Conferences & Events > Board Review Course > Faculty Bios
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Ann Arens, MD

Doctor, Hennepin Healthcare System, Hennepin County Medical Center

2019_Total_Tox_Course/Arens_Pic.jpgDr. Arens is an Emergency Medicine physician at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, MN as well as an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Minnesota. She is also a practicing medical toxicologist at Hennepin County Medical Center and the Minnesota Poison Control System. Dr. Arens completed her Emergency Medicine training at the Denver Health Residency in Emergency Medicine, and her medical toxicology training at the University of California – San Francisco. She was amongst the first toxicologists to identify and describe counterfeit fentanyl products as a medical toxicology fellow, and has continued to identify outbreaks of new drugs of abuse. She has a broad range of research interests including: the identification of new drugs of abuse including novel opioids contributing to the current opioid epidemic, the use of antidotes, and advanced supportive care of the poisoned patient.

Jeffrey Brent, MD, PhD, FACMT

Distinguished Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Colorado School of Public Health

Brent_Pic_copy.JPGJeffrey Brent, M.D., Ph.D., is a Distinguished Clinical Professor of Medicine and Emergency Medicine at the University of Colorado Schools of medicine and Public Health. He did his fellowship in medical toxicology at the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center, where he has been both medical director and fellowship director. He is a former President of the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology and former Board member of the American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT). Dr. Brent is the senior editor of Critical Care Toxicology: the Diagnosis and Management of the Critically Poisoned Patient, currently in its second edition. Currently he also serves as the Director of the ACMT’s Toxicology Investigators Consortium.  

Michele M. Burns, MD, MPH, FACMT

Harvard Medical Toxicology Fellowship Director, MA/RI Poison Center Medical Director, Boston Children's Hospital

2020_BRC/Burns_Michele-15581.jpgDr. Burns is a staff physician at Boston Children's Hospital within the Division of Emergency Medicine and Program in Medical Toxicology. Her research, teaching, and clinical contributions stem from her training in the fields of General Pediatrics, Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Medical Toxicology. For the past 20 years, she has served as the Harvard Medical Toxicology Fellowship Director as well as the Medical Director for the Poison Control Center serving Massachusetts and Rhode Island. She is the recipient of numerous teaching awards and enjoys providing both direct patient care and supervising trainees. With a Masters of Public Health degree from Harvard University, Dr. Burns advocates for state-of-the-art treatment for pediatric poisoned patients while contributing to prevention efforts at the community level.

Shaun Carstairs, MD, FACMT

Emergency Physician and Medical Toxicologist, UC San Diego School of Medicine

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Dr. Carstairs earned his undergraduate degree from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA and received his medical degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU), the nation's military medical school. He completed a residency in emergency medicine at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego and a fellowship in medical toxicology at the University of California, San Diego. He served more than 25 years on active duty in the U.S. Navy, which included a combat deployment to Iraq and shipboard deployment as the leader of a mobile trauma team for the Navy’s Pacific Fleet. He retired from the Navy as a Captain in 2019.

He currently serves as a faculty member in the Department of Emergency Medicine & Division of Medical Toxicology at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). In addition to his role at UCSD, he holds an appointment as Professor of Military & Emergency Medicine at USU.

Christina Hantsch, MD, FACMT

Professor of Emergency Medicine, Director of the Division of Toxicology, Director of Academic Affairs, Department of Emergency Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine; Medical Director of Toxicology, Loyola University Medical Center

2019_Total_Tox_Course/christina.jpgDr. Hantsch is a graduate of the Honors Program in Medical Education at Northwestern University. She completed an emergency medicine residency, including a year as chief resident, at the Medical College of Wisconsin and then continued her training in a medical toxicology fellowship at Vanderbilt University. After her fellowship, she returned to the Chicago area and is currently Professor of Emergency Medicine and Director of the Division of Toxicology in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Dr. Hantsch served for more than 8 years as medical director of the Illinois Poison Center. For nearly 20 years, she has been teaching residents and students in the emergency department as well as on the inpatient toxicology clinical service which she established at Loyola. In addition, she is a regular organizer and contributor to local, regional, and national/international continuing education programs.

