State emergency medicine panel taps UC Irvine’s Koenig

October 22, 2012
Dr. Kristi Koenig <br/> Photo by Steve Zylius/UCI Healthcare

Kristi L. Koenig, MD,  has been appointed to the Commission on Emergency Medical Services by California Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez. Koenig fills an unexpired term and will serve through Jan. 1, 2013.

Koenig is a professor of emergency medicine at the University of California, Irvine and is director of UC Irvine’s Center for Disaster Medical Sciences and is director of Public Health Preparedness. She is also director of the university’s International EMS & Disaster Medical Sciences Fellowship. As a representative of the California Medical Association, Koenig served on the commission between 1998 and 2001.

An internationally recognized expert and widely published in the fields of homeland security, disaster and emergency medicine, emergency management, and emergency medical services, Koenig and UC Irvine colleague Dr. Carl H. Schultz published Koenig & Schultz’s Disaster Medicine: Comprehensive Principles & Practices in 2010. The book is the definitive reference in preparing for disasters and is intended for anyone who manages or trains people involved in disaster response, including public health officials, paramedics, hospital staff and medical school students.

“Dr. Koenig has deep experience in EMS management at the local, state and national level and is often called upon as consultant for emergency medicine services and disaster planning all over the world,” said Dr. Howard Backer, Director of the Emergency Medical Services Authority. “We welcome her to the EMS Commission and look forward to her input and counsel in this new role.”

Prior to joining the University of California, Koenig held a 5-year appointment from the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs as the national director of the federal Emergency Management Strategic Healthcare Group. As principal emergency medicine advisor to the Under Secretary for Health, she led emergency management for the nation’s largest integrated healthcare system.

Koenig began her career in EMS during medical school at New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine when she studied the city’s EMS delivery system and collected real-time data during ride-alongs with the Harlem paramedics on Friday and Saturday nights.

The Commission on Emergency Medical Services supports the role of EMS agencies to ensure that patients have adequate access to quality emergency medical services, and to ensure the long term stability of these services.

The Commission meets quarterly at locations around the state to provide advice to the Director of the California Emergency Medical Services Authority and to approve regulations, standards and guidelines developed by the EMS Authority. For more information about the EMS Commission, please visit