EMS Medical Directors

  • Dr. Joshua Armbruster
  • Dr. Ed Bartkus
  • Dr. Ryan Bence
  • Dr. Gregory Faris
  • Dr. Stephanie Gardner
  • Dr. Michael Kaufmann
  • Dr. Thomas Lardaro
  • Dr. Mark Liao
  • Dr. Michael Russell
  • EMS Fellow
    Dr. Michael Supples
  • EMS Fellow
    Dr. Julia Vaizer
  • Dr. Elizabeth Weinstein

Dr. Joshua Armbruster, DO
Community Hospitals of Indianapolis


Josh is an osteopathic Emergency Room physician. Born in Dayton, Ohio, he attended medical school at Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Iowa. He completed his residency at Doctors Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Josh has been serving with Community Health Network for ten years. He joined the EMS Administration and Education Department in 2018, and followed Dr. Vonderohe for approximately two months prior to his retirement. Josh is excited about the new opportunity and ready to learn and help make EMS better. Josh is married to Jessi, and together they have two boys. He enjoys outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, golf and shooting sports.




Dr. Ed Bartkus, MD
IU Health Methodist Hospital


Ed is a 1995 graduate of the Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) School of Medicine and a 1998 graduate of our EM residency, where he served as Chief Resident. Prior experience includes work as a paramedic, Director of Paramedic Education at OHSU, Chair of Oregon State EMS Committee, State EMS Training Coordinator for Wyoming, and a law enforcement officer. He joined us from the Mayo Clinic Scottsdale, where he served as the Acting Chair for the Department of Emergency Medicine and the ALS Base Station Medical Director.


Dr. Bartkus is the EMS Medical Director for Methodist Hospital and the Adult and Trauma Care Medical Director for the IU Health LifeLine Critical Care Transport program. He serves as a manuscript reviewer for Academic Emergency Medicine in the areas of EMS and medical informatics. He is the Medical Director for the Tactical EMS team supporting the Indianapolis FBI Office SWAT team and Indiana State Police ERT team. He is the Medical Director for Methodist's Disaster Management Team and teaches at FEMA's Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Alabama. He is ABEM certified and is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians. His interests include pain management, simulation, and advanced airway management.


Ed is married to Anne Patrick, a nurse practitioner, and spends his time off chasing 5 year-old twins, cooking, and travelling.




Messina FC, Cooper D, Huffman G, Bartkus E, Wilbur L. J Emerg Med. 2013 Oct;45(4):e127-31. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2013.05.008. PMID: 23845521


Ossmann EW, Bartkus EA, Olinger ML. Emerg Med Clin North Am. 1997 May;15(2):283-301. Review. PMID: 9183273


Bartkus EA, Daya M, Hedges JR, Jui J. Prehosp Disaster Med. 1993 Jul-Sep;8(3):217-27. PMID: 10146302


Neely KW, Norton RL, Bartkus E, Schiver JA. Prehosp Disaster Med. 1991 Oct-Dec;6(4):455-8. PMID: 10149685 …


Neely K, Norton R, Bartkus E, Schriver J. Ann Emerg Med. 1990 Aug;19(8):906-9. PMID: 2372174


Harrahill M, Bartkus E. J Emerg Nurs. 1990 Jan-Feb;16(1):25-8. PMID: 2406492

Dr. Ryan Bence, DO
Community Hospitals of Indianapolis
Medical Director, South Division


Dr. Bence began his pre-hospital career as an EMT in 2001 in Marion, Indiana where he received his undergraduate degree from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2002, followed by his master’s degree in physiology from Ball State University in 2004. He completed his medical degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2008 and went on to complete his residency in emergency medicine at Wright State University in 2011 in Dayton, Ohio. He joined as staff physician in the Emergency Department at Community Hospital South in 2011. Dr. Bence has served as EMS medical director since 2012 for Greenwood Fire Department, White River Township Fire Department, Bargersville Community Fire Department and Trafalgar Volunteer Fire Department.




