100s of years of wilderness medicine experience

We are lucky to have faculty to teach this year from various walks of life and experiences.

Dr. Nicole Elliott

Dr. Nicole Elliott is a board-certified Emergency Medicine physician serving as the Associate Simulation Director at Lehigh Valley Health Network Emergency Medicine Residency. Born in Long Beach, California, and raised in Northeast Pennsylvania, Dr. Elliott received her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed Emergency Medicine Residency at Lehigh Valley Health Network. She enjoys climbing, hiking and running (especially if it’s near the ocean).

Dr. Elliott serves as the wilderness medicine track leader, contributing to the development of a specialized curriculum addressing the challenges of healthcare delivery in outdoor and remote settings. A distinctive aspect of Dr. Elliott's approach is her passion for gamification in medical education, recognizing its potential to engage learners and enhance knowledge retention. Her innovative incorporation of game-like elements into training programs demonstrates a commitment to pushing the boundaries of traditional medical education, making her a driving force in the evolution of simulation-based learning.

2024 Lecture Staff

Dr. Adam Ray

Dr. Adam Ray has enjoyed the outdoors all his life. He has been a ski patroller since his high school; currently he volunteers with the Camelback Ski Patrol and serves as the medical advisor for the Eastern PA Region. He graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Music Composition in 1997, the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2003, completed his emergency medicine residency at the Geisinger Medical Center in 2006, and earned his Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine through the Wilderness Medical Society in 2007. Currently, he works as an emergency physician at the St. Luke's University Health Network Bethlehem campus. When not working, he enjoys skiing, scuba diving, backpacking, mountain biking, and riding his motorcycle (yes - he always wears a helmet).

Dr. Greg Fischer

Born and raised in Macungie, Pennsylvania. I graduated from Jefferson Northeast EM program and completed a fellowship in Wilderness Medicine at Virginia Tech in 2023. My recreational outdoor interests include endurance backpacking, fly fishing, SCUBA and rock climbing.

Dr. Veronica Coppersmith, DO, FAWM

Veronica is the conference coordinator for the St Luke's Wilderness Medicine Conference, and has been working with the conference since 2014. She started her medical career in EMS in 2002. She is a lifetime member of the Wilderness Medical Society, certified in Advanced Wilderness Life Support, and achieved her Fellowship in Wilderness Medicine (FAWM) in 2015. She is an attending emergency physician at St Luke's Monroe Campus in the Poconos.

Outdoor interests include: skiing, rock climbing, hiking/backpacking, and surviving in the wilderness! She loves spending time outdoors with her dogs (one of which will help teach canine rescue), and with her son. Her wanderlust is strong, and only getting stronger. She loves to be outside, and can't wait to share her love of outdoor adventures (and surviving them) with all of you!

Jarod Berggren, MD

Jarod is an emergency medicine doctor at LVHN. He grew up in Colorado. Jarod spent his whole life in the mountains hiking, fishing, climbing and snowboarding. After medical school he knew that he wanted to find a way to be outdoors with medicine which led him to wilderness medicine. Jarod has 5 fourteeners left and is going back to Colorado this summer hoping to finish them.

Peter Favini, MD

Dr. Favini: Medical is Director for the National Park Service Delaware Water Gap National Recreational Area.

An avid hiker, kayaker and runner; Dr Favini has been treating hikers and skier and other sports enthusiast in the Poconos for the last 35 years.

Dr. Aaron Ratner, DO, FACEP, FAWM candidate

Aaron started his EMS career at age 16 volunteering as a fire fighter EMT. Having attended a high school program overseas, Aaron tried to take a short cut around a liberal arts education and go straight to medical school. Instead, he was drafted into the Israeli Defensive Forces (IDF) and spent three years as a combat paramedic. After completing his military obligation, Aaron moved back to the US, picked up where he left off in the fire/EMS services and pursued his undergraduate and master’s degrees in emergency health services systems management at University of Maryland Baltimore County. After graduation he worked a few years as a paramedic for New Castle County Delaware and then started medical school at PCOM. He is currently an attending emergency medicine physician at St. Luke’s Monroe and medical director for multiple EMS agencies. He enjoys everything outdoors with his amazing Girlfriend, children and puppies including hunting, hiking, fishing, falling down mountains (Skiing), rescue/SCUBA diving or just sitting around a fire with a stogie and a beer.

