The BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency conducts innovative emergency care research with a focus on clinical and translational studies that advance the health and health equity of the people of Wisconsin and beyond.

The Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research ranked the Department of Emergency Medicine 12th in 2020 NIH research funding among medical school emergency medicine departments, an exceptional achievement from being unranked in 2014.

Our faculty and staff are developing original research ideas, obtaining competitive funding support, publishing high-impact papers, and serving in consequential leadership roles with many societies and organizations within our specialty. Core areas of research with significant grant funding, publications, and ongoing efforts include antimicrobial stewardship, emergency care for infectious diseases, geriatric emergency medicine, predictive analytics, and prehospital medicine.  For more detailed information, please see our Research Programs pages.

Our faculty and staff are also dedicated to collaborating with academic and industry partners. If you are interested in conducting research in the emergency department, please contact Dr. Manish N. Shah, Vice Chair of Research, at


Latest News & Announcements

UW–Madison ranked 8th national research rankings for public and private universities

The National Science Foundation has released its 2020 fiscal year Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) data and the University of Wisconsin–Madison has again ranked 8th in the national research rankings for public and private universities. UW–Madison ranked 8th in the last survey covering the 2019 fiscal year. Full story...

Dr. Brian Patterson serves as expert panelist at global Machine Learning & AI for Healthcare Forum

Dr. Brian Patterson recently took the stage as an expert panelist at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Global Health Conference held in Orlando, FL last month.

At the Machine Learning & AI for Healthcare Forum, Dr. Patterson joined colleagues to discuss some challenges and key elements of successful implementations of artificial intelligence algorithms.

Much of the commentary and advice for attendees was captured in an article out of Healthcare Innovation following the conference.

Dr. Collin Michels receives grant to investigate clinician views on Naloxone

Current 2021-22 fellow Dr. Collin Michels received funding for a grant that he submitted with Dr. Salisbury-Afshar to the UW Department of Family Medicine and Community Health for the study titled: Investigating Emergency Department Clinician Views on Naloxone Dispensing and Initiation of Medications for Opioid Use Disorder.

Dr. Allie Hurst awarded grant aimed at identifying victims of child sex trafficking

Irene (Allie) Hurst, MD, MS has received a grant from the Cars Curing Kids Foundation for her work titled "Operationalizing Sex Trafficking Screening in an Academic Emergency Department: A Quality Initiative." Through this grant, Dr. Hurst will work to institute confidential, electronic screening tools for sex trafficking of minors in the pediatric emergency department at UW Health, and track and improve the usage of these tools via systematic quality improvement cycles.

Of the more than 23,500 runaways reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 2018, 1 in 7 were likely victims of child sex trafficking.

Dr. Hurst's work in this area was recently published in the medical journal Pediatrics: "Confidential Screening for Sex Trafficking Among Minors in a Pediatric Emergency Department."

Dr. Michael Kim to lead pediatric readiness program study for community EDs

Michael Kim, MD was awarded an Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment grant in conjunction with the Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin. The grant, titled “Pediatric Readiness Program for Community Emergency Departments,” will enhance access to quality, evidence-based pediatric emergency care in Wisconsin and address health inequities in rural and community emergency departments. Dr. Kim is the Site PI at UW-Madison and will work with Wisconsin EMS for Children, the Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin, and many other groups to achieve their goal.

Dr. Shah co-leads $7.5 million dementia research study from National Institutes of Health

The BerbeeWalsh Emergency Department is one of four sites awarded a total of $7.5 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct research that could lead to improved care in emergency departments for people with dementia.

The effort aims to leverage expertise in emergency medicine, geriatrics and Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias to identify gaps in emergency care for people with dementia and address those gaps, according to Manish Shah, MD, MPH, professor of emergency medicine and co-principal investigator.

For example, many commonly used medications are problematic for people with dementia. Better understanding which medications are safest for this vulnerable population would help clinicians better care for them, he said.

“The emergency department is not an ideal care setting for people with dementia,” Shah said. “What we want to do is find better ways to care for one of our most vulnerable populations, namely older adults with cognitive impairment.”

The funds will support Geriatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network 2.0 – Advancing Dementia Care (GEAR 2.0 ADC), which is a collaboration between SMPH, Yale School of Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. All four institutions are home to an NIH-National Institute on Aging-designated Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. Ula Hwang, MD, MPH, at Yale, is serving as co-principal investigator.

