Sierra Nevada Conservation & Wilderness Medicine Conference

Date: 01-Jun-2018




Outdoor Activities
The Program
Special Pre-Event Program
The Presenters


June 1-3, 2018
Quincy, California

Join us for the first annual Sierra Nevada Conservation & Wilderness Medicine Conference! This high-quality educational event with world-class presenters is brought to you at affordable prices by the combined efforts of Plumas District Hospital, Plumas Health Care Foundation, Care Flight, Feather River College, and Dr. Zina Semenovskaya, CMEs and CEs for this conference have been made available through the generous support of Renown Health and Care Flight.

Register today and join other Healthcare Professionals for great didactics, practical breakout sessions, search and rescue demos along with afternoon recreational options such as group hikes and mountain biking adventures!

 This year the main didactics will be held at the West End Theatre in Quincy, less than a mile from Plumas District Hospital. The conference is open to all medical students, residents, practitioners, and other health care professionals. The schedule features speakers, recreational opportunities, and break-out sessions relating to wilderness medicine and patient care in remote settings.



Schedule subject to change without notice. Click here to download the Preliminary Conference Schedule.


Outdoor Activities subject to change without notice. Each guided activity has a limited capacity. Please RSVP at the time of registration or email These activities are brought to you by the Feather River College Outdoor Recreation Leadership Program.

Activity Description Participant Capacity Transportation Equipment Cost 
Hiking  Breathtaking views on a mild-moderate 4 mile round trip hike from Silver Lake to Gold Lake. Distance from conference to trail-head approximately 11 miles; 6 miles on dirt road. 20 Carpool Please bring your own equipment
Mountain Biking; Moderate Level  Quincy’s amazing South Park trail system. 12 Carpool  Please bring your own equipment  N/A 
Mountain Biking; Advanced Level The famous Mt.Hough shuttle and single track descent- then to South Park.  12 Shuttle provided for extra fee Please bring your own equipment  $20 per person for shuttle; payable directly to driver  
 Stand-Up Paddleboard  No availability        
 Canoe No availability
 Birding Plumas County is known for extraordinary Birding. Location to be determined by local Birding expert pending weather, bird patterns, best opportunities.
10 Carpool  Equipment provided  N/A 
 Fly Fishing No availability        


Plumas County is the true rural experience you’ve dreamed about: crystal clear lakes, trout-filled streams, fresh pine forests, star filled skies, and a natural friendliness that comes from small-town life. Located in northeastern California where the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountains meet, Plumas County boasts more than 100 lakes, 1,000 miles of rivers and streams, and over a million acres of national forest. With only eight people per square mile, this rural, four-season mountain retreat offers beauty, solitude, and clean air, making it the perfect location for the first annual Sierra Nevada Conservation & Wilderness Medicine Conference.

Traveling to Quincy

From Central California: Head North on I-5, merge onto State Hwy 99 N, then merge onto CA-70 N and follow signs to Quincy.

From Reno: Head North on I-395, use the exit for Hallelujah Junction and turn left at the stop sign onto CA-70 W, then follow signs to Quincy.

From the Tahoe area: Take CA-267 N to CA-89 N in Truckee. Follow CA-89 N until you must turn left to stay on CA-89 N/CA-70 W. Follow signs to Quincy.

Drive times vary to Quincy depending on weather conditions. On a clear day, it takes about 1.5 hours from Reno, 1.5 hour from Oroville/Chico and 2.5 hours from Sacramento.



NOTE: We recommend reserving your lodging as soon as possible. Local hotels are limited and tend to fill up quick!

Camping will be available at Feather River College for $20 for the weekend; Includes restrooms and showers. Limited number of RV dry camp spaces available. No RV hook-ups or power.

Click here to view local/on-your-own lodging options.

When reserving your lodging, be aware the majority of didactic sessions and activities will take place at the West End Theatre, 541 Main Street in Quincy, CA 95971, and Feather River College, 570 Golden Eagle Ave in Quincy, CA 95971.



