NWMC4 Speakers

We are thrilled to host world-class leaders in wilderness medicine. Keep watching this space for updates on our confirmed speakers.


Keynote Speaker:

Will Smith, MD, Paramedic, FAEMS

Dr. Smith practices Emergency Medicine in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and is a Clinical Assistant Professor for the University of Washington School of Medicine, as well as the Medical Director for the US National Park Service. Locally, he serves as the Co-Medical Director for Grand Teton National Park, Teton County Search & Rescue, Bridger Teton National Forest, and Jackson Hole Fire/EMS. Dr. Smith also serves as a Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve Medical Corps. COL Smith has practiced medicine around the world on 6 continents, from the 'Baghdad ER' to Easter Island. His combat experience combined with his pre-hospital EMS experience as a Paramedic, and his technical Search and Rescue skills have led to numerous speaking engagements at Wilderness and EMS conferences/seminars around the world. Dr. Smith has also been appointed to several national committees (American Heart Association), authored numerous book chapters and consensus guidelines on Wilderness and Rescue Medicine, and serves as a Subject Matter Expert for DARPA. He has founded and runs Wilderness and Emergency Medicine Consulting (WEMC), LLC.


Ian Wedmore, MD

Ian Wedmore is a board-certified Emergency Physician from Tacoma WA. He completed his undergraduate BA at Skidmore College and his MD at New York Medical College. He did his residency training in Emergency Medicine at Madigan Army Medical Center. He subsequently served as an emergency Physician in the US Army for 29 years, deploying overseas on multiple occasions. He served as The US Army Surgeon Generals Emergency Medicine Consultant for 10 years, he developed and started the US Army Austere and Wilderness medicine Fellowship which he directed for 7 years. He continues as a teaching staff at Madigan Army Medical Center, teaches wilderness, dive, mountain medicine as well as prolonged field care. He is also holds the International Diploma Of Mountain Medicine and the Fellowship of Wilderness Medicine from the Academy of Wilderness Medicine.

Last year’s NWMC3 speakers:


emily johnston, md, emt-b(IV), DiMM

Dr. Johnston works as a high altitude mountain guide, whitewater guide, ski patroller and emergency medicine physician. She guides climbers on peaks around the globe, including Mt. Rainier, Denali, Mt. Vinson, and Mt. Everest.  She is medical director for International Mountain Guides and Rainier Mountaineering Inc., teaches DiMM courses for the US Army, trains whitewater guides, has AIARE level 3 avalanche certification, is a clinical instructor for UWSOM, and practices emergency medicine in Wyoming, Idaho, Washington and South Dakota. She attended the University of Washington School of Medicine, and completed her training at the OHSU Emergency Medicine Residency Program in Portland, OR. She is currently based in the Tetons.


Andrew Luks, MD

Dr. Luks is a faculty member in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at the University of Washington. Based largely at Harborview Medical Center, he spends most of his clinical time working on the different intensive care units in the hospital including the medical, trauma surgical and neurosciences ICUs. Outside of his clinical duties, he maintains an actively scholarly program in the area of high altitude medicine and physiology with a particular focus on travel to high altitude with underlying medical conditions, while at the same time engaging in a variety of educational endeavors in the School of Medicine including leading one of the main blocks in the first year curriculum and the wilderness medicine elective. He has spent time working at the Himalayan Rescue Association clinic in Nepal as well as the medicala point person on two Denali Volunteer Ranger Patrols. Outside of work he enjoys getting to the mountains as much as possible for backcountry skiing, hiking and mountaineering and believes non-motorized transport is the way to go for all outdoor activities.


Justin Grisham, DO, FAWM, DiMM

Dr. Grisham is a third year emergency medicine resident at Madigan Army Medical Center with interests in austere and wilderness medicine, EMS, ultrasound, and military operational medicine. He has completed a Fellowship in Wilderness Medicine and the UIAA Diploma in Mountain Medicine and actively teaches both civilian and military wilderness medicine courses. Previously Justin was a climbing ranger at Mt. Rainier National Park and a squad leader and chief medical officer with the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Department’s Mountain Rescue Team where he served as a high angle rescue technician, swift water rescue tech, helicopter rescue tech, and training officer. His interests include ice climbing, back country skiing, ultrasound, and burritos.


Carlton Heine, MD PhD, FACEP, FAWM

Dr. Heine is a practicing emergency medicine physician with a long interest in wilderness medicine. He moved from Alaska to Spokane to become the Clinical Education Director for Emergency Medicine and the Foundational Sciences Education Director for Physiology at the new Elson S Floyd College of Medicine at Washington State University. He has a long history with, and is currently on the board of directors of the Wilderness Medical Society. He has been a member of the National Ski Patrol for over twenty years and is passionate about backcountry skiing and other outdoor activities in wild places.

brittany arnold

Brittany Arnold, MD

Dr. Arnold is a native of the PNW, having grown up in the suburbs of Seattle and then made the migration south to Portland for undergrad, where she has been ever since. She attended University of Portland with a focus on human anatomy and marine biology, followed by a graduate certificate in biomedical ethics, and then OHSU for medical school and Emergency Medicine, graduating from the EM Residency in 2018 as a Chief Resident. Dr. Arnold has remained in Portland as an attending EM physician at Providence Portland and looks forward to many more years in the region, both treating patients and enjoying the great outdoors. Snowboarding, split-boarding, and ski hut touring are by far her favorite past times, and she has been standing on either single or double planks since the ripe old age of four. This winter you can find her working at the Providence Mountain Clinic at Mt. Hood Meadows in addition to her regular ED shifts. Even in the summer, she doesn’t stray far from the mountains and can often be found circumnavigating Mt. Hood, backpacking in the Wallowas, or drinking IPAs at the top-out of a fun (yet easy) rock climb.


