The Emergency Pharmacist Research Center
This research is supported by The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Partnerships in Patient Safety, Grant no. 1 U18 HS015818
Emergency Pharmacists

Daniel P. Hays, Pharm.D., BCPS was the founding emergency pharmacist at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, NY, and served in this role through completion of the research project. He received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Minnesota in 2000. Dr. Hays started as a staff pharmacist at Strong Memorial Hospital where he developed clinical services within the department of emergency medicine. He is the current director of the Emergency Medicine/Critical Care pharmacy residency program and serves on several key medical center committees. Dr. Hays is the current chair of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (Emergency Pharmacists section) advisory group for the clinical scientists and specialists network. Dr. Hays transitioned from the University of Rochester at the end of August 2008 to take a new position as an Emergency Pharmacist at the University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson, AZ. We congratulate Dr. Hays on his career advancement and we are enjoying his continued collaboration.

Nicole M. Acquisto, Pharm.D., earned her Doctorate of Pharmacy degree in 2005 from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. She then went on to complete an ASHP-accredited Pharmacy Practice Residency at Kaleida Health in Buffalo, NY.  Dr. Acquisto started as a staff pharmacist at Strong Memorial Hospital in July 2006 where she further developed clinical skills and discovered her interest in emergency medicine and critical care.  She completioned the ASHP-accredited Emergency Medicine/Critical Care Specialty Residency at the University of Rochester Medical Center in July 2008, and currently serves as a full-time Emergency Pharmacist in the University of Rochester Medical Center/Strong Memorial Hospital Emergency Department and Pediatric Emergency Department.

Principal Investigator and Project Director

Rollin J. (Terry) Fairbanks, MD, MS, FACEP formerly at the University of Rochester, is currently Director of the National Center for Human Factors Engineering in Healthcare, part of the MedStar Institute for Innovation at MedStar Health in Washington DC. He is a faculty member in the Georgetown University Department of Emergency Medicine, and also hols an adjunct faculty appointments in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University at Buffalo, and the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Rochester. Dr. Fairbanks is a patient safety/Human Factors Engineering researcher, board certified emergency physician, and former paramedic and EMS Medical Director. He maintains a clinical practice as an attending emergency physician in the Washington Hospital Center Emergency Department.

Dr. Fairbanks holds an advanced degree in human factors engineering/industrial systems engineering from Virginia Tech and uses this background to apply safety engineering techniques and research methodology to medical systems. He has received funding for patient safety-related research from the NIH, AHRQ, and several foundations including the Emergency Medicine Patient Safety Foundation (EMPSF) through the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine. He is currently funded by an NIH K08 Research Career Development Award from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and BioEngineering.

Dr. Fairbanks is a 2008 graduate of the HRET Patient Safety Leadership Fellowship, and serves on national patient safety committees and advisory groups. He regularly presents his research and delivers lectures at national and international meetings, has served as an expert witness in patient safety/Human Factors Engineering cases, and serves as a consultant. Dr. Fairbanks has published over 70 journal articles, book chapters, and proceedings papers in the human factors engineering and medical literature.

Research Coordinator

Karen E. Kolstee, RN, BSN, MPA, served as the research project coordinator for the outcomes study 2005-2007. Ms. Kolstee holds a nursing degree from the University of Rochester, and in addition to her experience as a med-surg nurse has past experience as a patient care technician in emergency medicine. She was responsible for the day-to-day operation of the emergency pharmacist research project, coordinated the research nurses and research assistants, oversaw medical records acquisition, managed the databases, conducted data analyses, and assisted in grants management and manuscript preparation. Karen currently serves our department as an emergency nurse at the University of Rochester Medical Center/Strong Memorial Hospital Emergency Department.

Research Nurses

Heather Martin, MS, RN served as a research nurse responsible for reviewing all of the pediatric cases in the emergency pharmacist study. Ms. Martin received her baccalaureate and master's degrees in nursing from the University of Rochester. She is licensed in New York State as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, and continued to serve in the Pediatric Emergency Department at Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong. She is currently the director of Quality Assurance for the Department of Emergency Medicine.

Karen Dewar, RN, served as a research nurse and previously worked as an Emergency Department nurse at Wyoming County Community Hospital from 1984 to 2004. In 2003 she became the Developer / Coordinator for the Livingston County Medical Reserve Corps. She has worked in prehospital Emergency Medical Services since 1976 and is a currently active paramedic in addition to her nursing and research duties. Karen currently works as a research nurse on an EMS-related project in the Department of Emergency Medicine.

Co-principal Investigator

Manish N. Shah, MD, MPH, FACEP is Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and of Community and Preventive Medicine at the University of Rochester and is Associate Chair for Research in the Department Emergency Medicine. A graduate of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, he is an accomplished researcher with extensive funding from the National Institutes of Health, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, HRSA, and private foundations. He is the author of numerous peer-reviewed journal articles. His research focuses on the role of the EMS system to prevent injuries and illnesses among older adults and patient safety in the emergency medical services system. Dr. Shah is supported by the National Institutes of Health and AHRQ.


Colleen Davis, MD, MPH is Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, Pediatrics, and Nursing at the University of Rochester, and is an authority in pediatric emergency medicine. She has been involved with several funded research projects and has a solid history of publication. Dr. Davis served as the pediatric content expert on the Case Review Committee.

Erik Rueckmann, MD is senior instructor of emergency medicine at the university of Rochester. Dr. Rueckmann is a residency-trained emergency physician and a fellowship-trained EMS physician, and EMS researcher. He served as one of the emergency medicine experts on the case review committee.


Lindsey N. Clark, MA, served as the research assistant for the emergency pharmacist research project. She is responsible for medical records coordination and conducts interviews with ED staff to collect qualitative data looking at adverse events in the ED. Ms. Clark graduated from the University of Rochester in May of 2006 with a degree in Anthropology. Her undergraduate research focused on two areas: health care and environmentalism. She attended graduate school in Florida to study documentary film and work in the television industry until returning to medical research. She is currently a Research Assistant at the National Center for Human Factors Engineering in Healthcare in Washington DC.

James M. Hildebrand, MD, served as a research assistant for the emergency pharmacist research project when he was a medical student at the University of Rochester. He has been involved in the study design and implementation of two survey projects regarding the role of the emergency pharmacists. Mr. Hildebrand graduated from Vassar College in 2001 and then attended Northeastern University's Institute for Emergency Medical Services where he received paramedic certification. After working as a paramedic for 2 years in Boston and Chicago he came to the University of Rochester for medical school and graduated in 2009. He is now a resident in Emergency Medicine at the University of Massachusetts. James became involved with the emergency pharmacist research project through a summer research grant provided by the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Theresa Guarrera, BS, served as a Health Project Coordinator for the Department of Emergency Medicine. Theresa is a graduate of the University of Rochester's biomedical engineering program, and oversaw and coordinates a human factors engineering usability analysis project directed by Dr. Fairbanks. Theresa was additionally responsible for managing the emergency pharmacist research database. Theresa is now a full time PhD student at the University of Buffalo's Human Factors Engineering program, in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, and continues to conduct research in the healthcare domain.

External Advisory Board

Daniel J. Cobaugh, PharmD, FAACT, DABAT Dr. Cobaugh is Director of Research for the ASHP Research and Education Foundation. He is a national leader in clinical pharmacy research, and has authored over 70 published articles in this area.

Robert L. Wears, MD, MS, FACEP Dr. Wears is Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Florida and is an internationally recognized expert in the science of safety. Dr. Wears is an active writer, researcher, and advocate for patient safety, and has published over 100 journal articles and book chapters. He recently received the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Investigator Award in Health Policy Research.