-201Days -14Hrs -32Min -44Sec

May 20, 2022, │ 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM

8th Annual Central California Trauma Symposium

Our event registration is now closed.

We look forward to seeing all of you who registered on Friday at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District 808 4th Street, Clovis, CA 93612

Click here to registerVendor Inquiry



The Central California Trauma Symposium is a multidisciplinary conference designed for all healthcare professionals involved with the care of Trauma patients, including:

  • Emergency Physicians
  • Trauma Surgeons
  • Neurosurgeons
  • Critical Care Nurses
  • Respiratory Therapists
  • Intensivists
  • EMS Professionals
  • Researchers and Scientists in the field of Critical Care and Trauma



    1.  Have a better understanding and implement current trauma and critical care management trends in the emergency and ICU settings and apply this to achieve better outcomes.
    2. Acquire specific training techniques and new metrics for teaching and monitoring resuscitation performance, and add this competency to one’s practice.
    3. Be able to identify early intervention and new therapies in managing trauma patients, put that knowledge into practice and show how this can improve patient outcomes.


Accreditation Statement:

Community Medical Centers is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
Credit Designation Statement:

Community Medical Centers designates this live activity for a maximum of 7.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


Additional Information:

COVID-19 Guidelines and Cancellation Policy
To promote safety and well-being, proof of vaccination or negative test results 48 hours prior to live attendance will be required during registration check-in.

Masking Requirements:
All attendees, exhibitors, and staff will be required to wear facemasks indoors except when speaking or presenting, when eating or drinking in designated areas, and/or as otherwise required by applicable law and guidance.

If live attendance is discouraged as the conference date approaches, registrants will have the option of requesting a full refund. Trauma Research Education and Foundation (TREFF) will not refund any travel costs incurred.

The Central California Trauma Symposium Committee utilizes the California Department of Public Health’s definition of” fully vaccinated,” which may be found here: CDPH Guidance for Face Coverings


Symposium Cancellation:

To receive a refund for the Trauma Symposium please contact us by email at traumaprogram@communitymedical.org or by phone at (559) 459-5130.

Refunds are accepted up to 10 days before the Symposium date.

You may submit a request to cancel your order on the same day the order was placed.

If the refund request is granted by TREFF, payments are refunded as follows:

      1. Credit / Debit Cards payments will be refunded within three (3) to five (5) business days;
      2. Other payment methods will be refunded between five (5) to seven (7) days.




~ Session 1 ~

Conference Keynote Speaker

Kenji Inaba MD, FACS, FRCSC

Dr. Inaba is a Professor of Surgery, Anesthesia, and Emergency Medicine at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine.  He is the Vice Chair of the Department of Surgery and the program director for the General Surgery Residency training program.  He is also the Chief of Trauma, Emergency Surgery, and Surgical Critical Care at LAC+USC, one of the largest trauma centers in North America.  He has lectured extensively, having given more than 420 lectures around the world.  As a researcher, he has authored more than 600 peer-reviewed articles, 430 scientific presentations, 60 textbook chapters and is the editor of 9 textbooks.  He is an Associate Editor for both the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery as well as Trauma Surgery and Acute Care Open.  While at USC, he has been the recipient of 26 teaching awards, including the USC Keck School of Medicine Overall Excellence in Teaching Award for the Clinical Sciences, a Master Teacher distinction, and the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award.  He is a director of the American Board of Surgery and a member of numerous surgical societies, leading initiatives such as the nationally recognized American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma Stop the Bleed program.  In addition to his role at USC, Dr. Inaba is also a sworn Police Officer and the Chief Surgeon for the Los Angeles Police Department, currently assigned to Metropolitan Division.


Violence Intervention Program (VIP) Panel 

Eliana Troncale
Injury Prevention Outreach Specialist / Trauma Survivor Network Site Coordinator

​The Table Mountain Rancheria Trauma Center team provides injury prevention programs for the entire Central Valley. Our outreach programs focus on prevention, education, and intervention in a variety of areas. Preventing falls, distracted driving, and how to help prevent blood loss in case of injury are just some topics we cover through free courses and distributing information in the community.

