Executive Board


John C. Amato is President and CEO of WorldPoint, whose mission is to advance healthcare training by providing innovative products and outcome based curriculum to healthcare instructors. WorldPoint is driven by a vision that providing most memorable service to every customer by listening to them, understanding their needs, and delivering solutions promptly, attentively, and completely helps our customers save more lives. In short, WorldPoint strives to be a trusted and reliable advisor to our customers.

John has been working with the American Heart Association (AHA) and their Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC) Division since 1996, helping to grow and strengthen AHA’s critical mission to build healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. John has also served on the AHA Metro Chicago Board of Directors from 2005 to 2012 and was Chairman of the Board from 2007 through 2012. At the national level, he served as Co-Chair on the American Heart Association’s Vision for Volunteerism Initiative and the Citizen CPR Foundation Board of Directors, Committee Chair for the 50th Anniversary of CPR and the 2006 Survivor Celebration.

John holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

Lurie Children’s Hospital

Dr. Berger is Executive Director, Heart Center; Interim Division Head, Cardiology at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

It is under Dr. Berger’s direction that Project ADAM was established, in November of 1999, after the sudden, unexpected deaths of several student athletes in Southeastern Wisconsin. He along with others advocated for passage of the ADAM Act in the United States Congress, a bill that will provide funding for a national clearinghouse for the dissemination of information that will assist schools establish AED programs.

Dr. Berger has published several papers, chapters and has edited books in the field of pediatric cardiology as well as on the topic of sudden cardiac death in children and adolescents.

Dr. Bobrow’s focus is on improving outcomes from time-sensitive emergency medical conditions such as OHCA and TBI. He has partnered with public health officials, EMS agencies, municipal fire departments, hospitals, university researchers and the public to develop a statewide reporting and educational network for responding to out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. (www.azshare.gov)

Dr. Bobrow is the current Chair of the American Heart Association Basic Life Support Subcommittee and the Medical Director for the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and Trauma System at the Arizona Department of Health Services. He is the Director of the Maricopa Integrated Health Services (MIHS) Resuscitation Science Center and the Chair of the MIHS In-hospital Resuscitation Committee. He is a member of the Arizona Emergency Medicine Research Center and the Sarver Heart Center at the University of Arizona and Co-Investigator for the NIH-funded R01 EPIC Prehospital Traumatic Brain Injury Study. Dr. Bobrow is medical director of a Clinton Global Health Initiative to implement dispatch-assisted CPR across the U.S. and in 11 countries in Asia.

University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston

Dr. Bradley is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Chief of the Division of EMS and Disaster Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. He has over thirty years experience as an emergency physician, 9-1-1 dispatcher and firefighter/paramedic.

His responsibilities include serving as the program director for the fellowship in Emergency Medical Services that will prepare future medical leaders in Emergency Medical Services and the emerging field of Homeland Security. Before this assignment, he accumulated seven years of experience as Medical Director or Chief of Service at two major hospital Emergency Centers in Houston. Dr. Bradley is a 1990 graduate of Santa Clara University. He completed his medical training at Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1994. Before graduating from college, Dr. Bradley accumulated ten years’ experience as a firefighter, paramedic, and 9-1-1 dispatcher. Since graduating from medical school, he has completed a residency in Emergency Medicine at the Stanford-Kaiser Combined Emergency Medicine Program and a Fellowship in Emergency Medical Services with the Houston Fire Department. Dr. Bradley served as the Assistant Medical Director of the Houston Fire Department for eight years. He has fourteen years of experience in the Air National Guard, where he holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and is assigned to the 147th Medical Group in Houston. He has completed two active-duty tours of duty, serving as the senior Critical Care Air Transport Physician in Iraq for Operation IRAQI FREEDOM and in Germany with forward deployment to Afghanistan for Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. He also has extensive experience in Disaster Medicine, and currently has additional duties as Associate Director for EMS Preparedness for the UT Health Science Center at Houston’s Center for Biosecurity and as Public Health Preparedness and as Medical Team Manager for Texas Task Force One, a FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Team. His deployments include the 2002 Winter Olympics, the Space Shuttle Columbia recovery, and Hurricane Katrina. Short bio: Dr. Bradley is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Chief of the Division of EMS and Disaster Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

Chair, College of Fellows, National Academies of Emergency Dispatch

Marc Gay is Executive Director for an Emergency Medical Dispatch Center in Sherbrooke Québec.

He currently chairs the College of Fellows and the Dispatch CPR committee for the National Academy of Emergency Dispatch. He has served as chair of the ECC committee for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada from 1996-2003 and was a member of the AHA BLS subcommittee from 1996-2005.

Laerdal Medical, Americas

David A. Johnson is President and Regional Director for Laerdal Medical, Americas. Laerdal is a pioneer and world leader in the field of resuscitation and simulation education. David started his career with Laerdal in 1987. He has been instrumental in many of the company’s product development and marketing activities over the years and serves as a Public Member on the Board of Directors for the National League for Nursing.