Ashley Haynes, MD

Hospitalist, Sound Physicians

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Dr. Ashley Haynes completed her medical training at the University of Kansas, followed by a combined emergency-internal medicine training program at East Carolina University. She completed a toxicology fellowship at University of Texas Southwestern in 2016, remaining as faculty for a few years after. She recently relocated and is working as a hospitalist in Wichita, KS. She is also board certified in addiction medicine, and is the medical director for a recovery facility. She hopes to begin seeing toxicology patients as part of a new service line within the next year.

William "Russ" Kerns, II, MD, FACMT

Professor of Emergency Medicine, Director, Division of Medical Toxicology, Carolinas Medical Center

Kerns_Pic_copy.pngDr. William "Russ" Kerns, II graduated from Randolph-Macon College, received his medical degree from Medical College of Virginia, and then completed a residency in Emergency Medicine and a medical toxicology fellowship at the Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, NC. Dr. Kerns is a faculty member of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC. His academic mission focuses exclusively on toxicology and includes bedside and poison center patient care, resident and fellow education, coordination of toxicology research, and contribution to local and state educational programs. Since 2000, he has directed Carolinas Medical Toxicology Fellowship training program. Dr. Kerns also endeavors to promote toxicology at the national level through participation in education and research programs. Participation in the American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT) efforts have included the Journal of Medical Toxicology editorial board, Instructor for the Board Review and Agents of Opportunity courses, ToxIC contributor, Program Director Committee, and Research Committee. Dr. Kerns currently serves on the Board of Directors at the the ACMT. His goal for board participation is to continue the advancement of medical toxicology in the areas of education and research.

Kurt Kleinschmidt, MD, FACMT

Professor of Emergency Medicine, Chief, Division of Medical Toxicology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

2020_BRC/4U6A0003.jpgKurt C. Kleinschmidt, MD, FACMT, FASAM is a Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. He is Chief of the Division of Medical Toxicology. His areas of interest include Substance Use Disorders and snake envenomations. He graduated from the University of South Florida College of Medicine in 1986, completed his emergency medicine residency at Madigan Army Medical Center in 1990, and finished a clinical fellowship in Medical Toxicology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in 1999. He is board certified in Emergency Medicine (1991), Medical Toxicology (2002), and Addiction Medicine (2015). He became the Medical Director of the Perinatal Intervention Program in Parkland Health and Hospital system in 2016. He served as the Toxicology Program Director from 2004-2018.

JoAn Laes, MD

Addiction Medicine Physician, Hennepin Healthcare

2020_BRC/Laes_JoAn_113.jpgJoAn Laes, MD is an addiction medicine physician at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, focusing on inpatient addiction medicine and toxicology consultation as well as outpatient treatment of opioid and other substance use disorders. She is a core medical toxicology faculty for the Minnesota Poison Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, medical director for Missions Inc. Detox facility in Plymouth, Minnesota and 1800 Chicago detox facility in Minneapolis, MN and a nocturnist at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. She is board certified in Internal Medicine, Medical Toxicology, and Addiction Medicine. She completed internal medicine residency at Hennepin County Medical Center and medical toxicology fellowship at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Charles McKay, MD, FACMT

Past President, American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT); Associate Medical Director, CT Poison Control Center; Associate Clinical Professor, University of Connecticut School of Medicine

McKay-Photo-2017--125.jpgAfter graduating from both Dartmouth College and Medical School, Dr. McKay completed an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Rhode Island Hospital. He completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at Denver General Hospital, and completed practice pathway preceptorships in Medical Toxicology at the Rocky Mountain and New York Poison Control Centers. 

Dr. McKay is a medical toxicologist at Hartford Hospital and the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, where he is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine. He is a diplomat of the ABMT and the ABMS Toxicology Subboard. He is the Associate Medical Director of the Connecticut Poison Control Center and the Director of the Toxicology Fellowship at UConn. Dr. McKay also directs a toxicology consult service at Hartford Hospital and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center (CCMC). As Medical Director of Occupational Health Services for Hartford Hospital and CCMC, he also evaluates questions of workplace safety and toxic exposure for 9,000 employees. 

