Faculty & Staff

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Faculty & Staff 2017-05-16T01:14:31+00:00

John Pierce, Center for Emergency Medicine

Nicole Cecchini, BS, NREMT-P

Clinical Coordinator

As the Clinical Coordinator for the Paramedic program, Mrs. Cecchini coordinates the Center’s Paramedic clinical rotations. Mrs. Cecchini organizes all of the rotations that the student’s will do throughout the year. She is also responsible for making sure that clinical requirements are completed by the students at the end of each semester. Mrs. Cecchini is also an instructor for the Paramedic program and has a faculty appointment with the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.  In addition to her responsibilities at the Center, Mrs. Cecchini functions as a Paramedic for Mutual Aid Ambulance Service.  Mrs. Cecchini has a bachelor’s degree in Emergency Medicine from the University of Pittsburgh.


N. Alex Cutsumbis

Medical Education Coordinator
(412) 647-3643

As Coordinator of Medical Education, Mr. Cutsumbis teaches, coordinates and runs most of the medical education programs offered by the Center for Emergency Medicine. He is responsible for coordination of all EMT programming. He is a lead lecturer and lab instructor for EMT-Basic classes. Mr. Cutsumbis also manages and maintains all equipment used in practical lab sessions.

He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Emergency Medicine from the University of Pittsburgh and is a graduate of the Center for Emergency Medicine’s paramedic program. Prior to entering EMS as a career Mr. Cutsumbis held various jobs in the IT field, this technology experience combined with EMS and education has provided a strong background in healthcare simulation.

Sarah E Potts, BS, NRP

Clinical Education Coordinator 

Sarah is a lead instructor for EMT programming and is coordinator of continued medical education courses incluing ITLS, AMLS, EVOC and paramedic refresher. She is the AHA Training Center Coordinator and coordinates Heartsaver and HCP CPR and ACLS courses.

John Pierce, Center for Emergency Medicine

John Pierce

Associate Director, Office of Education

John Pierce, MBA, NREMT-P serves as Instructor, Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Health and Rehabilitation Science at the University of Pittsburgh and as Coordinator of Medical Education at the Center for Emergency Medicine of Western Pennsylvania.

John received his MBA in 2011 from the University of Phoenix having five years professional experience as an EMS manager and administrator in industry. John has been providing pre-hospital patient care for 23 years, 19 of which at the Advanced Life Support level. He has served in various capacities as instructor and educator delivering AHA, ASHI, VFIS, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine ASLS and DOT EMS curriculums.

John is active as an advocate of EMS at the local, state and federal levels with a focus on leadership and management education and development.

John Pierce, Center for Emergency Medicine

Thomas E. Platt, Ed.D, NREMT-P

Assistant Professor and Program Director

Thomas E. Platt, EdD, NREMT-P, is the Associate Director of the Office of Education at the Center for Emergency Medicine.   Dr. Platt is also an Assistant Professor and Vice Program Director of the Emergency Medicine Program at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.   Dr. Platt became a paramedic in 1983 and was recognized by the National Registry of EMTs for 20 continuous years as a Nationally registered Paramedic. Dr. Platt has a proven track record as an EMS provider, educator and administrator. Dr. Platt served on the revision of the EMT-Basic National Standard Curriculum Project, served as Co-Principal Investigator for the First Responder National Standard Curriculum Project and as an author for the revision of the EMT-Intermediate and Paramedic National Standard Curricula.

In his role at the Center for Emergency Medicine, Dr. Platt serves as the Program Director for the Paramedic Training Program.   In this role he oversees all aspects of the Center’s Paramedic Training Program, including teaching the Cardiology and Respiratory course.

Dr. Platt has worked on numerous local, regional, state, national and international health care efforts. Most recently he served as the Associate Executive Director of the HMC/UPMC Partnership. This initiative was designed to improve emergency services in the State of Qatar at Hamad Medical Corporation. He has conducted EMS Education programs in Iceland, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Dr. Platt earned his doctoral degree in Instructional Design and Technology from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Education, Department of Instruction and Learning. Prior to completing his doctoral work, Dr. Platt completed a Master of Education Degree in Adult Education from The Pennsylvania State University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Administration from The University of Pittsburgh.  For more details, please review his curriculum vitae.


