Mark E. Escott, MD, MPH, FACEP, NRP
Dr. Escott serves as the EMS System Medical Director for the City of Austin and Travis County, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Division of Emergency Management. He also serves as Interim Medical Director and Health Authority for Austin Public Health. He has academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor in the Division of Emergency Medicine at the University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School and as a Senior Lecturer in Medicine and Public Health at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. Dr. Escott currently serves as the Immediate Past Chair of the Section of EMS and Prehospital Medicine of the American College of Emergency Physicians. He is Board Certified in Emergency Medicine and Subspecialty Board Certified in EMS. He has published numerous articles, abstracts, papers, and presentations related to EMS, Disaster Management, and Public Health. In 2019, he was awarded the inaugural Dr. Charles Bauer Texas Emergency Management Medical Professional of the Year Award by the Texas Division of Emergency Management.
Prior to his position in Austin, Dr. Escott served as the Director of the Division of EMS and Disaster Medicine and EMS Fellowship Director for Baylor College of Medicine, Health Authority for the Montgomery County (Texas) Public Health District and Medical Director for the Montgomery County Hospital District EMS, Harris County ESD #48, and San Jacinto Community College-North. In addition, he served as the Medical Director for the EMS Service and EMS education program at Rice University which he founded as an undergraduate student in 1996 after completing his training as a Firefighter and Paramedic.
Deputy Medical Director
Jason R. Pickett, MD, FACEP, FAEMS
Dr. Pickett serves as the EMS System Deputy Medical Director for the City of Austin and Travis County, Texas and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Wright State University. Dr. Pickett is the Tactical EMS Co-Chair for the Special Operations Medicine Scientific Assembly and is a member of the Guidelines and Practice Committee for the National Association of EMS Physicians. He is also a member of the Guidelines Committee for the Committee on Tactical Emergency Casualty Care. Dr. Pickett is Board Certified in Emergency Medicine and Subspecialty Board Certified in Emergency Medical Services. Prior to his position in Austin, Dr. Pickett served as the Director of the Center for Prehospital and Operational Medicine at Wright State University. He has served as Medical Director for several fire departments and police SWAT teams. He is currently a Lieutenant Colonel in the West Virginia Army National Guard as a Battalion Surgeon in a special operations unit.
Deputy Medical Director - Travis County
Mark Ackrell, MD, FACEP
Dr. Ackrell graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with undergraduate degrees in biochemistry and physiology. Upon graduation, he entered medical school at the University of Pittsburgh. He completed his medical education and did an internship in internal medicine at the University of Florida/Shands, Jacksonville. Upon completion of his internal medicine internship, Dr. Ackrell remained at the University of Florida Shands/Jacksonville to complete his residency requirements in emergency medicine and was appointed Chief Emergency Medicine Resident his final year.
He has also maintained a clinical relationship with Shands/Jacksonville as a clinical instructor in their emergency medicine residency program. Currently, Dr. Ackrell serves as the Director of Emergency Medicine at South Austin Hospital. In addition to his full-time status with South Austin Hospital and his part-time status as an Associate Medical Director, he serves as a Team Physician with Florida's Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT), Team Physician with the State of Florida's Emergency Response Team and is a NASA Shuttle Launch physician.
Associate Medical Director
Heidi Abraham, MD, FAEMS
Dr. Abraham started her career as an EMT with a volunteer fire department and worked various EMS jobs before she attended medical school. She completed her Emergency Medicine residency as a chief resident at the Wright State University Integrated Residency in Emergency Medicine. While in residency, she was the assistant medical director at Fairborn Fire Department, a tactical medic with local SWAT teams, and involved in MCI and regional disaster preparedness. She completed the EMS and Disaster Medicine fellowship at University of Texas at Houston. She served as an assistant medical director for Houston Fire Department. She continues to serve our system as well as medical director for New Braunfels Fire Department and San Antonio AirLIFE. She is the team physician for Comal County Sheriff's Office SWAT team and associate medical director for other fire and EMS agencies. Dr. Abraham serves on the State of Texas's Governor's EMS & Trauma Advisory Council, EMS Medical Director Committee, and on the Board of Directors for the Texas Chapter of NAEMSP.
Associate Medical Director
Susan Schreffler, MD, FACEP, NRP
Prior to attending medical school, Dr. Schreffler worked for 12 years as an EMT, EMT-I and paramedic for both A/TC EMS and Williamson County EMS. She has proudly maintained her Nationally Registered Paramedic since 1996. Dr. Schreffler is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians, a member of the National Association of EMS Physicians and a member of the American Medical Association. She has co-authored book chapters and articles in toxicology and articles/presentations in event medicine. Her primary interests are clinical education, quality improvement, toxicology, event and disaster medicine. She has participated in multiple disaster relief missions both domestically and abroad. Dr. Schreffler has recently joined Texas Task Force 1 (TX-TF1) as a Medical Team Manager. Prior to joining the team in Austin, Dr. Schreffler served as the EMS System Medical Director for Durham County EMS and Director of Prehospital Medicine for the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. She completed residency in Emergency Medicine and Fellowship in EMS and Disaster Medicine at Upstate Medical University (SUNY) in Syracuse, NY.
