Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Mark E. Escott, MD, MPH, FACEP, NRP, serves as the Chief Medical Officer and EMS System Medical Director for the City of Austin and the Texas Department of Public Safety. As the City of Austin’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Escott is responsible for the City’s strategic alignment of clinical services. As the EMS System Medical Director, he has responsibility for the clinical care, provider credentialing, and clinical operation of the City of Austin-Travis County EMS system. Dr. Escott served as the Interim Health Authority for the City of Austin and Travis County and Medical Director for Austin Public Health from 2019-2021. He has academic appointments as EMS Fellowship Director, 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 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.
Deputy Medical Directors
Dr. Jason R. Pickett, MD, FACEP, FAEMS, serves as the Chief Deputy Medical Director. Dr. Pickett is responsible for oversight of clinical practice and special operations. Dr. Pickett holds a Medical Doctorate from Eastern Virginia Medical School and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama from Carnegie Mellon University. He completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at Wright State University. Dr. Pickett is an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin and is the Assistant Program Director for the EMS fellowship. He is Board Certified in Emergency Medicine and Subspecialty Board Certified in Emergency Medical Services and is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Medicine and a Fellow of the Academy of Emergency Medical Services. Dr. Pickett has published extensively in textbooks and peer reviewed journals on topics pertaining to operational and pre-hospital medicine. Dr. Pickett is an active member of the National Association of EMS Physicians. He serves as the Tactical EMS Chair for the National Tactical Officer’s Association and previously was the Tactical EMS Co-Chair for the Special Operations Medicine Scientific Assembly, and is a lifetime member of the Special Operations Medical Association. He holds certifications as a US Army Flight Surgeon, Dive Medical Officer, K9 Tactical Medic, and the USAID Joint Humanitarian Operations Course. He is a Lieutenant Colonel in the West Virginia National Guard where he serves as a Battalion Surgeon.
Dr. Heidi Abraham, MD, FAEMS, serves as Deputy Medical Director. She 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 Blanco County EMS. She is the team physician for Comal County Sheriff's Office SWAT team. Dr. Abraham serves on the State of Texas's Governor's EMS & Trauma Advisory Council, and chairs the CATRAC EMS committee.
Dr. Andrew Chou, MD, serves as Deputy Medical Director. He holds double board certifications in Emergency Medicine and Emergency Medical Services, which he obtained after completing his residency in Emergency Medicine at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and his fellowship in Emergency Medical Services at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He received his Medical Doctorate from the University of Alabama School of Medicine and his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Chou serves as a faculty member in the EMS fellowship program for Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin. He is also a member of the National Association of EMS Physicians and the American College of Emergency Physicians. Prior to his time in Austin, Dr. Chou also served the City of Dallas as Deputy Medical Director for Dallas Fire-Rescue. His professional interests include prehospital airway management, education, and quality management with multiple research publications to his name.
Associate Medical Directors
Dr. Mark Ackrell, MD, FACEP, serves as an Associate Medical Director, and is primarily responsible for the CQI process. Dr. Ackrell received his Medical Doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh after obtaining Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Biochemistry and Physiology from the University of California at Berkeley, and completing his residency in Emergency Medicine at University of Florida Health Jacksonville Medical Center. He is Board Certified in Emergency Medicine and Emergency Medical Services, and completed a Fellowship in Wilderness Medicine. Dr. Ackrell is the current Medical Director for Fayette County EMS, Texas EMS, and GMR Central Texas Division. He has multiple federal assignments with the federal DMAT system, and works internationally as the medical director for AlphaStar Aviation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Melissa Miller, MD, is an Associate Medical Director and assists in providing online medical direction. Dr. Miller also assists in continuing training for the use of field point-of-care ultrasound by Austin-Travis County medics. Dr. Miller is ABEM certified in the practice of Emergency Medicine and is currently board eligible for an Emergency Medical Services subspecialty. Dr. Miller completed her fellowship and residency training at the University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School. Dr. Miller received her medical doctorate from Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University.
EMS Fellowship Physician
Dr. Emily Smith, MD, is an Emergency Medicine Physician and the current EMS fellow at the University of Texas Dell Medical School. She completed her Emergency Medicine residency at Emory University in Atlanta and her Medical Doctorate at Texas A&M College of Medicine. She also earned a Masters of Science in Microbiology and Immunology from Tulane and a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology and Nutrition from Texas A&M. Dr. Smith started in EMS as a paramedic in rural Texas. Dr. Smith has been involved with research and projects involving mobile integrated health and reducing health disparities via pre-hospital interventions.
