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Department of Emergency Medicine News

Grant Awarded for Telemanipulation Robots



CSE Associate Professor and DEM Adjunct Professor Laurel Riek awarded $1.2m grant to develop a new generation of healthcare telemanipulation robots 



UCSD Emergency Medicine team part of initial round of UCSD health care workers to get vaccine




We're so proud of all our amazing and dedicated staff! 







DEM female faculty recognized at the Women in Health Sciences ceremony

dem-wem-faculty-zoom-full-compressed.jpgCongratulations to UC San Diego Emergency Medicine faculty Drs. Rachna Subramony, Jenny Farah, Leslie Oyama and Karen Van Hoesen for being recognized at the annual Women in Health Sciences women award winners ceremony.




Impact of COVID on older adults


DEM faculty Ted Chan featured in San Diego Union Tribune article regarding the Seniors Community Foundation and the impact of COVID on older adults.

Read more about COVID's impact on older adults




Impacts and challenges of COVID in Imperial County, CA.


DEM faculty Drs. Andrew Lafree and Chris Tomaszewski featured in a Fortune magazine commentary by Dr. Carolyn Barber regarding the COVID challenges and response in Imperial County, CA.

Read more about the imapcts of COVID in Imperial County, CA.




Charlotte Sadler awarded grant to investigate the safety of scuba diving after COVID 19.

Dr. Sadler in the water in scuba gear holding a white and red flagThanks to a grant awarded by the UC San Diego Academy of Clinician Scholars, Dr. Sadler and Peter Lindholm will be conducting a study to investigate the potential long-term sequelae of COVID-19 and the impacts on fitness for diving.  

Read more about the potential impacts of COVID and fitness for diving



DEM faculty awarded grant to identify patients at high risk of firearms faciliated suicide. 

Dr. Kahn and Eddie CastilloDEM faculty Chris Kahn and Eddie Castillo along with Dr. Joelle Donofrio-Ödmann have been awarded a grant from the University of California Firearm Violence Research Center (UCFC) on EMS data modeling to identify patients at high risk for firearm-facilitated suicide.

Read the full article



Hyperbaric and diving medicine research chair awarded 1 million dollar grant.

Peter LindholmPeter Lindholm, professor and Gurnee endowed chair of hyperbaric and diving medicine research, has been awarded a 1 million dollar, 3 year grant from the Office of Naval Research (USN) to image nitrogen gas during diving and decompression. The study will be in collaboration with Professor David Vera, Department of Radiology.

Read Dr. Lindholm's research profile



 Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Society President-elect chosen

Dr. Pete WituckiPete Witucki, Department of Emergency Medicine and Division of Hyperbaric Medicine faculty member, has been selected as President-elect for Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Society. 

More about Dr. Witucki




UC San Diego Edward A. Dickson Award granted to Jim Dunford

Dr. Jim DunfordDepartment of Emergency Medicine Emeritus Professor, Jim Dunford, has been awarded the UC San Diego Edward A. Dickson Award for outstanding contributions and service as an emeritus faculty member.

Dr. Dunford's research profile



Department of Emergency Medicine faculty and staff battle COVID-19 during a heat wave

screenshot of CNN Outfront news story showing two medical workers in the ER hallwayCNN reports about our El Centro site where COVID cases are still rising and our team members are working hard to serve the community in triple digit heat.

Watch the complete news feature




NBA legend Bill Walton congratulates our 2020 residents

Hall of Fame inductee and NBA star Bill Walton celebrates our DEM graduating class of 2020






Emergency Medicine Resident Class of 2020 Graduates

2020 residents in white lab coats standing outsideCongratulations to our Emergency Medicine Residents Class of 2020!

See more about our residency alumni





Dr. Andrew Lafree featured on CNBC news to discuss COVID response in El Centro

DEM faculty and ECRMC ED Director, Dr. Lafree featured on CNBC news in San Diego discussing COVID response in El Centro.





Dr. Jorge Fernandez elected to the 2020-21 Board of Directors for California ACEP

Jorge Fernandez in a white lab coatCongratulations to DEM Professor Dr. Jorge Fernandez who was elected to the 2020-21 Board of Directors for California American College of Emergency Physicians. 

California ACEP Profile




DEM faculty member, Dr. Leslie Oyama, works with other UC San Diego researchers to develop tele-health robots to improve patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic

Leslie Oyama, Alan Card, along with Lesley Wilson will design, deploy, and evaluate a new fleet of low-cost telepresence robot to improve patient care during the pandemic. 

Read more about the project

NBC features DEM faculty member Dr. Christanne Coffey 

Dr. Christanne Coffey standing in scrubs in an empty ERDr. Christanne Coffey featured in NBC San Diego news article "Emergency Rooms Want You to Come if You Need help". 

