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Emergency Care Policy & Research


To advance the policy and practice of emergency care.


To be the premier group facilitating innovative, interdisciplinary research across the Penn community, committed to providing patients seeking emergency care with time sensitive interventions and addressing the critical health needs of the community.

Faculty Contacts

Karin V. Rhodes, MD MS:

Brendan G. Carr, MD MS:

Administrative Contact

Maria Wormley:

Research Project Management

Catherine Wolff, MS:

Center Director

Karin V. Rhodes, MD MS is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Division of Emergency Care Policy Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine, with secondary appointments Psychiatry and the School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a Senior Fellow in both the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics and Centers for Public Health Initiatives and Behavioral Health at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Rhodes research focuses on use of the acute health care setting for screening/intervention for injury and major public health risks as well as on access to care for vulnerable populations.


Brendan G. Carr, MD MA MS is an Assistant Professor and Co-director of the Division of Emergency Care Policy Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine.  He is fellowship trained in trauma and surgical critical care and holds secondary appointments in the Departments of Surgery, Pediatrics, and Biostatistics and Epidemiology.  He is a senior scholar in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics and a senior fellow in the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics.  He serves as the curriculum director for the Emergency Medicine NHLBI K12 training grant, the Fellowship Director for Emergency Care Policy & Research, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Emergency Medicine Foundation and the editorial board for Annals of Emergency Medicine. Brendan’s research focuses on understanding the relation between emergency care system design and outcomes for conditions requiring time-sensitive intervention.  Dr. Carr is active in research & policy related initiatives with the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.  He serves as a Senior Policy Advisor on emergency care in the office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness & Response.


Core Faculty

Raina Merchant, MD MS is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine and a senior fellow in the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics.  She also has an appointment in the Office of Policy and Planning; in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response-Department of Health and Human Services.  Dr. Merchant currently serves on the American Heart Association (AHA) Emergency Cardiovascular Care, Research Working Group and the AHA Cardiopulmonary Critical Care, Perioperative and Resuscitation Council Leadership Committee as the early career representative. Merchant’s research is focused on resuscitation science and improving outcomes from cardiac arrest. Specifically she studies 1) diffusion of innovation and new media in resuscitation and 2) translation of research to policy. 

Zack Meisel, MD MPH MS is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Senior Scholar at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics and Medical Editor of The Health Economist: A Policy Journal from the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics. Dr Meisel’s health services research interests are broad and cover emergency care access and utilization, patient safety, emergency medical services, implementation science, comparative effectiveness research, and the use of written narratives to promote evidence translation. In specific Dr Meisel is a well-known medical journalist with expertise in dissemination translation of health services research results for audiences such as patients and policy makers. . As such, he is widely published in Slate Magazine and is the senior medical columnist for Time Magazine ( where he writes The Medical Insider column. Last, Dr. Meisel is the faculty advisor for the Penn SOM writing program and journal, Stylus.

Frances Shofer, PhD is an Adjunct Professor and Director of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine. She also has an appointment in the Masters of Public Health Program and is a core faculty member in the Occupational Medicine residency at the University of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Shofer is a biostatistician/epidemiologist with particular expertise in the design, implementation, and analysis of clinical research studies in Emergency Medicine.   

Sage Myers, MD MS is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and an attending physician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She has formal training in epidemiology and biostatistics through Penn's Masters in Clinical Epidemiology program, and experience with large-database studies.  She has done work demonstrating disparities in outcomes for pediatric injury by hospital type, and differences in care location by rurality.  In addition, she has begun training in implementation science and plans to further this knowledge and experience over the coming years. As a clinician, she cares for children in a tertiary-care pediatric ED, with strong trauma and medical resuscitation programs.  She serves as the Associate Trauma Director of Emergency Medicine, working with trauma colleagues on education and quality improvement.  In addition, she serves as the Chair of the Resuscitation Review Committee, identifying systems issues which support care delivery in medical resuscitations.

Affiliated Faculty & Collaborators

Joshua P. Metlay, MD PhD

Charles C. Branas, PhD

Douglas J Wiebe, PhD

Daniel Polsky, PhD

David Asch, MD MBA

Andrea Doyle, PhD

Jeanne Anne Grisso, MD MS

Paul Crits-Christoph, PhD

Andrea Apter, MD PhD

Sandy Schwartz, MD MBA

Michael Mullen, MD MS


Kristin Rising, MD (ECPR)

David Lee, MD (Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar)

Nathaniel Irvin, MD (Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar)

Eugenia Garvin, MD MS (Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar)

Charlotte Lawson, MS4 (Doris Duke)

Ari Friedman (MD/PhD Student)

Austin Kilaru (MS4 ECPR)

Center Activities

Weekly ECPR Research-in-Progress meetings

The Emergency Department and ECPR faculty host a weekly Emergency Care Research-In-Progress meeting where EM faculty and residents and faculty and fellows from other departments/schools at Penn and CHOP with an interest in acute care can present their ideas or on-going research studies work during an informal luncheon meeting. The goal is to provide group mentoring and feedback on research design, methods, as well as help with analysis, interpretation and dissemination of results. 

Fellowship Training in Emergency Medicine Policy Research

The ECPR provides a 2 year fellowship in health policy/health services research.  Fellows enter into an established 2 year fellowship training program at the University of Pennsylvania and benefit from structured research training in the form of coursework leading to Master of Science degree in Health Policy Research (MSHP), standing research in progress meetings, group leadership training, and an individualized career development curriculum. 

Health Services Research Boot Camp

Introduction to Health Services Research course for the RWJ Clinical Scholars and MSHP Fellows was co-developed and is co-directed by Raina Merchant and Virginia Chang. Course lecturers include: Karin Rhodes, Brendan Carr, and Zack Meisel.