Thursday Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Jeff Richardson

Rick Hodes

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Lessons from the Field

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Scholarship Parasitism 

Chris Rees, MD, MPH

Chris A. Rees, MD, MPH is the chief resident for the Pediatrics and Global Child Health program at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital. He recently returned from a year spent in Malawi working at the Baylor-Malawi Clinical Center of Excellence, Malawi’s national referral hospital, and a rural district hospital. Chris attended medical school at the University of Utah where he also earned his masters in public health in Global Health. Chris has worked and done research in Malawi, Bolivia, Peru, and India. He has authored over 15 peer-reviewed papers as a trainee. He will be starting a combined fellowship in pediatric emergency medicine and global health at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in July 2017. He plans to continue to work in global health by building academic partnerships through research and educational support surrounding pediatric emergency care in developing settings.


Heather Lukolyo, MD, MHS

Heather Lukolyo, MD, MHS is a senior resident in the Pediatrics and Global Child Health program at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital. She holds a graduate degree in international public health and has ten years of experience in international development and public health. She has lived and worked in Uganda for over six years, where she managed community-based family planning programming and runs a non-profit organization that provides educational advancement and leadership training to disadvantaged girls. She returned to Uganda last year to complete her clinical global health work at the Baylor-Uganda Clinical Center of Excellence. She is a member of two national steering committees for global child health and has been involved in the development of simulation-based curriculum for global health learners. She plans a career in academic global health and is interested in medical student and resident education in global health, program development, and advocacy work.

Elizabeth Keating, MD, MHS

Elizabeth M. Keating, MD is a senior resident in Pediatrics and Global Child Health at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital. She has been involved in international work since attending Mayo Medical School, where she spent time working clinically in Tanzania and Nepal, and doing research and community health care work in India and Cambodia. She just completed one year of her residency training in Lesotho working at the Baylor-Lesotho Clinical Centre of Excellence with the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative. Her career plans include a combined fellowship in pediatric emergency medicine and global health beginning in July at Primary Children’s Medical Center and the University of Utah School of Medicine, where she plans to obtain her Masters in Public Health and continue global health work.

Reintegration after Global Health Work 

Lynda Tyer-Viola

Lessons from the Field 

Neel Naik, MD

Neel Naik, MD graduated with honors from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas and completed his MD at Baylor College of Medicine, where he enrolled in the International Health track.  He completed his residency in Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. After residency he joined the Global Health Corps and practiced at a BIPAI clinic in Mwanza, Tanzania for two years. In 2014, Dr. Naik returned to Houston as an Assistant Professor in the Section of Community Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. He continues to work for the underserved at The Center for Children and Women, a patient centered medical home.


Sustainable Partnerships

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Corporate Social Responsibility

James Allen, Ph.D.

International NGO’s in Global Health

Nelson Bowman

Partnering with Governments

Dr. James A. Thomas

Ms. Ana-Maria Schweitzer

Baylor Global Initiatives: Innovation & Technology

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Translating Technology to the Field: Making 3D Printing a Viable Option for Global Prosthetic Care

Jared Howell, MS, CPO, FAAOP

Howell.Jared.176564.Allied HealthJared A. Howell, MS, CPO, FAAOP, serves as the founding Director of Baylor College of Medicine’s Orthotics and Prosthetics program, with additional Faculty roles in Baylor’s Global Health Initiatives, and the Center for Ethics and Health Policy. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists. Primary research interests include, 3D printed medical devices, brain machine interfaces, prosthetics, clinical outcomes research, and health related product development.  An engineer and entrepreneur at heart, he has founded or spun off multiple start-up companies to explore the development and design of products and solutions for the health care field, and sits in consulting or advisory roles for several related organizations. Most importantly, Jared is married to his high school sweetheart and best friend, with 4 wonderful kids between 7-13yrs.

