The WMS Board of Directors is made up of volunteer members who oversee the Society in five key strategic areas, or pillars: Education, Research, Membership, Conferences/Events, and the Academy of Wilderness Medicine. Board members are elected to serve for a two-year term with an additional two-year term at the mutual desire of the individual and Board. 

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Jennifer Dow, MD, FACEP, FAWM, DiMM | President

Dr. Dow began her wilderness medicine career as a member of National Ski Patrol at age 15. Growing up in California, summers were spent in the Eastern Sierra – hiking, backpacking, and climbing. She attended the Medical College of Wisconsin and completed her Emergency Medicine residency at York Hospital - York, Pennsylvania. Moving to Alaska in 1997, she has never looked back. Joining the WMS in 1990 – she completed her FAWM in 2007 and DiMM in 2014. She was a founding faculty member for the WMS-DiMM and continues to serve as core faculty. Jenn co-chaired and chaired the 2019 and 2020 summer conferences, respectively, and joined the board of directors in 2018. For her “real job”, Jenn practices Emergency Medicine at Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage. She also serves as the Medical Director for the National Park Service – Alaska Region; Guardian Flight Alaska, Alyeska Ski Patrol, and The Alyeska Pipeline. She works closely with multiple guide and rescue services, ensuring their field teams have the knowledge and tools needed to manage remote emergencies. If she’s not out running her dogs, she can usually be found skiing, climbing, or mountain biking – satellite phone in hand.

Shana Tarter, WEMT-I, FAWM | Treasurer

Shana Tarter is the former Associate Director of NOLS Wilderness Medicine in Lander, WY. She is a wilderness medicine educator, instructor trainer, and expedition leader. She chaired the Wilderness Risk Managers Committee and oversaw the Wilderness Risk Managers Conference for many years. She has worked in EMS for more than three decades serving both rural and urban populations. Her outdoor passions include hiking, nordic skiing, and biking.

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Stephanie Lareau, MD, FAWM, DiMM, DiDMM | Secretary

Stephanie's WMS involvement began during medical school, where she presented a poster on Mountain Biking Injuries in Endurance Racing at the 2007 Summer Conference. Her involvement with the WMS continued to grow throughout residency, wilderness medicine fellowship and now as an attending EM physician and WM fellowship director at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in Roanoke, Virginia. Stephanie has been involved with the WMS student/resident elective in Virginia since 2009 when she attended as a student, and has served as director since 2014. She has served as chair of the Education Committee (now the Student/Resident Education Committee) and served in numerous other roles within and outside the WMS that have equipped her to fulfill the role of Education Chair.

Ian Wedmore, MD, FACEP, FAWM, DiMM, DiDMM | Past President

Dr. Ian Wedmore grew up climbing and skiing in New England and became interested in wilderness medicine in medical school. He joined the WMS in 1987 and has been a member ever since. He did his undergraduate at Skidmore College in upstate NY in close proximity to the Adirondacks and VT ski areas. He did his medical school training at New York Medical College graduating in 1990. He did an internship in Internal Medicine and then trained in emergency medicine at the Madigan Army Medical Centers Emergency Medicine Residency program. He is board certified in Emergency Medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians. He obtained his FAWM in 2008 and his DiMM in 2012. He started the US Army Austere and Wilderness Medicine Fellowship program in 2011 and the US Army/ Uniform Services University International Diploma in Mountain Medicine program in 2012 of which he is the director. He has served 29 years in the US Army from which he will retire in late 2019. He is a volunteer ski patroller and the medical director for Mount Rainier National Park. He has climbed throughout the world and has summited four of the seven summits.

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Graham Brant-Zawadzki, MD, MA, FAWM, DiMM | Conference Council Chair

Graham is an Assistant Professor with the Division of Emergency Medicine at the University of Utah where he also serves as the Assistant Fellowship Director for the Wilderness Medicine Fellowship, faculty for the EMS Fellowship, and Medical Director for the Unified Fire Authority. After serving as chair of the 2018 Summer Conference, he created a conference planning manual and was tasked with founding the Conference Planning Committee, under the oversight of the Conference Council, in 2019, which he has chaired since its creation. During his tenure, the committee designed and implemented a successive mentorship model for conference chairs, saw a steady increase in conference attendance, and led the transition from in-person to a virtual conference format amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Christanne Coffey, MD, FACEP, DiDMM, FAWMAcademy Director

Christanne is an assistant professor of clinical emergency medicine at the University of California San Diego, where she serves as the wilderness medicine fellowship director and course director of two wilderness medicine student courses. She is the medical director for the San Diego Mountain Rescue Team. During Christanne’s time as chair of the Diploma in Diving and Marine Medicine (DiDMM) committee she helped lead the redesign of the DiDMM curriculum for the WMS, an international certification program in the essentials of caring for patients in the marine environment. She is the conference chair of the Marine Medicine Conference and the Medicine at Sea Pre-conference. She is the past chair of the Graduate Medical Education Fellowship committee and served on the Certification of GME Fellowships in Wilderness Medicine steering committee. Her interests include marine medicine, diving medicine, wilderness medicine education, and extreme sports.

