Leadership and Administration
Angela M. Mills, MD, FACEP
Angela M. Mills, MD is the J. E. Beaumont Professor and Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons as well as Chief of Emergency Services for NewYork-Presbyterian (NYP) – Columbia. A national leader and expert in emergency medicine, Dr. Mills graduated with Alpha Omega Alpha distinction from Temple University Medical School and completed the University of Pennsylvania Emergency Medicine residency program serving as Chief Resident. As a University of Pennsylvania faculty member, she advanced academically being promoted to Professor of Emergency Medicine in 2017 and served in several capacities including Medical Director and Vice Chair of Clinical Operations.
In January 2018, Dr. Mills joined Columbia as the inaugural Chair of the newly formed Department of Emergency Medicine leading all academic and operational activities for the four emergency department sites: NYP-Columbia University Irving Medical Center, NYP-Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, NYP-Allen Hospital, and NYP-Lawrence Hospital. As Chair, Dr. Mills has worked to successfully advance education, research, clinical care, and diversity and inclusion efforts while building a premier nationally recognized academic department of emergency medicine.
For her accomplishments, Dr. Mills has been honored with a number of prestigious awards including the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award in 2017 from the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, the Mid-Career Award from the Academy for Women in Academic Emergency Medicine, and the 2020 Chair of the Year Award from the Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association. Dr. Mills is an elected member of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Board of Directors where she currently serves as Secretary-Treasurer. She has authored over 100 scientific publications, has received federal and industry research funding, and has influenced the careers of numerous faculty and trainees.
Liliya Abrukin, MD, MPH
Vice Chair, Quality and Patient Safety
Dr. Liliya Abrukin is a board-certified emergency medicine attending physician and is an assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at NYP/Columbia University Medical Center.
As a faculty member at Columbia, Dr. Abrukin served initially as the Associate Director of Quality for the GEM division and then as Director of Quality and Patient Safety for the Department. She has led and participated in numerous departmental and enterprise-wide quality initiatives, including the development of peer review and quality improvement frameworks, sepsis care, professionalism curricula, and enterprise-wide clinical care guidelines for spinal emergencies, opioid overdose, and workplace violence. Regionally, Dr. Abrukin is currently serving as the chair of the MCIC ED Leadership Committee. Recently, Dr. Abrukin was selected to join the NYP LEAD Academy, a development program for physician leaders.
Dr. Abrukin received her medical degree from SUNY Upstate Medical University and completed her emergency medicine residency at NYU Langone Medical Center/Bellevue Hospital Center where she served as chief resident in her fourth year. After residency she remained at NYU/Bellevue to pursue the Wellner Fellowship in ED Patient Safety and Quality while earning an MPH in Health Management from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
Dr. Abrukin now serves as the Vice Chair of Quality and Patient Safety in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
Bernard P. Chang, MD, PhD
Vice Chair, Research
Dr. Bernard Chang is the Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Columbia University. Trained as a psychologist and an emergency physician, he has become a national leader on patient and clinician mental health.
As an investigator, he has pioneered the relationships between psychological health and physical health, publishing on the impact of clinician burnout on cardiovascular health in providers. His research on clinician mental health has been supported at the institutional, state, and federal level, and he is currently the Principal Investigator of one of the nation’s largest longitudinal studies on emergency clinician long-term psychological and physical health. His advocacy for clinician well-being has also driven his advocacy efforts at the state and national level.
As a member of the Board of Directors at American College of Physicians-New York Chapter, he has helped stimulate efforts aimed at supporting clinician mental health, while his committee work on the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine has supported research on the bio psychological relationships between medical illness and psychological health. He received his PhD from Harvard in psychology, his MD from Stanford and completed his Emergency Medicine residency training at the Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Prior to going to medical school, he served as a professional sailboat captain and crew doing yacht deliveries internationally.
David Kessler, MD, MSc
Vice Chair, Innovation
Dr. David Kessler is the Vice Chair of Innovation & Strategic Initiatives in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Columbia University. As Vice Chair of Innovation, Dr. Kessler fosters a culture of innovation and collaboration within the department to help implement novel programs and innovative solutions to complex adaptive systems problems. He is a graduate of Princeton University and Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where he completed his pediatric residency on the global health track. Dr. Kessler completed his Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship and Emergency Ultrasound training at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, NY, and his Master of Science in Clinical Investigation at New York University. In 2011, he joined the faculty at Columbia University Irving Medical Center as the Director of Operations of Pediatric Emergency Medicine. Since then, he has helped create several novel programs, such as a curriculum for interprofessional clinical simulation and the fellowship in pediatric emergency ultrasound. Through his role as an Associate Medical Director for the Mary & Michael Jaharis Simulation Center, Dr. Kessler helps other departments start new safety-driven simulation programs.
