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 Physician Bios

This section provides biographical sketches of the physicians and other personnel involved in the medical screening process.


John G. Benitez, MD, MPH

Position Title

Medical Toxicologist Managing Director, Tennessee Poison Center Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine (Medical Toxicology) Vanderbilt University

Education/Training

Dr. Benitez attained his BA degree from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville and MD from Southern Illinois University, Springfield and his MPH from the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His surgical residency was served at Southwestern Michigan Area Health Education, Kalamazoo, Michigan and his Hyperbaric Medicine Mini-Fellowship and his Clinical Toxicology Fellowship at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee. His medical education fellowship was completed at EMF/Southwestern Medical Center, University of Texas, Dallas.

Medical License and Certifications

Dr. Benitez is licensed to practice medicine in the States of Tennessee and New York. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Preventive Medicine in both Occupational Medicine and Medical Toxicology, the American Board of Medical Toxicology, and the American Board of Emergency medicine. He is also certified as an Instructor, Advanced Disaster Life Support and Advanced HAZMAT Life Support.

Academic Appointments

Since 2008, Dr. Benitez has been appointed Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He also is Associate Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York since 2000, where he worked as the managing director of the RA Lawrence Poison and Drug Information Center. From 2000-2008, he also was Director of the Finger Lakes Regional Resource Center, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York. He has also served as Medical Director of the Pittsburgh Poison Center and the Multidisciplinary MPH program (Graduate School of Public Health), both at the University of Pittsburgh.

Professional Experience

He has worked as an emergency physician in several hospitals in the central Illinois region including EMS Medical Director. Since his training in medical toxicology he has worked at University of Pittsburgh, University of Rochester and Vanderbilt University. He has served as a medical consultant to the World Health Organization with the INTOX project.

Professional Societies and Honors

Dr. Benitez is a member of a number of medical academies and associations. His honors include research awards by the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology, National Science Foundation and the Pittsburgh Emergency Research Foundation and fellowships bestowed by societies such as American College of Emergency Physicians, American Academy of Clinical Toxicology, and American College of Preventive medicine.

Publications

At least forty-three refereed articles, invited articles, abstracts, and chapters have been authored or co-authored by Dr. Benitez.


Donna Cragle, PhD

Position Title

Vice President and Director, Occupational Exposure and Worker Health Oak Ridge Associated Universities

Education/Training

Dr. Cragle received her BA in Biological Sciences from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana and her MS in Human Genetics and PhD in Environmental Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Professional Experience

Dr. Cragle began her career as a laboratory assistant at Indiana University, Department of Microbiology, and during the intervening years she was a teaching assistant, a laboratory specialist in the genotyping laboratory at the Medical College of Virginia, Department of Human Genetics, an Epidemiologist, and an Epidemiology Research Sections Leader. In 1981, Dr. Cragle joined the staff of the Oak Ridge Associated Universities where she now serves as Vice President and Director of Occupational Exposure and Worker Health.

Dr. Cragle’s synergistic activities include Program Director for National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Dose Reconstruction Project for Claimants under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act, Program Director for the nationwide Former Beryllium Worker Medical Surveillance Program, Program Director for the Y12 Beryllium Surveillance Research Project, and continues as a member of a Project Research Team (PRT) for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of International Health Studies. She also served as a faculty member of the Department of Justice Radiation Defense Attorneys and as adjunct faculty in Genetics/Biology at a local East Tennessee community college.

Publications

Dr. Cragle has authored or co-authored more than twenty publications and articles. They include, among others: A retrospective cohort mortality study among workers occupationally exposed to metallic nickel powder at the Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant; A mortality study of men exposed to elemental mercury; Radiation doses and cause-specific mortality among workers at a nuclear materials fabrication plant.


Donna Louise Seger, MD

Position Title

Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine and Emergency Medicine Department of Medicine and Emergency Medicine Vanderbilt University Medical Center Medical Director Tennessee Poison Center Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Education/Training

Dr. Seger received her BS and MD in Medicine from the University of North Dakota, School of Medicine. She served her rotating internship at St. Luke’s Hospital in Fargo, North Dakota, and her Emergency Medicine Residency at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio. Her Clinical Fellowship was in Emergency Medicine with Toxicology Emphasis was also served at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Medical License and Certifications

Dr. Seger is licensed to practice medicine in the State of Tennessee

Academic Appointments

Previous academic appointments include Oral Examiner, American Board of Emergency Medicine, and Written Test Item Writer, American Board of Emergency Medicine.

Professional Experience

Dr. Seger’s professional experience is vast. She was Residency Director in Emergency Medicine in two academic institutions and Fellowship Director in Clinical Toxicology at Vanderbilt. She has served on multiple international scientific committees including those writing Position Papers in Clinical Toxicology.

Professional Societies and Honors

Dr. Seger is a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, Society of Academic Emergency Medicine, American Academy of Clinical Toxicology, American College of Medical Toxicology, and Tennessee Women in Medicine. Her honors are many and include Valedictorian, Senior High School; Alpha Lambda Delta, National Honorary Sorority; and Outstanding Senior Medical Student. She has received several outstanding consultant awards, including the Clinical Faculty Teaching Award and, most recently, the Louis Roche Award, presented by the European Association of Poison Centres and Clinical Toxicologists, Seville, Spain. She is Past President of the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology, the organization with the largest number of clinical toxicologists in the world.

Publications

Included in her long list of publications, Dr. Seger has authored or co-authored monographs, editorials, letters, referred journals, book chapters, and abstracts. She has also lectured at a number of national and international symposia.


Saralyn Reid Williams, MD, FACEP, FACMT

Position Title

Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine Department of Medicine and Department of Emergency Medicine Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Education/Training

Dr. Williams received her BS in Biology, Summa Cum Laude, from Erskine College in South Carolina. She received her MD from Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina. Her Internship was served at the University of North Carolina, Durham, North Carolina and her residency and fellowship at the University of California in San Diego.

Medical License

Dr. Williams is licensed to practice medicine in the States of California and Tennessee. She is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine with a subspecialty Board Certification in Medical Toxicology.

Academic Appointments

Dr. Williams was initially appointed as Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine and later promoted to Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine in San Diego, California. She is currently an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Professional Experience

Among the positions she has held, Dr. Williams has served as Attending, Emergency Medicine Residency; Attending, Medical Toxicology Fellowship, Division of Medical Toxicology; and Director of Medical Student Education, School of Medicine, all at the University of California, San Diego. Most recently, she has been Attending, Emergency Medicine Residency, Department of Emergency Medicine, Vanderbilt University, and Attending Physician, Medical Toxicology Resident Elective, Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee

Professional Societies and Honors

Dr. Williams is a member of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine; Fellow, American College of Emergency Physicians; and the American College of Medical Toxicology, the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology, the American Association of Poison Control Centers, and the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. Included in her many honors are the E.B. Kennedy Scholarship and the Ellison Biology Award. She was a member of the Sigma Delta Pi Honor Society and the Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society. In addition, as a medical student, she received a Merit Scholarship, the Excellence in Emergency Medicine Award, and the Ideal Physician Award and is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society.

Publications

Dr. Williams has authored or co-authored a number of reviews, case reports, letters, editorials, and investigations and has given many lectures covering different medical topics.

 

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