Bio

Bio


Peter Acker is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Acker holds an MD and an MPH from the Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He completed his emergency medicine training at the University of Chicago, where he served as chief resident. He completed a fellowship in International Emergency Medicine at Stanford University. He currently holds the rank of Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine and was named a Faculty Fellow with the Center for Innovation in Global Health (CIGH) at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Dr. Acker’s academic work in global health has focused on strengthening health systems, particularly emergency referral systems, to increase access to emergency care for vulnerable populations, including mothers and newborns. From July 2015 to July 2016, Dr. Acker played the role of Long Term Technical Advisor for the USAID funded Quality Health Services Project in Cambodia. As part of this role he lived and worked in country, helping design and implement efficient and effective triage and emergency referral systems throughout nine Cambodian provinces. He has also worked extensively with the GVK EMRI ambulance service in India, currently the world’s largest prehospital care system, and the Nepal Ambulance Service to increase the quality and reach of prehospital care and effective emergency referral systems in both of these regions.

Clinical Focus


  • Emergency Medicine
  • Global Health
  • Health System Strengthening
  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Emergency Referral Systems
  • Maternal and Obstetric Emergencies
  • Medical Education
  • Prehospital Emergency Care
  • Emergency Ultrasonography

Academic Appointments


Administrative Appointments


  • Management Committee Member, USAID Health Care Seeking Behavior and Referrals Community of Practice (2021 - Present)
  • Member, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Rural Obstetric Readiness Workgroup (2020 - 2021)
  • EMED 313A Medical Student Coach, Stanford University School of Medicine (2020 - Present)
  • Faculty Senator, Stanford University School of Medicine (2019 - Present)
  • Affiliated Faculty, Stanford Medicine Center for Asian Health Research and Education (2018 - Present)
  • Co-Clerkship Director, EMED 313 Emergency Medicine Student Clerkship (2017 - 2018)
  • Faculty Fellow, Center for Innovation in Global Health (CIGH) at Stanford University School of Medicine (2015 - Present)

Honors & Awards


  • MD Program Teaching Award-Nominee, Stanford University School of Medicine (2020)
  • Humanitarian Award, American College of Emergency Physicians - California Chapter (2019)
  • Outstanding Interdepartmental Faculty Professor, Resident Staff of the Stanford Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (2017-2018)
  • Stanford Emergency Medicine Residency Faculty of the Year, Honorable Mention, Stanford Emergency Medicine Residency (2014-2015)
  • Chief Resident, Emergency Medicine, University of Chicago Emergency Medicine Residency (2012-2013)
  • Emergency Medicine Ambassador Award, University of Chicago Emergency Medicine Residency (2012-2013)
  • PGY-3 Resident of the Year, University of Chicago Emergency Medicine Residency (2012-2013)
  • Professionalism in Emergency Medicine Award, University of Chicago Emergency Medicine Residency (2012-2013)
  • PGY-2 Resident of the Year, University of Chicago Emergency Medicine Residency (2011-2012)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Member, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Rural Obstetric Readiness Workgroup (2020 - Present)
  • Member, USAID Healthcare Seeking Behaviors and Referrals Community of Practice (2019 - Present)
  • Fellow, American College of Emergency Physicians (2017 - Present)
  • Deputy Ambassador to Cambodia, American College of Emergency Physicians (2015 - Present)
  • Technical Advisor for Emergency Medicine and Referrals, USAID Quality Health Services Project-Cambodia (2014 - 2019)
  • Member, American College of Emergency Physicians (2010 - Present)
  • Member, Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (2010 - Present)

Professional Education


  • Medical Education: Tufts University School of Medicine (2010) MA
  • Masters in Public Health, Tufts University School of Medicine, Public Health and Global Health (2010)
  • Residency: University of Chicago Medical Center Internal Medicine Residency (2013) IL
  • Fellowship, Stanford University School of Medicine, International Emergency Medicine (2014)
  • Board Certification: American Board of Emergency Medicine, Emergency Medicine (2014)

