Board of Directors

Officers and directors of the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry are elected by members, and they serve terms of two to four years with limits of two consecutive terms. A nominating committee composed of the three most recent past presidents selects the candidate slate. According to the bylaws, a majority of the board shall be psychiatrists. 


President: Tony Thrasher, D.O., DFAPA
Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division, WI

Term as President: December 2020 to December 2022
Term as President-Elect: December 2018 to December 2020

Dr. Tony Thrasher is a board-certified psychiatrist employed as the medical director for the Crisis Services branch of the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division. He received his psychiatric training from Washington University in St. Louis / Barnes Jewish Hospital, and he is the current President of the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry (AAEP).

He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), and he currently serves as the President Elect for the Wisconsin Psychiatric Association (WPA). Additionally, he enjoys teaching as a Clinical Associate Professor with the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) and serving as the chair for the Wisconsin state task force combining leaders in emergency medicine in psychiatry on topics affecting improving the patient experience!

Most recently, he was inducted into the American College of Psychiatrists, elected to the NAMI Wisconsin Board of Directors, and is fortunate to work with Psychiatric Times on a series of Mental Health Minute webinars!

President-Elect: Junji Takeshita, M.D.
John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii

Term as President-Elect: December 2020 to December 2022

Dr. Junji Takeshita is a Professor of Psychiatry at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii where he is the Associate Chair for Clinical Services.  He is the Director of Medical Education and Patient Care Services for Emergency and Consultation/Liaison Psychiatry.  He has been the Geriatric Psychiatry Program Director since 2004.  Dr. Takeshita graduated from Temple University School of Medicine and completed his residency in psychiatry at Yale.  He is board certified in General Psychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry.  He is a member of the American Psychiatric Association, Committee on RBRVS, Codes and Reimbursements and has presented locally and nationally regarding billing and coding in psychiatry.

Immediate Past President: Jack Rozel, MD, MSL
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Term as Past President: December 2020 to December 2022
Term as President: December 2018 to December 2020

Dr. Rozel has been working in emergency mental health for more than 30 years and has been the medical director of resolve Crisis Services since 2010. As the medical director of resolve Crisis Services, he leads a team of 150 crisis professionals who deliver 125,000 services every year to the residents of Allegheny County through phone, mobile, walk-in and overnight programs delivered through a person centered, recovery-oriented model. Dr. Rozel trains and consults with teams across UPMC and the country on projects related to violence and threat management, staff injury prevention, firearm injury prevention, and crisis and emergency psychiatry. Dr. Rozel is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, a recipient of the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and was named as the Behavioral Healthcare Professional of the Year by CIT International.

Dr. Rozel is board certified in general, child, and forensic psychiatry. He earned a bachelor’s in Biomedical Ethics and an MD at Brown University. He received a Master of Studies in Law from the University of Pittsburgh. He completed his general psychiatry residency and child and forensic psychiatry fellowships at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC.

Dr. Rozel has served as an incident commander for mass shootings and been involved in the behavioral health response to several mass casualty events. He was a major contributor to the National Council for Behavioral Health’s 2019 report on Mass Violence, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s violence assessment guidelines, and the Pennsylvania Governor’s Special Council on Gun Violence report. Dr. Rozel is a member of the Mental Health and Justice Advisory Committee for the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. In conjunction with the PCCD, he is receiving funding from the US Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention to develop regional threat management partnerships in Western Pennsylvania.

Board of Directors/Councilors at Large

Councilor at Large: Michael J. Gerardi, MD, FACEP

 Michael Gerardi is Board Certified in Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine and Pediatric Emergency Medicine and practices clinical adult and pediatric emergency medicine. In June, 2021, he stepped down as the Director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at the Goryeb Children’s Hospital in New Jersey after 24 years. He remains as faculty in the Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship and the Residency in Emergency Medicine at Morristown Medical Center in Morristown, New Jersey. 

As of September 2021, he is the Chief Medical Officer for Acute Medical Management and Mid-Atlantic Acute Care Partners which develops and staff that deliver acute and emergency care in non-hospital settings. 

He is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.  Over the last twenty-five years has served the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) on numerous committees and task forces.  He lectures regularly throughout the United States and internationally on health policy, emergency medicine practice, pediatric emergency medicine and risk management issues. In October 2008, Dr. Gerardi was elected to the Board of Directors of ACEP and he served as President in 2014-2015. Due to the growing national crisis in mental health treatment in emergency departments, he created and was the inaugural Chair of the Coalition on Psychiatric Emergencies.

Councilor at Large: Victor Stiebel, MD

Dr. Stiebel, received his Doctor of Medicine from the Chicago Medical School. He completed a combined Internal Medicine/Psychiatry residency at Chicago Medical School and the University of Minnesota with a Fellowship in Psychosomatic Medicine. He is board certified in both Emergency Medicine and Psychosomatic Medicine. On faculty of the West Virginia University School of Medical, he splits his time between Emergency Medicine and Emergency Psychiatry. An early devotee of tele-Psychiatry, he spends a significant part of his time “on-line”. He retired from the US Navy with 37 years of service. He is board certified in Psychiatry, Forensic Psychiatry, Psychosomatic Medicine and Emergency Medicine.

