Faculty & Instructors

Meet our excellent team of
Faculty & instructors


Stephanie Lareau MD, FACEP, FAWM, DiMM, DiDDM : President, Founder

Stephanie Lareau MD, FACEP, FAWM, DiMM, DiDDM

President, Founder

Stephanie is an emergency medicine physician at Carilion Clinic in Roanoke Virginia and Associate Professor at the VT-Carilion School of Medicine. She completed a Wilderness Medicine Fellowship at Georgia Health Sciences and completed her EM residency and medical school at Wake Forest University. She is the Wilderness Medicine Fellowship Director at VT-Carilion.
Stephanie earned the Fellowship of Wilderness Medicine and Diploma in Mountain Medicine. She the secretary of the WMS Board of Director, is part of the WMS DiMM Faculty. She served as a director for the WMS Student/ Resident Elective in Virginia for 10 years and is currently the director of the VTC/Radford WM Student Elective.
As a medical student, she co-founded the Southern Student Wilderness Medicine Conference. She is a past president of the Appalachian Center for Wilderness Medicine.
Her research interests include injuries in endurance mountain biking races, the effectiveness of high fidelity simulation in wilderness medicine education, student WM elective curriculum and Lyme disease within SW Virginia.
She is a certified Level 4 Swift Water Rescue Instructor through the ACA. She is an AWLS course director and instructor. She is also a WFA and CPR/AED instructor through ECSI. She is also a dive physician through UHMS/NOAA. She volunteers as an instructor for local EMS.
Outdoors, Stephanie enjoys mountain biking, sailing, rock climbing, skiing, horseback riding and SCUBA diving.

CJ Waasdorp, DO, FAWM, DiMM, FAAEM :

CJ Waasdorp, DO, FAWM, DiMM, FAAEM

CJ completed a combined emergency medicine and family medicine residency at Jefferson Health Northeast in Philadelphia, PA before becoming a formal Wilderness Medicine Fellow at Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, VA.  In medical school, he completed an honors track that involved continuous additional training in Rural and Wilderness Medicine in Colorado.  He is very active in education and maintained interested in teaching within his residency and with medical students, having served as a resident director for the WMS student elective.  During his fellowship, he completed his FAWM through the WMS, continued training with the military mountain medicine DiMM, did scuba training, and enjoyed fostering safety and medical training through teaching and training others.  He has previously worked in outdoor settings including a Colorado ski resort and a Hawaii ocean sports tour company and continues to enjoys outdoor sports in a multitude of settings from mountains to marine, frontcountry to backcountry: splitboarding, mountain biking, rock climbing and sailing.  Continued topics of interest and development include: hypothermia, race/event medicine, wilderness/technical rescue with Fire EMS, working toward a Master Diver and completing a second DiMM through the WMS.

Carver Haines MD, FAWM, DiMM, DiDDM :

Carver Haines MD, FAWM, DiMM, DiDDM

Carver grew up participating in outdoor activities including mountaineering, canyoneering, caving, diving, backpacking and more. In college he obtained his EMT, Wilderness EMT, mountain rescue and swift water rescue certifications. Carver worked as a Wildland Firefighter and Wildland EMT, responding to many large fires and firefighter rescue operations in the Northwestern United States. During this time, he was part of the Medical Reserve Corps and pursued additional training in disaster medicine and search and rescue.

Carver has been involved in equestrian sports since a young age, competing in 3-Day Eventing across the southwest and pacific northwest, and eventually becoming the chair and coach of the Oregon State University's equestrian teams. Carver completed family medicine residency training at the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences where he was a chief resident.

Carver attended his fellowship in wilderness medicine at Virginia-Tech Carilion Clinic and is now faculty with the program. He has completed his FAWM, DiMM and DiDDM certifications, and has a strong interest in wilderness medical education.

Justin Gardner, DO, FAWM, DiMM :

Justin Gardner, DO, FAWM, DiMM

Justin completed his Emergency Medicine residency at Henry Ford Macomb hospital in Clinton Township, MI and his Wilderness Medicine Fellowship with Virginia Tech Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, VA. Justin has completed his FAWM (Matterhorn) as well as his DiMM through the WMS. He is also nearing completion of his DiDDM. Justin is an SSI Master Diver and hopes to become a Divemaster in the future. Justin is faculty with the VTC Wilderness Medicine Fellowship program and has led the VTC wilderness medicine journal club series since the fall of 2020. He is the chair of the WMS Student and Resident Education Committee. He is passionate about wilderness medical education. In particular, Justin strives to increase the quality of, and access to, wilderness medicine education. Justin enjoys mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, backpacking, camping, and snowboarding, and exploring with his wife and daughter. He is excited to work as an instructor with BRAM and looks forward to upcoming adventures.

