• The Science Behind Our Programs


    • Click here to read up on the most recent research in Proceedings from the latest Council meetings and SAC Scientific Statements



    • Leading press outlets rely on the expertise of the Council on a regular basis. Check out some recent news stories here.
    • Keep connected with the experts by visiting our blog today

    The Scientific Advisory Council

    Behind every American Red Cross health and safety training program stands a team of experts ensuring what is taught is based on the latest and best in emergency science. Their guidance has an impact on everything, from course content to how to respond when disasters strike. This team’s expertise is the reason why individuals and businesses alike choose the Red Cross for their training needs. It’s also the reason why millions of Americans know how to plan and prepare for almost every emergency.

    The American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council is a 50+member panel of nationally-recognized medical, scientific, and academic experts dedicated to ensuring that the Red Cross is at the vanguard of best-science and best-practice.

    With members from a broad range of professional specialties, the Council has an important advantage: a broad multidisciplinary expertise for evaluating new emergency response methods and techniques. And with on-the-ground experience, its members also bring the know-how for real-world emergencies. Whether it’s the best way to administer CPR to an unconscious co-worker or preparing your family and home for a hurricane, the Council is keeping you current.

    The Subcouncils

    Focusing on Areas of Expertise

    Every recommendation to the Red Cross from the Scientific Advisory Council starts in one of five subcouncils where team specialists dig deep and share their findings. The subcouncils are:

    Council Leadership

    Council Chair

    David Markenson, MD, MBA, FCCM, FAAP, FACEP, EMT-P

    Chief Medical Officer, Sky Ridge Medical Center

    Council Vice-Chair

    Linda Quan, MD, FAAP

    Pediatric Emergency Physician at Seattle Children's Hospital; Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine



    Covering everything from water safety, swim instruction and life-guarding, this subcouncil is all about prevention of water emergencies, including rescue, resuscitation and transport.

       View the Aquatics Subcouncil Members

    Peter G. Wernicki, MD, FAAOS
    Aquatics Subcouncil Chair
    Associate Clinical Professor in Orthopedic Surgery at
    the University of Florida Medical School; Medical
    Advisor of the U.S. Lifesaving Association; Chair of
    the International Life Saving Federation’s Medical Committee

    William Dominic Ramos, MS, PhD
    Assistant Professor at the Indiana University School
    of Public Health-Bloomington

    Joshua M. Tobin, MD
    Director of Trauma Anesthesiology at the Keck
    School of Medicine at USC, Commander in the U.S.
    Navy Reserve.

    Louise Kublick
    Operations Manager, Aquatics, for Holland Bloorview
    Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto

    Roy Fielding, MS, LGIT, WSIT
    Senior Lecturer in the Department of Kinesiology at
    the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; Vice
    Chair of both the Centers for Disease Control and
    Preventions’ Model Aquatic Health Code Technical
    Committee on Bather Supervision and Lifeguarding,
    and the Technical Committee on Recirculation and

    Angela K. Beale, PhD
    Assistant Professor and Director of the Basic
    Instruction Program, Temple University

    Teresa (Terri) Lees, MS
    Aquatic Supervisor of the North Kansas City
    Community Center; Aquatic Coordinator at the
    Heskett Center for Campus Recreation at Wichita
    State University

    Stephen J. Langendorfer, PhD
    Professor of Exercise Science; Director for the
    School of Human Movement, Sport, and Leisure
    Studies at Bowling Green State University; Editor,
    International Journal of Aquatic Research and

    Linda Quan, MD, FAAP
    Pediatric Emergency Physician at Seattle Children's
    Hospital; Professor of Pediatrics at the University of
    Washington School of Medicine



    Studying cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), choking, and general resuscitation, this subcouncil also assesses defibrillation and the best use of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).

       View the Resuscitation Subcouncil Members

    Richard N. Bradley, MD
    Resuscitation Subcouncil Chair
    Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and
    Chief of the Division of Emergency Medical Services
    and Disaster Medicine at the University of Texas
    Medical School at Houston

    Michael G. Millin, MD, MPH, FACEP
    Resuscitation Subcouncil Vice-Chair
    Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the
    Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine;
    Medical Director of the BWI Airport Fire and Rescue
    Department; Medical Director of the Johns Hopkins
    Lifeline Transportation Program

    Andrew MacPherson, MD, CCFP-EM, FCFP
    Clinical Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine,
    UBC; Medical Consultant, British Columbia
    Emergency Health Services

    Stamatios Larakis, MD, PhD, FACC, FAHA, FASE, FASNC, FCCP
    Professor of Medicine (Cardiology), Radiology and
    Imaging Sciences at Emory University School of
    Medicine; Professor of Medicine (Cardiology),
    Radiology and Imaging Sciences at Emory University
    School of Medicine; Director of Cardiac MRI and
    Interventional Echocardiography at Emory University
    Hospital; Adjunct Professor of Biomedical
    Engineering at Emory University and Georgia
    Institute of Technology

    Wendell Jones, MD, MBA, CPE, FACP
    Chief Medical Officer of the Veterans Integrated
    Service Network 17; Assistant Professor, Internal
    Medicine, at the University of Texas Southwestern

    Ira Nemeth, MD
    Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine
    and Director of EMS and Disaster Medicine at Baylor
    College of Medicine; Assistant Medical Director for
    Ben Taub General Hospital’s Emergency Department

    Joseph W. Rossano, MD
    Assistant Professor of Pediatrics/Cardiology at the
    University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s
    Hospital of Philadelphia

    Rita V. Burke, PhD, MPH
    Assistant Professor of Research Surgery and
    Preventive Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine
    of the University of Southern California and the
    Trauma Program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles;
    Co-chair of the Children in Disasters Working Group
    and the Pediatric Trauma Society Research Committee

    First Aid
    First Aid
    First Aid

    First Aid

    Studying the emergency medical care of victims before they get to a hospital, this subcouncil assesses the training of bystanders and professional emergency responders, whether they are administering aid on land, near water or in the wilderness.