Caroline Soyars, BS

Caroline Soyars is the inaugural Global Health Fellow at Baylor Global Initiatives. She joined Baylor Global Health in October 2016 following the completion of her BS in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Michigan. Caroline has spent some time abroad serving as an intern for the Essential Medicines and Health Products Department of the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland; a fellow for Engineering for Change; an intern for Global Health Design Initiative in Kumasi, Ghana where she completed a clinical immersion experience to inform the design of a blood pressure measurement device used for preeclampsia. Caroline is working in the realm of research and development of technologies for global health to grow Baylor Global Initiatives’ product pipeline. Caroline’s main project in the Orthopedics and Prosthetics program is a multidisciplinary trial that is validating the use of 3D printing to produce lower limb prostheses for children, and develop clinical protocols and training materials to support the process. This project will be validated at international field sites following clinical validation in Houston to ensure it can be implemented in remote/low-resource settings. In addition to the O&P project, she is also coordinating Baylor Global Health’s annual symposium in conjunction with the Houston Global Health Collaborative to be held March 23-25, 2017 as well as assisting with the upcoming Baylor Global Health Hackathon, which will be held June 12-28, 2017.

Transforming the Global Health Workforce with Augmented Reality Training Systems

Richa Shukla, MD

Richa Shukla obtained her BBA and BA degrees with honors from the University of Texas at Austin and her medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, TX, where she was elected a member of Alpha Omega Alpha. She completed her internship and residency at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. She completed her fellowship training at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX where she also served as Chief Fellow. She is currently Assistant Professor in the Baylor College of Medicine Section of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Dr. Shukla’s primary clinical interest is in inflammatory bowel disease. She is particularly interested in developing efforts towards quality and value improvement in the care of IBD patients. Dr. Shukla also has an interest in clinical education and leadership. She is working with Dr. Sharmila Anandasabapathy and the Baylor Global Initiatives group to adapt augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies to endoscopic training, in the United States and abroad. She was recently awarded the AGA Academy of Educators Grant for the creation of a smartphone application to assist in educating novice endoscopists in learning upper endoscopy. She is also a co-investigator on an NCI-funded RO1 to develop automated microendoscopic techniques.

William Buras, PhD

William brings over 30 years of diverse experience and demonstrated leadership in the biotechnology and healthcare industry to Texas. His undergraduate and graduate training was in the areas of biomedical engineering/analytical chemistry and a graduate degree in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.  As Senior Director, William leads research development for Life Sciences Division of Tietronix which specializes in advanced medical device software, digital health and novel user interface development. William serves as Chair of the Industrial Advisory Board for the National Science Foundation “Cyber-Operating Room” center of excellence and is the Principal Investigator for medical research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health, The Defense Health Program and NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Prior to these roles, William served a variety of technical and scientific leadership roles at DuPont, Eli Lilly and Cyberonics where he has managed programs of scientific research consisting of as many as 200+ individual clinical/pre-clinical/engineering studies. In addition to 8 patented and licensed medical devices, William led and published results of the first controlled study demonstrating the clinical benefits of adding an atypical antipsychotic to SSRI’s for treating Resistant Depression.

One Giant Leap for Remote Medicine: Jointly Developing Technologies for Earth and Space 

Sharmila Anandasabapathy, MD

Sharmila Anandasabapathy, M.D. is a Professor of Medicine in Gastroenterology, and Vice President at the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas. In her current role, she oversees Baylor’s global programs and affiliations, as well as The Baylor Global Innovation Center which seeks to develop innovative approaches to global health challenges. An advanced gastrointestinal endoscopist by training, Dr. Anandasabapathy’s research focus involves the development and validation of novel technologies for the diagnosis and management of gastrointestinal cancer. She has been Principal Investigator on several grants funded by the National Cancer Institute (NIH), and has lead multiple international clinical trials focused on the endoscopic diagnosis of esophageal, and gastric cancer. These trials are currently being conducted in the United States, Africa, China, and Honduras. In addition, she and her group are involved in several projects which seek to develop innovative technological approaches to addressing cancer and other chronic diseases in low-resource areas worldwide. These involve the development of remote medical technologies such as augmented (and virtual) reality-based platforms for surgical or endoscopic training, cell phone apps, and portable, battery-operated technologies for medical management in low-resource environments. These partnerships involve close collaborations with NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), USAID, multiple US and international universities, NGOS, foreign governments, and Foundations. A recent innovation, Emergency Smart Pod ( a mobile, lower-cost shipping-container unit for the management of Ebola and other emergencies, was awarded funding by USAID and The Paul G. Allen Funding and presented at both the World Health Organization and The White House Office of Science and Technology. In addition to her primary appointment at Baylor, Dr. Anandasabapathy also holds an adjunct appointment in Bioengineering at Rice University in Houston, Texas. She holds a B.A. in English literature from Yale University and an M.D. from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She completed her Internal Medicine Training at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and her gastroenterology fellowship at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, NY.