The study has two phases. In phase one, the co-principal investigators will convene a panel of experts to review current research related to dementia patient care in emergency departments, identify areas where more research is needed, and create an infrastructure in which care researchers across the country can conduct this research.

In phase two, the research will commence. With joint support from numerous partners, GEAR 2.0-ADC will award more than $1.1 million to fund nine pilot study awards. Phase two will also see the deployment of resources and mentoring support to help researchers successfully execute their research projects.

The network’s executive committee, task force and advisory committee members hail from more than 35 academic medical centers across the United States. GEAR 2.0 community partners include the American Geriatrics Society, American Federation on Aging Research/Clin-STAR, Alzheimer’s Association, Emergency Medicine Foundation, Family Caregiver Alliance, Geriatric Emergency Department Collaborative, IMPACT Collaboratory, NIA Research Coordination Center Network, Patient Family Center Care and West Health Institute.

Recent Publications

Research published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia, March 2022

Shah MN, Jacobsohn GC, Jones CM, Green RK, Caprio TV, Cochran AL, Cushman JT, Lohmeier M, Kind AJH. Care transitions intervention reduces ED revisits in cognitively impaired patients. Alzheimers Dement (N Y). 2022 Mar 14;8(1):e12261. (

Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, March 2022

Gettel CJ, Falvey JR, Gifford A, Hoang L, Christensen LA, Hwang U, Shah MN; GEAR 2.0-ADC Network. Emergency Department Care Transitions for Patients With Cognitive Impairment: A Scoping Review. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2022 Mar 2:S1525-8610(22)00154-2. (

Research published in Pediatric Emergency Medicine, March 2022

Cheetham AL, Hurst IA. Human Trafficking: When to Suspect in the Pediatric Emergency Department? Pediatr Emerg Care. 2022 Apr 1;38(4):167-171.

Research published in WestJEM, March 2022

Schnapp BH, Ulrich K, Hess J, Kraut AS, Tillman D, Westergaard M. Response to "Misunderstanding the Match: Do Students Create Rank Lists Based on True Preferences?". West J Emerg Med. 2021 Jul 20;22(4):1021-1022. (

Research published in Annals of Emergency Medicine, January 2022

Michael R. Fareri, Sara Damewood, Ryan J. Wubben, Hani I. Kuttab. Young Female in a Motor Vehicle Collision. Annals of Emergency Medicine, Volume 79, Issue 2, 2022, Pages 117-157. (

Dr. Pulia interviewed by The Lancet Infectious Diseases

Dr. Pulia was interviewed by The Lancet Infectious Diseases regarding his perspectives on the 2021 Surviving Sepsis Campaign update. Click here to read the editorialThe Lancet Infectious Diseases is an authoritative forum for key opinion leaders across medicine, government, and health systems to influence clinical practice, explore global policy, and inform constructive, positive change worldwide. (January 2022)

Special Report: Addressing the Unmet Needs of People with Dementia

Dr. Manish Shah was featured in a special report by Emergency Medicine News in its November 2021 issue. The report outlines challenges faced by emergency care providers in adequately caring for older patients with dementia and dementia-related diseases like Alzheimer's in emergency and acute care settings, as well as a disconnect with adequate follow-up care and care transitions interventions.

Helping to address these challenges, Dr. Shah and Ula Hwang, MD, MPH, a professor of emergency medicine and vice chair for research in emergency medicine at the Yale School of Medicine, are leading the Geriatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network 2.0-Advancing Dementia Care (GEAR 2.0), a collaboration between Yale, UW, the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, and the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. GEAR 2.0, awarded $7.5 million in research funding from the National Institutes of Health, aims to leverage expertise in emergency medicine, geriatrics, and Alzheimer's disease and related dementias to identify and address gaps in emergency care for people with dementia.

Read the full article

Available Positions

Research Fellow (BC/BE)

Now accepting applications for a residency-trained emergency medicine research fellow to start July 2022. Please visit the research fellowship page to learn more about the opportunity and to apply.

Emergency Department Research Coordinator

Questions? Please email
Tel: 608-263-6690
Fax: 608-265-8241