Councilor at Large: Tara P. Toohey, MD

Dr. Tara Pundiak Toohey is a Board Certified Adult Psychiatrist with extensive experience in Emergency Psychiatry.  She completed her psychiatric residency at Bellevue/NYU and continued to work as an attending psychiatrist at Bellevue’s Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program.  She has worked in emergency psychiatry in 6 states as well as volunteering her medical services with the US Navy while living overseas in Japan where she was awarded the Red Cross Volunteer of the Year and received a Letter of Commendation from the United States Navy.  She served as faculty at both University of California, San Diego and University of Hawaii.  She continues to work in emergency psychiatry both in person and via telehealth providing services to over 15 psychiatric emergency programs as well as in private practice.  In addition to emergency psychiatry, Dr. Toohey has a specialty focus on reproductive and perinatal psychiatry.


 Councilor at Large: Michael Wilson, MD


Dr. Wilson received his undergraduate degree at Duke University, his master’s degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his M.D./Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He completed his residency in emergency medicine at the University of California San Diego, is board-certified in emergency medicine, and is currently an Associate Professor (tenured) in the Department of Emergency Medicine and the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Clinically, he serves as the departmental lead for both neurological and psychiatric emergencies. Dr. Wilson’s research interests are in behavioral emergencies and substance use disorders, with more than 80 peer-reviewed articles, 30 book chapters, 4 edited books, and multiple grants in this area. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Emergency Medicine.



CAP: Nasuh Malas

Dr. Malas received his Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. He completed combined training in Pediatrics, General Psychiatry, and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. Malas currently holds a dual appointment in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (CAP) and the Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Malas serves as the Director of the Pediatric Consult and Liaison Psychiatry Service and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Service Chief for the C.S. Mott Children’s and Women’s Hospital. His areas of clinical and academic interest include pediatric delirium, neuropsychiatric disease, agitation and aggression care, somatic symptom and related disorders and motivational interviewing. He currently sits on several health system committees including leading a health system wide debriefing workshop and curriculum, as well as chairing the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital’s Mental Health Quality and Safety Committee. He has co-authored several clinical practice guidelines and protocols to support standardized, evidence-based care for youth with co-morbid mental health concerns in pediatric care settings. Dr. Malas has been engaged in local and national efforts in medical education, service development and quality improvement, as well as trainee wellness. Currently, Dr. Malas is an active member of the Physically Ill Child Committee through the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and is co-Chair of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Committee through the American Association of Emergency Psychiatry. He is serving his second multi-year appointments to the National Editorial Board of the Psychiatry Residency In-Training Examination (PRITE). At the national level, he has been actively informing national consensus practice relating to pediatric delirium, somatic symptom and related disorders, and agitation and aggression management.

Allied Professionals Liaison: Janet Richmond, LICSW, BCD

Janet S. Richmond, LICSW, BCD is the representative for ancillary professionals. She is a twice past Vice President for Social Work in the AAEP. She was the lead author of the Verbal De-escalation article in the Project BETA publication. She is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Tufts University School of Medicine.

She has worked for the VA Boston Healthcare System for over 30 years and her main focus has been in emergency psychiatry. She has also worked in several private and public sector hospital EDs. In addition to her work at the VA, she is currently on staff at McLean Hospital, Belmont MA where she provides psychotherapy to first responders presenting in various degrees of crisis. Her interests are the doctor-patient relationship, verbal de-escalation, PTSD and complex trauma, and the role of non- MD in the evaluation and management of psychiatric emergencies. She is lead author in a new publication, Richmond JS, Dragatsi D, Stiebel V, Rozel JS, Rasimas JJ. American Association for Emergency Psychiatry Recommendations to Address Psychiatric Staff Shortages in Emergency Settings. Psychiatr Serv. 2021 Apr 1;72(4):437-443. doi: 10.1176/ Epub 2021 Jan 20. PMID: 33467869.

Guidelines/Standards: Margie Balfour, MD, PhD

Dr. Margie Balfour is a psychiatrist and national leader in quality improvement, behavioral health crisis care, and law enforcement responses to mental illness. She is the Chief of Quality and Clinical Innovation at Connections Health Solutions, which provides immediate 24/7 access to mental health and substance use care throughout Arizona, and an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona. Dr. Balfour was named the Doctor of the Year by the National Council for Behavioral Health for her work at the Crisis Response Center in Tucson and received the Tucson Police Department’s medal of honor for her efforts to help law enforcement better serve the mentally ill population. She has contributed to numerous expert panels for SAMHSA, the DOJ, and others. Her pioneering work on defining crisis metrics has been adopted as a national standard by SAMHSA, and she co-authored Roadmap to the Ideal Crisis System: Essential Elements, Measurable Standards, and Best Practices. Dr. Balfour is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and serves on the Council on Quality of Care. She has also served on the board of directors of the American Association of Community Psychiatrists, The American Association for Emergency Psychiatry, and NAMI Southern Arizona. A native of Monroe, Louisiana, Dr. Balfour received a BA in Biology at Johns Hopkins University and then her MD and PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Cincinnati. She completed residency and fellowship in Community Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

Nominating Committee Members

Kimberly D. Nordstrom, MD

 Dr. Kimberly Nordstrom received her medical and legal degrees at Southern Illinois University, School of Medicine and School of Law, respectively. She trained in psychiatry at the University of Colorado Denver, School of Medicine where she also served as Chief Resident. Dr. Nordstrom has worked in the fields of general adult, emergency, and forensic psychiatry.

