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Brent D. Kaziny, MD, MA, FAAP

Principal Investigator
Texas Children’s Hospital/Baylor College of Medicine More Information

Dr. Brent D. Kaziny completed his medical degree at the University of Texas - Houston, School of Medicine. He started his pediatric intern year at Tulane University, where he received the Hurricane Katrina Code Grey Hero Award for his efforts caring for patients and assisting with the evacuation of Tulane Hospital during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. His experience during Hurricane Katrina ignited his interest in pediatric disaster preparedness. After completing his intern year, he transferred to Baylor College of Medicine, where he completed his residency training in general pediatrics. He completed his fellowship in Pediatric Emergency Medicine at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Upon completing fellowship, Dr. Kaziny took a position as an assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital. On a national level he serves as the Director of the Disaster Domain for the Emergency Medical Services for Children - Innovations and Improvement Center, the Co-Lead of the Disaster Management Domain of the Pediatric Pandemic Network, and a voting member of the National Advisory Committee on Children and Disasters. At Texas Children's Hospital he works in the Emergency Center, is Director of Pediatric Readiness for the Section of Emergency Medicine and serves as the Medical Director of Emergency Management and Co-Chair of the Emergency Management Committee. Dr. Kaziny is the Principal Investigator for the third pediatric disaster care center of excellence, the Gulf 7 - Pediatric Disaster Network funded by the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response.


Amy S. Arrington, MD, PhD, FAAP

Regional Medical Director
Texas Children’s Hospital/Baylor College of Medicine More Information

Amy Arrington, MD, PhD is currently an assistant professor in pediatric critical care medicine at Texas Children's Hospital / Baylor College of Medicine, and is the medical director of the Special Isolation Unit at Texas Children's Hospital, which is a unique biocontainment unit designed specifically to care for children with highly infectious diseases requiring special isolation. Additionally, she is the director of Global Biologic Preparedness, focusing on institutional and national education and readiness for epidemics and biologic threats to pediatric patients.


Nichole R. Davis, MD, MEd, FAAP

Site PI
Texas Children’s Hospital/Baylor College of Medicine More Information

Dr. Nichole Davis completed her medical degree at the University of Kansas. She went on to complete her pediatric residency at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri where was the recipient of the Doc Wass Award and the Jane F. Knapp Award for Excellence in Pediatric Emergency Medicine. She has completed both her Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Global Health fellowships at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, Texas. As the recipient of the Department of Pediatrics Sub-specialty Fellow Advanced Degree Scholarship she also completed her Masters in Education with a focus on curriculum and instruction. As the Associate Director of Pediatric Disaster Preparedness for the Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, she is involved in both division-specific and hospital-wide emergency management and disaster preparedness initiatives. She serves as Texas Children's Hospital Site Principal Investigator for the Gulf 7 and also as co-lead for the education domain.


Robert H. Ball, MD, MA, FACOG

Texas Children’s Hospital/Baylor College of Medicine More Information

After primarily focusing on career interests in prenatal diagnosis and fetal intervention, Dr Ball, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, became interested in telemedicine. He first gained experience with this technology when he worked in Utah and Idaho in 2006-2018. By the time he joined the Texas Children's faculty, he had expanded telemedicine services to include on-demand inpatient consults. Since arriving in Houston, he has been involved in Departmental and Systemwide telemedicine initiatives, and has been the Medical Director for eHealth at TCH since October 2019 and Vice-Chair for Business Development and eHealth since October 2021. During that time the team at TCH expanded the use of telemedicine from a few sections and providers, to a tool used across the system. In the Spring of 2020 over about a week, use was scaled from about 10-15 visits a day by 5-10 providers to 2500 visits a day by 1500 providers. Currently about 1000 providers perform about 500-800 visits a day. The technology and work flows have matured with several software options available creating redundancy should one solution have downtime issues. Both are fully integrated into our inpatient and outpatient EMR, Epic. In addition, a dedicated team to help patients with "virtual rooming" has been very helpful for all. A select team of IS help desk associates delivers white glove service to providers. The mature infrastructure and the experience of the technology, operational and provider teams with telemedicine will serve the needs of the Pediatric Disaster Care Centers of Excellence Initiative in exemplary


Jennifer C. Benjamin, MBBS, MEd, FAAP

Texas Children’s Hospital/Baylor College of Medicine More Information

Dr. Jennifer Benjamin is a pediatrician working with Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) and her passion for this area stems from my personal experience of caring for families during hurricane Harvey as the on-call physician. Dr. Benjamin recognized the importance of preparing families that care for children that depend on life sustaining technology like ventilators and feeding pumps for everyday needs. She spoke to families and developed resources to help families that care for children with technology dependence to be better prepared for natural disasters.


