Our Team[edit | edit source]

Key Members[edit | edit source]

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Dr. David Jeffcoach ALL-SAFE team lead

Former Chief coordinator of Soddo, Ethiopia site Dr. David Jeffcoach, one of our team leads, is an assistant clinical professor of surgery in trauma, critical care, and acute care surgery at the University of California San Francisco, Fresno as well as fellow of COSECSA. He is the former program director of the general surgery residency at Soddo Christian Hospital in Ethiopia.

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Dr. Grace Kim ALL-SAFE team lead

Chief coordinator of the Michigan site Dr. Grace Kim, one of our team leads, is an associate professor of surgery and the Vice Chair of Education for the Department of Surgery at the University of Michigan.  Fellowship-trained in minimally invasive surgery, Dr. Kim has a busy laparoscopic surgery practice and teaches and mentors surgical residents and medical students.  She has led numerous surgical missions to sub-Saharan Africa.  Dr. Kim serves as the Chair of the General Surgery Council and is the Vice Chair of the Curriculum Committee at PAACS. 

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Keir Thelander Executive Vice President, PAACS

As the Executive Vice President of PAACS, Dr. Keir Thelander oversees the administration of the eleven PAACS teaching sites in Egypt and sub-Saharan Africa.  Prior to his directorship at PAACS, Dr. Thelander served as the program director of the surgical residency at Bongolo Hospital in Gabon.  During his time in Gabon, he was able to develop connections with other governing surgical institutions in sub-Saharan Africa including COSECSA and the West African College of Surgeons (WACS). 

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Dr. Deb Rooney Simulation director and evaluation coordinator

Dr. Deborah Rooney is an associate professor of Learning Health Sciences and the Director of Education and Research for the Clinical Simulation Center at the University of Michigan.  Dr. Rooney has served as the Chair for the American College of Surgery Technology and Simulation Committee and developed a successful simulation program for use in a hospital in Ethiopia. 

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Dr. Melanie Barnard Chief coordinator of Southern Illinois site

Simulation Coordinator Dr. Melanie Barnard is an assistant professor of surgery at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.  Dr. Barnard grew up in Kampala, Uganda before moving to the United States to complete her undergraduate and medical education.  Dr. Barnard is strongly committed to surgical education with expertise in surgical simulation, where she was able to design a multi-disciplinary intra-abdominal hemorrhagic shock simulation used at her institution. 

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Dr. Nwang Prosper Budzi Chief coordinator of Mbingo Hospital, Cameroon site

Dr. Prosper is a General Surgeon working at Mbingo Baptist Hospital in the North West Region of Cameroon where he is also actively involved in the training of Surgical Residents. He graduated from medical school in 2016 from the University of Buea in the South West Region of Cameroon. In December 2022, he moved to Mbingo after completing 5 years of general surgery residency under the Pan African Academy of Christian Surgeons at Malamulo Adventist Hospital in the Southern Region of Malawi. He is also a fellow of the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA). At Mbingo Baptist Hospital, he has been privileged to serve with other surgeons as well as surgical trainees under PAACS in providing much needed care to patients with a variety of surgical conditions.

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Dr. Kevin El-Hayek Chief coordinator of MetroHealth System/Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine site

Kevin El-Hayek, MD, MBA, FACS is an Associate Professor of Surgery at The MetroHealth System/Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Northeast Ohio Medical University. He currently serves as the section head of the endoscopic surgery and hepato-pancreato-biliary (HPB) surgery sections at the MetroHealth System in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. El-Hayek completed his undergraduate degree at Harvard University and received his MD from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in 2006. He went on to complete a general surgery residency followed by clinical fellowships in minimally invasive surgery/endoscopic surgery and HPB surgery at the Cleveland Clinic. In 2014, he moved to Abu Dhabi to help launch the Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. He returned to Cleveland in 2016 and was the Associate Program Director of the HPB Surgery Fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic from 2017-2018 then was Program Director from 2018-2019. Dr. El-Hayek moved to the MetroHealth System in 2019. His clinic and research interests include endoscopic surgery, minimally invasive foregut, and HPB surgery. He is active with the Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons (www.paacs.net), GEANCO (www.geanco.org), and All-SAFE (www.allsafe.education). Through these organizations, Dr. El-Hayek regularly travels to Africa to train local surgeons and residents in both minimally invasive surgery and HPB surgery.

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Dr. Gezahegne Tilahun Chief coordinator of Soddo, Ethiopia site
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Dr. Mark Snell Former Chief coordinator of Mbingo Hospital, Cameroon site

Dr. Mark Snell was the assistant program director of the general surgery residency program at Mbingo Baptist Hospital in Cameroon and assistant professor of surgery at the Loma Linda School of Medicine.

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Chioma Anidi Project Coordinator, Current Consultant and Researcher
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Serena Bidwell Former Project Coordinator, Current Consultant and Researcher
C. Yoonhee Ryder Former Project Coordinator, Current Consultant and Researcher
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Marcy Zatz Project Coordinator
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Blessing Ngoin Ngam Mbingo Resident Coordinator
Dr. Leul Shigut headshot.jpg
Leul Shigut Soddo Coordinator, Content Creator, PGY-4
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Yohannes Debebe Soddo Coordinator, Content Creator, PGY-2
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Philip Hsu Michigan Resident, Content Creator
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Joy Obayemi Michigan Resident, Content Editor, Simulation
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John Tanyi Mbingo Resident, Simulation
Christopher Reynolds.jpg
Christopher Reynolds Research, Medical Student
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Christopher Gross Research, Medical Student
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Rachel O'Reggio Research, Medical Student
Lindsay Rosenthal.jpg
Lindsay Rosenthal Research, Medical Student
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Erin Kim Research, Medical Student
Elizabeth Kappler.jpg
Elizabeth Kappler Research, Medical Student
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Jamie DeCicco Research, Medical Student
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Aabia Hasan Simulation Engineering & Design
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Benjamin Gerber Simulation Engineering & Design
Abstract Digital Product and Technology Partner
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