Thomas D. Kirsch


Department of Primary Appointment:
School of Medicine
Military and Emergency Medicine
Director, National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health
Location: Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD
Research Interests:
Disaster health and public health
Emergency medicine
Office Phone


Bachelor of Arts (BA), Fine Arts, Creighton University, Omaha, NE
Doctor of Medicine (MD), University of Nebraska School of Medicine, Omaha, NE
Internship in General Surgery, St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center, NYC, NY
Master of Public Health (MPH), Epidemiology/International Health, Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Emergency Medicine Residency, Georgetown/George Washington University Combined Program, Washington, DC


Dr. Kirsch is a board-certified emergency physician and expert in disaster management and science, austere medicine, and health care management. Prior to joining the Uniformed Services University Dr. Kirsch served as the Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Refugee and Disaster Response and a Professor at Johns Hopkins University in the Department of Emergency Medicine (School of Medicine), Department of International Health (Bloomberg School of Public Health) and Department of Civil Engineering (Whiting School of Engineering).

Dr. Kirsch has consulted on disaster and humanitarian-related issues for organizations such as the CDC, WHO, UNICEF, PAHO, FEMA, OFDA, the American and Canadian Red Cross, and the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute. He has responded to the major disasters that have defined our times- domestic events such as hurricanes Katrina (2005), Sandy (2012) and Harvey (2017), the NYC response to the 9-11 terrorist attacks (2001); and global disasters such as the earthquakes in Haiti (2010), Chile (2010), New Zealand (2011), and Nepal (2015), the 2010 floods in Pakistan and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines (2013) and the response to the Ebola epidemic in Liberia in 2014-15. In 2011 he served as a consultant to the Departments of State and Defense to assess the U.S. government’s response to the 2010 Haitian earthquake.

He is a globally recognized educator who has lectured extensively nationally and internationally on emergency medicine and disaster issues. He founded and directed the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Emergency Airway Management Course and the Austere Medicine course. He also taught masters-level courses Introduction to Humanitarian Emergencies and Public Health Methods in Disasters at the School of Public Health and the Disaster Medicine course in the School of Medicine. He directed the Hopkins Disaster Fellowship and has taught in Emergency Medicine Residency programs for 25 years. Dr. Kirsch has authored over 100 scientific articles, abstracts, and textbook chapters, and co-authored the austere medical textbook, Emergent Field Medicine (VanRooyen-Kirsch).

In 2013 he received the inaugural, ‘Disaster Science Award’ from the American College of Emergency Physicians and in 2014 the Clara Barton Award for Leadership from the American Red Cross. In 2014 he was also elected to Who’s Who in America and was invited to the White House to meet with President Obama and leading figures from the Administration in a ceremony and discussion to honor the, ‘Heroes in Healthcare Fighting Ebola’.


L Upton, TD Kirsch, M Harvey, D Hanfling. Health care coalitions as response organizations: Houston after Hurricane Harvey. Dis Med Pub Health Prep. 2017;11 (6), 637-639.

Kirsch TD, Schlegelmilch J, Strauss-Riggs K, Chandler T, Redlener I. Regions respond to catastrophes. Dis Med Public Health Prep. 2017;11(4):360-3.

Gulley K, Strauss-Riggs K, Kirsch TD, Goolsby C. Innovations for tomorrow: Summary of the 2016 Disaster Health Education Symposium. Dis Med Public Health Prep. 2017;11(2):160-2.

Goolsby C, Hunt RC, Goralnick E, Singletary EM, Levy M, Goodloe J, Epstein JL, Nemeth I, Rowe DW, Bradley RN, Gestring M, Kirsch TD. Stop the Bleed Education Consortium: Education program content and delivery recommendations. J. Trauma & Acute Care Surg 2018;84(1):205-210.

Kirsch TD, Moseson H, Massaquoi M, Nyenswah TG, Goodermote R, Rodriguez-Baraquer I, Lesser J, Cumings D, Peters DH. Impact of interventions and the incidence of Ebola Virus Disease in Liberia—implications for future epidemics. Health Policy and Planning 2017;32(2):205-214.

Chang MP, Simkin DJ, Lordes de Lara M, Kirsch TD. Characterizing the hospital admissions to a tertiary care hospital after Typhoon Haiyan. Disaster Med Public Health Prep 2016;10(2):240-7.

Kirsch TD, Circh R, Goldfedder M, Bissel R. ‘Just-in-Time’ personal preparedness- Downloads and usage patterns of the American Red Cross Hurricane Application during Hurricane Sandy. Dis Med Public Health Prep. 2016;10(5):762-7.

Kirsch T, Sauer L, Sapir DG. Analysis of the international and US response to the Haiti earthquake– Recommendations for change. Dis Med and Pub Health Prep 2012 Oct;6(3):200-8.