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Who We Are

Daivid Markenson Biography Picture

David S. Markenson, M.D., M.B.A.
Director and Medical Director

David S. Markenson, M.D., M.B.A., is director and medical director of the Center for Disaster Medicine at New York Medical College (NYMC), which he co-founded in 2005. Dr. Markenson serves as national chair to the Scientific Advisory Council for the American Red Cross and chair of the Evidence-Based Group for Health for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. In addition to these roles, he serves as the deputy editor-in-chief of Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, the premier Medline-indexed journal in the field of disaster medicine. Over the course of his extensive career in pediatric emergency medicine and critical care, disaster medicine, emergency management, EMS and public health, Dr. Markenson has become an internationally recognized expert in all aspects of disaster medicine, public health preparedness and operational medicine—with a unique expertise in the areas of pediatric considerations, health care planning and education and planning for persons with disabilities.

headshot of Tai Lee Jr.

Tai M. Lee Jr., NRP, EMT-T, CIC/RF, MEP
Assistant Director

Tai Lee joined NYMC in December 2022 as assistant director of the Center for Disaster Medicine. His duties include the coordination of first responder training throughout the Lower Hudson Valley and beyond.  He is a retired police officer from the New York City Police Department (NYPD), having completed 20 years of service.  During his tenure with the NYPD Lee spent the first half of his career in various patrol functions in Brooklyn and the Bronx.  Due to his experience as a paramedic, Lee was temporarily assigned to the Police Academy’s Specialized Training Section where he taught police officers and supervisors cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of the automatic external defibrillator (AED).

Dana M. Kosits Biography Picture

Dana M. Pagano, B.S.

Joined NYMC in June of 2018 to provide administrative support and coordinate the daily operations of the Center for Disaster Medicine. She works closely with the director on budgeting and reporting as well as reconciles monthly expenses and grant purchases. Mrs. Pagano also organizes all activities for training programs including obtaining continuing education credits for the participants. In addition, she manages the Center’s social media platforms.

Emily Kaplan, DrPH, 2023

Emily R. Kaplan, DrPH, MPA, EMTP
Assistant Director

Emily Kaplan, DrPh, MPA, EMTP, CPPS joins NYMC as Assistant Director for the Center for Disaster Medicine. Dr. Kaplan is a leader in Mobile Integrated Healthcare and Educator in Emergency Medical Services. Dr. Kaplan also services on the New York State BEMS Quality Assurance Committee and EMS Innovations committees. She sits on the advisory boards for EMS and hospital leadership academies. Dr. Kaplan is a nationally recognized expert in Emergency Medical Services workforce planning and development.  


CDM Faculty

Sherlita Amler, M.D., M.S., FAAP
Senior Fellow

Garrett T. Doering, M.S., CEM, CHSP, CFPS, CHOP
Senior Fellow

GD HeadshotMr. Doering is currently the System Director for Emergency Management, Safety and Security at WMC Health.  In this capacity, he oversees Emergency Management and Safety at the 10 network hospitals and the numerous off-site locations.   Mr. Doering serves as Chairman for both the Emergency Management and Safety committees for the network. Mr. Doering has published numerous articles on hospital emergency management and has lectured around the U.S.

Mr. Doering earned a Bachelors of Science in Management from Nyack College and earned a Master’s of Science in Emergency Health Services from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.  Mr. Doering has had the opportunity to attend the Harvard University, J. F. K School of Government Executive Education Program “Leadership in Crisis:  Preparation and Performance” and the Israeli IMI Academy for Security and Crisis Management in Tel Aviv, Israel. 

Natalie A. Nevins, D.O., M.S.H.P.E., FACOFP, FS, COL USAR
Senior Fellow

NN HeadshotDr. Nevins is an internationally recognized physician, medical educator, author, and researcher with extensive experience in nonprofit health, humanitarian aid, medical simulation training, resilience training, disaster, military, and aviation medicine. She currently serves as a Senior Fellow in the Center for Disaster Medicine and is the Associate Dean of Graduate Medical Education and Program Development, and Professor of Family Medicine and Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine at Touro University California, College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Dr. Nevins is a Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, currently serving as faculty in the Family Medicine Department at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences. Previously, she served as the Commander for the 820th Hospital Center, Commander for the 328th Field Hospital and as the Command Flight Surgeon for Army Reserve Aviation Command, as well as other positions in the Army Reserve. She served on active duty with the U.S. Air Force’s 61st Medical Squadron as the Chief of Field Response, Clinical Director of Laboratory and Radiology Services, Chairman for Infection Control, and Director of EMT Training. She is currently enrolled in the U.S Army War College, expecting to graduate with a Master of Strategic Studies in July 2023.  Because of her military and civilian service, Dr. Nevins has won numerous awards, including the "9A" Proficiency Designator, an honor bestowed by the Army Surgeon General as the highest recognition for professional excellence in the Army Medical Department, the Outstanding Female Leader of the Year in 2022 from the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians, the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons of California, 2019 Aeromedical Outstanding Achievement Award from the Society of United States Army Flight Surgeons, and the 2018 Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award. Her military awards include two Army Meritorious Service Medals, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Operation Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