He has served on the ACMT Board of Directors since 2007 and is the Past Chair of the ACMT Practice Committee. Dr. McKay is active in biopreparedness efforts at the local and state level and has helped lead ACMT’s participation in the Department of Homeland Security’s Chemical Terrorism Risk Assessment (CTRA) process. Dr. McKay is also the National Coordinator of the ACMT-ATSDR Regional Consultation Network.

Dr. McKay seeks “to develop sustainable practice opportunities for medical toxicologists.” His interests lie in clinical patient care, occupational and environmental toxicology, biopreparedness, and training of residents and fellows. He also enjoys scuba diving and distance running.

Ayrn O'Connor, MD, FACMT

Professor of Emergency Medicine and Internal Medicine, Director, Medical Toxicology Fellowship, University of Arizona College of Medicine

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Dr. O’Connor completed her medical training in Emergency Medicine and Medical Toxicology at Indiana University School of Medicine. She is a Professor of Emergency Medicine and Internal Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix and currently serves as the Director of the Medical Toxicology Fellowship. Dr. O’Connor is a member of the board of directors for the American College of Medical Toxicology and the physician lead for the Banner Health Pharmacy and Therapeutics Clinical Consensus Group. She is passionate about graduate medical education and the acute bedside care of poisoned patients, and is an enthusiastic advocate for the continued growth and evolution of medical toxicology as a subspecialty. Areas of interest include pharmacogenetics, drugs of abuse, envenomations, and gender equity.

Michael Levine, MD, FACMT

Associate Professor, Director of Toxicology, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles

Levine_Pic.jpgMichael Levine, MD is an assistant professor of emergency medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. Following medical school, Dr. Levine completed a residency in emergency medicine at the Brigham and Women's/Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency. Following residency, Dr. Levine completed his toxicology fellowship at the Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ. He is actively involved in numerous research projects including both bench and clinical aspects related to toxicology. He is a member of the pharmacy and therapeutics committee and the institutional review board, and is chair of the medication safety committee. He is an active member of American College of Emergency Physicians, the American College of Medical Toxicology, and is a member of the Toxicology Investigator's Consortium.

J.J. Rasimas, MD, PhD, FACMT

Medical Director of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry Service and Fellowship, Hennepin County Medical Center

2020_BRC/IMG_6328.jpgDr. Rasimas completed the Medical Scientist Training Program at Penn State University, earning a Ph.D. in chemical biology (2002) and M.D. (2003). After Psychiatry residency training at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, he was a clinical fellow at the NIMH, training in consultation-liaison psychiatry, bioethics, and clinical research. J.J. served as a C - L psychiatrist for Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and remains on faculty for the Penn State College of Medicine, there. He completed the critical care-based medical toxicology fellowship at Penn State, obtained board certification in addiction medicine, and then returned to NIMH to join the Undiagnosed Diseases Program and the Intramural Research Program to oversee clinical trials in mood and anxiety disorders. He is also a Fellow of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine and the American College of Psychiatrists. Dr. Rasimas has a background in emergency psychiatry integrating multidisciplinary education into clinical work in toxicology and mental health. J.J. is now the Director of C – L Psychiatry at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is a Professor at the University of Minnesota, pursuing an academic medical career at the interface of psychosomatic medicine, medical toxicology, bioethics, and psychoanalysis with a primary clinical interest in the phenomenology of suicide.

Evan Schwarz, MD, FACMT

Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, Medical Toxicology Fellowship Director and Section Chief, Division of Emergency Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine

Pic_Schwarz.jpegDr. Schwarz attended medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas before completing a residency in Emergency Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis, Missouri. After residency, he completed a fellowship in Medical Toxicology at the University of Texas Southwestern School of Medicine in Dallas, Texas before returning to Missouri where he is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and the Medical Toxicology Section Chief. He is also involved at the medical school as one of 3 Advisory Deans in the Office of Student Affairs and has been on the Board of Directors for the Missouri College of Emergency Physicians since 2012 and is a member of the Board of Directors for ACMT.

