Meet the Team

Executive Director

Alexander P. Isakov, MD, MPH, is the founding Executive Director of CEPAR and a Professor of Emergency Medicine at Emory University. He has led the development of the CEPAR office, providing oversight and leadership for numerous initiatives aimed at improving the disaster resilience of Emory and the broader community. 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 preparedness. He is also the director for Emory’s Section of Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, whose faculty and staff provide medical oversight for 911 communications centers, first responders, and air and ground ambulance services in the metropolitan Atlanta area.

Dr. Isakov has been active in programs to improve EMS and community disaster resilience locally, regionally, and nationally. He founded and directs the Emory-Grady EMS Bio-Safety Transport Program, which supports the Emory University Hospital Serious Communicable Diseases Unit and the CDC for the transport and management of persons confirmed or suspected to have a high consequence infectious disease. He led the team that developed SORT, the Strategy for Off-site Rapid Triage, designed to triage patients during flu pandemics that was featured on interactive websites hosted by the Microsoft Corporation and the US Department of Health and Human Services during the 2009 flu pandemic, and repurposed for the COVID-2019 pandemic (

Dr. Isakov recently served on the National Association of EMS Physicians board of directors and the National Association of State EMS Officials Ebola & High Consequence Infectious Disease Transport Expert Panel. He led the Academic-Community Partnership for Sustainable Preparedness and Response Systems project of the Emory Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center, which explored the relationship between academic institutions and the public health preparedness, and emergency management communities. He previously served the National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine as a member of the Ad Hoc Committee on Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of Academic Research Communities and the Ad Hoc Committee on the Certification of Personal Protective Technologies. He is currently the Emergency Medical Services lead for the National Ebola and Other Special Pathogens Training and Education Center and is an awardee of a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences - Worker Training Program Cooperative Agreement to disseminate education and training as part of the national Infectious Disease Training Network. He is a member of the Epidemic Expert Panel of the American College of Emergency Physicians and a subject matter expert for the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange.

Dr. Isakov is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine in both emergency medicine and emergency medical services. He practices clinically in the emergency department of Emory University Hospital.

Senior Administrator/Director of Operations

Sam Shartar, MSN, RN, Senior Administrator/Director of Operations 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 Emerging Special Pathogen Training and Education Center (NETEC), and serves on the executive committee of the Radiation Injury Treatment Network (RITN). Mr. Shartar is certified as a professional emergency manager (PCEM), holds certification as an Emergency Management Healthcare Professional (EMHP), and is board certified as a National Healthcare Disaster Professional (NHDP-BC). Mr. Shartar practices clinically in the Emergency Department of Emory University Hospital.

Operations and Training Manager

Wade Miles, NRP, Operations and Training Manager for the Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response is responsible for the development, management and delivery of educational programs. In addition, he works with the CEPAR team to help develop and coordinate drills and exercises for the University. Mr. Miles also serves as the Training Manager for the Section of Prehospital and Disaster Medicine within the School of Medicine.

Prior to joining CEPAR, Mr. Miles served for nearly 20 years with Grady EMS. During his time with Grady EMS, he served in various roles including, Paramedic, Special Operations Paramedic, Supervisor, Manager and Director of EMS Operations. He has an extensive background in emergency pre-hospital care. Mr. Miles is a founding member and former team leader for the Grady EMS Biosafety Transport Team. He was instrumental in the planning and operational oversight of movement for the first two confirmed patients with Ebola Virus Disease within the United States. Mr. Miles serves as a subject matter expert in the area of moving patients who have high consequence diseases. He delivers training and educational programs across the United States with the National Emerging Special Pathogen Training and Education Center  (NETEC) as well as the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in the Worker Training Program.

Senior 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 the Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response is responsible for organizing, coordinating, and planning operational facets of CEPAR programs. Ms. Adams works to advocate and promote emergency preparedness on campus.

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 concentrating in 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) as well as volunteers with Emory EMS (EEMS) as a certified Advanced EMT. Ms. Adams is a member of the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health.