CAL/AAEM Leadership

CAL/AAEM Leadership


John Christensen, MD FAAEM

Dr. Christensen entered Oakland University in Rochester, MI at the end of his high school junior year and received a B.S. degree in Engineering Science, with Student of Distinction Honors. He then attended medical school at the University of Michigan, where he received his M.D. degree and worked as an engineering research assistant at U of M’s Highway Safety Research Institute. He completed an Internal Medicine Residency at University of Michigan Hospitals.

Dr. Christensen moved to Santa Cruz, CA in 1976 and received an appointment as an Assistant Professor of Community and Family Medicine at UCSF’s Family Practice Residency in Salinas, where he was an attending physician in an ED staffed by one of the original EM contract management groups in the state. Sensing an unfair business arrangement, he approached the Monterey County Controller for financial information on the ED contract, sought legal advise on the restrictive covenant protecting the contract and was ultimately able to convince the County’s General Counsel that an independent EM group could do a better job than the contract management group (CMG) that he believed was managing its affairs in a manner that was detrimental to the ED physicians. Thus was born the first independent EM group in California where a democratically oriented local group of physicians was able to defeat a large CMG and establish an entity based on fair business practices.

With the experience gained in Salinas, Dr. Christensen joined with other EPs in 1983 to staff a large community hospital in Santa Cruz. The group incorporated as Santa Cruz Emergency Physicians (SCEP) in 1992 and became recognized as a model for fairness-based governance and operations. In 1991, newly minted Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) acquired the hospital served by SCEP. CHW expanded rapidly to become the eighth largest hospital system in the country, and in 1997attempted to launch a plan with the potential to place over 500 emergency physicians and ultimately several thousand hospital-based physicians into a vertically integrated, corporate-controlled fee splitting arrangement. Dr. Christensen led the 4-year strategic planning and forensic financial analysis that drove the largest legal action in emergency medicine’s history centering on the fair market value of emergency medicine management services. AAEM played a vital role in supporting the California Medical Association (CMA) amicus curiae brief (available on the AAEM website) that tipped the balance and led to the dissolution of the management scheme at the heart of the fee-splitting arrangement targeted by the historic declaratory relief action. The CMA brief represented the California Medical Association, the California Society of Anesthesiologists, the California Radiology Society, AAEM, CAL/AAEM and the California Society of Pathologists. Hospital Based Physicians’ income and professional autonomy have been preserved at CHW sites across the state to this day, and other hospital systems were probably dissuaded from attempting similar arrangements. In 2003, AAEM gave Dr. Christensen the James Keaney Leadership Award for his role in the complex legal action.

Through years of arduous, high-risk battles to preserve fairness and due process, Dr. Christensen is deeply committed to advancing AAEM’s Mission. Dr. Christensen has proposed the formation of an AAEM Business Practice Valuation Council that establishes AAEM as the Trustee of Fairness in the Business of EM. Dr. Christensen has recently completed the draft version of an EM Practice Valuation Toolkit that will be available to all AAEM Members to inform their critical decisions on employment arrangements and other business matters.

Board Certification:  ABEM, ABIM
Selected Professional activities:
Practice management experience:  CEO, CFO positions in independent local group
AAEM Charter Member (1994-present)
CAL/AAEM founding Board Member (1999-2002, reappointed 2011-present)
ACEP, Member (1976-present)
American Collegeof Physicians, Member (1975-present)
California Medical Association, Member (1998-present), Delegate
Santa Cruz County Medical Society Board of Governors (2010-present)
Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), Member
National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA), Member

John is married and enjoys life with his family. He is an avid golfer, sailor and fine woodworker. As an outgrowth of the development of the Practice Valuation Toolkit, John is currently writing a book on fairness that draws widely from research on game theory, prospect theory, behavioral and neuroeconomics, identity economics, behavioral ethics, emotional intelligence theory, modern management theory, and storytelling.

Vice President and WestJEM Editor-in-Chief

Mark Langdorf, MD FAAEM

Mark Langdorf, MD FAAEMMark Langdorf, MD MHPE FACEP FAAEM RDMS is Professor and Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of California, Irvine. After medical school at UC San Diego, he did an EM residency, a fellowship in medical education and the Master degree in Health Professions Education at the University of Illinois, Chicago. He is the Associate Residency Director of emergency medicine. He consults and speaks nationally and internationally to promote trauma and emergency care. He is Regional Faculty for the Advanced Cardiac Life Support Course and teaches Advanced Trauma Life Support as well. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Western Journal of Emergency Medicine (WestJEM), whose purpose is to disseminate information to practicing emergency physicians regarding efficient and optimal delivery of emergency care, emphasizing emerging technologies.(www.westjem.org) The Journal's goal is to be the premier open-access, peer-reviewed emergency medicine journal, drawing submissions from the Western United States and Western Hemisphere, and providing an English language forum for developing emergency care systems throughout the world. In this role, he serves on the board of directors of the California Chapter of AAEM.