Our injury prevention activities are managed by our injury prevention outreach specialist. These programs involve clinicians from across specialties. We also measure outcomes to evaluate the effectiveness of the programs. Our goal is to keep you safe, healthy, and injury-free.




Andrea Long, MD

Dr. Andrea Long is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco, Fresno Center for Medical Education and Research.

Dr. Long received her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri, graduating Magna Cum Laude, and her medical degree from the University of Missouri School of Medicine in Columbia, Missouri. Her general surgery residency was completed at Mercer University/Medical Center of Central Georgia, Macon, Georgia. Her surgical critical care and acute care surgery fellowships were completed at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, North Carolina. Dr. Long joined the Department of Surgery’s core faculty team in General and Critical Care Surgery at Community Regional Medical Center (CRMC) in 2016. In her role as teaching faculty, Dr. Long’s activities consist of clinical and didactic education, mostly in the clinical setting. The trainees include medical students, general surgery residents, residents from other specialties rotating on the surgical service, and fellows in Surgical Critical Care and Acute Care Surgery. Dr. Long has a strong interest in simulation-based education, global health, complex hernia reconstruction, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) health care. She has participated in volunteer clinical and medical education experiences in Ghana and Tanzania. Dr. Long is also the lead in developing a more robust curriculum for ultrasound use in the ICU for Surgical Critical Care and Acute Care Surgery. This development will place CRMC surgical ICU on the cutting edge of hemodynamic and point-of-care diagnostic evaluation in the surgical ICU. Dr. Long is an Associate Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, the American Medical Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association.


René Ramirez, MD

Director, Emergency Scribe Program

Assistant Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine
René Ramirez, M.D., is board certified in Emergency Medicine.

He completed his undergraduate degree at California State University, Fresno, in Biology and completed his medical degree at Drexel University College of Medicine. He completed his Emergency Medicine Residency at UCSF, Fresno.

Dr. Ramirez is a proud Central Valley native who has always wanted to give back to the community he grew up in. His interests are martial arts, camping, traveling, scuba diving, paintball, music, snowboarding, and spending time with his family.


Armando Alvarez II
Violence Intervention Specialist

Armando Alvarez II’s family members led him into and out of gang life, introducing him to drugs and alcohol before he entered junior high and then eventually to drug dealing and violence. It was an older brother who brought him to the church 20 years later, where he had what he describes as a miraculous conversion. Now Alvarez is working to be a similar, positive big brother figure to help others break free of the cycle of violence. Community Regional Medical Center and UCSF Fresno have secured grant funding to pay Alvarez as a gang intervention specialist to meet with willing patients who end up in the emergency department because of their association with gangs.

“I go in with my heart and my passion. And I go in with my story”, Alvarez describes his meeting with patients. “I try to be a friend. I try to be a mentor. I try to be whatever they’ll allow me to be in their life, and sometimes they are willing to change their lives.”


Maggie Navarro
Program Manager, City of Fresno Office of Neighborhood Safety and Community Engagement

Miss Navarro has been with the City of Fresno Office of Neighborhood Safety and Community Engagement, formerly the Mayor’s Gang Prevention Initiative, since November 2006. She has worked in Fresno for the past 26 years within Community and Gang Violence Reduction spectrum, including the juvenile justice system, prisoner reentry, and the criminal justice system. Miss Navarro’s career experience working with grassroots organizations such as Fresno Barrios Unidos has set her groundwork and bearing on developing community-driven Violence Reduction Initiative and strategies for community members affected by gang and gun violence. She is the daughter of immigrant parents who have been married for over 55 years. She currently holds a dual Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology & Chicano Latino Studies.