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Joseph Forrester, MD, MSc, FAWM | Research Council Chair

Joseph (“Joe”) D. Forrester, MD, MSc grew up in Colorado and has spent most of his life climbing, mountaineering, and exploring big rivers when not in the hospital. He attended medical school at the University of Virginia and graduated in 2011. He concurrently attended the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine where he graduated with a MSc in Infectious Disease in 2012. By 2018, he completed his general surgery residency, surgical critical care fellowship, and trauma fellowship at Stanford University. During this time (2013-2015), he spent two years as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Agent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention working on Lyme disease, bubonic plague, and Ebola outbreaks. Joe has been a member of the WMS since 2006, is a Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM), and served as WMS research committee chair from 2020-2022. Joe currently works as a trauma and acute care surgeon at Stanford where he is an assistant professor of surgery and is the Associate Trauma Medical Director and Chest Wall Injury Center Medical Director for Stanford Healthcare.

Susanne Spano, MD, FACEP, FAWM | Education Council Chair

Sue is from Fresno, CA, and is the wilderness medicine fellowship program director at UCSF Fresno. She received her MD at Temple and completed her emergency medicine residency and WM fellowship at UCSF Fresno. She is a member of the Fresno County Sheriff's Search and Rescue team and faculty at NPS Parkmedic trainings since 2005. Sue served as chair of the WMS GME Fellowship Committee from 2019-2023. During her tenure, the WMS spearheaded a GME fellowship certification review process and a GME fellowship match. Her prior service within the WMS includes the Membership Committee, Research Committee, invited lectures on long distance backpacking and effective presentations, and virtual co-host of the 2022 Winter Conference. Sue's most cited research articles focus on the search and rescue, medical morbidities in long distance backpackers, and articles on WM GME. She is on the Executive Committee for the California ACEP Board of Directors and regionally serves as a medical staff leader for Community Medical Centers. Her hobbies include backpacking, with over 1000 miles completed on the PCT, and running, with a goal to complete a full marathon in all 50 states.

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Jason Williams, BS, NRP, DiMM | Membership Council Chair

Jason has been a part of the WMS since attending his first conference in 2006 as a recently graduated paramedic. He followed the paramedic program up by completing his Bachelor of Science in Emergency Medical Services, has completed his DiMM certification and is currently finishing his FAWM. Over the years, Jason has truly been able to combine his profession with his passions for education and the mountains; he has worked as an EMS Educator, Conference Program Coordinator for high-altitude medicine and CME conferences, a mountain guide and instructor, and currently serves as a Staff Faculty Lecturer and Director of the International Mountain Medicine Center in the University of New Mexico's Emergency Medicine Department. Jason plans to use his "diverse background in wilderness medicine, mountain rescue, EMS, education, research, program direction and development ... to reach the far corners of the [Wilderness Medical] Society."

Avinash Patil, MDAdventure Ed Council Chair

Avinash is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at Stanford University. After residency, he completed a fellowship in Global Health, and continues to work on systems-strengthening and development internationally. He has been active in the outdoor industry for over 25 years, leading whitewater rafting trips around the Western US, teaching swift water rescue, and guide schools for whitewater rafting and sea kayaking. He works in outdoor program development for youth, and in outdoor risk-assessment and management for wilderness-based organizations. He serves as the Medical Advisor for Outward Bound California, RacingThePlanet, the Athenian School, and Sierra Rescue. He has worked on all 7 continents supporting wilderness events. In his free time, he loves to run rivers, race sailboats, mountain bike, trail run, ski and snowboard, surf, and play the guitar.

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Cory Kreutzer, MSN-FNP, FAWM, DiMM | Member at Large

Cory has been a Registered Nurse for 19 years. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She is currently working on her Masters of Nursing in Nurse Practitioner. Her focus has been in critical care/ICU. She is currently working as a full-time registered nurse in the PACU and Pre-Op services. She is a native Coloradan with a background in wilderness medicine. Cory is an avid runner, rock climber, and skier. She has recently completed training on the Medical Training in Austere Conditions as a Dive Rescuer. Cory has served as medical staff for the Hard Rock 100 Ultra Marathon race. She started teaching Advanced Wilderness Life Support (AWLS) in 2008 while living in New Zealand and currently runs her own company teaching AWLS, BWLS, and WFR. She has been teaching AWLS for the last 12 years around the country and also in Canada. She is a volunteer instructor for the University of Colorado’s wilderness medicine course.

Past Presidents of the WMS

2022-2023  Ian Wedmore, MD
2021-2022 Jamie Lieberman, MD
2020-2021 Linda Keyes, MD
2019-2020 Scott McIntosh, MD
2018-2019 Bob Quinn, MD
2016-2018 Aaron Billin, MD
2014-2016 Brad Bennett, PhD
2012-2014 Jay Lemery, MD
2010-2012 Tony Islas, MD
2008-2010 Colin Grissom, MD
2006-2008 Eric Johnson, MD
2004-2006 Luanne Freer, MD
2001-2004 Robert Schoene, MD
1999-2001 William Forgey, MD
1997-1999 Edward Otten, MD
1995-1997 Bruce Paton, MD
1993-1995 Warren Bowman, MD
1991-1993 Howard Backer, MD
1989-1991 Blair Erb, MD
1987-1989 Paul Auerbach, MD
1985-1987 Kenneth Kizer, MD
1983-1985 Edward Geehr, MD