Roy Alson began his EMT career in the 1970s as a responder. As a medical director in North Carolina EMS, he manages 800 firefighters, EMTs, and rescue personnel, as well as more than 20 agencies. He is an associate professor of emergency medicine at the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, a regional level I trauma center and burn center. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia, and a Ph.D. and an M.D. from Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University. He completed a residency in emergency medicine at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. He is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine, and is a Fellow of ACEP and the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. He currently serves as medical director for Forsyth County EMS in North Carolina. He is the former commander and deputy commander of Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) NC-1 and has led the team’s response to numerous disasters at the state and national levels, including Hurricanes Andrew and Katrina. He currently serves as the medical director for the NC Office of EMS State Medical Response system. He serves on numerous committees and councils in various leadership roles, is active in nonprofit organizations, and is a contributing author to many texts.
CDR Mercedes Benitez-McCrary is deputy director of the Emergency Preparedness & Response Operations at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. CDR Benitez-McCrary is a member of the U.S. Public Health Service Corp as a regular corps, active-duty officer. She began her undergraduate studies in speech and language pathology at New York University (NYU) and completed her studies at George Washington University in Washington, DC, in 1978. She possesses undergraduate and graduate degrees from George Washington University in speech and language pathology and is board certified in speech and language pathology. Currently Commander Benitez-McCrary is an active-duty officer in the seventh branch of the uniformed services—the Commissioned Corp of the United States Public Health Service. She is stationed at DHHS/CMS (Medicare), OOM EPRO, as deputy director of emergency preparedness and response operations. Past duty assignments include: CMS; CDR Benitez-McCrary served as special assistant to the office of the 17th Surgeon General VADM Richard H. Carmona, member of the faculty, at Howard University College of Medicine, and chief of staff/executive assistant to the president of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. CDR Benitez-McCrary has completed and published research in health literacy, health disparity, aphasia, and special needs patients after a disaster, and the bilingual fluency patient implications for treatment and care. The commander has served as a member of the Hispanic Health Initiative of 1993 chaired by the Honorable Antonia Novello, the U.S. surgeon general. This initiative produced an agenda for action to prevent disease and injury and promote, educate, and