S. Robert Seitz, MEd, RN, NREMT-P

Assistant Professor

Mr. Seitz is an Assistant Professor for the Emergency Medicine Program at the University of Pittsburgh and faculty with the Center for Emergency Medicine of Western Pennsylvania, Inc. In addition to faculty didactic responsibilities within the undergraduate degree, paramedic and continuing education programs, his role includes direct oversight of educational and clinical research. Mr. Seitz received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master’s degree in Adult Education from Pennsylvania State University and is working towards a Ph.D. through the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh.

In addition to functioning more than 25 years as an air medical crew member, Mr. Seitz has served in the role of Executive Director for a community based EMS service and Co-Principal Investigator and Coordinator for numerous IRB approved studies including the CDC-NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory. He has also served as author and medical reviewer for multiple journals and textbooks including the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC); Scientific Peer Advisory and Review Services division of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) and as the JEMS Continuing Education Editor. His broad EMS and healthcare experience through clinical, administration and education provides a foundation to education, clinical and research practices in EMS.

Mr. Seitz remains clinically active on a local paramedic response team, currently serves on the International Trauma Life Support, Inc. Editorial Board and the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council and actively presents at regional, national and international conferences. For more details, please review his curriculum vitae.


Walt Alan Stoy, Ph.D., EMT-P

Professor and Program Administrative Director

Walt Alan Stoy, PhD, EMT-P is Professor and Director of Emergency Medicine at the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, and Director of Educational and International Emergency Medicine at the Center for Emergency Medicine. Dr. Stoy has a proven track record for national project design, development, implementation and evaluation. Dr. Stoy has served as the Project Director of the 1998 EMT-Intermediate & Paramedic: National Standard Curricula Revision Project and he was the Principal Investigator for National Guidelines for the First Aid Training Curriculum. He has served as Principal Investigator to the 1994 EMT-Basic: National Standard Curriculum and Project Director to the 1995 First Responder: National Standard Curriculum. His revision to and adoption by the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of these curricula are internationally recognized.

Dr. Stoy is internationally renowned for his efforts in EMS and is recognized by his peers and colleagues as a groundbreaker and national leader in the field of EMS education. He has shared his views of EMS education in all areas of EMS to the National Association of State EMS Directors, the National Association of EMTs, the National Association of EMS Physicians, the National Association of EMS Educators, and the National Council of State EMS Training Coordinators. He has over twenty-five years of experience in EMS. He was awarded his Doctorate of Philosophy in Education from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Education in Instruction and Learning with a concentration in Instructional Design Technology. Dr. Stoy also served as the founding President of the National Association of EMS Educators.

Dr. Stoy has written more than sixty instructional guides and published his educational work using both print and visual media, including Instructional Guides for the Street Medicine Series, the Hands-On Series, and the ACLS Series. He has authored Mosby’s EMT-Basic Textbook and Mosby’s First Responder Textbook, which is the textbook that most closely follows the National Standard Curricula. Dr. Stoy is an Affiliate Faculty Member or Instructor in numerous pre-hospital and medical education programs, including Basic and Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Basic Trauma Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support. For more details, please review his curriculum vitae.

John Pierce, Center for Emergency Medicine

Owen T. Traynor, MD

Medical Director

Dr. Owen T. Traynor has over 30 years of experience in EMS. His field experience includes an eight-year stint as a paramedic in Harlem, NYC, and as a firefighter/paramedic for a volunteer fire service on Long Island. Dr. Traynor is a well-known EMS educator and has written several emergency medicine and EMS publications. He graduated from the University of Vermont College of Medicine in 1993. He completed his residency in emergency medicine and an EMS Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Traynor works as an attending emergency physician at St. Clair Memorial Hospital.  He was recently appointed to the panel of commissioners for the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services.