On June 8, 2020, the AAST Board of Managers voted to hold a VIRTUAL MEETING ONLY. The full announcement can be found here.  

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  • Annual Meeting Scholarship Recipients

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    2018 Medical Student, Resident, and In-Training Fellow Scholarship Recipients

    Every year, AAST offers and awards scholarships for medical students, residents, and in-training fellows to attend the Annual Meeting.  Below are this year's scholarsihp recipients.


    2019 AAST/AWS Annual Meeting Scholarship

    For the fifth year, AAST has partnered with the Association of Women Surgeons to award a scholarship to one of the association's members. The recipient of this joint sponsored scholarship is Dr. K. Carter.

    Kristen Carter, M.D.

    Dr. Carter, a Texas native, completed her undergraduate studies at Texas A&M University, graduating magna cum laude in 2011 with a B.S in Biochemistry and Genetics and minors in Chemistry and Music. She received her M.D. from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in 2015 before moving to Mississippi to begin her General Surgery Residency at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. She is currently a Trauma Research Fellow in Dr. Matthew Kutcher’s trauma research lab, focusing on coagulation abnormalities in trauma. She plans to pursue a career in Trauma and Acute Care Surgery/Surgical Critical Care.


    AAST Military Liaison Committee Annual Meeting Scholarship

    The AAST Military Liaison Committee offered a scholarship for the third time this year to medical students, residents, or in-training fellows within the military. The recipient of this scholarship is W. Jason Butler.

    W. Jason Butler, M.D.

    LCDR Butler grew up in Louisiana and received a B.S. in biology at Louisiana State University.  After college, he completed his medical degree at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, La as part of the Navy’s Health Sciences Collegiate Program.  After completing intern year in general surgery at Naval Medical Center San Diego, he served as medical officer aboard USS AMERICA.  Upon completion of a three year tour, Jason returned to NMCSD to resume residency training in general surgery.  He completed a year of clinical trauma research at Scripps Mercy in San Diego and continues to be an active member of the research team, studying outcomes related to management of popliteal artery injury.  He is currently a 5thyear resident with plans to do a fellowship in trauma and critical care.


    Medical Students

    Sahaja Atluri

    Sahaja is a fourth-year student in the 6 year BA/MD Program at the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Medicine. She grew up in Boston, MA, but now lives in Kansas City with her amazing family who supports her through the ups and downs of medical school. Sahaja has been very fortunate to have an incredible mentor, Dr. Michael Moncure, who guides her in research and school. During her research elective, Sahaja got to experience the Surgical ICU and OR where she fell in love with Trauma and Critical Care during her time with them. She has completed several research projects focusing on trauma and brain-dead organ donor care; she will have several publications by the time she graduates. For the future, Sahaja aspires to follow the footsteps of her mentor, Dr. Moncure, and pursue a career as an academic surgeon with an emphasis on Trauma and Critical Care. In her free time, Sahaja enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, traveling and gardening. Sahaja is very excited for the opportunity to present her research at the 78thAnnual Meeting of AAST and Clinical Congress of Acute Care Surgery and is looking forward to the experience.

    Shawn Izadi

    Shawn Izadi is a fourth-year medical student at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine. He is a Texas native who originally grew up in Dallas and later attended The University of Texas at Austin where he received his degree in biochemistry while concurrentlybeing a student-athlete on the University of Texas Football Team and playing the saxophone in the Longhorn Marching Band. After graduation, he was a graduate assistant football coach for The University of North Texas before beginning medical school. Shawn has spearheaded many of the research projects within his institution’s trauma department in hopes of bringing the first Level 1 trauma center to the Rio Grande Valley. The ability to provide definitive care and treatment alongside taking care of critically-ill patients has led Shawn to pursue a surgical residency in hopes of a career in academic trauma surgery. In his spare time, he enjoys exploring new places to eat and making videos for his YouTube channel – Beards & Scrubs.



    Yasmin Ali, M.D., M.P.H.

    I grew up in Saginaw, Michigan. I attended Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan for university. I then I attended Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia for medical school. I am currently at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston Salem, North Carolina doing my general surgery residency. I am currently a chief resident. I did a research year between my third and fourth years of residency and in that time I completed a Masters in Public Health at University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

    Brittany Bankhead-Kendall, M.D.

    Dr. Brittany Bankhead-Kendall obtained her B.S. and M.S. in Biomedical Science from Texas A&M and Barry University, respectively, then went on to attend Ross University School of Medicine and graduate with high honors. As a resident at the University of Texas at Austin, Brittany served on both local and national committees, including the GME board, Value-Based care grand rounds committee, the Dell Medical School LCME accreditation committee, the UT Department of Surgery education committee, and was chosen to serve on the Surgical Council on Resident Education (SCORE) Advisory Group. She completed the Surgical Education Research Fellowship in 2018, was an ad hoc reviewer for the AJS, was a supervisor in the UT Health Leadership Apprentice program, and has received several awards and scholarships during training. Dr. Bankhead-Kendall ultimately graduated as the Academic Chief Resident at UT Austin, and is now a clinical fellow in Surgical Critical Care at the Massachusetts General / Harvard Medical School program. Her current interests include innovation collaboration for Stop the Bleed, and surgical education and residency program development. She enjoys spending time with her family and two children, interior design and event planning, and plans to pursue a career in academic trauma & acute care surgery.