Dr. Gregory Faris, MD
Riley Childrens Hospital
IEMS Deputy Medical Director




Faris G, Byczkowski T, Ho M, Babcock L. Acad Pediatr. 2016 May-Jun;16(4):336-42. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2015.10.007. Epub 2015 Oct 30. PMID: 26523635

Dr. Stephanie Gardner, MD
St. Vincent Ascension Health


Stephanie Gardner is a Board Certified Emergency Medicine Physician with St. Vincent Hospital Emergency Physicians, Inc. Dr. Gardner attended medical school at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas. She completed her Emergency Medicine Residency at Indiana University with subspecialty training in EMS, Disaster and Mass Gathering medicine, and Patient Advocacy. Dr. Gardner was a first responder at the Indiana State Fair stage collapse and has worked mass gathering events including Colts games, various marathons, the Indy 500, the PGA golf tour, and Superbowl XLVI. Dr. Gardner currently serves as medical team manager for FEMA Indiana Task Force One and as a Medical Director for St. Vincent EMS, St Vincent Critical Care Transport, StatFlight 6, Hancock Regional Hospital EMS, AMR Central Indiana, and various BLS Fire Agencies. Personally, Dr. Gardner is married and has three sons. She enjoys watching her boys play ice hockey, traveling, cycling, and snow skiing.




Dr. Michael Kaufmann, MD
St. Vincent Hospital


Michael Kaufmann graduated from Indiana University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science degree in microbiology. At that same time, he was certified by the State of Indiana as an Emergency Medicine Technician. He then worked as a microbiologist for Cook Pharmaceutical Solutions for one year in Bloomington, Indiana before entering Indiana University School of Medicine. He graduated with his medical degree in 1998 and went on to complete an emergency medicine residency at the Case Western Reserve-MetroHealth Medical Center program in Cleveland, Ohio. During his last year there, he served as Chief Resident. He flew as a flight physician for Cleveland Metro Life Flight for three years. Since finishing residency, Dr. Kaufmann has worked as an emergency physician at St. Vincent Hospital and Health Systems. He is board certified in Emergency Medicine. He also serves as the EMS Medical Director for St. Vincent Hospital and all of their EMS affiliates, including Pike Township Fire Department, the Carmel Fire Department, Whitestown Fire Department, Zionsville Fire Department, Decatur Township Fire Department, Midwest Ambulance, parts of Seals Ambulance and parts of Rural/Metro Ambulance. Dr. Kaufmann is also the medical director for the St. Vincent StatFlight helicopter program and the St. Vincent Critical Care Transport StatGround Team. Last but not least, Dr. Kaufmann is an avid Ironman triathlete and spends his remaining free time with his family, including four children, living in Brownsburg, Indiana.




Dr. Thomas Lardaro, MD, MPH
IEMS Deputy Medical Director


Dr. Lardaro joined the IU School of Medicine (IUSOM) Department of Emergency Medicine as faculty in 2016 and practices emergency medicine at the IU Health Methodist Emergency Medicine and Trauma Center in downtown Indianapolis. Outside of his clinical duties, Dr. Lardaro’s work includes service as the medical director for IU Health LifeLine, deputy medical director for the Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD) and for Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services (IEMS), and associate program director for the EMS fellowship at IUSOM. In the spring of 2018, Dr. Lardaro was appointed as a Commissioner to the Indiana Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Commission by the Governor of Indiana to serve a term ending on April 30, 2022.


Dr. Lardaro provides medical oversight for one of the largest critical care and interfacility patient transport agencies in the Midwest, IU Health LifeLine, and the EMS system of Indianapolis, which involves over 100,000 patient contacts annually. His work as a medical director has a strong emphasis on developing sustainable quality improvement/assurance systems that drive informed EMS provider education/training curricula and protocol development to improve patient care and safety in the prehospital and interfacility transport environment. Dr. Lardaro’s work as an EMS medical director also enables him to serve as a liaison for many entities that are integral to the delivery of complex healthcare in the state of Indiana. This provides a unique opportunity for Dr. Lardaro to advocate for improved communications and processes between various healthcare stakeholders such as EMS agencies, tertiary care hospitals, community hospitals, governmental agencies involved in public safety, and regional healthcare systems in order to optimize the delivery of emergency patient care.


