Dr. Andrew Meltzer Profile Picture

Andrew C. Meltzer, MD, MS

Executive Director

Andrew C. Meltzer is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at George Washington University whose research focuses on the use of novel bedside diagnostics and therapeutics to identify, understand and care for patients with emergency conditions with a focus on gastrointestinal emergencies. Dr. Meltzer is a well-published author and he is an active lecturer and educator. His research is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the medical industry.

In addition to his scholarly pursuits, Dr. Meltzer has served in a leadership role for several successful healthcare tech startups. Specifically, Dr. Meltzer serves as Chief Medical Information Officer for Babyscripts, a digital health tool to transform pregnancy care and served as Chief Medical Officer for OpenBeds, an online platform for substance use disorder treatment.

Dr. Meltzer attended medical school at the SUNY Downstate School of Medicine in New York City, completed his residency and fellowship training in emergency medicine and clinical research at the University of Maryland Department of Emergency Medicine and Shock Trauma Center, and serves as Director of Clinical Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine.

Dr. Randall Lee Profile Picture

Randall Lee, MD

Editor in Chief 

Dr. Randy Lee serves as an editor for Urgent Matters. Dr. Lee has more than 15 years of advisory work, investment experience, and company leadership. He is currently an assistant professor and the co-fellowship director for medical leadership and operations at George Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Lee continues to practice emergency medicine at George Washington University Hospital. He currently serves as an advisor and/or on the board of directors for several early-stage healthcare companies. In addition to his medical background, Randy had a 10-year career on Wall Street, where he managed an investment portfolio, evaluated new investment strategies, and grew various company and divisional operations. Dr. Lee earned his medical degree at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed his emergency medicine residency at UCLA Medical Center, where he served as a chief resident. Randy graduated from Penn State University with a B.S. in Finance and International Business.

Ali Pourmand Profile

Ali Pourmand, MD, MPH

Senior Advisor

Dr. Pourmand is a professor of Emergency Medicine in the Department of Emergency Medicine at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C. His research focuses on the current understanding of evidence-based medicine and clinical medicine through multidisciplinary collaboration across the School of Medicine and across the GWU campus. 

Dr. Phillips Bio Picture 2

James Phillips, MD


Dr. James P. Phillips, MD, FACEP is a board-certified Emergency Medicine physician and an Associate Professor at George Washington University in Washington, DC where he serves as Chief of the Disaster and Operational Medicine Section and Director of the Disaster and Operational Medicine Fellowship. Dr. Phillips trained in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Michigan and Emergency Medicine at the University of Illinois Chicago. He graduated from the Harvard Disaster Medicine and Emergency Management Fellowship and later joined the faculty at Harvard Medical School. He was selected as a Senior Fellow at the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, and as a Fellow at the Center for Health Security at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Dr. Phillips became a leading public health voice on television and was the first physician hired to be a CNN Medical Analyst and subject matter expert on the virus and its impact on US healthcare. He has published several articles and editorials and has lectured widely on pandemic topics. His peer reviewed scientific publications have been cited more than 2000 times. He is also an established leader and spokesperson for the American College of Emergency Physicians and has served on the ACEP Disaster and Preparedness Committee for nearly a decade. Dr Phillips was elected as the current Chair-Elect for the ACEP Section of Disaster Medicine. 

His areas of interest include disaster preparation and response, emergency management, medical counterterrorism, workplace violence, and tactical & operational medicine. Dr. Phillips is an internationally recognized expert on the subjects of workplace violence and various aspects of disaster medicine. His research spans topics from plastic surgery to vehicular ramming attacks, and his research on COVID 19 and Workplace Violence in Healthcare has resulted in two publications in the New England Journal of Medicine. He has served as Medical Director for many mass gathering events in Washington, DC including marathons, triathlons, championship sports parades, and First Amendment events with crowds as large as 850,000 people. 

Dr. Phillips is a member of the VA-1 DMAT team as a member of the National Disaster Medical System in the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response at the Department of Health and Human Services. His most recent federal disaster deployment was in 2021 as Chief Medical Officer of a health and medical task force sent to augment hospital staff at an Alabama hospital severely overwhelmed with COVID19 patients. He has deployed internationally to Ukraine, Nepal, and served for several years as Medical Director and EMS director for Camp Taji, Iraq as a US government contractor. Dr. Phillips has also served as a medical consultant to a number of companies and organizations. 

Dr. Rahul Nadendla Profile Picture

Rahul Nadendla, MD


Dr. Nadendla attended George Washington University for his undergraduate and medical degrees before completing an Emergency Medicine residency at Virginia Tech Carilion Clinic. Currently, he serves as a Medical Leadership and Operations fellow for the Department of Emergency Medicine at George Washington University. Dr. Nadendla’s interests are in healthcare innovation, department operations, and patient flow.

Dr. Megan Hoffer Profile Picture

Megan Hoffer, MD


Dr. Hoffer attended Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine for medical school before completing an Emergency Medicine residency at The George Washington University. Currently, she serves as an Ultrasound fellow for the Department of Emergency Medicine at George Washington University. Dr. Hoffer’s interests are in emergency medicine, ultrasound, and innovation.

Dr. Shpigel Profile Picture

Daniel Shpigel, MD


Dr. Shpigel earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the LeBow College of Business at Drexel University. He went on to receive his medical degree from Thomas Jefferson University, where he also completed his residency in Emergency Medicine. At Thomas Jefferson University's Health Design Lab, he facilitated design thinking workshops and explored the effects of public space design on community health. Presently, Dr. Shpigel serves as an attending emergency physician and is a Medical Leadership and Operations Fellow in the George Washington University Department of Emergency Medicine. Concurrently, he is pursuing his MBA at the GW School of Business. Dr. Shpigel has been involved in numerous projects in healthcare administration, with focal areas in EMR optimization, emergency department intake and throughput, clinical protocols, tele-scribing, and more.

Neha Gupta Profile Picture

Neha Gupta, MD


Neha is a PGY-1 Emergency Medicine Resident. Prior to residency, she received her MD Degree from Penn State College of Medicine, where she was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society and Gold Humanism Honor Society. She was involved in numerous research initiatives, including co-creation of a novel Artificial Intelligence tool called Simplify, that led her team to place first in a national competition and receive $30K to fund further development. She has also co-authored research on health care disparities that was published in the Journal of American Medication Associations and American Journal of Public Health. Before medical school, she served as a Digital Health Fellow for StartUp Health. Neha is also social entrepreneur- at the age of 9, she founded a nonprofit called Empower Orphans and became the first American to receive the International Children's Peace Prize from Nobel Laureates Desmond Tutu. Empower Orphans has impacted 30k+ children globally and raised $2.4 million. With the support of Meta and Kids Rights, she also co-founded and served on the board of State of Youth, an advocacy platform for young changemakers globally that now has 130+ chapters across the world.