Jennifer Kanapicki Comer, MD FAAEM

Jennifer Kanapicki, MD FAAEMI have had the pleasure of serving on the CAL/AAEM board for the past 4 years. I got involved in CAL/AAEM by my work with AAEM/YPS and AAEM/RSA. By serving as a CAL/AAEM Vice President this year, I was able to help run the San Francisco Speakers Series, where Northern California physicians are given the opportunity to get together to network and hear lectures on current EM topics. The series brought together EM physicians that consisted of residents, community as well as academic physicians. This series encouraged the sharing of ideas and building of relationships with our colleagues.   It was such a pleasure to take part in this event with hopes of more to come.  

I have always enjoyed being part of AAEM. Throughout residency I served on the AAEM/RSA board. As Communication Chair, I redesigned our website and provided more educational opportunities for our members. Also throughout my time, I wrote multiple articles for Common Sense, helped revise Rules of the Road, and promoted the AAEM board review book. I am currently Past-President of AAEM/YPS. We recently had a huge success for our members launching a new member benefit called AAEM/YPS EM Flash Facts. It is a fun and interactive app that will allow our members to study on go, providing them with 1,000 board review questions. Apart from AAEM, I am currently the Assistant Program Director of the Stanford/Kaiser Program. It has been an exciting year as I got to be involving designing our new 4-year program curriculum and be part of the transition of becoming a department.


Shahram Lotfipour, MD MPH FAAEM

Dr. Lotfipour is Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine (EM) and Public Health at the University of California (UC), Irvine. He is Associate Dean for Clinical Science Education, Director of the Center for Trauma and Injury Prevention Research and Managing Associate Editor for the Western Journal of EM. The UC Irvine School of Medicine clinical curriculum has most recently been recognized for implementation of the iMeded initiative, bedside ultrasound and its simulation education. His research focus includes alcohol screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment using a novel hand held computerized model in the UC Irvine Emergency Department, trauma centers in Orange County and the UC Irvine community outreach clinic. He also has a special interest in mentoring medical students in career advancement and medical student research.

Immediate Past President

Lisa Mills, MD FAAEM

Lisa Mills, MD FAAEM completed her emergency medicine residency training at the University of Texas Southwestern/Parkland Hospital Emergency Medicine Residency Program. She then completed an Ultrasound Fellowship at Louisiana State University in New Orleans. Dr. Mills stayed at LSU in New Orleans to build the Emergency Medicine Ultrasound program and to develop bedside ultrasound throughout the hospital. Her career also includes experience in a variety of private practice settings.

Dr. Mills has been active with AAEM since residency. She served a 3 year term on the Board of Directors for the Louisiana State Chapter of AAEM. She is a former Chair of the AAEM Women's Interest Group.

Dr. Mills' research interests include diagnostic ultrasonography and stress disorders. Her advocacy aims include physician wellness and physician representation in the business of practice of emergency medicine. She is particularly interested in establishing gender equality in emergency medicine.

Past Presidents

Trevor Mills, MD MPH FAAEM
Steven Gabaeff, MD FAAEM
Brian Potts, MD MBA FAAEM
Shahram Lotfipour, MD MPH FAAEM
Robert Rodriguez, MD FAAEM
Stuart Swadron, MD FAAEM
Francine Vogler, MD FAAEM

At-Large Board Members

John Grady, DO MBA FAAEM

John worked previously in commercial real estate and software product management. After studying bioinformatics at UCSC he went to Vietnam in 2002 and began training in medicine. After finishing his EM Residency at UConn in 2011, he began working at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, CA, where he mountain and road bikes, runs, competes in triathlons, and walks his dog on the beach as often as possible. He continues his interest in informatics by supporting Dignity Healthcares clinical informatics initiatives.



Francine Vogler, MD


Joanne Williams, MD FAAEM

Dr. Williams is a founding member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine and formerly served on its Board of Directors She is a diplomat of the American Board of Emergency Medicine.  She is a Past-Chair of the Emergency Medicine Section of the National Medical Association and an Associate Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine at Charles Drew University and the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. 

Last year she was awarded The James Keaney Award by the Academy and The Charlene D. Carodine Unique Professional Achievement Award by the Far Western Region of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®

Dr. Williams lectures nationally and internationally on Emergency Medicine Topics and is published in Emergency Medicine.  She is a former Emergency Medicine Residency Director at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles. 

Resident Representative

Bryan D. Sloane, MD

For 2 1/2 years, Bryan worked with me as the Deputy Editor for the CAL/AAEM News Service. This is our chapter division’s electronic news service which has grown to over 1,500 subscribers. I find him extremely knowledgeable about the issues facing emergency medicine both clinically and professionally as well as from a public policy and public health standpoint. He would be an excellent member of the board to represent our residents.



Last updated: March 22, 2017