• International Relations Committee

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    To enhance the knowledge and involvement of the International Trauma and Acute Care Surgical Community in the activities of the AAST, and to enhance the academic and scholarship role of the AAST in Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, globally.


    IRC helps to expand AAST’s academic leadership and professional impact in Trauma and EGS care to the global stage, and serves as the gateway for international academic and scholarly activity and outreach for the AAST and its members.

    General Goals:

    This year, while building on the progress already established under Dr. Ronald Maier’s chairmanship, the International Relations Committee (IRC) will work closely with the AAST leadership and its members to redefine the IRC’s mission and goals to ensure that we are in alignment with AAST’s strategic research (SR) and ACS initiatives. The International Relations Committee will continue to develop programs that foster and support an optimal environment for the involvement of the international community in AAST activities, including:

    4th World Trauma Congress—International Activities:

    During the 77th AAST Annual Meeting and 4th World Trauma Congress in September, IRC will work with the Program Committee to continue to support AAST’s international members. Activities will include:

    Annual International Breakfast: Featuring a presentation by the president of ESTES

    Best International Paper: Selection of the best annual paper presented by an international author. The award will be announced at the annual business meeting.

    Poster Professors: International leaders will continue to be involved with the poster sessions and be among the Professors who lead the poster sessions.

    Master Surgeon Lecture (International): Last year, the Board of Managers and the Program Committee approved the reinstitution of an additional Master Surgeon Lecture; the lecture will be given by an international speaker. Last year, Dr. Ari Leppaniemi of Finland delivered the first International Master Surgeon Lecture. This year, the IRC will provide President Rotondo with an advisory list for his selection of the 2018 International Master Surgeon Lecturer.

    Annual Lunch Sessions (International): The International Relations Committee will submit a selection of topics and moderators to be considered by the Program Committee for a lunch session.

    4th World Trauma Congress: September 26–29, 2018; Manchester Grand Hyatt; San Diego, CA

    In addition, this year the IRC will work closely with Dr. Coimbra and the World Coalition for Trauma Care as well as the AAST WTC 2018 Ad Hoc Committee to ensure the significant success of this meeting, which will bring the entire global committee together to address the global burden of the disease known as Trauma.

    The goals of the WCTC and the IRC are aligned in increasing the awareness of the importance of trauma as a disease worldwide, and in increasing Trauma Education at all levels worldwide.

    This will be an exciting and impactful meeting. The IRC encourages the entire AAST membership to take advantage of having the World Trauma Congress hosted in San Diego, jointly with the AAST congress, and to plan on actively participating.

    Collaboration/Integration with AAST Committees:

    During this year, IRC will work closely with all of the AAST committees on international initiatives, but we will specifically focus on our work with the Acute Care Surgery Committee and the Patient Assessment Committee for the promulgation of the various strategic initiatives outlined by President Rotondo.

    IRC will also work closely with the AAST Multi-Institutional Trials Committee to explore international opportunities for collaboration and to enhance the size and number of studies being conducted.

    AAST International Activities:

    This year, IRC will work with the AAST leadership to support the various international activities including:

    PTS Grand Rounds Webcast Presentations: We’ll continue to collaborate with PTS on these presentations.

    Grand Rounds Webinars: IRC will continue to work with the AAST Executive Committee to annually provide one Grand Rounds session that is dedicated to an International Relations Committee topic. IRC will provide a list of topics and speakers to be considered for this webinar.

    New International Visiting Scholar: Thanks to the vision and efforts of Dr. Maier, a new International Visiting Scholar Fellowship was created in conjunction with the American College of Surgeons. The BOM of the AAST and the ACS International Fellows Committee have approved this proposed joint fellowship, and both groups will have joint input in the selection. In conjunction with the ACS IFC, the International Relations Committee will work hard this year for the selection of the first international visiting scholar fellow.

    Mentorship and Scholarships:

    To fulfill the vision for global engagement and leadership in academic development and projects, the IRC will focus on two initiatives focused on mentorship and scholarship. First, the IRC will explore the development of the International Academic Mentorship (IAM). This mentorship program will be for the advancement of academic and scholarly work, and will focus on providing opportunities for LMIC candidates to give podium presentations and to submit their work journal publication. Second, the IRC will work with the Executive Committee to provide potential scholarship support for mentored work that is accepted for podium presentation at the Annual Meeting.

    An Academic Warehouse/Resource:

    Finally, the IRC will work on the development of a functional academic warehouse, with meaningful access for its members, to provide information on international work opportunities, exchange programs, participation in international rotations and fellowships, as well as courses and training.

    IRC welcomes any members of the AAST, and its international partners and associates, to participate in any of the activities outlined above.


    IRC Members:


    • Michel B. Aboutanos (2020)

    Vice Chair

    • Rochelle A. Dicker (2020)


    • Susan I. Brundage (2019)
    • Marc de Moya (2020)
    • Peter Ekeh (2019)
    • Gustavo P. Fraga (2020)
    • Gerardo A. Gomez (2018)
    • Weidun A. Guo (2018)
    • Li C. Hsee (2019)
    • Akio Kimuro (2019)
    • Ari K. Leppaniemi (2020)
    • Jana MacLeod (2019)
    • Pal Aksel Naess 2019)
    • Nirav Patel (2019)
    • Ruben Peralta (2020)
    • Christopher K. Salvino (2018)
    • Ronald Simon (2018)
    • Mamta Swaroop (2018)
    • Eric J. Voiglio (2020)
    • Mauro Zago (2020)
    • Timothy Fabian, ex-officio


    Note: Warm welcome to the new members of the committee:

    • Ari Leppaniemi (2020)
    • Gustavo Fraga (2020)
    • Marc DeMoya (2020)
    • Mauro Zago (2020)
    • Ruben Peralta (2020)


    International Trauma and ACS Society Representatives:

    Australasian Trauma Society (ATS)

    European Society for Trauma and Emergency Surgery (ESTES)

    Japanese Association for the Surgery of Trauma (JAST)

    Japanese Society for the Acute Care Surgery (JSACS)

    International Association for Trauma Surgery and Intensive Care (IATSIC)

    Panamerican Trauma Society (PTS)

    Trauma Association of Canada (TAC)

    World Coalition for Trauma Care (WTC)


    For more information about the IRC’s activities and involvement, please contact IRC Chair Michel Aboutanos (Michel.aboutanos@vcuhealth.org), Program Coordinator Brea Sanders (breasanders@aast.org), or Executive Director Sharon Gautschy (sgautschy@aast.org).