Animal Bites and Stings Michael Lindsey MD Michael Lindsey MD will present on prehospital management of snakebites, briefly talk about pathophysiology of snake venom/ general indications for antivenom, and the difference between Crotalidae and Elapids. He will speak about management and pathophysiology of both black widow and brown recluse envenomation. Finally, he will talk about management of scorpion envenomation. 
Building Strong Primary Care in the Growing Wilderness of Rural Family Practice  Jeffrey Kepple MD
This presentation will focus on the major challenges facing the delivery of good medicine in Rural America. We are facing unprecedented closures of rural hospitals, and fewer clinicians are being trained for rural settings where specialists are not immediately available. Jeffrey Kepple MD hopes to present what he has seen as a feasible model for building an excellent primary care base and patient safety net, augmented by telemedicine, highly selective recruitment, lifestyle support, and a strong emphasis on quality and CME.
EMS Challenges at the Wilderness-to-Urban Interface   Kurt Eifling MD
Kurt Eifling MD will explore EMS challenges at the wilderness-to-urban interface, including wildlife, wild fires, hydrology/flooding, communications, and education.
Everest ER Tatiana Havryliuk MD Tatiana Harvyliuk MD will present her experience of working as a volunteer physician at Everest ER during the spring 2016 season. She will discuss the challenges of working in this remote setting and present data for the 2016 season as well as discuss the most interesting cases seen at the clinic.
Maternal & Neonatal Initiatives in Rural and International Settings  Dan Gragert MD
A three act discussion that begins with a brief overview of major Maternal and Neonatal Health Care disparities across the globe, with a focus on major regions of interest: Africa and the Middle East. This is followed by a historical overview of international efforts to close the health gaps in these regions through the Millennium Development Goals (MDG); and finally a discussion on the post MDG efforts across the globe, with a special focus on the USA's current commitment to address these issues.
Mental Health Aspects of Wilderness  
Brian Stafford MD MPH
Brian Stafford MD MPH will present the benefits of nature and wilderness immersion on cognition, emotion, behavior, and body. He’ll discuss the role of the wilderness guide/wilderness medicine practitioner with mental health issues (prevention, identification, evaluation, management, coordination, and collaboration) broadly speaking and with several case vignettes.
My Travel Kit: Taking the Basics on the Road
Mary L. Bing MD   Assembling a basic first aid/ medical kit for travel.
Ocean Conservation Medicine and Surfing
Sonia Mariano MD
How surfers have observed changes in the ocean over the past 35 years, and the steps that have been taken - and that still need to be taken by all of us - in order to minimize the three current scourges of the ocean and the shore zones: microplastics, sewage runoff, and coastal development.
The Pre-Travel Consultation: Difficult Cases / Tough Choices

