Tara Cassidy-Smith, MD, is the Program Director of the Emergency Medicine Residency at Cooper University Hospital and an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. She graduated cum laude from the College of the Holy Cross with a degree in Biology. She was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship and studied in Innsbruck, Austria before matriculating in medical school. She earned her medical degree from UMDNJ/Robert Wood Johnson Medical School -Camden where she was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. She then went on to complete an Emergency Medicine residency at Cooper University Hospital, where she was selected to be a Chief Resident. She is board certified in Emergency Medicine.
Dr. Cassidy-Smith is passionate about resident education. She is thrilled to be the program’s fourth Residency Director. She enjoys supporting the program’s social media platforms, both our EM Daily educational website and twitter handle. She enjoys innovating the curriculum for today’s learners and has worked with her team to implore many flipped classroom techniques.
Dr. Cassidy-Smith is also very passionate about the patient and the provider experience. She believes resiliency is built on the relationships with the patient at the bedside. She is a patient experience champion in the ED to improve both patient and physician experience. She enjoys caring for patients in all stages of life and spends a portion of her clinical time caring for children in the Pediatric Emergency Department at Cooper.
Richard Byrne, MD, is an Associate Program Director of Emergency Medicine at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU). He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and received his medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Robert Wood Johnson Medical school (Camden campus). He completed his Emergency Medicine residency at Cooper, where he served as chief resident.
Dr. Byrne has worked in various roles in both undergraduate and graduate education. He contributed to the development of the fourth year Emergency Medicine Clerkship curriculum and has served as faculty advisor to the Emergency Medicine Interest group. In his role as Assistant and now Associate Residency Director he designed and implemented a high-fidelity simulation and procedural education curriculum as well as a modern didactics curriculum. Dr. Byrne also works as an editor on the Cooper EM Residency educational FOAMed website EMDaily.
His research interests are in the fields of medical education and resource utilization in the Emergency Department. He has lectured regionally and nationally on a variety of topics including airway management and cognitive bias in medical decision making. Dr. Byrne’s primary passion is in the clinical education of medical students and residents in the Emergency Department.
Alexis Pelletier-Bui, MD, is the Assistant Program Director for the Emergency Medicine Residency Program and an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU). She graduated from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Camden Campus, in 2011. She completed her emergency medicine residency training at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, where she served as Chief Resident from 2013 to 2014. One of Dr. Pelletier-Bui's passions and research interests is medical student advising. She has served as Co-Clerkship Director for the emergency medicine clerkship at CMSRU and is the Immediate Past Chair of the Council of Residency Directors (CORD) Advising Students Committee in Emergency Medicine (ASC-EM). Through this committee, she has and continues to work on improving the quality, consistency and access to advising for all emergency medicine bound applicants and their advisors across the country. She is also a member of CORD's Application Process Improvement Task Force and the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine's Clerkship Directors in Emergency Medicine. Dr. Pelletier-Bui is an active mentor to medical students and residents and loves identifying leadership and professional growth opportunities for them. Other interests include curricular development and delivery of core emergency medicine content via Cooper EM's EMDaily website.
Michael E Chansky, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. He received his MD at the University of Rochester School of Medicine in 1980 and was inducted into AOA. He trained in Internal Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) and served as Chief Resident. From 1984-85 he was an instructor in medicine at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School - Camden, teaching EM and IM. At the conclusion of his Chief Resident year, he was recognized at HUP with the prestigious Donna McCurdy House Staff Teaching Award. In July of 1985 he returned to Cooper and accepted the position to direct EM and the 3rd Year Internal Medicine Clerkship at RWJMS/Camden as an Assistant Professor. He is Board Certified in both Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine.
Dr. Chansky’s teaching commitment has been recognized with two Department of Medicine and eight RWJMS/Camden teaching awards. He was nominated twice for the UMDNJ Excellence Award for “Distinguished Service in Education”, in addition to being invited three times to recite the Hippocratic Oath at Convocation. In 1999 the RWJMS students nominated him as an Honorary Member of the RWJMS Alumni Association. In 1997 RWJMS established the 54th Academic Department of EM, and named him the founding Chair in 2000. In 2003 he was inducted in the Masters Education Guild at UMDNJ, the first Camden Campus faculty member to be so honored. He was awarded the Dorothy and Sol Sherry Award for Teaching Excellence in June of 2014, which is the highest honor an educator can receive at Cooper.
Dr. Chansky was recently honored with the 2019 Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award from the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU) Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS).
The Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Awards recognizes exemplars of clinical excellence and outstanding compassion in their delivery of care. The GHHS honors senior medical students, residents, role-model physician teachers, and other professionals for “demonstrated excellence in clinical care, leadership, compassion, and dedication to service.” Dr. Chansky was cited for “his tireless dedication to service to patients, families, colleagues, and the students at CMSRU.”