Alex Axtell, PA-C, FAWM : Wilderness First Aid Director

Alex Axtell, PA-C, FAWM

Wilderness First Aid Director

Alex is a PA who graduated from Elon University in 2017. He worked with a hospitalist service in Grand Rapids, MI for several years prior to moving to Roanoke. His interest in the outdoors and first aid began in Boy Scouts on his journey to earning his Eagle Scout in 2005. He graduated from the VCT wilderness medicine fellowship in 2022 and earned his FAWM the same year. Skiing has been a lifelong passion of his and as a member of the National Ski Patrol, he continues his ski patrol service while in Virginia. He is a member of the Scruggs Public Safety Dive Team and is certified as an underwater criminal investigator (UCI).  Alex is the WFA director for BRAM.

Chris Davis, MD, FAEMS, FAWM, DiMM :

Chris Davis, MD, FAEMS, FAWM, DiMM

Chris is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and associate program director for the Wilderness Medicine Fellowship at Wake Forest University.  He has completed fellowships in EMS and Wilderness Medicine. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine and completed his Diploma in Mountain Medicine from the University of New Mexico. Chris has been an educator and practitioner of wilderness medicine since 2004, first as a paramedic, and now as a physician. As a river guide, climbing guide, and former charter sailing captain, Chris has experience leading clients on adventures both on land and on the water. Chris is active in the rescue community and serves on a local mountain rescue team, and as a ski patroller.  Chris' has a passion for experiential education, and loves to share experiences through realistic, simulation-based training. Chris is a high-angle and swiftwater rescue instructor for the National Park Service, AWLS instructor,  is certified by the American Mountain Guides Association as a Single Pitch Instructor and ACA as a SWR instructor.  In his free time, you usually find Chris on a river somewhere.

Josh Nichols MD, FAWM :

Josh Nichols MD, FAWM

Josh is an Emergency Medicine Physician. He works as clinical faculty with the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Emergency Medicine Residency. He is fellowship trained in Wilderness Medicine and has completed his Diploma in Mountain Medicine Certification. He volunteers as medical director for multiple ultramarathon trail races, is a certified level IV Swift Water Rescue Instructor for the American Canoe Association, and is a member of the local EMS Scuba Dive and Rescue Team. In his free time, he enjoys whitewater kayaking, trail running, mountain biking, scuba diving, and adventuring with his family and friends.

Amy Meredith, ENP, DiMM, FAWM : Wilderness Externship Director

Amy Meredith, ENP, DiMM, FAWM

Wilderness Externship Director

Amy is an Emergency Nurse Practitioner in NJ with over 30 years of experience.  She grew up in Papua, Indonesia and return regularly  to teach village health workers.  She recently co-developed the BRAM externship curriculum that provides post graduate health care workers an opportunity to develop wilderness and austere medical skills in an academic format.  Amy is a rock climber, hiker, and out door enthusiast.  She loves working with students and watching them develop their expertise in wilderness medicine.

Michael Caudell MD, FACEP, FAWM, DiMM :

Michael Caudell MD, FACEP, FAWM, DiMM

Michael Caudell, MD, FACEP, FAWM, DiMM is a Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, where he formerly served as the Medical Director for Wilderness & Survival Medicine and was the founder of the Wilderness Medicine Fellowship. Dr. Caudell is one of the founders of MedWAR (Medical Wilderness Adventure Race), serves as the Executive Director for the annual Southeast Race and serves on the Board of Directors for North American Educational Adventure Racing (NAEAR). He is a Past Chair of the American College of Emergency Physicians’ (ACEP) Wilderness Medicine Section and Past Chair of the Fellowship Directors Committee. Dr. Caudell served 2 terms on the Board of Directors for the Wilderness Medical Society (WMS) and is also a former chair of the WMS Education Committee. He remains active in the WMS, as Course Director for WLS-MP pre-conferences, Past-Chair of the Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee, and as a member of the Education Committee and its GME Fellowship subcommittee. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM). He currently serves as a Section Editor for Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Wilderness & Environmental Medicine journal (WEMJ). Dr. Caudell is Past President and served on the Board of Directors for the Appalachian Center for Wilderness Medicine (ACWM). He has earned his Diploma in Mountain Medicine (DiMM) along with certifications in Level I Swiftwater Rescue, SCUBA Advanced Open Water, Mixed Gas and Rescue Diving, and is an instructor with Blue Ridge Adventure Medicine.


Matthew Poche, NRP :

Matthew Poche, NRP

Matthew Poche is a firefighter/paramedic field training officer with Roanoke County Fire and Rescue, but he is originally from NC. He has been in EMS since 2013 and has been a paramedic since 2016. He was introduced to technical rescue and wilderness medicine while completing his undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina. After college he served as Training Lieutenant for a technical rescue agency and obtained his Technical Rescue certification specializing in rope rescue, swift water rescue, and SAR. Through his work as a paramedic in NC and VA he has taken a particular interest in wilderness EMS and technical rescue in the wilderness setting. He serves asa member of the Division 6 Heavy Technical Rescue Team for the Roanoke Valley. He is also on the drone team, using his FAA drone license to pilot drones to help in SAR. In his time off he enjoys trying new foods, exploring local trails, climbing, paddleboarding, and traveling with his wife and dog.