As a founder and director for INSPIRE, (International Network for Simulation-based Pediatric Innovation, Research, and Education), Dr. Kessler is committed to growing a community of practice dedicated to collaboration, mentorship, and scholarship.
Penelope C. Lema, MD
Vice Chair, Faculty Affairs
Dr. Penelope Lema joined the Department of Emergency Medicine in February 2019 as the Vice Chair of Faculty Affairs and Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. Her dual role is to lead as the Emergency Ultrasound Division Director for the Columbia's Emergency Departments. Dr. Lema moved back to NYC, her hometown, after residing in Western NY for the past 8 years where she most recently served as the Director of the Emergency Ultrasound Division and Fellowship at the University at Buffalo. Dr. Lema has been a leader in Emergency Ultrasound for over 12 years and was previously the Emergency Ultrasound Director at the University of Rochester (2011 - 2013) and New York Presbyterian Queens (2007 - 2011).
She received her medical school degree from SUNY Stony Brook School of Medicine and completed her Emergency Medicine Residency and Emergency Ultrasound Fellowship at Northshore University Hospital (currently Hofstra Northwell), where she was elected Chief Resident.
Dr. Lema is a passionate educator, dedicated to faculty professional development and equity in medicine. She is an avid advocate of the specialty of Emergency Medicine and access to care.
Christoper McStay, MD, MBA
Vice Chair, Operations
Dr. Christopher McStay joins the Department of Emergency Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center from the University of Colorado where he served as the Chief of Clinical Operations in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Colorado Hospital. In this role Dr. McStay, an Associate Professor, participated in and led multiple patient safety, quality, operational and disaster related projects in one of the top performing academic emergency departments in the country.
Before working in Colorado, Dr. McStay served as the Chief of Emergency Services at Bellevue Hospital Center in New York where he was responsible for all aspects of emergency care. Dr. McStay participated in numerous disaster related events including the complete evacuation of Bellevue Hospital after Hurricane Sandy and led the reopening of an EMS receiving Freestanding ED until the hospital reopened 100 days later. Chris also co-chaired the NYC Health + Hospitals ED Directors Council, which led numerous projects in emergency departments responsible for over one million annual visits.
Dr. McStay is an expert in clinical operations as well as patient safety and quality, having written, lectured and worked extensively in the space. He is deeply interested in the intersection of operations, process improvement, patient safety/quality and the education of students and trainees. He graduated from Weill Cornell Medical College and completed his emergency medicine residency at NYU/Bellevue Hospital Center and his MBA at the University of Colorado. He served on the Board of Directors of the Wilderness Medical Society, and has completed fellowship training through the Academy of Wilderness Medicine. Dr. McStay now serves as the Vice Chair of Operations in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
Tiffany Murano, MD
Vice Chair, Education
Dr. Murano received her Doctor of Medicine degree from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and completed her residency in Emergency Medicine at Jacobi/Montefiore Medical Center. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Murano has served in numerous educational leadership roles at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School including EM Clerkship Director, Residency Program Director, and Director of EM Education. She has a significant teaching and lecturing record, has mentored numerous students, trainees, and faculty, and has authored over 40 manuscripts and chapters. Dr. Murano has been the recipient of the NJMS Faculty Mentor Award, the NJMS Emergency Medicine Distinguished Service Award, as well as the New Jersey Chapter – American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) Academic Achievement Award.
In addition to local service for her Department and institution, Dr. Murano is involved in a number of national organizations holding significant leadership positions. She has served on the Executive Board of Directors for the Council of Residency Directors in Emergency Medicine (CORD) for the past four years and is currently serving as President-Elect. Dr. Murano is also a member of the Board of Directors for the New Jersey Chapter - ACEP and an oral board examiner and item writer for the American Board of Emergency Medicine. For the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), she serves as a member of the EM Review and Recognition Committee as well as the EM Milestones 2.0 Work Group.
Dr. Murano now serves as the Vice Chair of Education in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
D. Anne Stewart, MPA
D. Anne Stewart is the Department Administrator/CFO to the Department of Emergency Medicine. She possesses over twenty-five years of progressive experience in academic healthcare. This includes management and oversight of finance, operations, human resources and capital projects, cultivation of client/staff/donor relationships and improving customer service standards.
Prior to joining the Department of Emergency Medicine, D. Anne was the Department Administrator/CFO to the Department of Urology and interim Department Administrator to the Department of Dermatology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. She began her career in healthcare management at Weill Cornell where she held leadership roles in the Departments of Medicine and Surgery.
D. Anne received her MPA at Baruch College - Zicklin School of Business and is an active member of numerous CUIMC and FPO committees, including the Access & Patient Satisfaction Committee and the P&S Staff Diversity Council.
To foster her passion for mentorship and leadership development, D. Anne became a Certified Life Coach and is currently pursuing her M.Ed at Teachers College in Counseling Psychology.