NAEMSP Mourns E. Brooke Lerner, PhD, FAEMS
October 4, 2023
NAEMSP is deeply saddened by the news that E. Brooke Lerner, PhD, FAEMS has passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. Over the past two decades, Brooke has dedicated her career to the advancement of prehospital care, from spending time in the field as a paramedic to serving on the NAEMSP Board of Directors and joining her alma mater, the University of Buffalo, as a tenured professor and vice chair for research in the Department of Emergency Medicine in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
Said NAEMSP President José G Cabañas MD, MPH, FAEMS: “We pay tribute to the extraordinary legacy of Dr. Brooke Lerner. Her service to our profession and NAEMSP was marked by honor and distinction, including the mentorship of countless clinicians devoted to building effective prehospital systems of care. Brooke's transformative work played a pivotal role in advancing trauma and pediatric emergency care, leaving behind a body of work that was instrumental in enhancing prehospital care standards. May her enduring legacy serve as an inspiration to all of us, reminding us of the profound impact one person's selfless dedication can have in elevating the practice of EMS medicine.”
Throughout her career, Brooke focused on research in a subspecialty with a relatively small literature base, authoring over 135 peer-reviewed publications and completing many federally funded grants to conduct EMS research. Much of her research addressed acute injury care and field/disaster triage, and she led the current national guideline for mass casualty triage.
Brooke also dedicated much of her time to pediatric emergency care, especially through the federally funded Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN), where she led the organization’s only prehospital node and served on its Executive Committee.
Following her diagnosis, Brooke worked with NAEMSP and the GMR Foundation to establish the E. Brooke Lerner Research Fund with the goal of supporting early career EMS researchers. “I’ve spent my career on improving prehospital care, and I wanted to leave something behind to keep that legacy moving forward,” Brooke said, speaking of the fund shortly after its creation.
In 2013, Brooke received NAEMSP’s Keith Neely Award, and ten years later, she was recognized with the Ronald D. Stewart Award for her illustrious career in EMS. It would be impossible to recount all the invaluable contributions to emergency medical services made by Brooke Lerner, and more impossible still to describe the impact she made on each person she met. NAEMSP will remember Brooke with the utmost admiration and is profoundly grateful for everything she has done to advance EMS.