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Biocontainment Unit Staff

  • Lisa L. Maragakis, M.D., M.P.H., F.S.H.E.A., F.I.D.S.A.

    Lisa Maragakis is the Senior Director of Healthcare Epidemiology and Infection Control for the Johns Hopkins Health System and the Hospital Epidemiologist and Director of the Department of Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. She is an Associate Professor of Medicine at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where she received her medical degree and post-doctoral Infectious Diseases training and a master’s degree in public health from The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Lisa is the Medical Director of the newly constructed Biocontainment Unit at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, which was recently designated as one of 10 U. S. regional treatment centers for patients with Ebola or other highly contagious diseases.

    Lisa has served as a Councilor on the Board of Directors of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), as Vice-Chair of the SHEA Guidelines Committee, and as the co-lead representing the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) for the 2014 update of “A Compendium of Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections in Acute Care Hospitals.” She currently serves as a member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC). Her research interests are the prevention and control of healthcare-acquired infections, the epidemiology and prevention of antimicrobial-resistant gram negative bacilli, and understanding and addressing human factors that may interfere with or facilitate compliance with evidence-based best practices for infection prevention.

    headshot of Lisa Maragakis
  • Brian Thomas Garibaldi, M.D.

    Medical Director, The Johns Hopkins Biocontainment Unit
    Associate Program Director, Osler Medical Residency
    Associate Professor of Medicine and Physiology
    Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care

    Brian Garibaldi is associate professor in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, where he attends in the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) and the Interstitial Lung Disease clinic. He is medical director of The Johns Hopkins Biocontainment Unit (BCU), a federally funded special pathogens treatment center. He is also the associate program director of the Osler Medical Residency Program, where he leads curriculum development and implementation.

    Brian was instrumental in creating the Johns Hopkins BCU. He helped to design the physical structure of the unit, created the physician staffing model and constructed the clinical care guidelines and protocols. He also led the design of the BCU simulation and training program for the care of patients with highly infectious diseases. He has in-depth knowledge of the challenges of the biocontainment environment and understands the specific threats to both healthcare provider and patient safety in the setting of highly infectious diseases.

    Brian has worked closely with the Maryland State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to design the state Ebola response plan, and he also served on the Region 3 Preparedness Committee to design the mid-Atlantic response to high consequence pathogens. Most recently, during the coronavirus pandemic, Brian and his team developed a “prediction model” that can help other hospitals care for COVID-19 patients — and make important decisions about planning and resource allocations.

    In addition to his BCU role, Brian is an accomplished clinical educator and has taken on numerous educational leadership roles. In 2017, he co-founded and became the first president of the Society of Bedside Medicine, an organization devoted to education, innovation and research on the role of the clinical encounter in 21st century medicine.

    headshot of Brian Garibaldi
  • Neysa Ernst, R.N., M.S.N.

    Neysa Ernst earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing in 2006, followed by a Master’s of Science in Nursing from Johns Hopkins University in 2011, Prior to nursing, Neysa enjoyed a diverse career in sales, sales management and marketing for Johnson & Johnson, US Foodservice, Sysco Foodservice, Sheraton Hotels. Neysa received a Bachelor of Science in Food Marketing from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. Neysa served as President of the Maryland Nurse’s Association (MNA) and was instrumental in promoting legislation to increase penalties for assaulting healthcare workers in the state of Maryland.

    She is a founding member of the Danny’s Day Foundation; serving developmentally challenged young adults in Anne Arundel County. Neysa is a contributing writer to the Maryland Nurse newsletter, a member of the American Nurse’s Association (ANA) and the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. Neysa is currently a Nurse Manager in the Department of Medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital. In December 2012 she opened Halsted 4, a 15 bed adult inpatient unit. In October 2014 she became the Nurse Manager of the Johns Hopkins Biocontainment Unit, which opened in the Spring of 2015.

    headshot of Neysa Ernst
  • Jade Flinn, M.S.N., R.N., C.C.R.N., C.N.R.N.

    Jade Flinn is the nurse educator for the Biocontainment Unit. As the nurse educator of the BCU, Jade’s role focuses on the BCU’s ability to safely and efficiently activate by maintaining staff specialty training and unit operations. She has planned and executed multiple large-scale exercises that drill various aspects of BCU response and activation including transport coordination, clinical care, and incident command communications. Jade developed an operational tool, the BCU Readiness Scale and Checklist, to identify activation gaps and published findings that have spurred a greater and clearer focus on the BCU’s high-consequence infectious disease preparedness that inform unit and hospital procedures. She has trained in specialty nursing care including critical care and neurosciences since 2012. Jade is a teaching center faculty member for the Johns Hopkins Hospital CPR office and delivers ACLS certification classes for a multidisciplinary group of staff including the emergency department, critical care and transport staff. She was also a lead in disseminating skills and initiating projects inspired by her training with the Mindful Ethical Practice and Resilience Academy (MEPRA) in an effort to promote meaningful recognition and gratitude in an effort to address and reduce burnout for her nurse peers. She earned her bachelor's degree in nursing from Johns Hopkins University in 2011, and her graduate degree in Leadership in Nursing Education from Notre Dame of Maryland University in 2019.

    headshot of Jade Flinn
  • Andrew Michalek, J.D./M.H.A.

    Andrew the Program Manager for the Biocontainment Unit (“BCU”) and the Division of Hospital Medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Within the BCU, he is responsible overseeing the day-to-day operational aspects of the unit, both the state and federal financial reporting mechanisms, contract negotiation, and staff recruitment. In addition, he serves as the project director of the JHH BCU Covid-19 Project ECHO, a collaborative effort with frontline hospitals across ASPR Region III. Further, Andrew works closely with Region III partners and is heavily involved with the strategic growth and development of the BCU throughout the region. Within the newly formed Division of Hospital Medicine he coordinates surge staffing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and works alongside division leadership to create a robust hospitalist division capable of meeting the demands and stringent standards of Johns Hopkins Hospital. Prior to working at Johns Hopkins, Andrew was a human rights caseworker at Justice Centre-Hong Kong where, in addition to advocating for clients, he spearheaded public health outreach and trained corporate partners in gathering testimony from vulnerable populations. Andrew holds a bachelor’s degree in corporate finance from Saint Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, a Juris Doctorate from City University of Hong Kong School of Law, and his Master’s in Health Administration from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

    headshot of Andrew Michalek
  • Christopher Sulmonte, M.H.A.

    Christopher Sulmonte serves as project administrator for the BCU. In this role, he is responsible overseeing financial, educational and administrative coordination both inside the BCU and with external partners. Christopher also acts as primary program coordinator for the Maryland Ebola and Other Special Pathogens Training Program, which as of January 2020 has trained over 150 frontline healthcare workers at over 20 Maryland facilities the concepts of identify, isolate and inform as well as general recommendations for personal protective equipment. In additional to his programmatic activities, Christopher works closely with external partners including the Maryland Department of Health, to maintain communication, coordination and readiness. His past work experience include a position at the Center for Resuscitation Sciences at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Christopher received his bachelor's degree in chemistry from Boston College in 2014, and his master's in health administration in 2018 from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

    headshot of Christopher Sulmonte

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