Community and International Work


  • Improving Newborn and Maternal Outcomes by Strengthening Emergency Care Gujarat, Gujarat, India

    Topic

    Emergency Referral Systems

    Partnering Organization(s)

    GVK EMRI India

    Location

    International

    Ongoing Project

    No

    Opportunities for Student Involvement

    No

  • Assessing and Strengthening the Indian Neonatal Care and Referral System, Gujarat, India

    Topic

    Evaluation of neonatal care resources and referral systems

    Partnering Organization(s)

    Stanford Department of Pediatrics

    Ongoing Project

    No

    Opportunities for Student Involvement

    No

  • Diploma Course in Emergency Medicine, Yangon, Myanmar

    Topic

    Emergency Medicine

    Partnering Organization(s)

    Parami Hospital

    Location

    International

    Ongoing Project

    No

    Opportunities for Student Involvement

    No

  • Digital Medic Emergency Medicine Content Development, India, South Africa, Philippines, Rwanda and others

    Populations Served

    Medical Students

    Location

    International

    Ongoing Project

    Yes

    Opportunities for Student Involvement

    Yes

  • Medical student curriculum development in Emergency Medicine, Uganda

    Partnering Organization(s)

    Makerere University

    Populations Served

    Medical Students

    Location

    International

    Ongoing Project

    Yes

    Opportunities for Student Involvement

    Yes

  • Prehospital Care Guideline Development and Dissemination, Nepal

    Partnering Organization(s)

    Nepal Ambulance Service

    Populations Served

    Urban and Rural Nepalis suffering from emergency conditions

    Location

    International

    Ongoing Project

    Yes

    Opportunities for Student Involvement

    Yes

  • Prehospital Care Provide Mobile Application Decision Aid Creation, Nepal

    Topic

    Pre-hospital care in resource limited settings

    Partnering Organization(s)

    Nepal Ambulance Service

    Populations Served

    Emergently ill and injured Nepalese

    Location

    International

    Ongoing Project

    Yes

    Opportunities for Student Involvement

    Yes

  • Emergency Medicine Education and Development, Myanmar

    Topic

    Assessing baseline EM knowledge and designing educational internvetions

    Populations Served

    All levels of healthcare professionals

    Location

    International

    Ongoing Project

    Yes

    Opportunities for Student Involvement

    No

  • 2014 Nepal Ambulance Service EMT Refresher Training, Nepal

    Topic

    Critical EMT refresher course

    Partnering Organization(s)

    Nepal Ambulance Service

    Populations Served

    EMT's

    Location

    International

    Ongoing Project

    No

    Opportunities for Student Involvement

    No

  • 2014 VPOL Course: Managing Emergencies: What Every Doctor Needs to Know, Uganda

    Topic

    Online emergency medicine skills course

    Partnering Organization(s)

    Makerere University

    Populations Served

    Medical Students

    Location

    International

    Ongoing Project

    Yes

    Opportunities for Student Involvement

    Yes

  • 2013-2016 Stanford Essential Prehospital Care Course, India

    Topic

    EMT refresher training courses

    Partnering Organization(s)

    GVK-EMRI

    Location

    International

    Ongoing Project

    Yes

    Opportunities for Student Involvement

    Yes

  • 2014-2019 USAID Quality Health Services Project, Cambodia

    Topic

    Improving access to emergency care services

    Partnering Organization(s)

    URC, MTI

    Location

    International

    Ongoing Project

    Yes

    Opportunities for Student Involvement

    No

Research & Scholarship

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


My research and work focus on optimizing the use of health system data to create intelligent and accurate emergency referral systems to ensure vulnerable populations receive the care they require as efficiently as possible. I am interested in increasing our understanding of currently available health infrastructure in resource limited settings, and pairing that knowledge with technology tools to help identify patient's true needs and match those needs with health system capacity in real-time.