Steven Zell MD

Steven Zell MD will role model by case presentation, the evaluation of a medically complicated adult seeking pre-travel advice. He will review requisite databases that allow one to survey an individual's trip itinerary and formulate recommendations for pre- and post- travel advice. Finally, he’ll demonstrate the conceptual organization of a pre-travel assessment, including required vaccinations, anti-malarial prophylaxis, medications for prevention and treatment of traveler's diarrhea, and assessment and interventions for recreation, environmental, tropical and other related hazards.
Sea-Related Rashes, Bites, Stings, and Envenomations
Isabel Algaze Gonzalez MD Isabel Algaze Gonzalez MD will talk with visuals about clinical presentations of common rashes, bites, stings and envenomation of sea animals and plants as well as the most resent treatment strategies. She’ll discuss brief integration and about coral reef conservation and foreign animal invasion.
State of the Environment  
Zina Semenovskaya MD
Zina Semenovskaya MD will explore the current state of environmental changes directly or indirectly linked to climate change, and scientific and political changes. Her focus will be on California and the Pacific Northwest.
Surgery in Uganda and Rural Surgery in the US: What They Mean for Your First Aid Kit  Ben Hunt MD FACS
Ben Hunt MD FACS will discuss surgical practice and anesthesia in Uganda, and draw parallels between Ugandan surgery and rural surgery and wilderness medicine in the US.
The Changing Climate of Lyme Disease Andrew Lewandowski DO FAAP  
Andrew Lewandowski DO FAAP will discuss Lyme Disease and how environmental factors are influencing its spread.
Ultramarathon Medicine
Avinash Patil MD
Lecture on the unique aspects of providing medical care to extreme athletes in remote environments. Cases from prior 4Deserts Races reviewed.
Ultrasound Cases in Wilderness Medicine
Tatiana Havryliuk MD
The advantages of ultrasound imaging are immense in a remote setting where other imagining modalities are unavailable. Tatiana Havryliuk MD will discuss her experience using ultrasound in Everest ER to diagnose various conditions from kidney stones to high altitude pulmonary edema, and its other potential uses in the wilderness.
Volunteer Abroad:Committing to Positive Involvement
Sonia Mariano MD Sonia Mariano MD will present on three types of volunteer missions she has been involved in from 2016-2017, including a short trip to Thailand to teach modified ATLS to Karen mountain medics from Burma, Fall 2017 at Pheriche with the HRA in Nepal, and 6 months with Medecins sans Frontieres in Ukraine's war zone.
Water Purification in the Wild: Choices for Sierra Trekkers
Steven Zell MD Steven Zell MD will review the epidemiology in regards to potential pathogens causing wilderness-associated diarrheal illness. He’ll discuss bacterial and amoebic pathogens, and demonstrate methods of water purification. Finally, he’ll highlight the roles of food storage, meal preparation, and medical therapies such as antibiotics, anti-parasitics, and oral rehydration in the prevention and treatment of water-borne disease.
Wilderness Medicine and Giving Back  Paul Auerbach MD
Wilderness medicine involves adventure, exploration, and outdoor recreation. These are supported by local populations and a stressed planet that are often in need of assistance. Paul Auerbach MD will discuss how wilderness medicine practitioners have an obligation to do their best to give something back and make the world a better place.


Knots for Search and Rescue/ Wilderness Kurt Eifling MD and Michael Lindsey MD A hands-on workshop teaching basic knots which are regularly utilized for Search and Rescue and Wilderness Medicine. Kurt Eifling MD and Michael Lindsey MD will present a tutorial about different materials used in ropes and slings and their practical application. They will discuss knot terminology including bight, bends, and hitches, and will have hands-on teaching for basic survival knots including different methods for tying two rope ends together, tying a bowline, and others. 
Wilderness Skills Station—Lifts and Carriers for SAR  Dan Gragert MD, Bryan Jarrett MD and Sue Spano MD Often, the most important intervention you can provide to a victim with unexpected trauma or an acute medical condition is getting them to help. Common improvisations to carry an incapacitated person to safety will be practiced with co-participants in this 90 minute skills session. Factors influencing whether you should bring the patient to help, or bring help to the patient will be briefly reviewed. 
Wilderness Ultrasound Hands on Session

Tatiana Havryliuk MD
Matthew Riscinti MD

Ultrasound is a disruptive technology that is rapidly becoming more portable and powerful than ever before. In this session you will use mobile ultrasound devices that can fit in your jacket pocket and project to any mobile device to manage conditions common in wilderness environments. This will include altitude illnesses, musculoskeletal trauma and more. 


Step into Your Wild Wholeness: Nature-based resiliency for your ‘Self’ and your patients

This 2-day experiential program addresses the deficits in wholeness related to our narrow information and skill-based education and training, and is a 2-day intensive and experiential exploration of our human psyches as unique expressions of the universal forces and patterns of wilderness and nature. Our “wilder” minds possess astonishing resources, untapped potentials and depths that we might not even know exist until we discover how to access them, cultivate their powers, and eventually integrate them into our everyday lives.

• In this intensive, we’ll access these depths and potentials — which we call the four facets of the Healer’s Self, or the four dimensions of our wilder human wholeness.