Dr. Lardaro’s educational activities include active involvement in the training and education of EMS providers, medical students, resident physicians, and physicians in fellowship through his role as faculty at the IUSOM. In June 2017, Dr. Lardaro was awarded the Kevin G. Rodgers Excellence in Clinical Education Award for IU Health Methodist Hospital through the Department of Emergency Medicine at IUSOM.


Dr. Lardaro grew up in Rhode Island and studied Biological Sciences at the University of Connecticut where he graduated summa cum laude. He worked for two years as a researcher in molecular and cell biology at Harvard Medical School prior to attending medical school at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. While in medical school, Dr. Lardaro was selected for the Pre-doctoral Clinical Research Training Program where he gained advanced research training and his Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiologic and Biostatistical Methods for Public Health and Clinical Research at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. While pursuing his emergency medicine residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, he worked as a full crew member for Vanderbilt LifeFlight which was inspired by his strong interest in EMS and population health. Prior to joining the faculty at IUSOM, Dr. Lardaro completed his EMS fellowship at the VUniversity of Cincinnati Department of Emergency Medicine.


Dr. Lardaro is board certified in Emergency Medicine and in the subspecialty of Emergency Medical Services through the American Board of Emergency Medicine.




Lardaro T, Self WH, Barrett TW. Am J Emerg Med. 2015 Oct;33(10):1483-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2015.07.033. PMID: 26283615



Dr. Mark Liao, MD
Chief Medical Director


Originally from Hong Kong, which experienced a major H5N1 Avian Flu outbreak in 1997, and SARS in 2003 (which explains why Mark owns a PAPR). Dr. Liao moved to California for undergraduate training at Stanford University, where he majored in Human Biology with an area of concentration in Homeland Security and Biosecurity. During his undergraduate years, he helped start Stanford University’s EMT Training program and the campus student EMS group, before becoming certified as a paramedic. He completed paramedic training before attending medical school at the University of California, Davis. Mark completed his residency at IU School of Medicine and is very excited to continue as one of the EMS fellows for the coming year. He is honored to serve in the Indiana Army National Guard as a captain. His current interests include disaster preparedness, prehospital cardiac arrest, hemorrhage control and citizen first response. Mark currently serves as a medical team manager for the Indiana Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue Team. Mark's favorite TV shows include Star Trek, The Expanse and Firefly. He lives in Indianapolis with a family of CPR manikins and a wide assortment of tourniquets.




Pulliam BC, Liao MY, Geissler TM, Richards JR. West J Emerg Med. 2013 Mar;14(2):90-5.


Liao, M. Journal of Emergency Medical Services. June 3 2010.

Dr. Michael Russell, MD
Franciscan Health




Dr. Michael Supples, MD
EMS Fellow


Michael Supples, MD is an emergency medicine physician with IU School of Medicine for the EMS Fellowship. Prior to attending medical school, Dr. Supples worked for a suburban fire-based EMS system as an EMT-Intermediate. His research interests are emergency services professionals health and wellness with a special emphasis on injury risk reduction and key health characteristics.




Supples, M., Johnson, AB, EMS World, 48(1):36-39, 2019 Jan.


Barriers to Physical Activity Among Emergency Medical Services Professionals
Supples, M., Rivard, M., Cash, R., Chrzan, K.. Panchal, A., McGinnis,H. (2019, September 16). Prehospital Emergency Care, 24(1), 100-156.