Projects


  • USAID Quality Health ServIces project in Cambodia, Stanford University, University Research Consortium (8/1/2013 - Present)

    A multifaceted project working to improve maternal and neonatal health throughout Cambodia. Our area of concentration involves creation of an integrated system for efficient identification, initial assessment and immediate care, referral and transfer of ill neonates and mothers.

    Location

    Cambodia

    Collaborators

    • Matthew Strehlow, Associate Professor, Stanford University Department of Emergency Medicine
    • S. Mahadevan, Stanford University Department of Emergency Medicine
    • Ayesha Khan, Clinical Assistant Professor, Emergency Medicine
  • Stanford Essential Prehospital Care Course, Stanford University, University Research Consortium

    Designing and implementing a series of novel, focused EMT refresher training courses with our Indian partner GVK EMRI. These training programs are being utilized to provided updated, evidence based care training to their group of over 10,000 EMTs.

    Location

    India

  • Prehospital Care Provider Training and Mobile Decision Aid Application Creation

    Location

    Nepal

    Collaborators

  • Saving Mother's and Infant's Lives via Emergency Care (SMILE), Stanford University Department of Emergency Medicine and GVK Emergency Research and Management Institute, India (8/15/2019)

    Location

    Gujarat, India

    Collaborators

Publications

All Publications


  • Strengthening the Emergency Referral System in Cambodia for Women and Children Under Five: A Description of Interventions and Impact Analysis. Journal of Global Health Reports Acker, P. C. 2020
  • Developing Emergency Triage Systems in Cambodia. Cureus Khan, A. n., Rice, B. n., Acker, P. n. 2020; 12 (10): e11233

    Abstract

    As Cambodia works to rebuild its public health system, an area of focus has been improving the quality of emergency services. After a needs assessment in 2011, project partners identified the implementation of a patient triage system as the first target for development efforts. A context-specific triage system was created using the input of a spectrum of local stakeholders. It was tailored to fit the needs and resources available within the Cambodian health system. The system was implemented through a series of educational interventions at 35 public hospitals throughout nine Cambodian provinces. Follow-up quality improvement visits occurred on a quarterly basis between February 2016 and September 2018, during which feedback on the system was gathered using both quantitative and qualitative methods, and additional system updates were implemented. In this technical report we aim to describe the triage system design, implementation and quality improvement processes utilized with the hope of informing and supporting colleagues working to address similar challenges in other areas of the world. Through this assessment process a number of key observations were made: 1) Establishment of context-specific emergency triage systems is feasible in low resource settings; 2) Development of new triage processes requires an iterative approach; 3) Successful uptake of new practice systems requires flexibility from both the implementers and end-users in the development relationship; 4) Process improvement requires consistent retraining and reinforcement.

    View details for DOI 10.7759/cureus.11233

    View details for PubMedID 33269161

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7706145

  • Continuing Education for Prehospital Healthcare Providers in India - A Novel Course and Concept. Open access emergency medicine : OAEM Lindquist, B. D., Koval, K. W., Acker, P. C., Bills, C. B., Khan, A. n., Zachariah, S. n., Newberry, J. A., Rao, G. V., Mahadevan, S. V., Strehlow, M. C. 2020; 12: 201–10

    Abstract

    Emergency medical services (EMS) in India face enormous challenges in providing care to a geographically expansive and diverse patient population. Over the last decade, the public-private-partnership GVK EMRI (Emergency Management and Research Institute) has trained over 100,000 emergency medical technicians (EMTs), with greater than 21,000 currently practicing, to address this critical gap in the healthcare workforce. With the rapid development and expansion of EMS, certain aspects of specialty development have lagged behind, including continuing education requirements. To date, there have been no substantial continuing education EMT skills and training efforts. We report lessons learned during development and implementation of a continuing education course (CEC) for EMTs in India.From 2014 to 2017, we employed an iterative process to design and launch a novel CEC focused on five core emergency competency areas (medicine and cardiology, obstetrics, trauma, pediatrics, and leadership and communication). Indian EMT instructors and providers partnered in design and content, and instructors were trained to independently deliver the CEC. Many challenges had to be overcome: scale (>21,000 EMTs), standardization (highly variable skill levels among providers and instructors), culture (educational emphasis on rote memorization rather than practical application), and translation (22 major languages and a few hundred local dialects spoken nationwide).During the assessment and development phases, we identified five key strategies for success: (1) use icon-based video instruction to ensure consistent quality and allow voice-over for easy translation; (2) incorporate workbooks during didactic videos and (3) employ low-cost simulation and case discussions to emphasize active learning; (4) focus on non-technical skills; (5) integrate a formal training-of-trainers prior to delivery of materials.These key strategies can be combined with innovation and flexibility to address unique challenges of language, system resources, and cultural differences when developing impactful continuing educational initiatives in bourgeoning prehospital care systems in low- and middle-income countries.