• We’ll explore the landscape of the psyche through a variety of practices, including solo exercises while on nature wanders, creative expression, self-designed ceremony, group work, movement, voice dialogue, journaling, and deep imagery work.

• We will, specifically, explore, discover, and consciously cultivate the following wild, whole healer archetypes employing the Nature Based Map of the Psyche adapted for the Healthcare Practitioner:

1) The Nurturing and Generative Healer who embodies deep heart-centered thinking and leads us to our deepest Healing, Teaching, Research, Leadership, Activism, and Mentoring.
2) the Wild Indigenous Healer who know she fully belongs to earth and knows through her embodied emotion.
3) the Innocent/Sage/Trickster healer whose gifts of full-presence sensing allow us to become wise, clear-minded, and light-hearted so we can see the big picture and embrace paradox, for ourselves, our patients, our profession and the state of the world.
4) the Muse/Beloved whose gifts arise from dream and the deep imagination and whose imaginative, idealistic, and visionary energy brings forth the never before seen, clearly something needed in our age.
For more Information, or to register for the Special Pre-Event Program, visit or call 1-888-WILD-DOC 

Presented by Brian Stafford MD, MPH
Founder of Wilderness Is Medicine


Start: May 30th: 1 PM
Ends: June 1st, 1 PM (Registration for SNCWMC begins on June 1st)
Cost for pre-event program: $400 for 2 days (includes 2 dinners and 2 breakfasts)
Enrollment: Limited to 12 individuals
Lodging: Camping (included) or local on your own. Includes 2 breakfasts and dinners

NOTE: tuition for this optional pre-event program is not included in the cost of the Sierra Nevada Conservation & Wilderness Medicine Conference.



Andrew Lewandowski DO FAAP
Andrew Lewandowski DO FAAP attended Medical School at Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine, and completed his residency at the University of WI Hospital and Clinics. He currently works as a clinic and newborn pediatrician with Group Health Cooperative - South Central, WI. He is a guest lecturer and former facilitator of the Wilderness Medicine Elective through the WI School of Medicine and Public Health. His medical interests include environmental health and its effects on human health, as shown by his involvement in the Wisconsin Environmental Health Network and Wisconsin Climate Table (geared at energy efficiency, renewables, and other conservation efforts). He is also interested in preventive wilderness medicine (especially how to engage children safely in the outdoors), disease prevention due to environmental factors, and helping children with chronic conditions engage safely. 

Avinash Patil MD
Avinash Patil MD is an emergency medicine doctor in San Jose, California and is affiliated with Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. He received his medical degree from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He currently serves as Assistant Professor, Division of Emergency Medicine, at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Ben Hunt MD FACS
Ben Hunt MD FACS is a graduate of Stanford University (BS/MS biology) and UCSF Medical School. He completed his General Surgery residency and fellowship in minimally invasive surgery at Swedish Medical Center (Seattle, WA). Dr. Hunt is trained as a Wilderness EMT. He enjoys backcountry skiing, whitewater kayaking, backpacking, and biking with his family. 

Brian Stafford MD MPH
Brian Stafford MD MPH is a Pediatrician, Adult, Adolescent, Child, Infant and Perinatal Psychiatrist, Wilderness Guide, Eco-therapist, and Former Chair of Family Psychiatry. He currently guides wilderness immersions and nature-based retreats for healthcare providers in an eco-depth model. 

Bryan Jarrett MD
Bryan Jarrett MD received his Bachelors in Materials Science and Engineering at Cornell University, obtained his medical doctorate from Virginia Commonwealth University, and is currently an Emergency Medicine resident at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center (SUNY-DMC)/Kings County Hospital Center (KCHC) in Brooklyn, NY. He is interested in pursuing fellowship training post-graduation in Wilderness Medicine. 

