Core Members

Marc Auerbach, MD, FAAP, MSc


Marc Auerbach is the Director of Pediatric Simulation and Associate Medical Director of Trauma at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital. Marc is the Co-chair of INSPIRE (International Network for Simulation-based Pediatric Innovation Research and Education), the largest simulation based research network in the world, with multiple ongoing projects and over 1.5 million dollars in grant funding.

Marc completed a K30 Masters of Science in Clinical Investigation with a focus in translational medicine at New York University and post-graduate course work on simulation at Harvard’s Center for Medical Simulation.He has substantial leadership experiences in trauma and simulation research as a board member of the International Pediatric Simulation

Society, co-chair of the Pediatric Academic Society’s Special Interest Group on Simulation-Based Research and as a leader on the Pediatric Trauma Society’s Guideline Committee.

He has served as the principal investigator on multiple funded trauma and simulation research projects to ensure the optimal care for ill and injured children. This includes a grant-funded project using simulation training for disaster preparedness, a regional trauma simulation program, a local office based preparedness program. Most recently he has served as the PI of the ImPACTS study, a national effort to describe, measure and improve the quality of care provided to critically ill and injured pediatric patients in emergency departments using simulation. Marc is currently PI on an AHRQ grant that aims to redesign the process of transitioning injured children from community hospitals to trauma centers. Additionally he is collaborating on an AHRQ grant to develop a screen-based simulation for pediatric disaster triage training.

Kamal Abulebda, MD

Hub Physician Representative


Kamal Abulebda, MD, joined the IU School of Medicine faculty in 2012 after completing his fellowship in Pediatric Critical Care at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.  Focusing on service to the university, his department and his patients, he serves as the Medical Director of the pediatric sedation service at Riley Hospital for Children.  Dr. Abulebda assisted in establishing the pediatric procedural sedation protocol at Riley Hospital as well as expanding the sedation service to include pediatric patients hospital-wide. Dr. Abulebda is also very interested in the medical simulation field.  Being a co-leader of the Pediatric Community Outreach Mobile Education (PCOME) program, Dr. Abulebda helped in improving the quality of care provided to ill children in the emergency departments in the state of Indiana by providing in-situ high fidelity simulation visits to 

educate and train community hospital EDs in the state to provide optimal care to ill children.  Dr. Abulebda was successful in obtaining funding for this effort through two IU Health Value Grants and one Department of Pediatrics Grant.  Dr. Abulebda is also a member of the Indiana Emergency Medical Service for Children (iEMSC) Facility Quality Improvement Project that aims to improve pediatric emergency readiness in the state.  Additionally, Dr. Abulebda was successful in starting a collaborative network with other major children's hospitals across the nation to help improve the care of ill children on a national level through IMPACTS, the Improving Pediatric Acute Care Through Simulation Network.

Travis Whitfill, MPH

Statistician/Research Associate

Travis Whitfill is an Associate Research Scientist at Yale in the Departments of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine. His research interests are in the quality of pediatric care at the systems level. His background began in biochemistry after receiving scientific training at the MD Anderson Cancer Center and Duke University. He has co-founded several biotech and healthcare startups companies, including Azitra. Mr. Whitfill’s strong background in entrepreneurship and business was recently acknowledged when he was named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in 2018. He serves as a partner at Bios Partners, a healthcare-focused venture capital fund based in Texas, and as the Senior Analyst at Bios Research, which provides research services to institutional investors.

He also is an Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Pediatrics at Yale University. Mr. Whitfill received degrees from Yale University (MPH) and Dallas Baptist University (BS in biology).

Erin Montgomery, RN, BSN, CCRN

Nurse Representative

Erin has a nursing background in Pediatric Critical Care and currently works as a critical care transport RN for the pediatric/neonatal specialty transport team for Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, IN. Erin is interested in educational outreach for community sites and assisted in establishing the Pediatric Community Outreach Mobile Education (PCOME). Erin has helped in improving the quality of care provided to ill children in the emergency departments in the state of Indiana by providing in-situ high fidelity simulation visits to educate and train community hospital EDs in the state to provide optimal care to ill children. She has served as the program manager for the PCOME program and has established and developed relationships with 28 community hospitals throughout the state of Indiana. Erin is the Indiana site coordinator for the ImPACTS (Improving Pediatric Acute Care Through Simulation) consortium as the lead site on the multicenter improvement collaborative.