        View the First Aid Subcouncil Members

    Eunice (Nici) Singletary, MD FACEP
    First Aid Subcouncil Chair
    Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the
    University of Virginia

    L. Kristian Arnold, MD, MPH, FACEP
    Chief Medical Officer, ArLac Health Services
    Medical Director of the Boston Police Department’s
    Occupational Medicine Unit

    David C. Berry, PhD, ATC, EMT-B
    Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Athletic
    Training Clinical Education at Weber State University

    Nathan P. Charlton, MD
    University of Virginia Health System
    Charlottesville, VA

    Ryan Circh, MD FAWM
    The Medical Center of Aurora
    Department of Emergency Medicine

    Sarita A. Chung, MD
    Director of Disaster Preparedness, Division of
    Emergency Medicine, Children’s Hospital, Boston

    Adelita Gonzales Cantu, PhD, RN
    Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and
    Community Health Systems at University of Texas
    Health Science Center

    Morgan Hillier, MD, B.Sc., B.Kin
    Emergency Medicine Resident, University of Toronto

    Deanna Colburn Hostler, DPT, CCS (ABD) Clinical
    Assistant Professor in the Physical Therapy program
    at the University at Buffalo, The State University of
    New York

    Robin M. Ikeda, MD, MPH, USPHS
    Deputy Director for Noncommunicable Diseases,
    Injury and Environmental Health at the Centers for
    Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

    Edward McManus, MD
    Infection Disease Specialist
    St. Claire’s Health System

    Jeffrey L. Pellegrino, PhD, MPH, WEMT-B/FF, EMS-I
    Professor and Program Director of Health Sciences
    at Aultman College in Canton, OH; EMS-Instructor
    and EMT/Firefighter for the City of Hudson

    Tod Schimelpfenig
    Curriculum Director
    NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute

    S. Robert Seitz, M.Ed, RN, NREMT-P
    Assistant Professor in the Emergency Medicine
    Program of the University of Pittsburgh’s School of
    Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

    Jeffery S. Upperman, MD
    Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of
    Southern California
    Attending Surgeon and Director of the Trauma Program
    Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles

    Preparedness and Disaster Health
    Preparedness and Disaster Health
    Preparedness and Disaster Health

    Preparedness and Disaster Health

    Covering the best ways to prepare for emergencies of every kind, from those that occur in the home to regional disasters, this subcouncil studies how to train people to be more resilient after hardship and how to keep communities whole and businesses operating. It also addresses how to give acute and chronic medical and mental care to disaster victims and the emergency staff caring for them.

        View the Preparedness and Disaster Health Subcouncil Members

    Steven Jensen, PhD
    Preparedness and Disaster Health Subcouncil Chair
    Advisor in Emergency Management and Lecturer at California State University at
    Long Beach

    James A. Judge II, EMT-P, CEM, BPA Vice Chair
    Preparedness and Disaster Health Subcouncil Chair
    Emergency Management Director for Volusia County,

    Frederick (Skip) M. Burkle, Jr., MD, MPH, DTM, FAAP, FACEP
    Senior Fellow and Scientist in the Harvard
    Humanitarian Initiative, Harvard School of Public
    Health; Senior International Public Policy Scholar,
    Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars;
    Senior Associate Faculty Member, Department of
    International Health at Johns Hopkins University
    Medical Institutes

    Rebecca S. Noe, MN, MPH,FNP-BC
    Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

    Samir K. Sinha, MD DPhil FRCPC
    Mount Sinai Hospital
    Toronto, Canada

    Lauren M. Sauer, MS
    Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine
    Johns Hopkins Institutions

    Tener Goodwin Veenema, PhD, MPH, MS, FNAP, FAAN
    Associate Professor and Pediatric Emergency Nurse
    Practitioner at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing;
    President, CEO of Tener Consulting Group, LLC



    The Education Sub-council works to engage members of every other Subcouncil in the identification of effective methods for teaching skills and procedures to individuals and populations. We also seek the best ways to instill or build in people the confidence and desire to step forward and use those competencies to help people in need

       View the Education Subcouncil Members

    Jeffrey L. Pellegrino, PhD, MPH, WEMT-B/FF, EMS-I
    Professor and Program Director of Health Sciences
    Aultman College in Canton, OH
    Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of First Aid Education

    How the Council Works

    Putting Science into Action

    Making sure Red Cross programs and guidance are up-to-date and fine-tuned is serious business. When considering making a recommendation, the Council will perform rounds of rigorous scientific review using only the most reliable evidenced-based sources. The Council will then vote on whether to make a recommendation. If approved, recommendations are incorporated into Red Cross training and guidance.

    Watch the Council

    Watch the Council

    Keeping Everyone Informed and Prepared

    Bring the experts into your own home with this sampling of health and safety videos by Council members on the following subjects:

    Disaster Safety

    Preparedness: Tornado Safety

    Preparedness: Earthquake Safety

    Weather Safety

    Winter Weather Safety Tips

    Preparedness: Heat Safety Tips

    Children's Safety

    Dr. Markenson on Childhood Illness

    Preparedness: Babysitting

    Water Safety

    Beach Safety Tips

    How to Survive a Rip Current