Dan Gragert MD
Dan Gragert MD is from Boise, ID and attended medical school at Pacific Northwest University in Yakima, WA. He retired from OBGYN during his chief year of residency to dedicate time to truly "austere" medicine, before going back to residency next year (in FM/Preventive Med). Currently operating an NGO in rural Tanzania, and Ecuador to train volunteer fire departments to provide emergency obstetric and neonatal care and transport to tertiary hospitals, with his wife and one year old son. His background is in search and rescue, with an emphasis on crag and winter evacuation. 

Isabel Algaze Gonzalez MD
Dr. Isabel M. Algaze Gonzalez is a UC Irvine Health physician who specializes in emergency medicine. She is trained in primary hyperbaric medicine, avalanche medicine, dive medicine, mountain medicine as well as in coordinating emergency medical teams. Has worked with the Divers Alert Network (DAN), Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), TCS with National Geographic expeditions and as field doctor for multiple sports events. 

Jeffrey Kepple MD
Jeffrey Kepple MD has a special interest in Rural Family Medicine, including operative obstetrics. He has served as a physician in Quincy, CA for over 20 years, serving also as Medical Director of the Rural Health Clinic. He has been the CEO of Plumas District Hospital since April 2014. He has also served as Medical Director of Frontline Medical Incident Management for Wildfires and Natural Disasters since 2000, and is an Advisory Board Member for California Critical Access Hospital Network. His happiest places include mountain biking, backpacking, gardening, songwriting and theater. 

Kurt Eifling MD
Kurt Eifling, MD, graduated from Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in 2009 and directly entered active duty service with the US Navy. He spent one year training at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth VA, then joined the Fleet Marine Force as Battalion Surgeon for 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines Regiment, stationed at Camp Lejeune NC. During three busy years with the infantry, he deployed twice to Helmand Province, Afghanistan to provide forward resuscitative trauma care in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Days after leaving active duty, he joined the Emergency Medicine Residency at Washington University in St. Louis, graduating in 2017. He is currently serving as a Fellow in Wilderness and Environmental Medicine at University of Colorado, learning to survive in rattlesnake country, and working with local partners in the Denver area to improve mental health care for patients in wilderness settings.

Mary Bing MD MPH
Mary Bing MD MPH is an Assistant Professor for the Department of Emergency Medicine at University of California: Davis, where she runs the Wilderness Medical course for medical students. She graduated from medical school at UC San Diego and completed residency at NewYork-Presbyterian where she developed her interest in Wilderness Medicine.

Michael Lindsey MD
Michael Lindsey MD is a current Wilderness Fellow at the University of California San Diego. He grew up in Texas where he also stayed to finish a residency in Emergency Medicine. His interest in international medicine began during medical school where he completed a 4-year Global Health Scholar program. Most recently he worked with Stanford University teaching an emergency medicine course in Myanmar. His interest in toxicology began during residency where he was awarded the John F. Haynes Scholarship for Toxicology. Recently he was a presenter for the regional toxicology conference Pills and Thrills that Kill where he spoke on snakebites. When not working, he spends his time rock climbing, mountain biking, dirt biking, canyoneering, and hiking.

Paul Auerbach MD
Paul Auerbach MD is a Redlich Family Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine; editor, Wilderness Medicine; author, Field Guide to Wilderness Medicine; author, Medicine for the Outdoors; author, Enviromedics: The Impact of Climate Change on Human Health; Adjunct Professor of Military and Emergency Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences; co-founder, Wilderness Medical Society; editor emeritus, Wilderness and Environmental Medicine. 

Sonia Mariano MD
Sonia Mariano MD is US and Poland trained, family medicine specialized, DIMM and FAWM. She has been most recently living and working in New Zealand and Australia in urgent care and ED, which leaves loads of time for surfing, running, climbing, kayaking, and hiking (as well as planning her next trip). 