    View details for DOI 10.2147/OAEM.S249447

    View details for PubMedID 32982494

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7505709

  • Comparing Teaching Methods in Resource-Limited Countries. AEM education and training Mahadevan, S. V., Walker, R., Kalanzi, J., Stone, L. T., Bills, C., Acker, P., Apfeld, J. C., Newberry, J., Becker, J., Mantha, A., Tecklenburg Strehlow, A. N., Strehlow, M. C. 2018; 2 (3): 238

    View details for PubMedID 30051096

  • Anaphylaxis Progressive Cases in Emergency Medicine Acker, P. C., Lindberg, P., Pillow, T., Ahn, J. McGraw-Hill Education. 2018; 1
  • Comparison of Online and Classroom-based Formats for Teaching Emergency Medicine to Medical Students in Uganda. AEM education and training Mahadevan, S. V., Walker, R. n., Kalanzi, J. n., Stone, L. T., Bills, C. n., Acker, P. n., Apfeld, J. C., Newberry, J. n., Becker, J. n., Mantha, A. n., Tecklenburg Strehlow, A. N., Strehlow, M. C. 2018; 2 (1): 5–9

    Abstract

    Severe global shortages in the health care workforce sector have made improving access to essential emergency care challenging. The paucity of trained specialists in low- and middle-income countries translates to large swathes of the population receiving inadequate care. Efforts to expand emergency medicine (EM) education are similarly impeded by a lack of available and appropriate teaching faculty. The development of comprehensive, online medical education courses offers a potentially economical, scalable, and lasting solution for universities experiencing professional shortages.An EM course addressing core concepts and patient management was developed for medical students enrolled at Makerere University College of Health Sciences in Kampala, Uganda. Material was presented to students in two comparable formats: online video modules and traditional classroom-based lectures. Following completion of the course, students were assessed for knowledge gains.Forty-two and 48 students enrolled and completed all testing in the online and classroom courses, respectively. Student knowledge gains were equivalent (classroom 25 ± 8.7% vs. online 23 ± 6.5%, p = 0.18), regardless of the method of course delivery.A summative evaluation of Ugandan medical students demonstrated that online teaching modules are effectively equivalent and offer a viable alternative to traditional classroom-based lectures delivered by on-site, visiting faculty in their efficacy to teach expertise in EM. Web-based curriculum can help alleviate the burden on universities in developing nations struggling with a critical shortage of health care educators while simultaneously satisfying the growing community demand for access to emergency medical care. Future studies assessing the long-term retention of course material could gauge its incorporation into clinical practice.

    View details for PubMedID 30051058

  • Procedural Sedation in Resource Limited Settings Critical Decisions in Emergency Medicine Acker, P. C., Koval, K., Leeper, S. 2017; 31 (4): 3-13
  • Implementing an Innovative Prehospital Care Provider Training Course in Nine Cambodian Provinces Cureus Acker, P. C. 2016; 8 (6)

    View details for DOI 10.7759/cureus.656

  • Efficacy of a novel two-day EMT refresher training program focused on essential EMS knowledge and skills International Summit on Emergency Medicine and Trauma Acker, P. C. 2014

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