Conferences & Events > Total Tox Course > Faculty Bios


Ann Arens, MD

Doctor, Hennepin Healthcare System, Hennepin County Medical Center
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.

Christina Hantsch, MD, FACEP, FACMT, FAACT

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
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.

Katherine Katzung, MD, FASAM

Vice Chair, Emergency Department, Abbott Northwestern Hospital
Katherine Katzung, MD is an attending physician in the emergency department at Abbott Northwestern, where she serves as vice chair of the department as well as a consultant for the Minnesota Poison Control System and assistant medical director of Mission Detox Center in Plymouth, MN.  She recently received grant funding to initiate a hospital-based toxicology/addiction medicine consult service and an ED-based addiction medicine "bridge" clinic to provide continuity of care for patients on medication assisted therapies while transitioning to community-based management.
A graduate of the University of Minnesota School of Medicine, she completed emergency medicine training at Regions Hospital in St. Paul and additional fellowship training in medical toxicology.  She is board certified in emergency medicine, medical toxicology, and addiction medicine.  Her clinical interests surround the intersection of these 3 specialties, with special focus on early ED & hospital-based interventions to evaluate and treat substance use disorder, including initiation of medication assisted therapies.

William "Russ" Kerns, II, MD, FACEP, FACMT

Professor of Emergency Medicine, Director, Division of Medical Toxicology, Carolinas Medical Center
Russ is a Professor of Medical Toxicology and Emergency Medicine at Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, NC. His professional goal is to promote the sub-specialty practice of Medical Toxicology through clinical care, research, and education.  Research endeavors have included new antidotes, cardiovascular toxins, decontamination, toxic alcohols, and crotaline snake envenomation. Educational efforts include national and international didactic presentations, journal and textbook contributions, and journal peer review. Professional service to the American College of Medical Toxicology on the Board of Directors, Chair of the Research Committee, and Annual Scientific Meeting Planning Committees have been immensely rewarding experiences.

Charles McKay, MD, FACEP, FACMT

Past President, American College of Medical Toxicology; University of Connecticut School of Medicine
McKay-Photo-2017--125.jpgDr. McKay is a medical toxicologist at Hartford Hospital and the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. His formal training has been in Pathology, Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine and Medical Toxicology. Dr. McKay is the Associate Medical Director of the Connecticut Poison Control Center. He provided toxicology consultation at three hospitals and was also the Medical Director of Occupational Health Services for Hartford Hospital and Connecticut Childrens’ Medical Center before retiring this year. He was the Medical Toxicology Fellowship Director at Hartford Hospital/University of Connecticut School of Medicine for 20 years. He is the Principal Investigator for several laboratory-based clinical studies including population assessments of pChE and AChE. Under contract to DHS, he led the American College of Medical Toxicology’s (ACMT’s) development of a practical toxicology principles course for law enforcement, and participates in ACMT’s contracts and cooperative agreements with the CDC and DHS regarding chemical and environmental exposures. He lectures widely on chemical terrorism and risk communication, including the ACMT Chemical Agents of Opportunity Course, provided to more than 10,000 participants in the last 16 years. He provides medical-legal consultation and education in both civil and criminal matters. He is on the Executive Board of Directors of the American College of Medical Toxicology, currently serving as Immediate Past-President.

Lewis Nelson, MD, FACMT

Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
Nelson.jpgDr. Nelson is Professor and Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine, Chief of Service of the University Hospital Emergency Department, and Director of the Division of Medical Toxicology at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, all in Newark, NJ. He is a Past-President of ACMT, the lead editor of Goldfrank’s Toxicologic Emergencies, and a consultant to the NJ Poison Center. His areas of specific interest include the consequences of opioids, multimodal (opioid-sparing) pain management strategies, emerging substances of abuse, addiction medicine, and medication safety.

Daniel Sessions, MD

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

Paul W. 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. 

The faculty for this activity has disclosed no financial relationships with commercial interests.