Read the full article




Professor Emeritus Irving “Jake" Jacoby receives the ACEP Disaster Medical Sciences Award.

Dr. Jacoby The Award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions of national/international significance of impact to the field of disaster medicine. 

Jake has been a force for disaster preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery for decades, and his influence has been felt not just all across the world, but also quite locally. UCSD’s Disaster Control Officer was none other than Jake from 1985-2002, who also served as the chair of UCSD’s Emergency Preparedness Advisory Committee (now the Emergency Management Committee) for 25 years. He’s advised the State of California, the San Diego Unified School District, the National Disaster Medical System, and many more organizations both large and small throughout his career, while remaining active as an emergency physician, hyperbarics physician, aeromedical physician, and infectious diseases physician (he is board certified in Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine, and Infectious Diseases). 

Locally, Jake is beloved as the team leader of Disaster Medical Assistance Team CA-4, which he founded in 1991. In that time, he has been the team leader or unit commander for at least 19 deployments, including several major catastrophes such as Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy, and the World Trade Center attacks in 2001. On every one of these deployments, his work has been prompt, purposeful, considerate, and most importantly, effective in delivering the highest quality of patient care in some of the most inadequate and intolerable conditions imaginable. His steady, professional response to these events has protected and served not just the National Disaster Medical System infrastructure, but the communities lucky enough to have been the beneficiaries of his assistance during times of crisis. 

Jake is an active and vital member of the UCSD DEM Division of EMS and Disaster Medicine, teaching residents, serving as the editor of a major disaster medicine textbook, and being a leader in disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery efforts across the globe.

Dr. Christanne Coffey featured in UC San Diego's Triton Magazine 

Dr. Christanne Coffey DEM faculty member Dr. Christanne Coffey writes about the balance of saving lives and keeping her family safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Read the Triton Magazine article





Dr. Karen Van Hoesen appointed as UC San Diego Health Sciences Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs

karen van-hoesen standing outside in front of Scripps Pier

Congratulations to DEM faculty member Dr. Karen Van Hoesen for being appointed as UC San Diego Health Sciences Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs!

Dr. Vanhoesen's research profile




San Diego Union Tribune features DEM chair, Dr. Ted Chan. 

emergency worker wheels a patient past a covid-19 testing centerDr. Ted Chan featured in Union Tirbune article about Emergency Department visits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the article 





Dr. Stephanie Benjamin featured in front-page of New York Times interactive 

benjamin-face-maskDEM fellow and incoming faculty Dr. Stephanie Benjamin featured in front-page New York Times interactive on health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the New York Times story






DEM faculty receive grants that focus on the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Chris Coyne, MD, MPH and Edward Castillo, PhD, MPH received a grant derived from the UC National Laboratory Fees Program to utilize machine learning to assist emergency physicians in the treatment and disposition of patients with COVID-19.
  • Edward Castillo, PhD, MPH, in collaboration with Aladdin Shadyab, PhD from Family Medicine and Public Health, received funding from the University of California Office of the President to assess outcomes in older COVID-19 patients with comorbidities in a senior emergency care unit.
  • Christian Tomaszewski, MD, MS, MBA is assisting an effort lead by researchers at Indiana University to develop a national COVID-19 registry to better understand the clinical presentation and outcomes of COVID-19 patients

Dr. Gary Vilke featured on KUSI local news 

Dr. Gary VilkeDEM faculty Dr. Gary Vilke featured on KUSI local news regarding Emergency Departments and the COVID-19 pandemic.






Dr. Joelle Donofrio speaks during San Diego Mayor Faulconer's COVID-19 updates

immunotherapy cell graphicDr. Chris Coyne featured in Emergency News article on Immunotherapy

DEM faculty Chris Coyne, MD, featured in EM News.

EM News complete article


Dr. Jim Killeen helps to launch drone program 

dr. jim killeenDEM faculty member Dr. Jim Killeen featured in multiple articles on UCSD Health working with UPS to launch drone program 

Dr. Jesse Guittard appointed Associate Director of the ED at VA San Diego Medical Center

DEM faculty member, Jesse Guittard has been appointed as the Associate Director of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Emergency Department. 

Read Dr. Guittard's research profile




UCSD DEM Level 1 accredited GED featured in Discoveries Magazine 

To see magazine, click here. Article on pages 12-17.

Christian Dameff featured on NPR nationwide radio story on health care cybersecurity and attack simulation

Christian DameffUC San Diego DEM Assistant Professor Christian Dameff featured on NPR nationwide radio story on health care cybersecurity and attack simulation conducted at UCSD.

 Listen to the radio segment on NPR