Interests beyond spending time with his wonderful supportive family (Stephanie and Andrew, Peter, and Ben) have focused on the success of the Cooper Health System, and mentorship/development of students, residents, and faculty. Dr. Chansky’s personal philosophy as a physician is embracing the privilege to be at the bedside, and treating each patient with the utmost respect, kindness and empathy. The Department of Emergency Medicine has contributed significantly toward the development of our own four year Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. Dr. Chansky continues to enjoy caring for patients, and bringing young learners to the bedside.
Andrew L. Nyce, MD, is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at CMSRU. After graduating from the Pennsylvania State University, he attended Jefferson Medical College where he earned his MD. He was a member of the founding class of the Emergency Medicine Residency Program at Cooper University Hospital and joined as a faculty member at Cooper immediately after residency. Over the past twenty years, he has served the Director of Undergraduate Medical Education, Program Director for a decade and is currently the Vice Chairman of the Department where he concentrates on education and ED operations. He has earned multiple teaching awards in addition to being awarded membership to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. Dr. Nyce has multiple publications and has contributed meaningfully to multiple educational innovations. He remains passionate and committed towards undergraduate and graduate medical education and serves on GMEC at Cooper to help mentor young programs and/or programs in need. He lectures on orthopaedic emergencies, bedside communication and leads a senior resident curriculum designed to assist residents as they transition out of residency to independent practice.
Sundip Patel, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU). He currently serves as the Emergency Medicine Clerkship Director and Director of the Fourth Year Curriculum at the CMSRU. Dr. Patel graduated from Villanova University summa cum laude and received his medical degree from UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School – Camden. He completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at Cooper University Hospital where he served as chief resident of the program. In addition, Dr. Patel completed the EMF/ACEP Teaching Fellowship Program to further enhance his skills in teaching medical students.
Since 2007, Dr. Patel has been working in the Emergency Medicine Department at Cooper University Hospital with a focus on medical education. He has taught and mentored numerous medical students during this time, closely guiding many into a career in Emergency Medicine. Over the past five to six years, Dr. Patel has been more closely involved at the medical school with the day to day running of the Fourth Year Curriculum of CMSRU and helping to create new elective rotations for students. His interests have included teaching learners how to be teachers, the use of technology in education, and the use of asynchronous learning to replace in-class lectures. Dr. Patel has received teaching awards for his efforts, including the Foundation of UMDNJ Excellence in Training Award in 2009.
Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine
Lisa Drago, DO, is the Pediatric EMS Medical Director at Cooper University Hospital and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine at the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. She graduated from West Chester University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Chemistry. As an undergraduate Dr. Drago became involved in Emergency Medical Services as a volunteer EMT and was the EMS director for West Chester University EMS. She then earned her medical degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine where she was inducted into the PSI Sigma Alpha National Osteopathic Scholastic Honor Society. Dr. Drago completed a Pediatric Osteopathic Internship at Newark Beth Israel Hospital and a Pediatric Residency at Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children. She then went on to complete a Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship at the Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper University. She is board certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Emergency Medicine.
Dr. Drago is passionate about prehospital education. She enjoys serving as faculty for Cooper’s EMS fellowship program and providing education to prehospital providers. Dr. Drago received a pediatric prehospital education grant from the Cooper Foundation to provide pediatric education and simulation for prehospital providers. Her special interests include addressing pediatric pain and safe transport of pediatric patients. She has had the privilege of speaking at The National Conference on EMS, EMS Today The JEMS Conference and Exposition, The EMS World Expo and many local/regional conferences.
Division of Clinical Research
Christopher Jones, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. He completed his undergraduate studies at Stanford University, and received his medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School, where he was selected for the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. Dr. Jones pursued his residency training in emergency medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, serving as chief resident during his final year. After his residency training he completed a fellowship in emergency medicine administration in the Christiana Care Health System.
Dr. Jones is the Director of Clinical Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine. In this role he provides mentorship to students, residents, and faculty members engaged in clinical research in the Department of Emergency Medicine. He directs the department’s journal club curriculum, as well as the Academic Associate Program, which provides opportunities for undergraduate students to participate in clinical research in the emergency department. Dr. Jones has been an investigator on numerous industry and federally-funded grants. His specific research interests include clinical trial registration, the dissemination of results from clinical trials, and the study of chronically painful or disabling conditions.
Division of EMS/Disaster Medicine
Gerard Carroll, MD, is the Program Director of the Emergency Medical Services Fellowship at Cooper University Hospital and Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. He graduated from Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in History. As an undergraduate Dr. Carroll became passionate about Emergency Medical Services, and following graduation became certified as a Paramedic . He worked for nearly a decade in the New York City 911 system and was recognized for his service on the morning of the 9-11 attacks. He then earned his medical degree from Dartmouth Medical School where he was inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society. He competed Emergency Medicine Residency at Temple University Hospital and completed a fellowship in Emergency Medical Services at Cooper University Hospital. He is dual board certified in Emergency Medicine and Emergency Medical Services.
Dr. Carroll thrives on prehospital and disaster medicine and is passionate about resident, fellow, and especially about prehospital provider education. He was integral in the creation of our EMS fellowship and is excited to be the second Program Director. Dr. Carroll believes in the apprenticeship model of medical education and created Cooper’s prehospital physician response program to bring both physician level care to patients and to move the bedside teaching model to the prehospital arena.
