Jan. 27, 2020 – After devoting the last decade to emergency medicine at the UF College of Medicine and UF Health, Marie-Carmelle Elie, M.D., is leaving Gainesville to become professor and chair of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Emergency Medicine, making her the first Black woman to be named a full professor and permanent chair of an academic emergency medicine department at a major American medical school.
Carmelle joined UF Health as an assistant professor in 2010 from The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and she quickly rose through the ranks. She directed clinical research efforts in emergency medicine and laid the foundation for the department’s progress in its research mission. Triple board-certified in emergency medicine, critical care and hospice and palliative care medicine, Elie has made significant contributions in critical care at UF Health and outlying agencies, collaborating and spearheading sepsis quality with a novel alert system. She also groomed her passion for palliative care by helping to start palliative in-patient services at UF Health and is currently the chief medical officer for Gainesville’s Haven, formerly Haven Hospice and the Haven Medical Group, which spans services across Florida.
Over the past two decades, Elie has been a member of national thematic research groups including the United States Critical Illness and Injury Trials Group, the PETAL Network, the Influenza Research Consortium and the COVID-19 Research Prioritization Committee. Notably, she has been engaged with national collaborators in the design and execution of palliative medicine trials, including EMPALLA, the largest funded such trial to date, which investigates the delivery of palliative care to emergency medicine patients with advanced and chronic illness. She has served as principal or co-investigator on a host of clinical trials studying respiratory failure, sepsis, emergency care delivery and most recently, novel COVID-19 therapeutics, attracting millions of dollars to the emergency medicine clinical mission.
Before joining UF Health in 2010, Elie held several appointments at The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, where she served as their first director of emergency critical care and helped establish a palliative care service for medically critically ill patients. After graduating from Columbia University, she received her medical degree with distinction in research from the State University of New York Downstate Medical School in Brooklyn. She then completed a residency in emergency medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center, where she served as chief resident. Elie was among the first group of emergency medicine physicians in the nation to complete a critical care/trauma fellowship at the University of Maryland’s R. Adam Cowley Shock Trauma Center. She is a fellow of the American College of Emergency Medicine and the American College of Critical Care Medicine. She is also a recent graduate of the Association of Academic Chairs in Emergency Medicine’s Chairs Development Program.
“As a woman and as a member of the African American community, I hope that my accomplishments and the legacy I leave behind are ultimately a reflection of the value placed in people, family, community, faith and importantly, a commitment to diversity in background and in thought,” Elie said. “I am humbled by this appointment and excited to forge new avenues in discovery and education in this new role.”
Her colleague, Joseph A. Tyndall, M.D., M.P.H., associate vice president for strategic and academic affairs for UF Health, chair of the UF Department of Emergency Medicine and former interim dean of the UF College of Medicine, was the second Black physician in the nation to become an emergency medicine academic department chair at a major US medical school in 2008, preceded only by Marcus Martin, M.D., appointed chair of the University of Virginia Department of Emergency Medicine. Elie will be joining the ranks of other chairs of color in emergency medicine Ian Martin, M.D., M.B.A., of The Medical College of Wisconsin and Rawle Seupaul, M.D., of the University of Arkansas. Tyndall said he will miss Elie, in whom he found a friend and “one of the most dynamic and talented faculty members in our department with a rare breadth of clinical scope and an extraordinary talent for teaching.”
“We will miss Carmelle, Newton and their family, who have called Gainesville their home for the last decade and have been an indelible part of our community. Please join me in congratulating Carmelle for a truly historic achievement in academic emergency medicine,” Tyndall said. “UF has contributed significantly to the diversity of leadership in emergency medicine.”