Meet the Team

Executive Director

Alexander P. Isakov, MD, MPH, the Executive Director of CEPAR and a Professor of Emergency Medicine. As the executive director, Dr. Isakov provides oversight and leadership for the office. Dr. Isakov has led the development of the CEPAR office and its various initiatives to improve Emory’s capacity for emergency management. His professional experience includes service as an officer in the United States Navy, consulting for the CDC, deploying with the National Disaster Medical System, and providing leadership in EMS and disaster response throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area. Dr. Isakov also directs Emory’s Section of Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, whose members provide medical oversight for the 911 emergency ambulance responders in the City of Atlanta/Fulton County and fire-based emergency first responder services.  

He is currently a member of Georgia’s Pandemic Flu Coordinating Committee. He has served as a consultant to the CDC working with staff in the Emergency Preparedness and Response Branch of NCEH; and served on the national faculty of the Counter Narcotics and Terrorism Operational Medical Support program and has provided operational medical support for federal law enforcement special operations.

Dr. Isakov practices clinically in the emergency departments of Grady Memorial Hospital and Emory University Hospital.

Senior Administrator

Sam Shartar, MSN, RN, Senior Administrator for Emory University's Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR) is responsible for directing the operations for the office. He also manages Emory's Threat Assessment Team, and serves as the Clinical Administrator for Emory's Department of Emergency Medicine, Section for Prehospital and Disaster Medicine

Prior to joining CEPAR, Mr. Shartar served as the Unit Director for Emergency Services at Emory University Hospital. Mr. Shartar, a former EMS Supervisor has an extensive background in prehospital care. He also has broad experience in emergency and critical care nursing, and holds board certification as an Emergency Nurse. His background in disaster management includes experience in pre-hospital, event management, field operations, exercise design and implementation, bio-safety transportation, and healthcare operations.

Mr. Shartar is a member of the State's Region III EMS council, representing DeKalb County, serves on the State's All-Hazard Incident Management Team, and serves on the Atlanta Urban Area Security Initiative's Critical Events/Special Operations Committee. He is a member of Emory Healthcare's Serious Communicable Disease Steering Committee, works with the National Ebola Education and Training Center (NETEC), and serves on the executive committee of the Radiation Injury Treatment Network (RITN). Mr. Shartar, a certified emergency manager (CEM), also holds certification as an Emergency Management Healthcare Professional (EMHP). Mr. Shartar practices clinically in the Emergency Department of Emory University Hospital.

Training and Operations Manager

James Zerylnick, RN, EMT-P, EMHP, Operations and Training Manager for CEPAR is responsible for developing, coordinating and conducting many of the training programs identified through CEPAR.  Mr. Zerylnick is a licensed paramedic, a registered nurse, and a certified hospital emergency coordinator. Before joining Emory, he was with the Medical College of Georgia's Center for Operational Medicine where he contributed to the development of the National Disaster Life Support Foundation's Disaster Life Support programs.

Sr. Program Coordinator

Cary K Sheahan is the Sr. Program Coordinator for CEPAR which serves as the center for Emory enterprise-wide planning and coordination for response to catastrophic events. In the CEPAR office she is responsible for managing the department’s initiatives and programs which include its daily operations and office activities.  She is also the Sr. Program Coordinator for the section of Prehospital and Disaster Medicine which provides support for section initiatives and the onboarding of the EMS Fellows each year.  Ms. Sheahan began her work with Emory University in 1998 in Woodruff Health Sciences Administration where she was the Executive Administrative Assistant to the VP and CFO for almost 2 decades.  She graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelors in Social Work. Ms. Sheahan brings longtime institutional experience working in the university setting with a wide variety of roles and responsibilities.

Program Coordinator

Angela Adams, MPH, Program Coordinator for Emory University’s Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response is responsible for organizing, coordinating, and planning operational facets of CEPAR programs.  Ms. Adams also works with Emory Healthcare’s Serious Communicable Disease Unit, and the National Ebola Education and Training Center (NETEC) to coordinate and develop exercises.

Prior to joining Emory, she served as an Assistant Program Coordinator for the Regional Trauma Advisory Committee (RTAC) in Georgia EMS Region 10. During her time with RTAC, she contributed to drafting the operational guidelines and regional trauma system plan for EMS Region 10. As a graduate student at the University of Georgia’s College of Public Health studying disaster management, she interned at the university’s Office of Emergency Preparedness promoting emergency preparedness on campus, and trained with the Athens-Clarke County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). She is actively involved as a volunteer for the DeKalb County Board of Health Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) and a member of the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health.