Steven Zell MD
Steven Zell MD is a Professor of Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine full time for the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine. He is current Program Director for the Primary Care Internal Medicine Track. Dr. Zell maintains board certification via the ABIM along with subspecialty certificates in HIV / AIDS as offered by the American Academy of HIV Medicine and CTH designation by the International Society of Travel Medicine. Dr. Zell has a long time interest in that of wilderness medicine with publications of original research relating from that of giardia lamblia acquisition raters in travelers to backcountry areas and the use of combined Diamox and dexamethasone for prevention of acute mountain sickness. Dr. Zell runs a weekly pre-travel medicine consultation service and takes interest in the analysis of itinerary and subsequent risk for those adults whom have complicated morbidities due to co-existing internal medicine problems. 

Susanne Spano MD
Susanne Spano MD is from Fresno, CA where she is the Director of the Wilderness Medicine Fellowship program at the University of California San Francisco Fresno Medical Education Program. She received her MD at Temple University in Philadelphia before Emergency Medicine residency training and Wilderness Medicine Fellowship Training at UCSF Fresno. She is an active member of the Search and Rescue team that serves Fresno County and the adjacent National Parks. For over three decades, UCSF Fresno Parkmedic Program for the National Park Service has provided Medical Direction and the affiliated teaching hospital is closest Level 1 Trauma Center to Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Sequoia, and Pinnacles National Parks. 

Tatiana Havryliuk MD
Tatiana Havryliuk MD is an emergency physician in New York City. She completed her wilderness medicine fellowship at the University of Colorado and spent two seasons working with Himalayan Rescue Association in Nepal. Tatiana currently is a fellow in emergency ultrasound at Mt. Sinai St. Luke’s and looks to bridge the two fields together. She enjoys biking, hiking, mountaineering and always looking for a new adventure in the mountains. 

Zina Semenovskaya MD
Zina Semenovskaya MD completed her residency in Emergency Medicine at SUNY Downstate/ King’s County Hospital in NYC and fellowship in wilderness medicine at Stanford University Medical Center. She is a passionate advocate for animal rights and the environment and her professional interests combine austere and disaster medicine with global health. Most recently, she deployed to the 2015 earthquake in Nepal through the Delaware Medical Relief Team and taught emergency medicine in Bhutan through Health Volunteers Overseas. She has also worked extensively in aeromedical retrieval throughout East and Sub-Saharan Africa with the AMREF Flying Doctors, provided medical support in Jordan with Racing The Planet, and volunteered with surgical missions in Sierra Leone and Ghana with the International Surgical Health Initiative. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM), an Advanced Wilderness Life Support (AWLS) instructor, and a member of the International Society of Travel Medicine. She is currently the medical director at Remote Emergency Medicine Consulting, LLC and splits her time working clinically as an emergency medicine attending in California and Alaska. 

Matthew Riscinti MD
Dr. Riscinti is co-founder of The POCUS Atlas (, a crowdsourced Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) education platform and an Emergency Medicine Chief Resident at Kings County/SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn, NY. He believes in free open access medical education, the POCUS revolution, and application of POCUS internationally and in austere settings. Outside of the emergency room, he spends his time rock climbing, backcountry snowboarding and traveling throughout the world with camera in hand. Contact him via


Tuition Fee includes all lectures, printed materials, breakout sessions, CME Credit, and two light breakfasts. Camping will be available at Feather River College for $20, payable at the time of registration. Credit or debit card transactions will be processed through PayPal. To pay by cash or check, mail to: Plumas Health Care Foundation, c/o Wilderness Conference, 1065 Bucks Lake Road, Quincy, CA 95971.

Physician or Doctoral Level ($350)
Non-Doctoral Professional ($225)
Resident Physician ($175)
Student (Full-Time Current) ($125)



Press the button below to register today.

Thank you in advance for you interest in joining us for the first annual Sierra Nevada Conservation & Wilderness Medicine Conference!

If you have already registered but need to pay, click here.

This high-quality educational event is presented at reduced rates 
thanks to contributions and donations from these sponsors:

Plumas District Hospital
Plumas Health Care Foundation
Renown Health
REMSA Care Flight
Feather River College
Bill & Sue Wickman 


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