Benjamin Choi, MD, MBA, FAAP

Texas Children’s Hospital/Baylor College of Medicine More Information

Claire L. Gahm, MD, MPH, FAAP

Texas Children’s Hospital/Baylor College of Medicine More Information

Dr. Claire Gahm is a Pediatric Emergency Medicine physician at Texas Children's / Baylor College of Medicine with combined fellowship training in PEM and Global Health. Her interests include pediatric disaster preparedness and global pre-hospital care. She completed her medical school in Beersheva, Israel at the Medical School for International Health and her pediatric residency at Rainbow Babies & Children's / Case Western in Cleveland, OH. She is currently completing a fellowship in EMS/Disaster Medicine.


Kathryn Kothari, MD, FAAP

Texas Children’s Hospital/Baylor College of Medicine More Information

Dr. Kothari is an EMS physician and Pediatric Emergency Medicine physician. She is an Assistant Professor and Director of EMS for the Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Division at Texas Children's Hospital. Dr. Kothari serves as the Director and principal investigator of the EMS for Children State Partnership grant in Texas. Her research interests include EMS education and prehospital pediatric pain management. Dr. Kothari is triple Board-certified in Pediatrics, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, and Emergency Medical Services.


Marie Kasbaum, MPH

Senior Research Operations Associate / Program Manager
Texas Children’s Hospital/Baylor College of Medicine More Information

Marie Kasbaum, MPH, is the Senior Research Operations Associate and Program Manager for the Gulf 7 - Pediatric Disaster Network. As a Houston native, Marie became interested in disaster preparedness and response due to her first-hand experiences in natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods. She became particularly passionate about the disaster field during Hurricane Harvey, while helping conduct infectious disease surveillance of hurricane victims in a Red Cross flood shelter. Marie's primary research and professional interests involve disaster preparedness and response, infectious disease surveillance and prevention, and global health.

Marie earned her Master of Public Health in Epidemiology and a certificate in Global Health at the University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHealth) School of Public Health in Houston. Prior to this, she earned her BS in Psychology with minors in Neuroscience and Spanish at Texas A&M University.


Rena Schwartz

Pediatric Disaster Management Intern
Texas Children's Hospital

Rena Schwartz is a rising senior at the University of Chicago majoring in Anthropology with a minor in GIS. Rena recently interned as a student worker in the Texas Division of Emergency Management and is currently a team member for Kenyon International Emergency Services. She a background as an EMT and a passion for disaster management stemming from firsthand experience during Hurricane Harvey and other disasters. Rena is the Pediatric Disaster Management Intern for G7 at Texas Children's Hospital for the summer of 2023. She has a deep appreciation for G7’s mission and is excited to be a member of the G7 team.



Toni Gross, MD, MPH, FAAP

Site PI
Children's Hospital New Orleans More Information

Ireal Johnson Fusco, MD, FAAP

Children's Hospital New Orleans More Information

Dr. Ireal Fusco is an energetic and creative physician dedicated to education in disaster preparedness. She has several years of experience in the disaster realm which includes her own experience dealing with disasters as a child. She completed the Emergency Management track program during her medical school training which involved deep diving into managing and preparing for disaster situations. While in fellowship for pediatric emergency medicine, Ireal was not only involved in her institution's Disaster Planning Committee, she assisted with the revision of the Disaster Preparedness chapter of Berkowitz's Pediatrics 6th edition and was involved in executing the disaster preparedness aspect of the Pediatric Readiness Quality Collaborative, a national collaborative launched in 2018, with the goal of improving pediatric readiness in hospitals across the US. Ireal is currently a pediatric emergency physician at Children's Hospital New Orleans where she also serves as the Medical Director of Emergency Management. Her main focus is to educate and impart the importance of disaster preparation for all.