Laerdal is most widely known for the introduction of Resusci Anne in 1960 marking the beginning of modern day resuscitation training. Prior to assuming the role of President in 2009, David Johnson was Vice President for the US Sales organization. During David’s tenure, he has also served on the Board of Directors for the Dutchess County AHA and the Affiliate Board for HealthQuest, an integrated healthcare system in the Hudson Valley. David holds a B.S. in Business Administration with emphasis in Finance and Marketing from Susquehanna University.

PHILIPS Health Systems, Emergency Care & Resuscitation
Emergency Care & Resuscitation


Lieutenant Colonel Paulette King is the Flight Commander of the Family Health Clinic at RAF Lakenheath Medical Group. As Flight Commander she directs, leads activities and evaluates comprehensive primary care healthcare delivered to 11K beneficiaries. She provides clinical oversight, readiness, administrative & mentorship functions to 11 officers, 25 enlisted and 7 civilians. She is responsible for assuring cost effective; quality care is delivered across 3 Wings/1 Special Ops Group IAW DoD, AF and civilian accreditations standards. In addition she executes oversight for a $4M equipment and supply budget.

She also serves as the Deputy Chief Nurse of the 32 bed community hospital. She leads and mentors 302 nursing personnel in the provision of care for 32K beneficiaries. The 48th Medical Group is a two time recipient of the Air Force’s Best Hospital of the Year and received an ”outstanding” from the Joint Commission in March in 2011.

Flight Commander
Family Health Clinic at RAF Lakenheath Medical Group

Colonel King received her nursing degree in 1981 from Long Island University in New York. She entered the Air Force in 1994 by direct commission after working as a registered nurse for 13 years. In 1998, she was awarded a Master of Business degree from Webster University. She was awarded a Masters in Nursing Education in 2011. She is also a Certified Nurse Administrator.

Colonel King’s first assignment was at the 96th Medical Group, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida where she served as staff nurse on a medical, surgical and pediatric unit. During her tenure she also managed the ambulatory surgery unit. In 1998 she was assigned to the 97th Medical Group in Altus, Oklahoma where she was the Nurse Manager of the internal and family practice clinics. During this time, she also piloted a first-ever Nurse Advice Line and served as the group’s Infection Control Officer.

In 2001 she was assigned to the 435th Medical Group at Ramstein Air Base as the Chief of Family Practice. She was instrumental in advising staff on Primary Care Optimization which led to the facility garnering the prestigious DoD TRICARE award for best overseas patient access. She also served as Chief of Education and Training and Infection Control Officer.

Colonel King then moved to the 81th Medical Group at Keesler Air Force. She worked as the Evening Nurse Supervisor and Nurse Manager of the surgical unit. During Hurricane Katrina, when the facility was plunged into a complete power-outage, combined with devastating flooding, she helped prepare 109 patients and family members including two ventilator-dependent patients. After evacuating patients she helped erect a First Aid Station which provided more robust treatment capability while Keesler reconstituted from the worst natural disaster in the nation’s history. In November 2005, she deployed to Germany in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Upon return she became the Director of Clinical Operations and spearheaded the Biloxi VA and DoD joint venture.

Following her tenure at in Mississippi, she relocated to Texas and served as the Flight Commander of the Surgical Specialties Flight at Wilford Hall Medical Center. As Flight Commander she directed, led activities and evaluated healthcare delivery on the AF’s only Level I Trauma Center surgical inpatient unit. She provided clinical oversight, readiness, administrative & mentorship functions to 35 officers, 43 contractors and 60 medical technicians. She was responsible for assuring the availability of ancillary services to support 98 surgeons and 172 residents from 10 surgical, trauma services. In addition she executed oversight for $900K equipment and $250K supply budget and; analyzed quality data to maximize effectiveness. While stationed there she deployed to Iraqi. Under her guidance staff was instrumental in meeting the demands of wartime causalities. Col King and her staff sustained a 98 percent survival rate for wounded warriors.

University of Pennsylvania
Department of Emergency Medicine

Raina Merchant, MD MSHP is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and a Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics senior fellow. In October 2012, she received the prestigious recognition by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as one of 10 “Young Leaders” likely to have great impact on improving health and healthcare in the U.S.

Her research is focused on resuscitation science and improving outcomes from cardiac arrest. Specifically she studies 1) diffusion of innovation and new media in resuscitation and 2) translation of research to policy.

In the pre-hospital setting-she is identifying communities at risk for cardiac arrest and evaluating unique strategies for optimizing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training and automated external defibrillator AED availability. In this context, she is the Director of the MyHeartMap Challenge- a social media and crowdsourcing project aimed at improving AED access and awareness. She also runs a Twitter lab, which analyzes tweets related to resuscitation, critical care, and public health/policy.

James (Jim) Niskanen served as a park and recreation professional for 35 years in several cities in Northern California. A sought after trainer and speaker, Jim was teaching when he was struck with Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Jim survived SCA due to the quick work of students who performed CPR and applied an AED. Today, Jim is a strong advocate of community based CPR and placement of AEDs.

