2019-2020 Leadership Team
Abhijay Murugesan - Chief and Executive Director
Abhijay is a first-generation American who was born and raised in Yuma, Arizona. After graduating from Cibola High School in 2015, he decided to attend the University of Arizona Honors College after being selected as a Flinn Scholar and National Merit Scholar. During college, he was selected as the Honors College Outstanding Sophomore of the Year in 2017 and the Honors College Outstanding Junior of the Year in 2018. More recently, he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa as a junior in April of 2018, and was selected as a National Institutes of Health Undergraduate Scholar in July of 2018. He is currently a senior pursuing a Bachelor of Science with a major in Public Health (concentration in Health Systems Theory and Practice) and a second major in Molecular & Cellular Biology.
After obtaining EMT national certification and state licensure, Abhijay joined UAEMS in January of 2017 and was quickly promoted to the positions of Shift Supervisor and Field Training Officer in August of 2017. He was then ultimately promoted to Chief of EMS and Executive Director in May of 2018. Outside of UAEMS, Abhijay gained experience at the state level during the summer of 2017 when he served as a Professional-Leadership Intern at the Bureau of EMS & Trauma System within the Arizona Department of Health Services. Additionally, in June of 2017, he joined the Medical Reserve Corps of Southern Arizona as an EMT Reservist and also became a member of the Southern Arizona Interagency Peer Support Team. Currently, in addition to his EMT certification, Abhijay has been certified by the American Heart Association as a Basic Life Support CPR Instructor and has been certified by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians as a provider of Tactical Emergency Casualty Care. He has also been trained in individual crisis assistance and public safety integration/rescue task force operations. Recently, he presented findings at the Annual Meeting of the National Association of EMS Physicians in January of 2019. In the future, Abhijay plans to attend medical school and hopes to pursue a career in emergency medicine as an EMS physician.
Francisco Gonzalez - Assistant Chief
Francisco Gonzalez is a junior at the University of Arizona from Phoenix, Az. He is currently majoring in Public Health with an emphasis on health services administration and Spanish. Francisco is also minoring in Emergency Medicine and Finance. Francisco has been an EMT for three years, and a member of UAEMS since 2017. During his time in UAEMS Francisco has been a Field Training Officer, Personnel Officer, and is now Assistant Chief and CPR instructor. He says his most valuable experience working with UAEMS has been “Being able to work with a lot of like minded people and health care professionals to better our community.” Francisco plans to obtain a Master’s Degree in Public Health and become a Paramedic, in hopes of working for a fire department.
Timothy Gustafson - Deputy Chief
Tim is a junior from Tinley Park, Illinois, majoring in Public Health with a minor in Emergency Medicine. Tim has been with UAEMS since spring 2018 serving in different positions including Field Training Officer, Continuous Quality Improvement Officer, and Deputy Chief. Aside from being an EMT, Tim works for UA Occupational Health, volunteers at Sarver Heart Center, participates in research on Deaf/Hard of Hearing patients and in research on Mining Safety. “My most valuable experience with UAEMS would be all that I’ve learned from working with out strong team of EMTs and those we have in leadership” says Tim. As for his future, he says “he’ll let us know.”
Tanner D'Elia - Co-Captain of Training
Tanner is a senior from Phoenix, Az, majoring in Public Health with a minor in Emergency Medicine. Captain D'Elia has been an EMT since 2017, and became a member of UAEMS in the spring of 2018. Tanner says "I have learned so much through the program of not only patient care but about what makes a great EMS agency run. I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing and very successful people and it drives me to be better." Upon graduation, Tanner plans to earn a Masters in Healthcare Management from Eller School of Business, and eventually attend medical school.
Courtney Baxter - Co-Captain of Training
Courtney is from Garnet Valley, PA. She graduated from the University of Arizona in the Spring of 2019 with a BA in German Studies. Courtney is now a non degree seeking student at the UofA. Around campus she is the co-President of AMSA, Vice President of WIMS, a member of NSCS, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Courtney just started her 4th year with UAEMS, and says her most valuable experience with us has been “becoming a member of the training department and shaping the next class of our members.” Courtney is currently applying to medical schools and hopes to become an orthopedic surgeon in the future.