Harinder Chahal M.D. F.A.C.S.
Oculofacial Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Chahal specializes in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the eyelids, face, and neck. He received his bachelor’s degree with high distinction from U.C. Berkeley and completed his medical degree at The University of Virginia. He completed his internship at Highland Hospital in Oakland, CA, followed by his residency in ophthalmology at U.C. Davis.

After spending years learning precise microsurgical techniques on the eye, he went on to complete a two-year fellowship in oculofacial plastic surgery at The University of Iowa, widely regarded as a premier center for oculofacial training. His subspeciality training focused solely on surgery of the eyelids, face, and neck — including cosmetic surgery, trauma, and reconstruction.

Dr. Chahal has published numerous book chapters and peer reviewed publications and has won awards for both his research and teaching. He is a fellow of the prestigious American Society of Oculofacial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (ASOPRS), and in October 2021 was also inducted as a fellow of the American College of Surgeons (F.A.C.S.). Dr. Chahal is the only surgeon in central California who is double board-certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and the American Board of Facial Cosmetic Surgery. He also remains actively involved in teaching surgeons-in-training as a faculty member at the UC Davis School of Medicine — with a dual appointment in the departments of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, and Ophthalmology.

Dr. Chahal’s practice is exclusively limited to functional and cosmetic facial surgery – offering expertise in an art and science that demands specialized multidisciplinary training. His unique surgical skill set has proven invaluable in numerous medical mission trips where specialty care is inaccessible or non-existent, including trips to Honduras, Mexico, and India.

Dr. Chahal is a product of the Central Valley and was born and raised in Fresno, CA. His father worked in the valley as a surgeon for over 35 years, and he is proud to follow in his footsteps. When not performing surgery Dr. Chahal enjoys the outdoors, books, and spending time with his family.



Debra Rush
Founder / Chief Executive Officer

Debra Rush is the Founder and CEO of Breaking the Chains. Her insight and experience into this daunting industry are the driving force behind Breaking the Chains’ founding. Debra, too, is a survivor of human trafficking. In 1999, she was rescued and taken to a confidential location, which isolated her from the region where she had been held captive. Unfortunately, at that time, no avenues or efforts were in place to expose human trafficking, and there were limited resources available to help her cope with the specific trauma she had endured. In 2008, after years of guilt and shame, she found the courage and strength to begin her healing journey. This spurred her quest to rescue individuals trapped in human trafficking and who may believe there is no way out. Debra, who has a degree in Human Services, works closely with the Fresno Police Department’s Trafficking Task Force. She is an alcohol and drug counselor and a national trauma expert. Debra has gained notoriety as a passionate community leader, a proud alumnus of the Fresno Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Fresno Class XXXIII (33). She humbly holds the 2018 California State Woman of the Year and has just become a published author. Although she has accomplished much since her transformation, Debra’s most cherished achievement is being the proud wife of Mark Rush and the doting mother of seven beautiful children.


~ Session 2 ~

Daniel Sundahl

Daniel Sundahl (DanSun) is a published artist and writer and has three (3) art books produced of his works.  Articles of his work are featured in Canadian Paramedicine, Journal of Emergency Medicine (JEMS), Fire Rescue Magazine, EMS One, EMS World Magazine, and The Canadian Journal of Emergency Nursing.  His art is recognized worldwide, and he travels internationally speaking on his art and personal experiences with occupational stress injuries and post-traumatic growth.  Daniel is the president and founder of the Peer Recovery and Resiliency Society, a group that supports emergency workers from around the world and aids in their post-traumatic growth.  He is an advanced care paramedic, firefighter, pre-hospital educator, photographer, and photo editor.

The majority of Daniel’s work involves emergency services photography.  It comprises an emotional connection to the artist as most of his pieces are based on actual emergency calls he has attended as a paramedic and firefighter.  He is passionate about reducing the stigma of PTSD for first responders, and he uses his art to raise awareness of occupational stress injuries worldwide.