Julie Kaplow, Ph.D., A.B.P.P.

Children's Hospital New Orleans

Julie Kaplow, PhD, ABPP, is a licensed clinical psychologist. She serves as Executive Vice President of Trauma and Grief Programs and Policy at the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute and Executive Director of the Trauma and Grief (TAG) Centers at The Hackett Center for Mental Health in Houston and the Children's Hospital New Orleans. She is also Professor of Psychiatry at Tulane University School of Medicine. In these roles, Dr. Kaplow oversees the development and evaluation of treatments for traumatized and bereaved youth and disseminates trauma- and bereavement-informed "best practices" to providers nationwide. Dr. Kaplow and her team provided evidence-based risk screening and interventions to children impacted by Hurricane Harvey and the Santa Fe school shooting, and most recently, they have been assisting in the coordinated mental health response to the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, TX. Dr. Kaplow has published widely on the topics of childhood trauma and grief and has served as Principal Investigator on numerous grant-funded programs focused on enhancing resilience in youth exposed to adversity. She is lead author of Multidimensional Grief Therapy, co-author of Trauma and Grief Component Therapy for Adolescents, and co-author of Trauma Systems Therapy. Dr. Kaplow has served as a consultant to the DSM-5 Sub-Work Group on Prolonged Grief Disorder, the ICD-11 Work Group on Disorders Associated with Stress, the National Academy of Medicine (Scientific Advisory Council on Child Death), and the Mass Violence and Children Working Group of the FBI.


Christina Marbrey, MD

Christina Marbrey, MD

Site PI
Children's of Mississippi/The University of Mississippi Medical Center More Information

Christina Marbrey, MD, is a Pediatric Emergency Medicine physician at University of Mississippi Medical Center. Dr. Marbrey is an assistant professor at the only Children's Hospital and Level 1 trauma center in the state of Mississippi, often coordinating care between critical access hospitals and the University. Her outreach efforts have included medical education at the State Medical Response Expo (SMRS) for prehospital personnel, focusing on pediatric preparedness, clinical knowledge, and skills. Her Interests include disaster simulation and emergency preparedness in resource limited facilities. Dr. Marbrey is well positioned to work with key stake holders in the state, including Mississippi Center of Emergency Services and Mississippi Med Com. Dr. Marbrey is the Site Principal Investigator for the G7 grant at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.



Mark D. Baker, MD, MPH, FAAP

Site PI
University of Alabama at Birmingham/Children's of Alabama More Information

Mark D. Baker, M.D., M.P.H is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Alabama - Birmingham and an attending physician in the Children's of Alabama emergency department. He completed post-graduate training in Community Preparedness and Disaster Management and is the Pediatric Disaster Medical Director at Children's of Alabama. Dr. Baker has extensive field experience responding to domestic and international disasters including earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and infectious diseases (Covid-19, Ebolavirus).

Duerring (2)

Shea Duerring, MD, NRP, FAAP, FACEP, FAEMS

University of Alabama at Birmingham/Children's of Alabama More Information

Dr. Duerring earned his bachelor's degree from Hampden-Sydney College and his medical degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School. He completed internship and residency in pediatrics at Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters and fellowship in pediatric emergency medicine at University of Alabama at Birmingham/ Children's of Alabama. Dr. Duerring is board certified in general pediatrics, pediatric emergency medicine, and EMS medicine. Currently Dr. Duerring lives in Birmingham where he serves as faculty at UAB in the Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Department of Emergency Medicine. He also serves as the Assistant State EMS Medical Director for Pediatrics at the Alabama Office of EMS, Medical Director for Alabama EMS for Children, and as medical director for several local fire departments. Dr. Duerring has extensive field experience in the care of children and has lectured both regionally and nationally on prehospital care of children and disaster preparedness for children.


