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EMS/Disaster Medicine Current Fellows and Alumni

Current fellows


  • Leen Samha, MD

    Leen Samha, MD

    Undergraduate: Southern Utah University
    Medical School: University of Utah School of Medicine
    Residency: Rutgers Health New Jersey Medical School

    My experiences growing up between southern Utah and Palestine stirred my passion for creating platforms for underrepresented voices, which ultimately shaped my journey in medicine. I completed my undergraduate studies at Southern Utah University with a bachelor's in science, chemistry with a healthcare emphasis, attended medical school at the University of Utah School of Medicine, and completed my Emergency Medicine residency at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark, NJ. During medical school and residency, I co-produced the podcast, Bundle of Hers, to uplift unheard stories within medical education. Witnessing how turmoil affects underrepresented and socioeconomically disadvantaged populations locally and globally, I chose to pursue emergency medicine for its emphasis on community-provider connection, prompt action, and leadership, especially as a first line provider. Within EMS, I aim to help create sustainable prehospital systems and personalized protocols for care delivery in marginalized and turmoiled communities locally and internationally. In my free time, I enjoy singing, playing video games, exploring cultural insights, and hanging with my cat.

EMS/ Disaster Medicine Alumni

Fellowship Alumni Years Where are they now
Claire Gahm 2023-2024
Michelle Safferman 2022-2023
  • Clinical Instructor, Department of Emergency Medicine, NYU/Bellevue
Andra Farcas 2021-2022
  • Medical Director, various EMS agencies throughout Colorado 
  • Associate Medical Director, Aurora Fire Rescue  
  • Associate Medical Director, Medical Education on the Delivery of Innovative Care (MEDIC) Program  
  • Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine 
Heidi Hutchison 2020-2021
  • Local Emergency Medical Advisor, Redwoods National Park 
  • Assistant Medical Director, San Luis Obispo (SLO) County Sheriff Special Enforcement Detail 
  • Medical Director, SLO Juvenile Hall 
  • Contractor, NYC Medics  
Stephanie Benjamin 2019-2020
  • Medical Director, National Park Service, Cabrillo National Monument 
  • Medical Director, National Emergency Wildland Service Institute 
Tabitha Cheng 2018-2019 
  • Associate Medical Director, UCLA Center for Prehospital Care 
  • Medical Director, Burbank Fire Department 
  • Faculty, Pediatric Emergency Medicine/EMS, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center  
Jennifer Farah 2017-2018
  • Medical Director, Chula Vista Fire Department 
  • Medical Director, UCSD Base Hospital 
  • Assistant Program Director, UCSD EMS & Disaster Medicine Fellowship 
Kathy Staats 2016-2017
  • Faculty, Department of Emergency Medicine, UCSD
  • EMS Medical Director, Imperial County  
  • President, EMS Directors’ Association of California (EMDAC)  
J. Joelle Donofrio-Ödmann 2015-2016
  • Deputy CMO, City of San Diego/San Diego Fire-Rescue (SDFR)  
  • EMS Medical Director, Rady Childrens Hospital 
  • Associate Professor, Clinical Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine, UCSD 
Yuko Nakajima 2014-2015
  • Medical Director, Metro Atlanta Ambulance Service 
  • President, Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) Japan 
  • Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine 
James Howard 2013-2014
  • Chief Operating Officer, Healthtopia Clinics
Adel Al-Marshad 2011-2013
  • Executive Director, Riyadh Health City, Riyadh BioTech City & Riyadh Medical Tourism  
  • Sector Lead, Biotechnology & Healthcare, The Royal Commission for Riyadh City  
Gerard DeMers 2010-2012
  • US Navy
John Serra 2009-2011
  • Medical Director, Palomar College
Prasanthi Govindarajan 2006-2008
  • Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Health Policy and Systems Researcher, Prehospital and Emergency Care, Stanford Medicine 
Colleen Buono 2004-2006
  • Sharp Reese-Stealy