Prehospital Rural Health Time to Care Disparities for Patients with Suspected STEMI.
Stopyra, J., Crowe, R., Page, N., Supples, M., Smith, Z., Ashburn, N., Snavely, A., Foley, K., Miller, C., Mahler, S. . (2019, September 16). Prehospital Emergency Care, 24(1), 100-156.


Dr. Julia Vaizer, MD
EMS Fellow


Julia was born and raised in Russia and moved to the US in December of 2006 at the age of 17. Since then she attended University of Florida which she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry in 2011, obtained her Medical Doctorate degree from the University of Central Florida College of Medicine in 2016, and completed her training in emergency medicine at Detroit Receiving Hospital in 2019. Julia joins IU School of Medicine for the EMS Fellowship after spending a year practicing Emergency medicine in Advent Health Hospital in Orlando, Florida. Julia fell in love with out-of-hospital medicine when she completed an EMT course as part of her pre-medical education in college. An avid motorsports fan, Julia is completing a simultaneous fellowship in Motorsports Medicine with IU School of Medicine, IndyCar series and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In her free time, Julia enjoys outdoors, travel, reading and exploring new ways to exhaust her crazy dog.




RVan Simaeys D, Turek D, Champanhac C, Vaizer J. Analytical Chemistry Journal, 6;86(9):4521-7. April 2014.


The Effect Of Helmet Use On Emergency Department Costs In Central Florida.
Vaizer J, Eskandari A, Patel N, Cassidy D. Annals Of Emergency Medicine, vol 66, no. 4, 2015, p. S54. July 2015


Dr. Elizabeth Weinstein, MD
Riley Childrens Hospital
IEMS Deputy Medical Director
Indiana EMSC Director


A native of New England, Elizabeth graduated from Bowdoin College in 1995 with a Bachelor's in History. After completing her medical education at the University of Massachusetts, Elizabeth moved to Indianapolis for her residency training in Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics , where she served as chief resident of the combined program from 2005-2007. In 2007 she received the American Academy of Emergency Medicine Resident of the Year Award and the Andrew Jones Memorial Resident Teaching Award for Pediatrics. She was awarded the federally funded Emergency Services for Children State Partnership Grant in 2009 and currently oversees this project. She splits her clinical and teaching duties between the Eskenazi Hospital Emergency Department and the Emergency Department at Riley Hospital for Children, where she serves as site director for the EM residents. When not working she is an avid alpine skier and not very talented runner.




O'Donnell DP, Schafer LC, Stevens AC, Weinstein E, Miramonti CM, Kozak MA. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013 Oct;28(5):520-2. doi: 10.1017/S1049023X13003579. PMID: 23702188


Esophageal button battery ingestions: decreasing time to operative intervention by level I trauma activation.
Russell RT, Griffin RL, Weinstein E, Billmire DF. J Pediatr Surg. 2014 Sep;49(9):1360-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2014.01.050. PMID: 25148737


Ambulance transport of noncritical children: emergency medical service providers' knowledge, opinions, and practice.
O'Neil J, Steele GK, Weinstein E, Collins R, Talty J, Bull MJ. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2014 Mar;53(3):250-5. doi: 10.1177/0009922813517168. PMID: 24408898


Second impact syndrome in football: new imaging and insights into a rare and devastating condition.
Weinstein E, Turner M, Kuzma BB, Feuer H. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2013 Mar;11(3):331-4. doi: 10.3171/2012.11.PEDS12343. PMID: 23277914


Evidence-based emergency medicine. What is the role of antiemetics in the treatment of children with acute gastroenteritis?
Weinstein E, Seupaul RA. Ann Emerg Med. 2011 Oct;58(4):371-2. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2011.03.047. No abstract available. PMID: 21546121


Images in emergency medicine. Erythema nodosum associated with pulmonary histoplasmosis.
Heilbrunn BR, Weinstein E, Walthall JD. Ann Emerg Med. 2008 Dec;52(6):606, 615. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2008.06.468. No abstract available. PMID: 19027494