Peyton Huss - Captain of Personnel
Peyton is a sophomore at the University of Arizona majoring in Physiology and Medical Sciences, with minors in Public Health and Emergency Medicine. Born and raised in Tucson, Az, Captain Huss also interns at the Asthma and Airway research center and is a member of the sorority Alpha Chi Omega. Peyton has been with UAEMS since freshman year and serves as a shift supervisor and Captain of Personnel. Captain Huss says “My most valuable experience with UAEMS has been finding my “people” in college who share the same passions as me and building my skills in medicine/patient interaction.” After graduation, Peyton plans on attending PA school.
Damon Beam - Captain of Logistics
Damon is a senior at the University of Arizona from Phoenix, Arizona who is currently pursuing a degree in Physiology. Damon has worked with UAEMS since Fall 2017, where he has previously served as Logistics Officer. While he humbly states that he participates in “nothing notable” on campus, we know Damon has worked tirelessly in various other organizations here at the university. When he is not working as an EMT, Damon enjoys learning history and watching television while relaxing.
Damon says his most valuable experience in UAEMS has been, “The clinical and leadership experience that I received, as well as the friends I made within the organization.” Damon plans on taking a gap year after graduation, where he will gain more clinical experience, and applying to medical school in the future.
Zach Garland - Logistics Officer
Zach is a sophomore at the University of Arizona majoring in Neuroscience & Cognitive Science, with minors in Physiology and Emergency Medicine. He just started his second year as an EMT in UAEMS and is also the Logistics Officer of the agency. Aside from UAEMS you can find Zach working long hours as an Emergency Department Technician at Banner UMC. Zach says, “My most valuable experience with UAEMS is my interactions with my patients and knowing I’m a part of a team working to improve the quality of life at the University of Arizona.” After graduating with a bachelor’s degree Zach plans on attending graduate school at the University of Arizona in the Cellular and Molecular Medicine program, and later attending medical school.
Marck Hoepfner - Field Training Officer
Marck is a senior, originally from Bonn, Germany, majoring in Physiology with minors in Biochemistry and Emergency Medicine. Marck has been with UAEMS for nearly two years and is currently an FTO and shift supervisor. He says his most valuable experience is “Connecting with people of similar interests and aspirations.” Marck recently got accepted to Midwestern where he will further his healthcare career in becoming a Physician Assistant after graduation.
Megan Mowad - Field Training Officer
Megan Mowad is a senior from Austin, Texas. Megan is a physiology major with a minor in biochemistry at the University of Arizona. Aside from working with UAEMS for the last two and a half years, Megan also works in a biochemistry research lab studying membrane proteins which could be potential drug targets. She says her most valuable experience with UAEMS “Is being able to apply and test my skills while still serving my community.” In the future, Megan plans to attend medical school and become an ER physician.
Henry Stanley - Field Training Officer
Henry Stanley is a junior and physiology major in the U of Arizona honors college. He plans to graduate in the spring of 2021 and attend medical school to become a physician. Originally from Mesa Arizona he joined UAEMS in the fall of 2018, and joined the training department in the spring of 2019.
Jacob Robishaw-Denton - Continuous Quality Improvement Officer
Jacob is a junior from Phoenix, Az studying Microbiology with a minor in Emergency Medicine. Aside from being an EMT, he is also involved with the mobile health unit for the department of Public Health. This is Jacob’s second year with UAEMS where he has served as CQI Officer and shift supervisor. Jacob says his most valuable experience “Would have to be the large amount of patient care experience and the feeling of giving back to the community.” Jacob plans on attending medical school and one day being an ED physician.
Yasmine Hefer - Public Information Officer
Yasmine is a junior at the University of Arizona Honors College from Maabarot, Israel, majoring in Physiology with minors in Biochemistry and Emergency Medicine. Yasmine has been a member of UAEMS since spring of 2018 and served as PIO and shift supervisor. Aside from UAEMS, Yasmine has been involved in Primus Freshman Honorary, Vice President of Chain Gang Junior Honorary, Arizona Ambassadors Honorary, and Housing and Residential Life. Officer Hefer has also interned for Banner's Cancer Center and the Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona, tutored for UArizona SALT Center and participates in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Arizona. Upon graduation Yasmine plans on returning to her home country and fulfill her duty in the Israeli Defense Forces, and later on, attend medical school.