Tanena Evans, MPA

Project Manager
University of Alabama at Birmingham/Children's of Alabama More Information

Tanena Evans is a Project Manager for University of Alabama in Birmingham, Alabama. She has over 10 years of Business experience working alongside the executive team of Fortune 500 and government organizations. Tanena is responsible for enforcing budgetary compliance, interfacing with stakeholders and executive leadership to identify project objectives, guidelines, and standards, managing communication pipelines between cross functional work groups to enforce cohesive communication, and timely completion on assignments. Tanena is a team player in the workplace and uses her positive attitude and tireless energy to encourage other to work hard and succeed.



David Greenky, MD, FAAP

Site PI
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta/Emory More Information

Dr. David Greenky is a pediatric emergency medicine physician at Emory University/ Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. In addition to being the principal investigator at the Atlanta G7 site, he is also a co-investigator on the Regional Emerging Special Pathogen Treatment Centers grant at his institution, and is member of the physician team that staffs the special pathogens unit. He is interested in pediatric preparedness and how global issues impact the care of patients at home.


Claudia R. Morris, MD, FAAP

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta/Emory University School of Medicine More Information

Dr. Claudia R. Morris, MD is a Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine and holds the Wilbur Fisk Glenn Jr. Distinguished Faculty Chair for Clinical & Translational Research. She is the Director of Research for the Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine (PEM) at Emory and is also the Co-Director of the Emory+Children's Center for Clinical & Translational Research. Clinically she is an attending physician in PEM at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Dr. Morris is a clinical trialist who has been actively involved in clinical and translational research for over 2 decades, She has a successful track record of extramural funding, clinical trials leadership, high-impact publications and mentorship of fellows, medical students and junior faculty. Dr. Morris has mentored over 40 medical students, residents, fellows, post-docs and junior faculty, with over 250 peer review publications, book chapters, review articles and abstracts. She has also been awarded several research mentorship awards, has been awarded 2 R01 grants and currently has an NIH/NCCIH K24 grant that protects her time for mentoring the next generation of physician-scientists. She is the co-Nodal PI for the San Francisco-Oakland, Providence, Atlanta Research Collaborative (SPARC) node within the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN), that includes all 3 Children's pediatric emergency department (ED) campuses in Atlanta evaluating over 250,000 children annually, in a network effort to identify best practices for the prevention and management of acute illnesses and injuries in children across the continuum of emergency medicine health care.


Andrea ‘Andi’ Shane, MD, MPH, MSc, FAAP

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta/Emory University School of Medicine More Information

Andi L. Shane MD, MPH, MSc is a pediatric infectious disease physician who has a passion for the prevention of infectious diseases in children both globally and internationally. She has served as the medical director for the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Special Care Unit (pediatric biocontainment unit) since its inception in 2014. In addition, she serves as the pediatric infectious disease collaborator with Emory's RESPTC, RDHRS, and NETEC.


Sandy Francois, MSc

Project Manager
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta/Emory University School of Medicine More Information



Mauricio Lynn, MD, FACS

Site PI
University of Miami More Information

Ann-Christina Brady, MD, FACS

University of Miami More Information

Dr. Ann-Christina Brady is an Associate Professor and board certified pediatric surgeon at the University of Miami within the Division of Pediatric and Adolescent Surgery with an avid interest in pediatric surgical research. She has performed clinical research focused on database analysis and retrospective reviews in pediatric surgical diseases. Having spent the bulk of her career at the University of Miami and Jackson Memorial Hospital System she has a wealth of experience in the local and regional pediatric trauma care in Florida. She works to optimize pediatric disaster preparedness, planning, and response within the G7 Pediatric Disaster Network.

Nicholas Carter_headshot

Nicholas Carter, MD

Co-Investigator More Information

Nicholas Carter, MD is a trauma and critical care surgeon at the University of Miami – Jackson Memorial Hospital. He completed fellowship training in global surgery serving as a general surgeon in Haiti and later contributed clinical and logistical support during the response to the 2021 earthquake in southern Haiti. He is a current member of the deployable ASPR/NDMS Trauma and Critical Care Team.

