COVID-19 Town Hall: COVID-19 and Public Health Intersection in EMS

November 9, 2020


  • Lekshmi Kumar, MD, MPH – Dr. Kumar completed her ER residency at Mayo Clinic Rochester MN, EMS fellowship at Emory and MPH at Rollins school of Public Health. ER attending at Emory University Hospital and has been medical director for both ambulance and fire based systems for the past 8 years. Currently Medical director for Grady EMS that is a hospital-based EMS system, a component of Grady Health System and provides 911 services to the City of Atlanta in addition to 16 counties across Georgia with an approximate annual call volume of 130,000 within the City of Atlanta.H


  • Chelsea White, MD, NRP, FAEMS, FACEP – Dr. White is an emergency physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine at University of New Mexico, USA.  He is the Director of the UNM Center for Rural and Tribal EMS as well as the soon-to-be immediate past Director of the UNM EMS Fellowship.  He currently serves as EMS Medical Director for Cibola (sih-BOW-la) County Fire and Emergency Medical Services, Pueblo of Acoma (AAH-co-mah) EMS/Fire Department, Pueblo of Isleta EMS, Pueblo of Laguna Fire Rescue, Pine Hill Emergency Medical Services, and the TóHajiilee (to-HA-juh-lay) Field Office of Navajo Nation EMS.  He is the President of the New Mexico Chapter of the NAEMSP.
  • Ray Barishansky, MPH, MS – Mr. Barishansky is the Deputy Secretary for Health Preparedness and Community Protection at the Pennsylvania Department of Health. From 2012 to 2015, he served as the Director of the Office of Emergency Medical Services for the Connecticut Department of Public Health. Prior to that, he served as the Chief of Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response for the Prince George’s County (MD) Health Department from 2008 to 2012. Mr. Barishansky is currently enrolled in a Doctoral Program in Public Health (DrPH) at the Fairbanks School of Public Health at Indiana University. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Touro College, a Master of Public Health degree from New York Medical College and a Master of Science in Homeland Security Studies from Long Island University. He is a graduate of the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program held at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (2006) and has also earned a Certified Public Manager (CPM) certification through Arizona State University. Mr. Barishansky has authored articles in such publications as EMS Magazine, the Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS), EMS InsiderDomestic Preparedness Journal, the Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency ManagementEmergency Management Magazine, and the Crisis Response Journal (UK). He is a nationally recognized speaker and has made presentations at various EMS and Public Health conferences.
  • Justin Stewart, AAS Paramedic, ME – Justin Stewart is the Training Officer for Rockingham County EMS.  Justin has taken Rockingham County EMS to the tip of the spear in prehospital patient care in the country. He has accomplished this with revolutionary partnerships with Social Services and Health Departments. One example of this is integrating paramedics with the Department of Health and Social Services, working hand in hand with social workers, mental health providers, and substance abuse peer support specialists. Justin is inspired by his wife of twenty-six years, Sarah, and their six daughters, one of which he lost to cancer in 2011. Justin likes to spend time with his family in his free time and is active in his church.
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