a former Health Policy Committee Vice Chair, MSC Legislative Advisor, and Health Policy Academy Fellow, I have learned and grown so much within the EMRA community and would be honored to give back to this family that has given me so much.

Jose Reyes, MD

Cook County Emergency Medicine | Chicago, IL

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From the overturning of medical freedoms to increasing difficulty in accessing care, our patients are suffering. We as emergency physicians always do more for our patients, always pushing boundaries not for ourselves but for them.
Now more than ever, we must push harder. I am running for the position of Director of Health Policy because I believe I can effectively voice our perspectives as I represent the interests and values of EM residents nationwide. As we have seen recently, broad and national change is lagging; and, therefore, a novel means of advocacy is needed. I believe national change can similarly be achieved by advocating locally and regionally with patience and perseverance. State by state, county by county, local advocacy has the power to create sweeping change. This is my philosophy on policy, which is informed by my experience. From serving as a nonprofit board member to leading a union to authoring a chapter on health policy, I have developed a foundation in leadership and advocacy that will allow me to best serve you. Prepared with these skills, I believe I can not only represent our organization but can also promote a perspective on policy adapted to our current political climate.