James E. Niskanen is the Retired Director of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhoods for the City of Modesto, California. Other positions he has held include: Interim City Manager; Interim Deputy City Manager; Interim Community and Economic Development Director and Interim Public Works Director. Jim also served as Assistant Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Modesto; Program Manager/Recreation Supervisor for the City of Sunnyvale, CA; Recreation Supervisor for the City of Alameda, CA; and Recreation Program Coordinator for the City of Sunnyvale. He received his B.S. degree in Recreation Administration and Leisure Services from San Jose State University (1976).

Some of his professional affiliations include: California Park and Recreation Society, Inc.; Golf Course Superintendents of America; National Institute of Golf Management; National Recreation and Park Association; Neighborhoods USA; and U.S. Golf Association. Awards and honors he has received are: Member, Chair, Building Strong Neighborhoods Impact Council of the United Way of Stanislaus County, 2004-06; Club Service Director, Modesto Sunrise Rotary, 2004-07; Trustee, National Institute of Golf Management (since 2002); Chair, National Institute of Golf Management (2000); Chair, Chair-elect and Past Chair, National Institute of Golf Management (1999); and Past President, California Park and Recreation Society, Inc., District IV (1988-89); Fellow, American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (since 2000).

Since retiring in June 2009, Jim has been a highly sought after national speaker on telling his story of surviving Sudden Cardiac Arrest in August 2008. He also is the Community Chair for the American Heart Association Heart Walk – Modesto in September 2010.

Jim also enjoys spending time with his wife of 34 years, Valeri, and their four children, spouses and two grandchildren.

San Diego Project Heart Beat

Maureen O’Connor is the Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) Program Manager for San Diego Project Heart Beat (SDPHB) and has been in the field of emergency services for eighteen years. SDPHB is one of America’s first defibrillation programs to offer such a unique opportunity for public and private venture.

SDPHB was recognized by the National Center for Early Defibrillation (NCED) as best Large Community Program of the year in October of 2003. Most recently SDPHB received the 2009 Heart Safe Community Award PAD Program, Large Community from the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association’s 2009 SCAA Public Service Award. Maureen takes great pride in her involvement with the development of this internationally recognized program since its inception in 2001.

Maureen has served the communities of San Diego County as an Emergency First Responder in many different facets. Maureen has worked on some of San Diego Cities busiest paramedic units for San Diego Fire-Rescue, served as a Firefighter for the City of Poway and worked as a Ranger/Diver for the City of San Diego.

Maureen’s passion for life saving PAD programs is apparent in the success of San Diego Project Heart Beat. Maureen and her team members have helped bring the dream and foresight of Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) and Early Access Defibrillation programs into fruition within the communities of San Diego County saving 80 lives to date (March 2011) and deploying over 6500 Automated External Defibrillator’s (AED’s). Maureen won the San Diego Business Journal’s Annual Women Who Mean Business Award in October of 2004, for her success and accomplishments with the regional PAD program. She was also recognized by her department as EMS Administrative Support Person of the Year during National EMS Week in May 2005 and has been a recipient of VFW Post 3788’s 2005 Paramedic/EMT of the year award and 2008 – 2009 Outstanding Achievement Appreciation Award from the San Diego County American Heart Association Chapter. Maureen also served as Co-Chair of the Local Planning Committee for ECCU 2010.

American Heart Association, Emergency Cardiovascular Care Group
Emergency Cardiovascular Care Group

National Safety Council

Donna Siegfried is Senior Director of First Aid Programs for the National Safety Council. Donna has more than thirty-six years of experience and a demonstrated knowledge in the field of on-and-off the job health and safety programs, including more than twenty years directly related to the development, marketing and sales of first aid and preparedness programs for the National Safety Council.

Donna directs the development and delivery of first aid programs to meet the needs of over 10,000 instructors and 2500 training centers worldwide. She actively works to promote the need for first aid training and preparedness in the workplace, in our homes and communities to reduce injury and illness and save lives. Donna maintains direct contact with local, state and federal agencies and monitors legislation impacting first aid and preparedness programs. Donna is an active member of several strategic alliances and partnerships including the OSHA and MSHA Alliances.

It is estimated that through her leadership, National Safety Council first aid rescuers have saved more than 11,600 lives since the Council launched their first aid programs in 1990.

Associate Director


Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Departments of Surgery and Pediatrics

Laerdal Medical Corp.

Tore Laerdal is Chairman of the Board of the Laerdal Foundation for Acute Medicine, which since 1980 has provided financial support to nearly 2000 practically oriented research projects. (www.laerdalfoundation.org)

Mr Laerdal is also Chairman of the Board of the Laerdal Medical, a world leading company within training material and therapeutic equipment for acute medicine. www.laerdal.com

Mr Laerdal serves as Chairman of the Board of three external research foundations in Norway. He holds a degree from the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, and has received a Honorary Doctorate in Science from the University in Hertfordshire in the UK.