Marko Yurachek, Adventure Guide, Special Guest

Marko spends his summers in Alaska as an Adventure Guide. Either a bear ate his cell phone on one of his Grizzly Safaris or he has spent the past several weeks without reception (which is a wonderful thing) so as the course director, I will write his bio. I am sure Marko would be able to add tons of other super cool facts about his adventures. We cross paths at many regional Wild Med conferences where Marko teaches primitive skills. His skills are numerous but include climbing, SAR, any outdoor or primitive skill, navigation and leading Adventure Expeditions. His best trait is his personality. Friendly, personable, humble and a great story teller, I highly suggest you spend some quality campfire time with Marko. He has also been the personal primitive skills trainer for one of the "Naked & Afraid" contestants (who kicked butt on her episode by the way).

Lauren Sharpe, PA-C

My name is Lauren Sharpe, and I am a Physician Assistant, graduate of DeSales University PA program as of August 2023. I am currently in a year-long Emergency Medicine and Critical Care fellowship at SLUHN. I am passionate about caring for the ill and injured, as well as safe and effective outdoor adventuring. In 2021, I successfully completed a 4-month “thru hike” of the Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine to total ~2200 miles. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to discuss my experience on trail, lessons learned, safety tips, and gear I chose for this adventure. I am immensely grateful for this opportunity to attend this conference to learn more about wilderness medicine, as I know I have so much to learn! Thank you in advance and see y’all there!

John Rollhauser, EMT-B, OEC
John has been a professional ski patroller at Sugarloaf Mountain Resort in Maine, the former Pro Patrol Director at Liberty Mountain Resort in Pa. John is a member of Franklin Search and Rescue (FSAR) in Franklin County, ME. He is a member of the FSAR board of directors, and on the FSAR Technical Rope Rescue Team. He is an fire fighter, EMT & rescue technician with the Kingfield Fire Department. John is also an instructor for: Outdoor Emergency Care, lift evacuation, off-trail & rope rescue and climbing. He is an avid rock climber, hiker, backpacker, mountaineer, mountain biker, kayaker, skier and caver. He believes one of the best sounds in the world is rain on his tent at night.
Photo: Standing on the summit cairns of Burn Mountain in Maine, another day at work. Burn Mountain is the centerpiece of the side country of Sugarloaf Ski Resort.
Dr. Rebecca Jeanmonod MD

RJ is a board-certified emergency physician, and has been working with St. Luke’s Wilderness Conference since it began in 2010. She believes that everyone should live in the world, and as such, she is an avid outdoorsperson, enjoyings hiking, trekking, mountaineering, backpacking, kayaking, and all the other outsiding exciting things. She and her husband have raised 4 children who feel roughly the same.

Eric Bowman, MD, FACEP, FAWM

He is the previous Director of the Wilderness Medicine Section within the Department of Emergency Medicine at WellSpan York Hospital's Emergency Medicine Residency, York, Pa. Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine; Wilderness Medical Society member; certified in Advanced Wilderness Life Support (AWLS), Wilderness Advanced Life Support (WALS) and Outdoor Emergency Care; active member of the National Ski Patrol.

Outdoor interests include downhill skiing, camping, backpacking, white water rafting, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and survival skills. SCUBA certifications (PADI) include Open Water Diver, Advanced Open Water Diver, Rescue Diver, Peak Performance Buoyancy, Enriched Air (Nitrox) Diver, Equipment Specialist, Underwater Naturalist, Underwater Navigator and Master SCUBA Diver.Eric Bowman, MD, FACEP, FAWM

Dr. Donald Jeanmonod MD

Like everyone here, Donald is an outdoor enthusiast. He grew up in a family that was heavily involved in scouting and continued his love of the outdoors through college and medical school. In medical school, he took a course for Wilderness EMTs and met his lifelong outdoor adventure partner during an outing with the medical school wilderness club.

He enjoys hiking and backpacking, high-altitude trekking, mountain climbing, rock climbing, and canoeing and kayaking. He has experience with extended trekking on 5 of the 7 continents and has lots of stories of stupid decisions he’s made while outside. Donald has participated in St. Luke’s Wilderness conference since its inception. In his spare time, Donald works as an emergency physician with a focus on teaching emergency ultrasound.

Brian Whitmore

Brian is an active Senior Agent with the U.S Department of Homeland Security. He has spent the last 15+ years working in Law Enforcement beginning as a Midnight Patrol Officer for a local Police Department before entering into Federal service. In his tenure he has worked with various Local, State and Federal entities. Brian is also an Instructor, teaching Tactical Medicine/TECC while incorporating it into Active Threat training evolutions with various Agencies.

In his free time, Brian volunteers as an EMT with a local EMS agency. Other interests include anything outdoors. He can often be found on the trail hiking with his dogs, biking or on the slopes.