George W. Contreras, MPH, MS, MEP, CEM, FAcEM

George W. Contreras, M.P.H., M.S., M.E.P., CEM, FACEMGeorge W. Contreras is a healthcare professional and established educator with over thirty years of experience in the fields of emergency medical services, disaster management, public health, higher education, international disaster response, health services administration and consulting. He currently serves as Dean of the School of Health Careers, Technology and Applied Learning at SUNY Westchester, Fellow of the Center for Disaster Medicine and Assistant Professor at The Institute of Public Health within the School of Health Sciences and Practice at New York Medical College. 

Prior to his current role, he served as Assistant Director of the Center for Disaster Medicine, tenured Associate Professor and Director of Allied Health at Kingsborough Community College of the City University of New York, the largest urban public education system in the United States. Under his leadership, he created and implemented the first college-based paramedic program in Brooklyn, New York, which received national accreditation in March 2017- the highest honor for a college-based paramedic program, and the first associate-degree Polysomnographic Technology Program in New York City which also received initial national accreditation in July 2018.  He is also adjunct faculty at Metropolitan College of New York’s (MCNY) Master of Public Administration (MPA) in Emergency and Disaster Management, John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the University of Malaga in Spain.

He started his career in healthcare as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) with the Central Park Medical Unit, became a Paramedic, and eventually rose through the ranks to become Director of Emergency Medical Services at St. Clare’s Hospital in midtown Manhattan. He then served as the first Senior Emergency Manager (within the Bureau of Emergency Management) for the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene until he left for a position as Director of the first Office of Emergency Management at NYU Langone Medical Center- one of the largest healthcare systems in New York City.

Professor Contreras is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences regarding emergency medical services, disaster management, public health and simulation. He has authored and co-authored several articles, book chapters and manuals on topics such as emergency medical services, curriculum development, mental and public health, and disaster management. 

Professor Contreras has actively participated in various disasters in New York City and abroad including the 1993 bombing at the World Trade Center, the TWA 800 plane crash, Hurricanes Irene and Sandy, the historic snowstorm in January 2016, and the September 11th terrorist attacks. On September 11th  2001, he worked as a paramedic at Ground Zero and was fortunate enough to survive as the second tower collapsed. He lost many colleagues that tragic day and hopes that we can all learn from our actions moving forward.

Professor Contreras earned a Bachelor of Arts, a Master of Public Health in Community Health Education, and a Master of Science in Health Services Administration (with Honors). He is currently pursuing his DrPH degree in Health Policy and Management. He is a certified FEMA instructor in COOP and Weapons of Mass Destruction. He is an American Heart Association (AHA) certified instructor for Basic Cardiac Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support in addition to a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) instructor. He is a National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) certified instructor in PHTLS, AMLS, AHDR, TECC, GEMS, and PTEP (a new course focusing on psychological trauma). Professor Contreras is certified by the New York State Bureau of EMS as a Certified Instructor Coordinator (CIC) and is FEMA-certified Master Exercise Practitioner (MEP).  He is also credentialed as a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) by the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM). His professional career combines frontline experience with interpersonal skills which allow him to collaborate and communicate with stakeholders at all levels from the public and private sectors alike. His research interests include international disaster response, curriculum development, simulation and collaboration as tools in the fields of EMS, disaster management and higher education. He continues to pursue his life-long passion and still works as a 9-1-1 paramedic in New York City where he serves the people who live, reside and visit NYC.

Kevin L. Pohlman, M.Ed., NRP, CCEMT-P, EMT-T, CHSE, CHSOS, NHDP-BC

Kevin PohlmanKevin Pohlman is a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator, a Certified Healthcare Simulation Operations Specialist, a Board-Certified Healthcare Disaster Professional, and has been involved in both Healthcare and Academia since 2001. He is also a Nationally-registered Paramedic with endorsements in Critical Care and Tactical Medicine, holds instructorships innumerous clinical certification programs, and is still working clinically as a Mobile Intensive
Care Paramedic in the State of New Jersey. Professor Pohlman holds a faculty appointment from New York Medical College within the Institute of Public Health, as Assistant Professor. For over a decade, Professor Pohlman has served in various capacities, in both clinical
and academic venues. While practicing pre-hospital emergency medicine in the high performance, urban healthcare systems of the metropolitan New York City and Northern New Jersey region, he has acted as Field Training Officer, Paramedic Preceptor, and Clinical Coordinator to operational staff, paramedic interns, and emergency medicine residents.