Sarah Michel, MPH

Sarah Michel came to Baylor College of Medicine after completing her Master of Public Health in Management, Policy and Community Health with a Concentration in global health at the University of Texas Health Science Center in 2010. She is the Senior Project Manager of the Global Innovation Center at Baylor Global Initiatives and works to create low cost, innovative technologies for the global market while managing a diverse portfolio of $3 million grant funding that she cultivated from USAID, Paul Allen Foundation and the Gilead Foundation. Michel earned her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, where she worked for a variety of news media outlets as a student. She has a nonprofit background, as a Research Analyst for The Andrews Foundation and in budgeting and fundraising as a Development Associate for Caritas of Austin.  As a graduate student, Michel worked with the Global Health Council, combining her journalism background with her interest in health policy and global health initiatives. In 2006, Michel co-founded Agape Jubilee Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that supports oppressed Christians of Egypt and Sudan in order to meet their most basic needs. For the past eight years she has worked to maintain this organization that aims to educate, inspire, and mobilize individuals to bring lasting support and change to the impoverished people of Egypt and Sudan.

Kerry McGuire, PhD

Kerry McGuire, Ph.D. is a space human factors engineer at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC). She obtained her B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Clemson University in 2005 and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering with a minor in population health from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2011. During undergraduate and graduate school she co-oped at JSC for 8 years where she worked as an astronaut trainer, flight controller and conducted human-in-the-loop evaluations. Her dissertation topic was “Interpersonal trust from the viewpoint of tele-ICU nurses.” This research was fully funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality T32 grant.  At NASA she divides her time leading human factors research to improve the usability of crew interfaces, mentoring students, and being the center lead for the Human Research Program Exploration Medical Capability Element. Dr. McGuire’s NASA research focuses on crew autonomy during long-duration missions.


Reducing Health Disparities

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Reducing Health Disparities: Prevention of Pre-term Birth

Kjersti Aagaard, MD, PhD

Since establishing my independent laboratory and clinical and translational research teams at Baylor College of Medicine in 2007, I have worked to “live the physician scientist dream” with active and supported efforts in research, clinical care, education/mentorship, and public health advocacy; I am presently supported at 75% protected time for research. My highly collaborative laboratory and clinical research programs are dedicated to (1) discovering the genomic, epigenomic, and metagenomic mechanisms underlying perinatal health and disease, and (2) executing clinical trials to bring these discoveries to the bedside of pregnant women and their infants. This application serves as a natural extension to four major focuses of our research program: (1) molecular mechanisms regulating placentation, and implications for pregnancy health and perinatal disorders, (2) the effect of in utero exposures on the fetal epigenome, (3) identifying the interplay of environmental exposures and genomic and epigenomic mechanisms involved in perinatal disorders and notably preterm birth, and (4) understanding the role of the microbiome in perinatal health (emphasizing preterm birth) with metagenomic interrogations. I am currently or recently completed funded work from NIH, the National Children’s Study, the Burroughs Welcome Fund Preterm Birth Initiative, the Gates Foundation/USAIDS (Malawi), and March of Dimes. Each of our research projects employs integrative “big data” translational research and execution of translational or clinical trials. I have been continuously funded by NIH since my first year of fellowship (2004), and have worked on a number of highly collaborative trials and studies as both PI and co-Investigator. Our collective efforts have yielded groundbreaking advances in medicine and science, previously recognized with receipt of the NIH Directors New Innovator Award (2007) and most recently as the recipient of the 2015 Michael E. Debakey Medal for Excellence in Research.

Public Health Pediatrics 

Christopher Greeley, MD

Christopher Greeley, MD is Chief of the Section of Public Health Pediatrics at Texas Children’s Hospital, and Professor and Vice-Chair for Community Health in the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine.  He received his undergraduate degree from Hobart College in Geneva, New York (double majored in Biology and Religious Studies), with Honors in Religious Studies.  He received his medical degree from the University of Virginia in 1992 and completed internship and residency in pediatrics at Vanderbilt University.  He received a Masters in Clinical Research from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, with a special concentration on Comparative Effectiveness Research.  He is board certified in General Pediatrics as well as Child Abuse Pediatrics, and is a member of the AMA and the AAP.