Michelle L. Aebersold, PhD, RN, CHSE, FAAN

Nurse Representative

Linda Brown, MD

Hub Physician Representative

Dr. Linda Brown will serve as the site investigator at Brown University. She is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine at Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and a pediatric emergency medicine attending. She completed a Master’s of Science in Clinical Epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania, and for the past five years, through her work at the Rhode Island Hospital Medical Simulation Center (RIHMSC), she has developed significant experience in the use of in situ high fidelity simulation as a tool to educate clinicians and test new systems and environments. She is the director of pediatric portable simulation, as well as the director of PALS education, for the RIHMSC. Dr. Brown has extensive experience in the use of simulation for medical education, and she has directed multiple workshops on the use of simulation for systems probing,

teamwork and communication training and medical error disclosure at the national and international level. She is a co-investigator on several simulation-based grants, and she is currently the PI for a grant through the AHRQ entitled “Improving Pediatric Resuscitation: A Simulation Program for the Community ED” which endeavors to assess the preparedness of general emergency departments in Rhode Island to care for critically ill infants and children. Her current work in this field, and her pilot data on this topic, have only increased her certainty that further benchmarking and multicenter collaboration is needed to improve the quality of care delivered to children across all emergency department settings.

Barbara Walsh, MD

Hub Physician Representative

Dr. Barbara Walsh is a Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Associate Clinical Director of Pediatrics | Solomont Simulation Center and Director of In Situ and Mobile Outreach Simulation at BMC, Boston University School of Medicine. She created and launched COMET - community outreach mobile education training, which was a segue into being a founding member of the ImPACTS group. She has been to numerous sites in Massachusetts providing team training with the impacts curriculum as well as working with EMS providers using the same model. She has published this work with the ImPACTS group as well as directed and

facilitated multiple national and international workshops in mobile outreach programming. Dr. Walsh plans to create ongoing simulation programming at community sites creating lasting partnerships to collaborate in pediatric acute care with regular simulation training. She is also engaging community health centers to partake in this training and will design programming to meet their needs using their current resources. Finally, she is working on other cases to meet the needs of the inner city patient population of Boston Medical Center focusing on sickle cell care and acute presentations at community sites.

David Kessler, MD, MSc

Hub Physician Representative

Dr. Kessler is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Columbia University where he is the Vice Chair of Innovation and Strategic Initiatives. Dr. Kessler also serves as an associate Medical Director for the Mary & Michael Jaharis Simulation Center and an associate course director for the Foundations of Clinical Medicine-Tutorials Course in the medical school. Dr. Kessler is passionate about leveraging new technology and education to improve safety and enhance the quality of patient care. David has an extensive record of education, grant-funded research, and leadership on an international level in the fields of Simulation and Emergency Ultrasound. As a founder and director for INSPIRE, (International Network for Simulation-based Pediatric Innovation, Research and Education) Dr. Kessler has shown deep commitment to growing communities of practice dedicated to collaboration, mentorship, and scholarship.

Patricia Padlipsky, MD

Hub Physician Representative

Jessica Katznelson, MD

Hub Physician Representative


Jessica Katznelson is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine at Johns Hopkins University. She is board certified in general pediatrics and pediatric emergency medicine. Dr. Katznelson has extensive experience implementing and testing the efficacy of pediatric simulation programs in the Critical Access Hospital Emergency Department setting. She is currently the principal investigator on an R18 that is assessing the impact of tele simulation on pediatric patient safety in Critical Access Emergency Departments. She has previously been the PI on studies demonstrating the positive impact of pediatric patient simulations on team performance in rural Emergency Departments and the feasibility of utilizing tele simulation in the Critical Access Hospital setting. Dr. Katznelson has been a member of ImPACTS since 2012.

Isabel Gross, MD

Trainee Representative


Funding Supported By