Paramedic Practitioners - Physician Assistant
Travis Baker, PA-C, EMT-P, comes from a long history of public service. Growing up in the Austin area, many of his family members worked and retired from public service with the City of Austin. He obtained his Paramedic certification in 2004, and worked as a volunteer paramedic with Texas A&M EMS while completing undergraduate coursework. After graduating in 2008 from Texas A&M, Travis worked as a paramedic/firefighter for several local fire departments and EMS agencies, including service with ATCEMS. In 2013, he graduated from the University of Washington-Seattle MEDEX Physician Assistant program. After graduation, Travis completed a fellowship in emergency medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Following the fellowship, Travis worked full time in the Emergency Department at Ben Taub General Hospital. Prior to joining our system, Travis worked in critical care and emergency medicine in the Austin area. He continues to remain active clinically in local hospital systems. Travis is a member of Society of Emergency Medical Physician Assistants.
Christopher K. Brown, PA-C, LP, is a Paramedic Practitioner who currently works supporting field paramedics on both routine and critical 911 responses, providing medical care and services for the underserved, and assisting in system continuing education. He holds a Master of Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Medical Care from Loma Linda University. He has been in EMS for over 20 years and held multiple positions from Clinical Education Services to Paramedic Captain. Christopher served in the United States Marine Corps and currently serves in the Army National Guard as a unit Physician Assistant. He is a member of the Society of Emergency Medical Physician Assistants as well as the Society of Army Physician Assistants.
James Koch, PA-C, LP, James holds a BS in Biology from Saint Edwards University in Austin, Texas, and a BS in Physician Assistant Studies from MCP Hahnemann University in Philadelphia, PA. In addition, he holds a Paramedic License from the State of Texas. James has worked in many specialties as a Physician Assistant, including Emergency Medicine, Primary Care, and Pain Management. Most recently he worked in addiction and psychiatry medicine. James is a member of PAVMT and has volunteered on medical missions and with charities in Austin Texas.
Matthew Moon, PA-C, NRP, is a board-certified Physician Assistant (PA) and Paramedic. Matthew attended Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia where he earned his master's degree as a Physician Assistant and was the recipient of a Student Government Excellence Award for his commitment to community service. Matthew's post-graduate PA experience is in Surgical Critical Care with a focus on the management and resuscitation of Neurosurgery, Trauma Surgery, and Cardiac Surgery Critical Care patients. During his PA career Matthew has served on various committees and has both trained and assisted in the mentorship of new graduate Advanced Practice Providers. Matthew attended University of Maryland, Baltimore County for Emergency Medicine and has both worked and volunteered as a Firefighter/Paramedic in rural, urban, and suburban settings. In addition to his primary operation responsibilities here at OCMO, Matthew is involved in the training and education of multiple healthcare professionals from all backgrounds and attends national conferences fostering interdisciplinary collaboration with an emphasis on clinical excellence.
Dr. William Leggio, EdD, NRP, is the Chief of Staff with responsibilities for office operations, strategy, and administrative functions. Dr. Leggio holds an Educational Doctorate in Interdisciplinary Leadership, two graduate degrees in Healthcare Management and Negotiation and Dispute Resolution, and a baccalaureate in Emergency Medical Services; all from Creighton University. Prior to his role as Chief of Staff, he served as Clinical Quality and Patient Safety Coordinator and Clinical Practice & Standards Coordinator. Prior to joining us in Austin, Dr. Leggio educated EMS clinicians as an assistant professor and paramedic program coordinator at Creighton University. He has taught internationally and worked in an academic medical center as a critical care paramedic as well as with rural and suburban EMS agencies. Dr. Leggio is actively involved in the National Association of EMS Educators and the National Association of EMS Physicians. Notably, he served on the technical expert panel for EMS Agenda 2050 and has international and national recognition through his scholarship, peer-reviewed publications, position statements, and professional involvement.
Meghann Adams, MPH, is the Research and Development Coordinator. Her responsibilities include completing research projects related to emergency medicine and EMS operations, providing guidance and assistance in designing research studies to investigators, completing and submitting IRB applications when required, statistical analysis for research projects, some data analysis, and development or support of manuscript writing and submission for publication. Prior to joining OCMO, Meghann was a field paramedic and communications paramedic with Austin - Travis County EMS for 13 years, and worked as a Health Services Researcher for The Joint Commission. She has also taught EMT-B and paramedic students at Austin Community College, served as a field training officer for ATCEMS, and was a state certified firefighter in Illinois. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from Western Illinois University, and a Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. She also holds a Yellow Belt Certification in Robust Process Improvement. Meghann is a professional member of NAEMSP.
Brett Meyer, BA, LP, is the Clinical Service Line Coordinator for Stroke and STEMI care. In addition, he coordinates system-level infection control and prevention. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and attended the UCLA Daniel Freeman Paramedic Program. Brett has worked in both private and public EMS systems and previously served as a Field Training Officer, Paramedic Lieutenant, and as Designated Infection Control Officer. Brett has trained with FEMA's Center for Domestic Preparedness in highly infectious disease management and served as an IDRU paramedic. Brett is passionate about EMS research and is part of a team that has presented posters at national EMS conferences. In addition, he is a Certified Critical Care Paramedic and DSHS EMS Instructor.