Local Application of Global Health Lessons 

kIMDr. Jaime Kim






Education & Advocacy

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East Africa Hematology and Oncology Fellowship 

Parth Mehta, MD

Parth Mehta, MD is the Director of Global Cancer Programs at Texas Children’s Cancer & Hematology Centers (TXCH). He graduated with a BA magna cum laude from Simon’s Rock College.  He completed medical school and  pediatrics  residency at SUNY Stony Brook and pediatric hematology-oncology (PHO) fellowship  at Texas Children’s Cancer Center/Baylor College of Medicine. In 2007, he joined the Pediatric AIDS Corps of Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI) and arrived in Gaborone, Botswana as the country’s first pediatric hematologist-oncologist. He started the Botswana Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Program there while also consulting for over 70,000 HIV-infected children in several centers in Africa throughout the BIPAI Network. Given the lack of trained professionals in PHO in sub-Saharan Africa, he and other faculty at TXCH created a training workshop for capacity building.

Advocacy & Lobbying in Global Health 

Susan Feigin Harris, JD

Susan Feigin Harris, JD routinely assists health industry clients in reimbursement issues and disputes involving government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid and commercial payors. She works to ensure that providers are appropriately licensed, certified and enrolled in government programs and also negotiates numerous contracts on behalf of her clients. She is particularly knowledgeable regarding the Affordable Care Act and delivery reform initiatives at the state and federal levels, such as the creation of patient-centered medical homes and care coordination entities. She adds a specific concentration on health policy issues and works routinely with children’s hospitals nationally to create Medicaid programs for children. Susan believes in partnering with her clients in order to help them create and implement internal solutions.

Recognized for her healthcare knowledge and understanding, Susan was recently appointed by the commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services to develop crisis of care standards for the state of Texas, which are intended to help guide medical and health decisions when the state’s existing emergency management systems and resources fail.

Social Media in Global Health

Ms. Katherine Ngo

Health Systems Strengthening

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Global Health Facilities & IT Management 

Bert Gumeringer, MBA, MS, CHFM, SASHE

Bert M. Gumeringer, MBA, MS, CHFM, SASHE, is the Assistant Vice President-Facilities Operations & Security Services for Texas Children’s Hospital.  Mr. Gumeringer has over twenty years of healthcare related experience with his last eight years at Texas Children’s Hospital. Prior to joining Texas Children’s Hospital, Mr. Gumeringer served as the Regional Director of Operations-Western United States for Fluor Corp. and as the Director of Facilities Management at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center located in Phoenix, AZ. Mr. Gumeringer is a member of the American Society of Healthcare Engineers, a Certified Healthcare Facility Manager (CHFM #557) and is currently President Elect for the Texas Association of Healthcare Facility Management.

Monitoring and Evaluation in the Global Setting

Sebastian Wanless, MB.ChB, PhD

Sebastian Wanless (MB.ChB, PhD) has over 30 years of experience in publicly/privately funded clinical research and monitoring and evaluation.  He currently oversees BIPAI’s M&E.  Previously he served as Senior Medical Director of the Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) funded “Secure the Future” program based in Johannesburg, South Africa. During his time as Director he supervised 63 clinical and operational research programs. Prior to his time at “Secure the Future” he spent 17 years at BMS and worked in clinical research, assuming increasing levels of responsibility and international experience in Western Europe, the U.S., Japan and Eastern Europe, ending up as V.P. of Intercontinental Research based in the U.S. Dr. Wanless qualified in medicine from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and also holds a BSc. degree in pharmacology and a Ph.D. degree in cardiovascular physiology from the University of London.

Utilizing Train-the-Trainer Model 

Heather Crouse, MD

Heather Crouse, MD attended the UNC School of Medicine and then completed her residency in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Boston. She came to Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children’s Hospital (BCM/TCH) in 2005 to complete a combined fellowship training in Pediatric Emergency Medicine (PEM) and Global Health (GH), and joined the Baylor College of Medicine faculty in 2009. Currently she is director of the PEM – Global Health program and fellowship at BCM/TCH. Past projects abroad have included direct patient care but have primarily focused on site development, including performance of site assessments and development of local partners, and subsequent capacity building of the sites through development of curricula, training programs and quality improvement projects. Specifically she has focused the last 7 years collaboratively developing an Emergency Triage Assessment and Training (ETAT) training program in Spanish with PAHO aimed at building the capacity of hospitals in Latin America through implementation of high-quality, locally-relevant, sustainable training programs and triage processes for pediatric healthcare workers in-country.