Ashley Weisman, MD

Dr Ashley Weisman is an emergency physician, climber, skier, trail runner and mom who loves the uphill. She practices indoor medicine at Providence Regional Medical Center and outdoor medicine with Everett Mountain Rescue. She has a particular interest in rural health and the integration of emergency medicine, primary care and EMS to delivery better care in remote areas.

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Anna Condino, MD, MPH

Dr. Condino is an EMS fellow at the University of Washington Department of Emergency Medicine. During her emergency medicine residency at UW she was a resident assistant medical director and flight physician with Airlift Northwest and medical advisor to Seattle Mountain Rescue. She completed medical school and a Master’s in Public Health at Dartmouth, where she was a search and rescue volunteer, ski patroller, and wilderness medicine interest group leader. Her professional interests include the prehospital-ER-ICU care continuum, flight medicine, and EMS development in rural and austere settings. In her free time she enjoys ski mountaineering, alpine climbing, and most other type 2 fun, as well as coffee, fruit, and spending time with friends and family. Perhaps her proudest accomplishment is holding the unofficial record for most ski days during a residency year at the UW.

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Dwight Smith, MD, FAWM

Dr. Smith is an Associate Professor at OHSU, serving in Klamath Falls as Director for Oregon FIRST and as faculty for the Cascades East Family Medicine Residency Program. He has been involved in teaching Wilderness Medicine for 22 years in Alaska and Oregon, directs annual winter wilderness medicine conferences and Advanced Wilderness Life Support courses at Cascades East, and enjoys teaching and mentoring 2-3 Wilderness Medicine Fellows per year at the residency program. Areas of wilderness medicine interest include wilderness and cold weather survival, tropical medicine, snake envenomation, and AWLS. Dr. Smith loves many outdoor adventures, including river rafting, kayaking, rockhounding, XC and downhill skiing, backpacking, and wildlife photography.


Bill Hatch, PhD, PA

Dr. Hatch started as a paramedic in eastern Washington, became a PA via MEDEX Northwest at the University Of Washington in 1989, and completed a residency in emergency medicine in 1994. He was instrumental in the running of multiple rural emergency departments in critical access hospitals before transitioning to his current teaching roles. He is the immediate past president of the Central Washington Mountain Rescue Unit in Yakima WA, and has been an unwavering contributor to the wilderness medicine community for over 30 years. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Medicine at both Pacific Northwest University and Heritage University.


Stewart Decker, MD

Dr. Decker is a family physician from southern Oregon. He began his career in medicine as a Wilderness First Responder in 2005 and has been enthralled with wilderness med ever since. He has taught Advanced Wilderness Life Support (AWLS) for the Klamath Falls Family Medicine Residency 4 times and is passionate about the preventive aspect of wilderness med. More than rescuing people, he’s loves keeping folks from needing rescue. Outside of medicine, Dr. Stewart spends his time backcountry skiing, mountain biking, backpacking and rafting.


Derrick J. Sorweide, DO, FACOFP

Dr. Sorweide is board certified in Family Medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians. He was in private practice in Grants Pass, Oregon for 13 years before coming to teach physical exam, cardiology, and geriatrics at the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific Northwest. He is faculty advisor to the Wilderness Medicine and Military Medicine clubs at COMP-NW, and worked with a high altitude research team from Stanford at the White Mountain Research Center in California. Dr. Sorweide moonlights as a hospitalist, and is a Major in the Army Reserve, just recently returning from deployment as an emergency provider in Iraq and Kuwait. In his free time he loves to be outdoors, having floated several rivers including the Green and Colorado, hiked several trails including the Rogue and Inca, and climbed several peaks including Hood, Shasta, and Baker. He also loves to spend time on his bike, in his kayak, or running trails.


J. Pearce Beissinger, MS, PA-C, DiMM, FAWM

Pearce is a California native who grew up on the East Coast. With previous experience in orthopedics, he has spent the last decade serving as a physician assistant in cardiothoracic surgery. "Going vertical" has been a life-long pursuit for Pearce. Pearce is a Fellow in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine and an AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor. He has served on the board of directors for the Appalachian Center for Wilderness Medicine, has dedicated many years of service to search and rescue teams, and has participated in numerous mountain rescues both on the east and west coast. He is currently the Vice President of Portland Mountain Rescue (PMR), and in his early years served as a guide for LL Bean. Pearce is the recipient of the 2017 Warren D. Bowman Award for contributions in service to wilderness medicine and to the Wilderness Medical Society. More recently, he received the 2018 PA-Citizen of the Year Award from the Oregon Medical Association.



 CJ is a Flight Paramedic for Reach Air Medical Services. He is a wilderness medic at heart with 15 years experience as an APP/NSP Certified Ski Patroller and WMS Wilderness Paramedic for 12 years. He is a professional avalanche technician & forecaster. He is the Association of Professional Patrollers (APP) Avalanche Trainer and an AIARE L1 Instructor. Additionally, he is a former member of AMR’s elite Wilderness Reach & Treat Team as an WMS Wilderness Paramedic with years of technical rescue experience on Mt Hood and surrounding areas. This includes high angle/ whitewater rescue/ mountain/ technical fire deployment and was their Field Training Officer (FTO).