MEDICAL DIRECTORS

LERN has three medical directors serving as subject-matter experts to assist and guide LERN in developing trauma, stroke, and STEMI systems of care.

Michael J. Sutherland, MD, FACS
Medical Director – Trauma

A message from the director:

“As the leading cause of death in patients between the ages of 1 and 44, Trauma has the ability to impact anyone at anytime.  The effects of trauma can be devastating to the individual, the family and the community and have immense financial impacts to both the victims and the cost to society.  An effective trauma system and a vigorous injury prevention program are the keys to improving outcomes for victims of traumatic injury.   The better prepared we are as a system designed to care for the injured patient the more likely the patient will survive and return to a functional status, contributing to the community.   It has been clearly shown that trauma centers reduce deaths and long term disability from traumatic injury.  As Louisiana’s trauma system matures the investments we make to improve the care of the trauma patient will be returned multifold and reduce the burden of death and disability on our families, friends and neighbors.”

Dr. Sutherland is a native of Baton Rouge who has returned to serve as the Trauma Medical Director for LERN.  He completed undergraduate education at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, received his MD degree from LSU in New Orleans and completed residency and fellowship at Keelser Air Force Base in Biloxi MS.  Dr. Sutherland has worked in military and civilian trauma centers, was instrumental in the Arkansas Trauma System development, has served as a site reviewer, Trauma Medical Director and member of the Arkansas State Trauma Center Designation Committee.  He is a member of the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma and has presented locally, regionally and nationally regarding trauma care and trauma systems. His research interests include trauma system development and the financial impact of trauma systems.  He is currently an Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock.

Medical-Director-Headshot-Martin

Sheryl Martin-Schild, MD
Medical Director – Stroke
Stroke Tips

A message from the director:

“A comprehensive stroke system of care in Louisiana, with an emphasis on proven treatments and timely access to care, is necessary to reduce death and dependency. The latest reports rank Louisiana amongst the most lethal states to experience stroke. Over the last three years, the Stroke Workgroup, has advanced the delivery of time-sensitive stroke treatment by 1) revising the EMS protocol to reflect standard stroke guidelines (AHA/ASA), 2) implementing primary and secondary destination protocols, 3)defining four levels of hospital capability, and 4) receiving attestations of hospital level from all acute care facilities. Much work remains to be done, including 1) acquisition and management of stroke core measure data from stroke-treating facilities and 2) identification and facilitation of centers emerging to a higher level Stroke Center to close large gaps in access to Primary and Comprehensive Stroke Centers. We are confident that LERNs collaborative workgroup of physicians, nurses, and other stakeholders will continue to provide the expertise and leadership necessary to grow and strengthen Louisiana’s capacity to provide state-of-the-art stroke care for its citizens.”

Dr. Martin-Schild graduated from the Tulane University School of Medicine, while also obtaining her PhD in Neuroscience. Dr. Martin-Schild completed a combined internal medicine and neurology residency at Tulane University School of Medicine, and fellowship training in Vascular Neurology and clinical research in Vascular Neurology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, Texas. Dr. Martin-Schild founded and directed the Stroke Program at Tulane Medical Center 2008-2016.  Dr. Martin-Schild is the President & CEO of Dr. Brain, Inc., which provides on-site stroke leadership and patient care to hospitals committed to improving or developing stroke programs.  She currently serves as the Medical Director of Neurology & Stroke for Touro Infirmary and the New Orleans East Hospital and will be the Co-Director of the Stroke Program for Our Lady of the Lake in Baton Rouge as of July 2017.

Dr. Martin-Schild’s research focuses on access to stroke care, racial disparities in outcome, and augmentation of rehab potential with neurostimulants and has led to more than 100 manuscripts published in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Martin-Schild serves as the Statewide Stroke Medical Director for the Louisiana Emergency Response Network. 

Murtuza Ali, MD
Medical Director – STEMI

A message from the director:

“Successful STEMI systems of care have been created in a number of states – producing improved patient outcomes for this often-deadly disease. Louisiana has begun development of a STEMI system of care and is utilizing a statewide approach; LERN is serving as the convener of key stakeholders and resources. Full implementation of this system will provide fast access to proven treatments for the state of Louisiana with the goal of lowering STEMI mortality in our state. We all have a role to play in creating a first class STEMI system of care, and I look forward to our continued work together.”

Dr. Murtuza “Zee” Ali is a native of New Orleans, where he graduated from St. Martin’s Episcopal School in 1993, completing his undergraduate degree at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and returning to New Orleans for medical school at LSU.  After medical school, he completed a residency in internal medicine at Stanford University and fellowships in Cardiology and Interventional Cardiology at Boston University.

Upon completion of his training in 2008, he joined the faculty of LSU School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in 2013.   In addition to a clinical practice in general and interventional cardiology at the University Medical Center New Orleans, the LSU faculty practice on St. Charles Avenue, Touro Infirmary and Ochsner – Westbank, he teaches students, residents, and fellows who rotate with him on rounds or during cardiovascular procedures.  He holds a number of leadership positions in the educational mission of the school – with involvement at all levels of the medical education process.  He also spearheads LSU’s collaborative quality improvement and patient safety initiatives aimed at teaching medical trainees the importance of these aspects of healthcare.  In conjunction with colleagues within Internal Medicine and the Department of Pharmacology, he is involved in clinical research trials pertaining to heart failure, atherosclerosis and acute myocardial injury, and pulmonary hypertension.

In addition to roles at LSUHSC, Zee serves as Medical Director for STEMI care for the Louisiana Emergency Response Network – tasked with creating an integrated system of care for heart attack patients across the state.  The workgroup STEMI System will facilitate optimizing care for the most time-critical types of cardiac emergencies, with the goal of improving access and outcomes for all Louisiana residents.   He serves as a reviewer for various peer-reviewed publications, is a member of the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline Advisory Work Group, and serves on the American College of Cardiology’s ACTION Review and Publications Committee.