Manish Shah named as Chair, BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine

Manish Shah
Manish N. Shah, MD, MPH

Dr. Manish N. Shah, a pioneer in the field of geriatric emergency medicine, will be the next chair of the BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

The leadership role comes at a time when emergency care is evolving rapidly. New technologies and models of care are being implemented to better care for patients, and emergency department visits are becoming a closely monitored signal of emerging public health issues according to Shah, a professor of emergency medicine at the school who is currently vice chair of research for the department.

“This is a pivotal time in emergency medicine, with new ways to provide our community with more efficient and effective emergency care. Leveraging the strengths of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health and UW Health, we are able to perform exciting research, teach the next generation of health care providers, and deliver cutting-edge care to Wisconsin,” he said.

In addition to his clinical practice, Shah’s research focuses on improving the delivery of emergency care to older adults by developing, testing, and implementing innovative care models, such as those that integrate community paramedics.

His goal is to create systems and solutions to ensure that older adults – a swiftly increasing share of the population – get the right care at the right place and at the right time and that emergency departments are prepared to meet the unique needs of this population.

Shah has been a professor in this academic department since 2015. The department, which was established in 2014, has significantly expanded its clinical services and research portfolio and initiated a renowned emergency medicine residency program.

One area of his work focuses on improving emergency care for people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. The school was one of four sites awarded a total of $7.5 million in 2020 from the National Institutes of Health for the project, which is co-led by Shah.

That project aims to leverage expertise in emergency medicine, geriatrics, and Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias to identify gaps in emergency care for people with dementia. For example, many commonly used medications are problematic for people with dementia, Shah said. Identifying optimal prescribing strategies that are safest for this population in context of emergency departments could help clinicians better care for them.

Shah also co-led a project funded by the school’s Wisconsin Partnership Program to improve emergency department preparedness for surges of COVID-19 patients by developing and testing advanced surveillance systems and providing training to front-line providers.

He earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago, a medical degree from the University of Rochester, and completed a residency in emergency medicine at The Ohio State University. Shah also earned a master of public health in clinical investigation from the University of Rochester, where he was on faculty prior to joining UW–Madison.

Shah is a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians and American Geriatrics Society and has received three premiere awards from the Academy of Geriatric Emergency Medicine, part of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine: the Gerson-Sanders Award, the Academic Career Achievement Award, and the Pioneer Award.

Shah is a collaborative leader, educator, and researcher with a deep commitment to the Wisconsin Idea, the philosophy that UW–Madison discoveries should benefit the citizens of Wisconsin and beyond, said Dr. Robert N. Golden, dean, UW School of Medicine and Public Health.

“Dr. Shah’s dedication to both the practice and improvement of emergency care through clinical work, education, and research is a great asset to our school,” he said. “His accomplishments to date indicate that this important department will continue to thrive under his leadership.”

Shah’s appointment will begin on September 1, 2022. He will replace Dr. Azita Hamedani, who has led the department since 2007.