Later, Professor Pohlman served in the capacity of Simulation Educator, Faculty Development
Manager, and Director of the Fellowship in Healthcare Simulation for the largest public hospital
system in the United States – the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation. While at the
New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, he created and implemented an Instructor
Development Program to enable trained faculty to deliver a simulation-based program on
Aseptic Central Line Placement to all public hospitals in an effort to reduce the number of
hospital-acquired central line catheter infections, created a curriculum-based Fellowship in
Simulation program, designed and implemented an electronic, web-based evaluation and
testing system for data collection, studied teamwork and communication practices in clinical
environments, and assisted in the design of a simulation-based curriculum for organ
procurement. During his tenure at the Mount Sinai Health System, Professor Pohlman led the
Center for Advanced Medical Simulation to international accreditation while expanding the
utilization of interprofessional education using healthcare simulation across disciplines.

Academically, Professor Pohlman has a high level of interest and focus on leadership,
faculty development, cognitive load, human performance, and innovation in education,
specifically in the healthcare sector, studying novel approaches and application of educational
theories to best augment learning experiences. Currently, his professional and academic work
is centered in emergency preparedness, response, and recovery from disasters, healthcare
simulation, educational innovation, and pre-hospital emergency medicine with a special focus
on operational, tactical, and battlefield medicine.
Professor Pohlman has had the privilege of being an invited lecturer and presenter at
local, regional, national, and international events in emergency medicine, healthcare
simulation, and adult educational theories. He is an active member of professional
organizations within the fields of pre-hospital emergency medicine, operational medicine,
healthcare simulation, healthcare education, and faculty development, as well as maintains
involvement in relevant academic and professional advisory boards.

Michael J. Reilly, MD, DrPH, MPH, NRP
Senior Fellow

Reilly HeadshotDr. Reilly is currently a senior fellow in the Center for Disaster Medicine at New York Medical College where he previously served as the center director from 2013 -2018.  During his tenure as director he was the founding director of the New York State Center of Excellence in Precision Responses to Bioterrorism and Disasters at New York Medical College and an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine in the School of Medicine and Associate Professor of Public Health in the School of Health Sciences and Practice. Formerly, Dr. Reilly served as the Director of the Division of Planning and Response, at the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, where he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences and the course director for toxicology.

Dr. Reilly has over 20 years of multidisciplinary experience in prehospital medicine, public safety, inter-governmental relations, public health, and emergency management. He has been published in the world’s leading disaster medicine and public health preparedness journals, and received international awards and recognition for his work on trauma systems and health systems in the context of disaster and public health preparedness. Dr. Reilly is an internationally recognized expert and author in the areas of emergency medical services, public health and health system preparedness and response, with direct experience in responding to mass casualty events and public health emergencies. Dr. Reilly co-authored a textbook titled Health Care Emergency Management: Principles and Practice by Jones and Bartlett Publishers in 2011, which is used in numerous colleges and universities across the United States and Canada.

Dr. Reilly is an expert in the areas of public health emergencies, disaster and first responder worker safety, and hazardous materials response and has served as a subject matter expert for OSHA on the development of a national training curriculum for healthcare workers in the area of patient decontamination from hazardous substances incidents at hospitals. Dr. Reilly has contributed numerous textbook chapters in the field of disaster medicine and public health preparedness. Dr. Reilly is an Associate Editor of the peer-reviewed journal Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness and served as the Guest Editor for the Journal’s CDC/ASPR/NIH joint sponsored special issue on the response to and public health impact of Hurricane Sandy.

Dr. Reilly received his paramedic training and undergraduate education at Northeastern University in Boston.  He earned his Masters of Public Health from Yale University, and his medical degree and a doctorate in public health from New York Medical College.

Dario Gonzalez, MD, FACEP
Senior Fellow

Melanie L. Doyle-Eisele, PhD
Senior Fellow

Jacob D. McDonald, PhD, Fellow ATS
Senior Fellow


Contact Us:

Center for Disaster Medicine
New York Medical College
7 Dana Road, Suite 511
Valhalla, NY 10595
(914) 594-1742

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