Team Faculty

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Todd L. Slesinger, MD FACEP, FCCM, FCCP, FAAEM

Program Director 

Emergency Medicine Residency

Todd L. Slesinger, MD, FACEP, FCCM, FCCP, FAAEM completed his B.A. at the University of Chicago, and then spent seven years in Brooklyn attending medical school at SUNY Downstate and then completing his emergency medicine residency at New York Methodist Hospital. He then completed a fellowship in Trauma / Critical Care at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland.


From 2002 - 2015, he worked in the North Shore LIJ Health System (now Northwell Health). He was Faculty in the Department of Emergency Medicine at North Shore where he was the Director of the Critical Care Medicine Fellowship, one of the first EM based CCM Fellowships in the US. He was also Faculty in the Department of Surgery as a teaching attending in the SICU. His practice also included attending at Cohen’s Children’s Hospital in the pediatric ED, and working in the Department of Medicine in both the MICU and Palliative Care Units as well as in the Neurosurgical Care Unit for the Department of Neurosurgery.  He is Board Certified in Emergency Medicine, Intensive Care Medicine, Hospice & Palliative Medicine and Neurocritical Care.


In 2015, he moved to Florida to become the founding Program Director for the Emergency Medicine Residency Program at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center. He is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Critical Care at Florida International University - Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine.


Andre Pennardt, MD, FACEP, FAWM

Associate Program Director 

Dr. Andre (Andy) Pennardt is the associate program director of the Aventura emergency medicine residency. He received his MD degree from the State University of New York Health Science Center-Syracuse in 1991. He completed an internship in general surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, a residency in emergency medicine at the Joint Military Medical Centers in San Antonio, TX, and a fellowship in austere and wilderness medicine at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, WA. Dr. Pennardt is dual certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine in emergency medicine and emergency medical services. He is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians, the American Academy of Emergency Medicine, and the Academy of Wilderness Medicine. 


Dr. Pennardt retired as a Colonel from the United States Army after 23 years on active duty during which he was assigned to a variety of special mission, counterterrorism, and other special operations units. He deployed overseas on numerous sensitive, high-risk missions and spent over three years on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq. He was awarded the Legion of Merit, three Bronze Star Medals, and four Air Medals for his combat service, as well as the following badges:  Parachutist, Master Flight Surgeon, Military Diver, United States Navy Dive Medical Officer, Combat Action, and Combat Medic. His contributions to military medicine were recognized by awarding him the Order of Military Medical Merit, Aeromedical Order of Merit, Distinguished Member of the Army Medical Department Regiment, and The Surgeon General “A” Proficiency Designator in Emergency Medicine.

Dr. Pennardt has strong research and teaching interests in EMS and wilderness, operational, and tactical medicine. He is a sworn Florida law enforcement officer and serves as tactical EMS director for several law enforcement agencies. He also serves as regional medical director for the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, medical director of the Board for Critical Care Transport Paramedic Certification, and executive director of the National Tactical EMS Initiative and Council. He holds the academic appointment of Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia.

Annalee Baker, MD

Dr. Baker completed her B.S. in Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin Madison, and her medical degree at Penn State University College of Medicine. She returned to New York City to complete her residency in emergency medicine at NYU-Bellevue Hospital Center. At NYU-Bellevue, Dr. Baker served as Airway Chief Resident.  Dr. Baker continues to be interested in trauma, critical care, social justice and education.

Annalee Baker, MD

Clerkship Director


Laurence Dubensky, MD, FACEP

Dr. Dubensky completed his B.A. in studio art at Binghamton University, and his medical degree at New York Medical College and completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine at North Shore University Hospital. During residency he developed a focus on medical education and designing an educational website as well as an asynchronous curriculum. Dr. Dubensky continues to prioritize medical education and is also interested in critical care and grilling meat.

Director Of Education

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Huy Tran, MD

Dr. Tran completed his B.S. at Florida International University. He  earned his medical degree at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center. He completed a residency in Emergency Medicine at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, NY and Emergency Ultrasound Fellowship at North Shore University Hospital/Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.  Dr. Tran leads the team in point-of-care ultrasound.

Director Of Ultrasound

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Erin Marra, MD

Director Of Medical Research

Marra completed her B.A. in Spanish literature and biology at the University of Wisconsin. She then attended medical school at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health where she was a part of the founding group for the TRIUMPH curriculum, which provided additional training in urban medicine and public health.  Dr. Marra is continuing her interest in geriatric and public health at AHMC.

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John Childress, MD, CAQSM 

A native of Arkansas, Dr. Childress received his undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Central Arkansas. He later relocated to Ohio and received his medical degree from Northeast Ohio Medical University. Following medical school he trained in emergency medicine at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, New York, where he also served as Chief Resident. Dr. Childress is board certified in Emergency Medicine and Sports Medicine.

Director Of Sports Medicine

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Jessica Cook, MD

Dr. Cook was born in Canada and completed her BSc. in Anatomy and Cellular Biology at McGill University. Her interests abroad led her to Ireland, where she spent five years studying medicine at Trinity College Dublin School of Medicine. There she was awarded the prestigious Trinity College Foundation Scholarship in Medicine. She completed her emergency medicine residency in New York City at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital- Icahn School of Medicine in 2015.

Director Of Simulation

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Gaurav Patel, MD

Associate Director Of Ultrasound

Dr. Patel was born and raised in New Jersey. He completed his undergraduate training at Rutgers University and received his medical degree from Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. He completed residency in Emergency Medicine at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY and went on to complete an Emergency Ultrasound fellowship at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, NY. He teams up with Dr. Tran to lead the Point-of-Care US.


Scarlet Benson, MD

Born and raised in Seattle, Dr. Benson completed her B.S. in Biology at WA State University. Attended medical school at the University of WA, with a focus on working with underserved populations. She moved to Boston for residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She worked as an attending in NYC for 4 yrs after residency, at Maimonides Medical Center and Lenox Hill Hospital, before fleeing the NE winters and moving to Miami to join the Aventura EM residency team.

Associate Clerkship Director

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Laura Tortora, MD

Director of Toxicology

Dr. Tortora grew up in Italy and Colombia. She completed her BA in Biopsychology and Italian Studies and trained in vocal performance at Tufts University. Conducted drug trials at the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic prior to medical school at Vanderbilt School of Medicine. Trained in Emergency Medicine at the Northwell Health- Long Island Jewish program in NY, and completed  a Medical Toxicology fellowship at the University of Arizona, where she ran a busy toxicology admitting service.