Valerie Daniel, PhD

Project Manager More Information

Valerie Daniel, PhD is a Postdoctoral Associate at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. She received her PhD in Public Health with a concentration in Health Disparities from Florida International University. She has over 8 years of experience in the public health research field working with underserved communities in South Florida. Dr. Daniel is the project manager for the G7 grant at the University of Miami site.

Puerto Rico


Verónica Sepúlveda Ortiz, MD, MSc, FAAP

Site PI
University of Puerto Rico/ Hospital Pediátrico Universitario More Information

Dr. Sepulveda Ortiz was born and raised in Puerto Rico (PR), completed a BS from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MA and then returned to PR where she completed her MD degree and Pediatrics residency from the University of PR School of Medicine. After working as Chief Resident and Pediatrics Faculty for 2 years, Dr. Sepulveda Ortiz moved to Louisville, KY, where she completed a fellowship in Pediatric Emergency Medicine and a Masters in Science and Investigation from the University of Lousiville. In 2019, she returned as PEM Faculty to Puerto Rico and has been working on pediatric preparedness with prehospital providers and improving care of pediatric patients in the ED. Her interests include Resuscitation, POCUS, and Simulation.

Morales Perez

Liliana Morales Pérez, MD, MPH, FAAP

University of Puerto Rico/ Hospital Pediátrico Universitario More Information

Dr. Moralez Perez was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where she studied medicine and specialized in Pediatrics at the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine. After working as Chief Resident, she moved to Texas to continue subspecialty training. Dr. Moralez Perez completed a fellowship in Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Global Health at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. While working abroad, she developed a passion for bedside ultrasound and later completed a Pediatric Point of Care Ultrasound fellowship also at Texas Children's Hospital. During this time, I finished a Master's in Public Health with a Global Health Concentration at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. During these years I worked abroad in Malawi, Puerto Rico, and Panamá. After training, I moved back to Puerto Rico to help advance Pediatric Emergency Medicine. My passion is working in resource limited settings and improving care for critically ill children. My work abroad has allowed me to focus on the importance of educational projects to improve outcomes of sick children. I am currently working with EMSC to develop pediatric protocols for prehospital providers and to teach a pediatric curriculum with the resources available in the island.

Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council


Lori Upton, RN, BSN, MS, CEM

Site PI
Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council More Information

Lori Upton is the CEO (Chief Executive Officer), for the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council (SETRAC). In that capacity, she coordinates and prioritizes planning objectives to meet Federal preparedness and response grant requirements for 25 counties, state EMS for 9 counties, organizational vision, and leadership for financial growth through SETRAC's subsidiary Maestro Services, and philanthropic activities through The SETRAC Foundation. With over 40 years' experience in the healthcare field, Ms. Upton has an extensive background in clinical operations and progressive leadership roles in both urban academic centers and suburban healthcare facilities, including 14 years' experience in a major urban Level 1 Trauma Center.

Children's Mercy Kansas City


Jennifer Watts, MD, MPH, FAAP

Children's Mercy Kansas City More Information

Dr. Jennifer Watts, MD, MPH, FAAP is the Chief Emergency Management Medical Officer at Children's Mercy in Kansas City, the Chief Pediatric Medical Offer with the Missouri Disaster Assistance Team, and a Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician. As a Subject Matter Expert for the ASPR Gulf 7-Pediatric Disaster Network (G7) in the Deployable Teams workgroup, she will assist in identifying core personnel, developing relationships with regional and state partners, and increasing the pediatric readiness of existing teams as well as collaborating to develop sustainable deployable team models in the G7 region. Additionally, she co-leads the Region VII Disaster Health Response Ecosystem (R7DHRE) Pediatric Specialty Team and serves as a subject matter expert and co-lead of the pediatric specialty team. She also serves as the PI for Children's Mercy in the Pediatric Pandemic Network funded by HRSA and utilizes her extensive knowledge and experience in disaster management and emergency preparedness to co-lead the disaster management domain for PPN. She assisted Children's Mercy and the Region on pediatric disaster management in response to the pandemic and has extensive experience with Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMAT). She also created the Global Health Program at Children's Mercy and served as the Director for 12 years where she trained more than 100 pediatric physicians to work in the global health area.