Jeff Hayes, MPH, LP, Chief of Staff
Jeff Hayes holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health in Health Policy & Management from the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health. His undergraduate degree is in Biology, Health and Physical Education from East Texas State University (now Texas A&M – Commerce). He served both as an EMT and a Paramedic with Austin EMS from 1986 to 1992. He left to take the position of Department Chair of the Austin Community College EMS Program. From there he was selected as the Director of Operations and Assistant Emergency Management Coordinator for Williamson County where he was employed for ten years. Hayes then returned to our System as the Chief of Staff for the Office of the Medical Director.
Hayes is a member of the following professional organizations: the National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP), National Association of EMTs (NAEMT) and the National EMS Management Association (NEMSMA).
Hayes has made numerous EMS conference presentations on various subjects relating to emergency care, research and EMS Education. He has also authored articles in EMS trade publications and serves as a content reviewer for various EMS Textbooks.
Bill Coll, B.A., M Pub. Affs. LP, REHS, Infection Preventionist
Bill Coll holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Community Health Education from Montclair State University with a Master in Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin.
He has about 40 years of EMT and Paramedic experience as a volunteer and with the Austin EMS System. Coll served with the City of Austin EMS Department from 1980 through 1993 in a variety of field and administrative positions. He was reassigned to the Austin Fire Department Medical Operations section for ten years. He has been in the Office of the Medical Director since its inception with a primary focus on Infection Prevention issues.
Coll has made numerous presentations and published several articles and chapters related to infection prevention. He is an Adjunct Faculty member with The Texas Engineering and Extension Service in the EMS Leadership Academy. He serves on the Emergency Preparedness Committee of Association for Professionals in Infection control and Epidemiology, Inc.
Louis Gonzales, MPH, CPPS, CPHQ, LP, Clinical Quality & Patient Safety Specialist
Louis Gonzales is a patient safety and healthcare quality professional currently serving the Austin-Travis County Office of the Medical Director. In this role, he guides the development and implementation of all patient safety and healthcare quality efforts at the System level. Louis views the areas of patient safety and healthcare quality as public health issues requiring a systems-thinking approach combined with a culture that truly values quality, safety and service.
Louis earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Safety Engineering and a Master of Public Health from Texas A&M University. He completed paramedic training in Texas in 1983 and through the Seattle Medic One program in 1992. During his career, he has served with eight ground and air EMS systems in Texas and Washington. Louis is also a certified professional in patient safety (CPPS) and in healthcare quality (CPHQ). In his early career, Louis gained safety management and systems safety experiences serving in various occupational safety & health roles including his last role as a Division Safety Manager with the Boeing Company in Seattle.
Many of Louis’ research and quality efforts have centered on out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and systems of care. He has published peer-reviewed and trade journal articles on resuscitation, CPR, STEMI systems, and workplace emergency response. Most recently, Louis served on a NHTSA funded committee that developed CPR LifeLinks - a set of resources for EMS Systems seeking to improve their high-performance CPR and telecommunicator CPR programs, https://www.ems.gov/projects/cpr-lifelinks.html. His primary areas of interest include patient safety, prospective systems safety reviews, and improvement through adverse event review.
William Leggio, EdD, NRP, Clinical Operations, Practices and Standards Coordinator
Dr. William Leggio holds an Educational Doctorate of Interdisciplinary Leadership from Creighton University. He also completed his graduate degree in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution and undergraduate degree in Emergency Medical Services at Creighton University. William has a national and international background in EMS research and education. He has scholarly contributions published in peer-reviewed journals, professional publications and textbooks. William served on the Technical Expert Panel for EMS Agenda 2050. He continues to be an active contributor to the profession on a national level. Prior to joining the OMD team, William was an assistant professor and Paramedic Program Coordinator at Creighton University.
William is an experienced paramedic serving on suburban and rural EMS agencies, as well as in a level-1 trauma and academic medical center, all in the greater Omaha, Nebraska area. William started his EMS career in high school when he completed his EMT-B education then shortly thereafter volunteering on his hometown’s fire and rescue department in southwest Iowa.
Chris Parker, MSN/Ed, RN, CEN, TCRN, LP, System Education and Professional Development Coordinator
Chris Parker holds a Master's of Nursing and Healthcare Education from the University of Phoenix, a Bachelor's of Communication from the University of Texas, and dual Associate Degrees in Nursing and Emergency Medical Services Technologies from Austin Community College.
She was a full-time professor and the clinical coordinator for ACC’s Emergency Medical Services program for 13 years and now serves as adjunct faculty. Chris is also a guest lecturer at the University of Texas and the University of Phoenix. She worked as a paramedic for Williamson County EMS for nine years and has been an Emergency Department nurse and educator for the St. David's Healthcare System since 1997.
Chris is a member of the Emergency Nurses Association, serves on the education committee for the National Association of EMS Educators and served as the chair of the Education Committee for the Capital Area Trauma Regional Advisory Council for seven years. She has contributed to multiple publications and reviews content for both nursing and EMS textbooks.