Message from the Chair

Azita Hamedani, MD, MPH, MBA
Azita Hamedani, MD, MPH, MBA

Welcome to the BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine! It is an understatement to say I am extremely proud of how much our department has accomplished over the past decade. We have transformed from a small clinical service to a large academic department of Emergency Medicine, with one of the largest endowments in the country.

At our core is our Emergency Medicine Residency Training Program, as this was the nidus for our transformation. The desire to elevate the emergency care of patients in Wisconsin resonated with me and was a key reason for why I returned to my home state.  What started as a desire to have a local and regional impact, however, quickly grew to an opportunity to have a national and global impact through our people and our programs. 

We are very fortunate to have recruited top talent from all over the country.  Our faculty have developed innovative new programs in point-of-care ultrasound, medical simulation, emergency medical services, global health, quality, and more.  Fortuitously, Wisconsin Badgers, Dr. James Berbee & Karen Walsh embraced the vision of what we could become, and together with John and Tashia Morgridge, provided the resources for expansion of our clinical, research, and educational programs.

Regarding our clinical endeavors, with this gift, we were able to double the clinical footprint of our emergency department in 2016.  More importantly, we had the opportunity to experiment with design in order to operationalize innovative care delivery models – allowing us to improve our operational metrics in the face of significant volume increases. Simply put, we have become not just bigger, but more efficient.

Regarding our research portfolio, we were able to take a nascent program, add the catalyst of Dr. Manish Shah’s leadership, and are now ranked top 10 in the country based on NIH dollars awarded.

Regarding our educational commitment, not only did we grow our residency program from 6 to 8 to 12 residents a year, we also launched individualized and successful fellowship programs.  Most recently, we have had the opportunity to welcome all UW medical students through a requisite emergency medicine clerkship.

When I first started, I was told emergency physicians were only shift workers in the house of medicine.  Now, we lay claim to multiple key institutional roles at UW Health and have a seat at the table at the most important discussions. 

All this happened because a diverse group of talented people believed in a vision of service. Service to our patients, to our specialty, to our science, to our learners, and to the positive impact emergency medicine can have on communities near and far.

Thank you for being interested in the BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine. 

I hope you can be part of our continued journey!

Azita G. Hamedani, MD, MPH, MBA
Chair, BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine
The Distinguished Wisconsin Endowed Chair of Emergency Medicine