Dr. Smith trained in Cleveland, Ohio, where he was born and raised, graduating from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, then completing emergency medicine residency at MetroHealth Medical Center/Cleveland Clinic. He spent ten years as a faculty member there developing curricula for medical students and helping to found a simulation center.

He was recruited to Ochsner in 2015 to help develop the Ochsner Simulation Center. Dr. Smith has spoken and written widely about simulation up to the international level and is a past president of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Simulation Academy and the Ohio Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians. He is a Professor of Emergency Medicine, University of Queensland-Ochsner Clinical School.

He completed a MBA and Certified Physician Executive program while in Ohio, and is a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians, the American Academy of Emergency Physicians, and the American College of Healthcare Executives. He is married with twin daughters.

Natalie Wright

Simulation Specialist

Natalie Robert Wright, a lifelong resident of St. Charles Parish, has been a nurse at St. Charles Parish Hospital, managed by Ochsner, where she has worked in the Emergency Department since 2006. She is certified and trained in Basic Life Support, Advance Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advance Life Support, and National Incident Management System. She also assisted with teaching simulations as well as scenario training and proper procedures and preparations for disasters. Natalie is married with two children. She thoroughly enjoys her work, providing excellent care to her community. Natalie is also the founder and President of “One Team, One Fight,” a non-profit organization which serves the first responders and emergency department workers of St. Charles Parish. During her time with St. Charles Parish Hospital, Natalie has served on numerous committees including: employee engagement, non-profit organizations, Relay for Life, as well as assisting with team event planning and similar functions.

Marisa Harness

Simulation Specialist

Marisa has a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg and has certifications from the United States Army as an EMT-B, qualifications through the Army Leadership Development School and is a Combat Medic. Marisa joined us from Florida State University – College of Medicine where she held the position of Program Manager of Standardized Patients with the responsibility of coordinating all functions associated with the implementation of the standardized/simulated patient program and interdisciplinary course instruction. She has also fulfilled the role of Clinical Program Coordinator at Florida State University- College of Medicine for the School of Physician Assistant Practice. Marisa has an extensive background and experience as a patient advocate, clinical medic, case manager, and health education supervisor. She is married with three children.

Stimulation Teaching Advisory Committee (STAC)

Committee Chair
Dr. Michael D. Smith - Simulation Center Medical Director

Committee Vice-Chair
Dr. Leonardo Seoane - Head of UQ Ochsner Clinical School

Committee Members

Dr. Jonathan Babin - Surgery
Dr. Jessica Gorham - Surgery
Dr. Richard Guthrie - Patient Safety and Quality
Dr. Brigid McCue - Ob/Gyn
Dr. Jairo Santanilla - Pulmonary /Critical Care
Dr. Terrance Truxillo - Anesthesiology
Dr. Melissa Matte - Anesthesiology
Dr. Veronica Gillispie - OB/GYN
Dr. Elaine Arroyo - Obstetric Anesthesiology
Dr. Charles Kantrow - Pediatrics
Dr. Barry Starr - Pediatrics
Dr. Caley McIntyre - Internal Medicine
Dr. Katherine Baumgarten - Infectious Disease
Dr. Melissa Montgomery - Urology
Dr. Emily Lynch - Pediatrics
Dr. Diego Lara - Pediatric Cardiology
Dr. Scott Macicek - Pediatric Cardiology
Dr. Surma Jain - Pulmonary/Critical Care
Dr. Joyce Varghese - Pediatric ICU
Dr. Juan Carlos Velez - Nephrology Interim Chair
Dr. Megan Maraynes - Pediatric Emergency Department
Dr. Sam Langberg - Emergency Medicine
Emilie Davis, PA - AVP - APPs
Fiona Winterbottom - Clinical Nurse Specialist – Team Stepps

Jacqueline Wilson - Director of Respiratory Therapy
Nicole Lacoste, PharmD - Pharmacy Education Coordinator
Kristin Tschirn - Director of CME
Lisa Hurst - Lead Perfusionist
Ann Lockhart
Dr. Denise Hancock
Stuart Redfearn
Kendall Young
Shannon West
Maira Harris
Jennie Miele Seal
Diana Sierra - System Director of Nursing Professional Development
Louise Saladino - Director of Nursing, Jeff Highway
Jessica Behrhorst - System AVP of Quality
Olivia Sweetnam - iO Clinical Consultant
Melissa Johnson - Clinical Education Coordinator
Stacey Porter - Clerkship program Coordinator
Shelly Monks - VP System - Academic Affairs
Carl Tholen - AVP, UGME
Natalie Wright - Simulation Center Specialist
Marisa Harness - Simulation Center Specialist