Dr. Carroll loves the practice of academic Emergency Medicine and Emergency Medical Services, and is not satisfied with the status quo. He believes strongly that EMS is a practice of medicine and as such needs to constantly be refocused on patient outcomes while optimizing its place in the healthcare system. He is a champion of nontraditional transport models, and helped spearhead the movement of addiction medicine into the field by educating paramedics about Opioid Use Disorder and training them to rescue patients in withdrawal with Medication Assisted Therapy using buprenorphine. Dr. Carroll loves the varied practice environments of EM and EMS making academic, rural, prehospital, austere disaster deployment, and even cruise ship medicine a part of his medical practice.
Dr. Rick Hong is Board Certified in Emergency Medicine and in Emergency Medical Services. He completed his Emergency Medicine Residency at Cooper University Hospital and is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science in Economics in Health Care Management and Policy from the Wharton School.
During his time at Cooper as an attending emergency medicine physician since 2007, he established the Division of EMS/Disaster Medicine to focus on expansion of Cooper’s role regionally and state-wide. He also has served in a variety of key leadership functions in Emergency Department/Health System/EMS and local/regional emergency management and became the Director of Special Projects and Operations within the Center of Urgent and Emergent Services (CUES), as well as the first Program Director of the ACGME-accredited EMS Fellowship and an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. Prior to 2007, he was an attending emergency medicine physician at Christiana Care Health System where his role included the Associate Chairman for Emergency Preparedness and a Clinical Assistant Professor with Jefferson Medical College. He has a developed a niche in public health, including his responsibilities as the Medical Director for the Southern NJ Medical Coordination Center, previous Co-Chair for the Southern NJ Regional Healthcare Coalition, and Medical Director for Camden County Health Department. He has also served on a variety of Boards, Councils and Task Forces related to public health, emergency management, preparedness, and EMS.
Dr. Hong has been part of Delaware’s Division of Public Health (DPH) team since 2005 as the Office of Preparedness Medical Director. In this role, he has provided medical expertise to fulfill the mission of statewide healthcare preparedness in the setting of mass-casualty incidents, including chemical, biological, radiation, nuclear, traumatic, and natural hazards; served as the Medical Director of the Delaware Medical Reserve Corp; acted as the Medical Liaison Officer in the Incident Command of the State Health Operations Center; and has chaired the Delaware Ethics Advisory Group. He has worked on numerous projects related to infectious diseases in both the public health and healthcare settings, such as H1N1 Influenza, Ebola, and Zika. In November 2018, he was appointed as the State Medical Director of DPH, bringing his expertise in healthcare logistics and operations, EMS and emergency preparedness, and public health to expand his responsibilities of protecting the public and the healthcare infrastructure from critical threats.
Aman Shah, MD, serves as the Associate EMS Medical Director, Associate EMS Fellowship Director and Clinical Faculty of Emergency Medicine at the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. He graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and a minor in Spanish Literature. He attended Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and graduated with Distinction in Service to the Community. He completed his Emergency Medicine Residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital, during which time he served as chief resident during his fourth year. Aman completed his Emergency Medical Services Fellowship at Yale University prior to starting at Cooper.
Dr. Shah started his career in EMS as a volunteer EMT with the Lopatcong Emergency Squad in New Jersey while he was in high school. He continued his prehospital pursuits as an undergraduate at Penn with the Medical Emergency Response Team, where he served as Captain during his senior year.
Dr. Shah is incredibly passionate about both prehospital medicine and emergency medicine. He strives to bridge the gap between the two fields, especially incorporating EM clinical practice to further the field of EMS.
Division of Emergency Ultrasound
Division of Toxicology and Addiction Medicine
Matthew Salzman, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Cooper Medical School at Rowan University and the co-director of the Division of Medical Toxicology at Cooper University Hospital. He is a classically trained musician, having studied the viola and orchestral conducting as an undergraduate student at the University of Rochester, in Rochester, NY. He earned his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, then went on to complete Emergency Medicine residency and medical toxicology fellowship at Drexel University College of Medicine. He is board certified in Emergency Medicine, Medical Toxicology, and Addiction Medicine. In addition to his appointment at Cooper, he is also a volunteer toxicology consultant at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Poison Control Center.
Dr. Salzman is involved in teaching medical students and residents in the Emergency Department as well as in Cooper’s Outreach Clinic, where he helps care for patients suffering with substance use disorders. He helps coordinate both the rotating toxicology and substance use disorders curricula for the Emergency Medicine residency program. He precepts residents in the Emergency Department. He also provides bedside consultation for patients at Cooper who are admitted to the hospital with both toxicologic issues as well as with complications resulting from substance use disorders. He also enjoys working with residents and medical students on research projects related to medical toxicology and substance use disorders. He has received numerous teaching awards, including most recently the “Teaching Attending of the Year” award in Emergency Medicine in 2016.