Tom Burroughs, NREMT, WEMT, MPIC :

Tom Burroughs, NREMT, WEMT, MPIC

Tom Burroughs, NREMT/WEMT/MPIC

Director, Ozark Safety & Rescue Educators

A full-time outdoor skills educator working internationally, Tom is focused on the development of powerful and effective methods of experiential learning.

Tom is a recipient of the ACA's Excellence in Instruction award, and has been nationally recognized among the "Best of the Best" of Swiftwater Rescue Instructors. From his start in emergency services in 1990, through his current position as the Team leader of the Washington CO. AR Wilderness Search and Rescue team, his focus on technical skills and rescue techniques has been a lifetime passion. As a NREMT / WEMT, he functions as medical support and safety on expeditions and large paddling events. Tom is an American Canoe Association (ACA) L-4 Whitewater Kayak Instructor Trainer Educator, L-5 Advanced Swiftwater Rescue Instructor Trainer Educator and L-4 Rafting Instructor Trainer. In his role as an Educator for the ACA, Tom chairs the ACA's Safety and Rescue Discipline Committee, which provides oversight and curriculum development for the ACA's Safety and Rescue programs and is a foundational member / SWR 3-V Instructor for the International Technical Rescue Association (ITRA). As a wilderness medicine instructor for Sierra Rescue International, he instructs SRI courses throughout the country and he provides risk management services to numerous organizations. He is also an Instructor for the National Cave Rescue Commission and helped develop the original Small Party Self Rescue curriculum. Tom's programs employ an experiential teaching style that keeps folks interested and involved. Tom can always be reached at SwiftwaterRescue@gmail.com

Jeremy Kessler, MD, FUHM, FAAFP, FAWM :

Jeremy Kessler, MD, FUHM, FAAFP, FAWM

​Originally from Queens, New York, Jeremy Kessler studied medicine at the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara, in Mexico and then completed a one-year internship at New York Medical College.  Jeremy initiated residency in General Surgery at the University of Florida - Gainesville, and subsequently transferred into and completed a Rural Family Medicine residency at the University of Wyoming - Cheyenne.  Jeremy has worked with the Himalayan Rescue Association in Nepal, assisting with setting up Everest ER at Everest Base camp. He also is certified as a Diver Medic Technician and has worked in Roatan, Honduras in the Cornerstone clinic at Anthony's Key resort focusing on scuba dive and hyperbaric medicine while treating the local Meskito Indians, who suffer from frequent dive related injuries.  Jeremy set up a Pediatric/Adolescent medicine practice at the sleep away camp he attended as a youth, located in the Berkshire Mountains of New York State.  He spent 5 years as medical director of this not-for-profit practice.  Jeremy is a board-certified Family Medicine physician and has practiced both rural family medicine and in the urgent care settings of Cheyenne, WY and Roanoke, VA.  Jeremy completed his Wilderness Medicine fellowship at Virginia Tech Carilion Clinic School of Medicine in July of 2020 and since has transitioned to faculty with an academic appointment as assistant professor with Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.  Jeremy subsequently completed a fellowship in Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine at Advocate Aurora Health in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  He currently is the medical director of the hyperbaric and wound care department at Ogden Regional Medical Center, in Ogden, Utah.  He is passionate about teaching in both the austere and clinical settings.  Presently, he has completed his SWR, AWLS, AIARE, Mountain Medicine, FAWM, Wilderness Lifeguard, Open water, and Advanced Open water scuba dive certifications.  He enjoys writing in the medical forum and continues to publish articles and book chapters. He is an instructor for courses such as WFA, WFR and AWLS. In his free time, Jeremy has been a medical and surgical brigade volunteer across Latin America, giving back to the underserved Spanish speaking population.  He is enthusiastic and enjoys working as an instructor with the Blue Ridge Adventure Medicine group and looks forward to upcoming adventures, incorporating wilderness medicine into his future career path, while satisfying his passion for travel by exploring the globe.

Chad Mosby, MD :

Chad Mosby, MD

Chad is an Emergency Medicine Physician at LewisGale Medical Center in Salem, VA, where he also works as Core Faculty for the Emergency Medicine Residency. Within the residency, he started and runs the Resident Elective in Wilderness Medicine, and launched the annual Wilderness Medicine Day to expose the residents to Wilderness Medicine. He’s currently working towards his FAWM. He lives in Roanoke with his wife and 3 kids, and enjoys most any outdoor adventure.

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