Global Surgery

[separator top=”20″ style=”double”]

Global Surgery

[separator top=”20″ style=”double”]

Maximizing Resources in Global Health


Katayoun Madani, MD FICS (jr)

Dr. Katayoun Madani is the Gordon visiting fellow in Global Surgery Policy and Advocacy at the Baker Institute for public policy at Rice University as well as Global Surgery Clinical Instructor at Michael E DeBakey Department of Surgery at Baylor College ofMedicine. Her current area of research involves evaluation and development of policies that improve access to emergency and trauma surgical healthcare in areas of disparities whether in the rural areas of the United States or across the globe. Dr. Madani is the secretary of the Association of Academic Global Surgery, and serves as the Immediate Past Chair and member of the Board of Directors of InciSioN.





Sukriti Bansal, MD

Sukriti Bansal is a clinical PGY4 general surgery resident in the Michael E. DeBakey dept of General Surgery at the Baylor College of Medicine. Her academic focus is surgical disparities, the environmental impact of surgery, and surgical education. She has been active in global health since college, serving on the executive board of Indiana University’s chapter of Timmy Global Health from 2010 – 2013, in addition to participating in multiple global health trips to Guatemala and India and serving as the Baylor Global Surgery Fellow from 2020 – 2021. She received her B.S. in Biochemistry and Liberal Arts & Management from Indiana University and her MD with distinction in Global Health from UT Southwestern Medical Center. After completing her general surgery training, she hopes to pursue further subspecialization in minimally invasive surgery.

Sarah Gerwig, MPH 

Sarah Gerwig is a global health expert and entrepreneur with over a decade of experience in academic health science and global innovation in the world’s largest medical center and holds a patent for deployable mobile clinics and laboratories (SmartPods) initially utilized for Ebola response in W. Africa.  She is the CEO of UpGlobal. In this role, she serves as an advisor for life science startups in the United States and beyond.  She is a founding member of TEXGHS and a Senior Advisor for PandemicTech. Most recently, Sarah served as an Adjunct Instructor and Associate Director of Global Medical Innovation in the bioengineering department at Rice University. She worked with graduate students in Bioengineering to develop low-cost medical devices for low-resource settings in Brazil and Costa Rica. At Rice, she also created a new curriculum to teach students how to prepare for a career in industry. Sarah also worked at Baylor College of Medicine for eight years in many roles connected to global health. At BCM, she drove innovative concepts from the grant writing and design phase to prototype development, scale-up, and commercialization pathways by identifying, co-writing, and managing over $3 million in grant funding from USAID and Paul Allen Foundation as Director of Business Development for Baylor Global Health’s Innovation Center.  She also strategically developed, planned, and executed successful global health hackathons addressing health challenges in low-resource settings and bringing together multi-disciplinary teams from across the globe. Sarah has generated over $6 million in funding and 10 new partnerships in Houston, South and Central America, Europe & Africa. Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Sarah attended the University of Texas in Austin. She received a Bachelor of Journalism prior to moving to Houston to get her Master’s in Public Health at the University of Texas School of Public Health. 

Rahel Salassie, MD

Dr. Rahel Selassie is an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology at Baylor College of Medicine, where she has served as the Medical Director of Anesthesia Services. She attended medical school at Baylor College of Medicine, where she completed her anesthesiology residency program and served as Chief Resident prior to joining as faculty in 2012. She has held leadership positions at institutions, serving as Chief of Anesthesia Services, Director of Patient Safety and Quality, Chair of the Peer and Credentialing Committee, and member of the Medical Executive Committee and Governing Board. Her work has been devoted to ensuring the highest level of patient care, safety, and quality throughout the perioperative anesthesia period. She assumes the highest level of responsibility, understanding the significance and privilege of being the patient’s anesthesia “guardian.” As part of her community service and prior to medicine, Dr. Selassie co-founded a nonprofit organization that serves children who are victims of abuse and neglect. She remains involved with the organization today, serving as the Board’s Vice President. Her humanitarian efforts expanded globally when she was invited by the American College of Surgeons Operation Giving Back to travel to Ethiopia for a medical education mission. Soon after, she became involved in Baylor’s Global Health Division, representing anesthesia and coordinating, most recently, on the maternal health initiative in The Gambia. This work brings the most joy and fulfillment in her career because it makes a difference for those in need, which she believes is necessary to make the world a better place. 

Infrastructure Development in Global Surgery


Dr. Carlos H. Palacio, MD, FACS

Dr. Carlos H. Palacio, MD FACS, trained in General Surgery at the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine. During his last year of residency, he was honored with the Outstanding Chief Award. He then completed his fellowship in Surgical Critical Care at the same institution. He is committed to medical education and research, particularly in the area of trauma and surgical critical care.Dr. Palacio is an avid educator; he is the South Texas Health System – McAllen local program director of the General Surgery Residency at the Valley Health System GME consortium. Furthermore, he is a State Faculty for the Advance Trauma and Life Support (ATLS). He is the medical director of research for the trauma program at STHS-McAllen. His research interests include Quality improvement and outcomes. At the regional level, he serves as the Chair for the Trauma Regional Advisory Council (TRAC-V) and Vice-chair for the South Texas Committee on Trauma (COT) from the American College of Surgeons (ACS)   His clinical career has been complemented by his accomplishments in teaching, research and leadership. Besides taking trauma calls, he runs the intensive care unit by always paying attention to details as well as leading by example, and being part of the workforce. 

Richard E Caplan, MD

Richard E Caplan, MD, is a general surgeon with the Houston Methodist Department of Surgery who specializes in a wide spectrum of general surgical diseases.   He started practicing in 1985 at the Texas Medical Center, where he has spent his entire career, with over two decades at Houston Methodist Hospital. Dr. Caplan is the recipient of six surgical teaching awards and served as the 2010-11 president of the Houston Surgical Society.  As an advocate for surgical education and global health, he focuses on capacity building in global surgery. Since 2018 he has been involved with the first American College of Surgeons pilot to improve the training of surgeons in Ethiopia.  He helped organize the ACS Foundation’s Barbara Bass Relief Fund for Operation Giving Back; starting after the earthquake in 2010, he made seven mission trips to Haiti and has also worked with Faith in Practice in Guatemala. He currently serves on the Houston Global Health Collaborative board and its grant committee. 

Richard Hubbard, MD

Richard Hubbard, MD, is a pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist at The Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine. Richard is also the founder and president of The Basic Needs Program, a charitable organization that provides funding and support for children in Bangladesh to receive life-saving cardiac surgery.  Richard graduated from The University of the South in 2009 before attending Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine.  He completed his residency at The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and two fellowships at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. He is board certified in Anesthesiology and Pediatric Anesthesiology.  His research interests include healthcare development in resource-limited settings and the environmental impacts of anesthesia. In his spare time, Richard enjoys hiking and fostering Great Pyrenees dogs.

Yao Yang, MD, MPH

Dr. Yao Yang is a general surgery resident and global surgery fellow at Baylor College of Medicine. Since 2008, she has been involved in global health work in Ecuador, Honduras, Haiti, Uganda, Kenya, and Vietnam. Her research interests include building human infrastructure for surgical care, international collaboration in surgical education, and models of surgical care delivery. Her focus this year has been on training trauma first responders in resource-limited settings.