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Leaders of Duke Emergency Medicine

Monday, September 27, 2021
By Jason Theiling, MD, Medical Director

Photo above: Drs. Theiling and Siewny reviewing Emergency Medicine's workspace layout.

In addition to individual clinicians caring for patients at the bedside, it takes outstanding operational leadership to provide the best emergency medical care in the world. Duke Emergency Medicine's operational leaders form the framework of our daily care through establishing practices and policies, innovating new care delivery models, and coordinating care with all other aspects of the Duke Health System.

Over the last ten years, Duke Emergency Medicine has grown not only in size and annual Emergency Department (ED) visits, but also in its integration within the Duke Health System. This is clearly evident as the ED has positioned itself to help usher patients throughout the continuum of care from outpatient settings through admission. Even after disposition, the ED plays a key role in helping patients transition to rehab, skilled nursing facilities and even hospice settings directly from the ED.

Numerous EM faculty not only provide leadership in the Duke University Hospital ED, but also within the larger Health System. Below is an outline of the various physician leaders and their role within Duke Health.



Brent Jason Theiling, MD
Medical Director, Emergency Services Clinical Service Unit
Dr. Theiling oversees the operations of the Emergency Services Clinical Service Unit (CSU) from a medical/physician side. The CSU includes the Duke University Hospital ED, Duke Life Flight, Emergency Management, Patient Transport, ED Observation Unit, and the Duke Trauma Center. As CSU medical director, he is responsible for setting global initiatives and assisting in developing work plans for each area. He also partners with individual Medical Directors as well as the Nursing and Administrative Directors from each area regarding execution of those initiatives. 



Neel Kapadia, MD
Medical Director, Patient Flow Clinical Service Unit
Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program Medical Director

The Patient Flow CSU is a health system service line that oversees the flow and movement of patients across the Health System and includes oversight of the Transfer Center. Dr. Kapadia also partners with System Nursing and Administrative leadership in helping Duke Health take the next step in system integration and patient care optimization.

Dr. Kapadia also serves as the lead physician for the Duke Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program. He provides clinical guidance around protocols, medical treatment, and operations of the program. As the lead physician for the Duke SANE program, he must partner with the SANE Coordinator/CTL[AM1]  to ensure the program provides the highest clinical care for this special population.




Lauren Siewny, MD
Emergency Department Medical Director
Dr. Siewny oversees daily operations of the Duke University Hospital ED. This includes the development and improvement of ED-specific processes and protocols. This means Dr. Siewny is also responsible for managing the clinical schedule and staffing matrix and ED departmental flow, including management of complex patients and difficult disposition of specific patients. 



Emily Sterrett, MD
Pediatric Emergency Department Medical Director
Dr. Sterrett oversees daily operations of the Duke University Hospital Pediatric Emergency Department, including the development and improvement of pediatric-specific processes and protocols, as well as managing departmental flow and staffing. Additionally, this role requires that Dr. Sterrett partner with Duke Children’s on initiatives across the hospital that impact the care of children at Duke.  




Rebecca Donohoe, MD
Emergency Department Associate Medical Director
The ED Associate Medical Director manages a number of patient-centered and safety initiatives, specifically transitions of care between the ED, the inpatient wards of the hospital, and outpatient clinics and urgent care. This includes scheduling outpatient appointments, movement to hospice, and numerous service line agreements aimed at expediting and simplifying the transition of care from the ED to inpatient teams. Dr. Donohoe also manages patient experience initiatives, Patient–Visitor Relation communications, as well as case reviews that arise from the Duke Quality System, the RL6 reporting system, and Duke Risk Management.



Cathleen Bury, MD
Emergency Department Specialty Service Liaison
The Specialty Service Liaison serves as contact point for a number of specific services in the hospital, specifically Cardiology, Stroke/Neurology, and Psychiatry. Dr. Bury also leads the ED in telehealth initiatives.




Joseph Borawski, MD, MPH
Emergency Department Clinical Evaluation Unit Medical Director
The Clinical Evaluation Unit (CEU) Medical Director serves as the physician lead for outpatient observation services provided through the CEU. Dr. Borawski must review and update existing protocols as well as develop, train towards, and implement new protocols. He will also look to expand observation services to outside the walls of the ED by partnering with hospital and service line leadership.



Zachary Ginsberg, MD
Trauma Center EM Physician Liaison
Dr. Ginsberg serves as the primary provider who interacts with the Duke Trauma Center and Trauma Surgery teams. He does chart reviews, quality assurance of leveling designation, correspondence of trauma protocols, and more.  Additionally, the Physician Liaison will represent the ED at the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma site survey, which will be conducted in 2022.



Danielle Sheafer, MS, DO
Physician Medical Control for Duke Emergency Management and NC SMAT Team
In this role, Dr. Scheafer serves as the physician representative for Duke Emergency Management, whose responsibility is the development, refinement, and maintenance of the Disaster Management Plan as well as the response plans to various emergency/disaster events. She also provides guidance and medical supervision to the State Medical Assistance Team (SMAT) as it provides medical support for short- and long-term disasters or catastrophic events.





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