Dr. Nordstrom joined the emergency psychiatry team at the University of Colorado Hospital in November of 2019 and continues to be the Medical Director for Behavioral Health & Health Strategy at Colorado Access. Prior to this she held the posts of Medical Director of the Office of Behavioral Health and the Division Director for the Colorado Mental Health Institutes for the State of Colorado. For years, she worked as the Medical Director for Psychiatric Emergency Services at Denver Health Medical Center which was an administrative, clinical and teaching position. She is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry with the University of Colorado School of Medicine and board certified in general adult psychiatry. Dr. Nordstrom has researched and written extensively in the field of behavioral emergencies. Her work can be found in both psychiatry and emergency medicine journals and texts. She was a lead contributor for the ICAR2E Tool (emergency department recommendations for suicide prevention). Dr. Nordstrom has spoken on various behavioral emergency topics nationally and internationally. She has served as the Chair of the Coalition on Psychiatric Emergencies and President of the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry. She is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

 Seth Powsner


Seth Powsner has practiced in the field of psychiatry for nearly 40 years. Titles held include: Professor of Psychiatry & Emergency Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine, Medical Director at the Crisis Intervention Unit for Yale-New Haven Hospital, Member of Center for Medical Informatics at Yale University, Past-President for the American Association for Technology in Psychiatry and Past-President here at American Association for Emergency Psychiatry. Powsner earned his B.S.E.E. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, later attending Yale University School of Medicine to receive his M.D. From there, his psychiatry residency was completed at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago. Current research interests include computer and video applications in medicine and psychiatry, in which subjects his work has been published numerous times. Powsner has also been honored with the Visiting Professor Award in 2000 from the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine, where he is a fellow, and was also a part of Sigma Xi, Tau Beta Pi and Eta Kappa Nu.


Leslie S. Zun, MD, MBA

Leslie S. Zun, M.D., M.B.A. is the medical director, Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center in Lake County Illinois and Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine with a secondary appointment in the Department of Psychiatry at the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science/Chicago Medical School in North Chicago, Illinois. He is responsible for faculty development at Chicago Medical School.  His background includes a medical degree (M.D.) from Rush Medical College and a business degree (M.B.A.) from Northwestern University’s School of Management. He has presented his research and lectured on behavioral emergencies topics both nationally and internationally. He is past President of the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry, prior board member of American Academy of Emergency Medicine and past chair of the Coalition for Psychiatric Emergencies. He is the chief editor of the second edition of the Behavioral Emergencies for Healthcare Providers textbook and course director for the National Update on Behavioral Emergencies conference.  

AAEP Committees

The following is a list of AAEP's current committees:

Research Chair: Vacant

Standards Chair:  Margaret Balfour, MD (see bio above)

Membership Chair: David Pepper, MD

Dr. David Pepper has been working at Hartford Hospital and the Institute of Living for the last 18 years, is currently in his 14th as the Director of Emergency Psychiatric Services. He graduated from the University of Connecticut/Institute of Living Psychiatry Residency program and then completed his Psychosomatic Medicine Fellowship at Hartford Hospital with a specialization in Palliative Medicine and Psycho-oncology. Dr. Pepper is Board certified in both Psychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine. He is extremely active in teaching to all disciplines including social workers, psychologists, Physician Assistant, APRNs, Medical students, Residents and Fellows. He has won the Institute of Living Psychiatry Residency, Hartford, CT Arbor Vitae Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2016 and the University of Connecticut Integrated Residency in Emergency Medicine, “Friend of Emergency Medicine Award”, 2018.

His current clinical duties include Emergency Psychiatry, Consultation Liaison Psychiatry and HIV psychiatry. In 2015 he was appointed as the Chairman for the Membership committee for the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry, and serves as a representative on the Board of Directors. Dr. Pepper has also served as the American Psychiatric Association Assembly representative for the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry since 2018, advocating for national standards and enhancing care in Emergency Psychiatry.


AAEP Reimbursement and Expense Form

AAEP Staff

Executive Director: Don Knox
Membership Specialist: Kelly Torres
Finance Specialist: Veda Tuscanes 
Board Resources:


American Association for Emergency Psychiatry
2851 S. Parker Road, Suite 1210, Aurora, CO 80014
P.O. Box 3406, Englewood, CO 80155
Office: 877-749-0737 | Fax: 303-200-7099 | Email: [email protected]