Eric R. Schmitt, MD, MPH, FACEP, FAAP

Dr. Schmitt is currently the Assistant Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine at UCSF-Fresno and an attending physician in the Emergency Department at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno. He completed his Emergency Medicine residency there and then a Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship at Harbor-UCLA before returning to Fresno to join the faculty. Dr. Schmitt is board certified in both Emergency Medicine and Pediatric Emergency Medicine. He also serves as the Medical Director for SkyLife with AirMethods and is the Emergency Department liaison to the Trauma Audit Committee at CRMC in Fresno.




Brian Hance
Fresno PD

Detective Brian Hance has been in law enforcement for over 30 years, the past 27 years with the Fresno Police Department. He has been a collision reconstruction investigator for 22 years and has been assigned to the specialized Collision Reconstruction Unit (CRU).  Prior to his law enforcement career, Detective Hance was a Paramedic with American Ambulance in Fresno, where he was a flight paramedic and trainer.  As a Detective in the Collision Reconstruction Unit, he is responsible for investigating fatal and critical injury traffic collisions and crime scenes where vehicle dynamics are a factor. Detective Hance is an expert witness in both criminal and civil court proceedings and provides technical assistance to other law enforcement agencies in the Central Valley.




Chris H. Persel, M.A., CCM, CBIS, CPHM

Chris Persel has worked in the field of post-acute traumatic brain injury (TBI) rehabilitation since 1980. He is currently the Regional Director of Clinical Services and Behavior Programming for Centre for Neuro Skills (CNS). He serves as the Chairman of the “Rehabilitation and Independent Living Special Interest Group” for The Association for Applied Behavior Analysis International (ABAI). Mr. Persel has extensive experience in designing and implementing functional skill and behavior change programs and developing a living skills assessment scale. He has over 20 years of experience training crisis intervention, including being certified to teach “Behavior Tools” and “Professional Assault Response Training” (P.A.R.T.). He is a Certified Case Manager, a Certified Brain Injury Specialist, and has been a Board Certified Associate Behavior Analyst and Certified Professional in Healthcare Management.

In addition to numerous educational presentations for statewide and national conferences, Mr. Persel has co-authored a chapter on behavior programming in an edited text entitled Traumatic Brain Injury: Rehabilitative Treatment and Case Management, 4th Edition, published by CRC Press and co-authored Working with Behavior Disorders: Strategies for Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation, previously published by Communication Skills Builders and several articles regarding brain injury rehabilitation.

In 2014, he was named by the Brain Injury Association of California as the “Outstanding Professional in the Field.”


Stefanie Opdycke, MA, CCM, CCC-SLP, CBIS

Stefanie Opdycke is a Clinical Case Manager and supervisor of the Cognitive Rehabilitation department at Centre for Neuro Skills (CNS) in Bakersfield, CA. Her expertise in brain injury treatment and working in rehabilitation settings is vast. At CNS, she coordinates a multidisciplinary team of nurses, counselors, and occupational, physical, speech-language, and education therapists; while overseeing the Speech-Language Pathology department.

Stefanie has also earned notable credentials, including Certified Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS), Certified Case Manager, Professional Assault Crisis Training (Pro-Act), Certification of Clinical Competence (CCC-SLP), and a Bilingual Speech-Pathology Certificate.

She facilitates open communication between providers, insurers, attorneys, families, and patients to ensure individualized treatment and best outcomes. She interfaces frequently with worker’s compensation and accident and health entities, partnering with their representatives to achieve patient success.

As a speech-language pathologist, Stefanie’s work encompasses postacute, residential, inpatient, and outpatient brain injury rehabilitation. This broad spectrum of experience has helped diverse populations, from preschool children to adults. She is bilingual and conducts treatment and education in English and Spanish. She works with a host of brain injury challenges, including aphasia, apraxia, and behavior issues.

Helping families understand speech and/or language impairments in their loved ones is another area of expertise. Stefanie has educated nursing staff and families to help them comprehend brain injury and guide them through the process of rehabilitation and reintegration into society, home, and work.


Speaker Disclosures: The following speakers have no disclosures to make.