Daniel Sessions, MD

Emergency Care Consultants, Minneapolis, MN; Medical Toxicologist, South Texas Poison Center

2019_Total_Tox_Course/Daniel_Sessions_1_.jpgDr. Sessions completed medical school at LSU School of Medicine - New Orleans on the Army Health Professions Scholarship. He completed his emergency medicine residency and chief residency at Brooke Army Medical Center. He completed his medical toxicology fellowship at the Rocky Mountain Poison & Drug Center in Denver, Colorado. He has served as Chief of the Clinical Toxicology service at Brooke Army Medical Center and Associate Program Director of the Emergency Medicine Residency. He has provided toxicology teleconsultation for the Department of Defense ADVISOR program since its inception. He currently serves as a medical toxicologist at the South Texas Poison Center and Minnesota Poison Control System. He currently practices addiction medicine and toxicology with Emergency Care Consultants in Minneapolis, MN. His areas of interest are envenomations, performance-enhancing substances and supplements, and addiction medicine.

Samuel J. Stellpflug, MD, FACMT

Director, Twin Cities Medical Toxicology Fellowship; Asst. Dir., Regions Hospital Toxicology Education and Clinical Services; Faculty Physician, Emergency Medicine and Clinical Toxicology, Regions; Assoc. Prof. of Emergency Medicine, University of Minnesota Medical School; Toxicologist Consultant, Minnesota Poison Control

2019_ASM/Stellpflug.jpgSam is the Director of the Regions Hospital Clinical Toxicology Service (Saint Paul, MN) and the Twin Cities Med Tox Fellowship. He also practices, teaches, and learns as a faculty physician in the Regions Department of Emergency Medicine. He provides consultation for the Minnesota Poison Control System, and his academic appointment is through the University of Minnesota Medical School. Following medical school at the University of Wisconsin he completed a residency in emergency medicine at Regions Hospital and then the medical toxicology fellowship in the Twin Cities, a joint effort between the Regions Hospital / HealthPartners and the Minnesota Poison Control System. Sam's research interest is in treatment of poison-induced cardiogenic shock, among other things.

Paul Wax, MD, FACMT

Executive Director, American College of Medical Toxicology

Wax_Paul.jpgDr. Wax is the Executive Director of the American College of Medical Toxicology. He received his B.A from Dartmouth College, his M.D. from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, his Emergency Medicine training at the UCLA Hospitals, and his Medical Toxicology training at Bellevue Medicine Center / New York University. He is Board-certified in both Medical Toxicology and Emergency Medicine, and is a Fellow of the American College of Medical Toxicology.
 
Along with his part time role as the Executive Director of ACMT, Dr. Wax is a Clinical Professor in Surgery (Emergency Medicine) at the University of Texas, Southwestern School of Medicine where he is a member of the Section of Medical Toxicology and Director of the Medical Toxicology Clinic. Before joining ACMT in 2008 as its Executive Director, and the University of Texas Southwestern in 2006 as a part-time faculty member, Dr. Wax had faculty appointments in the Departments of Emergency Medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine from 1991-2001 and the University of Arizona School of Medicine from 2001-2006. Dr. Wax previously served on the Board of Directors of ACMT from 1998-2008 serving as ACMT President from 2006-2008. During this tenure he chaired the ACMT Education Committee from 1998-2002. From 2002-2006 Dr. Wax served as the National Director of ACMT's Consultation Network to support the ATSDR Regional Offices and was co-founder of ACMT’s Chemical Agent of Opportunity course. From 1997-2006 Dr. Wax also served as one of the American Board of Emergency Medicine’s appointee’s on the Medical Toxicology Subboard. During this time Dr. Wax served as Editor of the Medical Toxicology Board Certification Examination as well as Chairman of the Subboard, and was also the primary author of the 2004 Core Content of Medical Toxicology. Dr. Wax has also served as a consultant to the Centers for Disease Control NCEH’s Division of Laboratory Sciences and was a member of NCEH/ATSDR Board of Scientific Counselors from 2006-2008.