Alex Moore, BS, LP is the system’s Clinical Quality and Patient Safety Coordinator. He is responsible for facilitating clinical event reviews, interfacing with quality professionals from partner agencies including regional hospitals, and coordinating system-wide quality improvement efforts. He holds a bachelor’s degree in emergency health science from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Alex is a Licensed Paramedic with extensive EMS experience, including as a Field Training Officer, Clinical Supervisor, and Quality Improvement Specialist. He continues to maintain his Flight Paramedic and Texas EMS Instructor certifications. He is an advocate for EMS-led clinical research and recently collaborated on his first journal publication. Alex is passionate about the field of out-of-hospital medicine and the development of EMS as a profession. He is proud to collaborate with leaders across the City of Austin and Travis County to help advance the standard of out-of-hospital medical care throughout the region.
Kevin Nicholes, BS, EMT-P, is the Data Manager for the Office of the Chief Medical Officer. He oversees the integration and automation of clinical data to assist with data informed decision and visualization. Kevin is responsible for data management, governance, analysis, and visualization. These responsibilities include dashboarding and analytical reporting along with collaborating with stakeholders. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Western Governors University and is completing a Master of Science in Business Analytics and Data Science from Oklahoma State University, which has a focus on prescriptive analytics and machine learning. Kevin is a Certified Tableau Data Analyst and has assisted with several notable data science project with a clinical focus. Kevin is experienced with utilizing NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) and NEMSIS (National Emergency Medical Services Information Systems) datasets. He is a professional member of NAEMSP and a founding member of the CATRAC Data Committee.
Chris Parker, FNP, MSN, APRN-CNP, CEN, TCRN, LP, is our Education and Professional Development Coordinator. She is responsible for the coordination of system-wide educational programs and the development of education for credentialing of our providers. She holds multiple degrees including a Masters of Nursing and Healthcare Education, a second Masters in Family Nursing Practice as well as a Post-Graduate certification in Emergency Medicine from the UT Health Science Center in Houston. She has a bachelor degree in Communication from the University of Texas in Austin, and dual Associate Degrees in Nursing and Emergency Medical Services Technologies from Austin Community College. Chris was a full-time professor and clinical coordinator for Austin Community College’s Emergency Medical Services program for 13 years. She worked as a paramedic for Williamson County EMS for nine years and was an Emergency Department and Trauma Critical Care nurse and educator for the St. David’s Healthcare System from 1997 through 2022. She also works as an Emergency Nurse Practitioner in the Christus Healthcare System. She is a member of multiple national organizations and committees including the Emergency Nurses Association, American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners, and Texas and National Association of EMS Educators. She also served as the chair of the Education Committee for the Capitol Area Trauma Regional Advisory Council for seven years. She has contributed to various publications and serves as a content reviewer for both nursing and EMS textbooks.
Patricia Pena, Department Executive Assistant, is the Department Executive Assistant. She supports the daily functions of the executive staff along with ensuring that needs and requests are handled in a timely manner. She works with our internal and external partners to ensure that credentialing, meetings, and training are scheduled as requested. Patricia has more than 25 years of experience as an Executive, Legal, and Personal Assistant working in a wide range of settings including private, government, and diversified work environments. These opportunities have afforded her opportunities to develop exceptional communication and planning skills with the highest level of integrity and respect.
Jim Radcliffe, MBA, LP, NRP, is a Service Line Coordinator who is responsible for the Cardiac Arrest and Trauma care. Jim collaborates with system partners, hospitals, and the community on service line-specific projects and quality initiatives. Jim holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Emergency Health Services from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Additionally, he holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from Loyola University Maryland, Sellinger School of Business. He has more than 30 years of experience as a paramedic, emergency service educator, quality and process improvement as well as healthcare administrator. He is an accomplished speaker, author, and subject matter expert in emergency services. He is a member of the National Association of EMS Educators, the National Association of EMTs and serves as an instructor and affiliate faculty for numerous NAEMT courses. Additionally, he is the creator of the CAM’s Advanced Airway course, EMS1 author, and contributing author for “The Paramedic”. Jim was inducted into the Maryland State Fireman’s Associations Hall of Fame and has received executive citations for his contributions to emergency medical services.
Iggy Rodriguez, MA, LP, is the Clinical Practice & Standards Coordinator who develops, coordinates, and oversees the system’s Clinical Operating Guidelines in pursuit of quality care and patient safety. Iggy oversees first responder programs for the City of Austin/Travis County EMS System as co-coordinator. In addition, he is responsible for coordinating new clinical equipment initiatives, overseeing FRO licensing, and providing patient care as a clinician. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Texas A&M and a Master of Arts in Emergency Management from Arizona State University. He is a professional member of the National Association of EMS Physicians and a member of the Association of Texas EMS Professionals.