    Naomi Berezin, M.D.

    Originally from Springfield, Massachusetts, Dr Naomi Berezin is currently a fifth year resident in general surgery at Montefiore Medical Center. After graduating with a BA in English and American Literature from New York University, she completed the Post-baccalaureatte Premedical Program at Columbia University. She then spent a year abroad doing clinical volunteer work. Dr Berezin subsequently went on to receive her medical degree from the Sackler School of Medicine. She is currently applying for trauma and critical care fellowships.

    Vanessa Buie, M.D.

    Dr. Vanessa Buie is a general surgery resident at the University of Chicago and second year MBA student at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She is the Ray E Brown Leadership Fellow in the Graduate Program for Healthcare Administration and Policy and recipient of the Carl A Erickson Fellowship in Healthcare Administration. Vanessa aims to use her business education to align the interests of healthcare institutions with their surrounding communities and representative populations to improve the overall quality of and access to healthcare services. She believes acute care surgery and trauma admissions are opportunities to not only acutely care for individuals, but also introduce and engage people in the healthcare system. In addition to her clinical duties, Vanessa serves on the Institutional and Departmental Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Committee, the Institutional Length of Stay Taskforce and IGNITE (Improving GME-Nursing Interprofessional Team Experiences) committee.  Her research interests include the integration of leadership development in general surgery training programs and the impact of trauma centers on non-trauma related morbidity and mortality. Vanessa completed her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Minnesota and her medical degree at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. 

    Michael Dalton, M.D.

    Dr. Michael Dalton is a general surgery resident who is currently completing research fellowship. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and then completed a Master of Public Health degree in health policy and management from the Yale University. He attended the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University and then went on to general surgery residency at RWJBarnabas Health – St. Barnabas Medical Center in New Jersey where he finished his first two clinical years before beginning his research fellowship.  As a research fellow at the Center for Surgery and Public Health at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School, Michael is studying trauma and surgical outcomes among members of the military and their families and the ways in which they access care. After residency, Michael plans to pursue a career in academic acute care surgery.

    Maksim Gusev, M.D.

    Born in Ukraine and emigrated to US at the age of 12 with 5 younger siblings.  At the age of 15, while in high school, became a live-in care taker of a Navy Veteran and felt passion for health care.  Through high school and community college ran outreach missions work in Siberia, Russia with at risk children for over 10yrs. Eventually went to UC Davis and obtained Bachelor of Sciences in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior. Subsequently went to Boston University for a Master’s program and then returned to UC Davis for medical school.  Matched into Riverside University Health System General Surgery program, now PGY IV.  Currently passionate about global surgery in trauma and emergency surgery systems development.  At this meeting poster session will be presenting on OUTCOMES COMPARISON BETWEEN ENDOVASCULAR AND OPEN REPAIR FOR BLUNT THORACIC AORTIC INJURY (BTAI): A CONTEMPORARY ANALYSIS, under mentorship of Drs. Coimbra and Brenner.

    Kevin Harrell, M.D.

    Kevin Harrell, MD is a 4th year General Surgery Resident at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga. He completed his MD at Emory University in Atlanta, GA where he also completed undergraduate degrees with high honors in Chemistry and Music (bassoon performance). His current research interests include trauma outcomes and process improvement. He plans to pursue a fellowship in Trauma/Surgical Critical Care and a subsequent career in academic Trauma Surgery. A native of suburban Atlanta, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Erin, and two dogs.

    Mohammad Zain Hashmi, M.D.

    Dr. Hashmi is a PGY5 General Surgery resident at the Sinai Hospital of Baltimore. Upon completion of medical school at the Aga Khan University in Pakistan, Dr. Hashmi pursued a trauma outcomes research fellowship at the Center for Surgical Trials and Outcomes Research at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Hashmi’s research focuses on improving quality of care to help mitigate healthcare disparities in trauma and emergency general surgery. His prior work has been instrumental in developing quantitative methods to improve benchmarking design, defining best practices in large-database trauma outcomes research and informing policy-level changes to trauma care systems. He recently completed a health services research fellowship at the Center for Surgery and Public Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where his work highlighted the burden of pre-hospital and in-hospital preventable trauma deaths due to variations in access and quality of care. Dr. Hashmi is applying for a Surgical Critical Care fellowship this year with plans to pursue a career in Academic Acute Care Surgery.

    Joshua Jaramillo, M.D.

    A graduate of Stanford School of Medicine, Dr. Jaramillo is a fourth year General Surgery Resident at Stanford.  Post-training he has an active duty commitment with the Air Force as a General Surgeon.  He intends to complete a Critical Care Fellowship.  His field of research interests include health care disparities, especially involving Spanish-speaking communities, global surgery, and outcomes related to trauma surgical patients.  He is serves as a co-chair of the Resident Safety Counsel at Stanford and is the founder and director of a national premedical research internship. Prior to medical school, he was a public school teacher in New Orleans as part of Teach For America.  He graduated in Latin American Studies and Spanish Literature from Brigham Young University.  Originally from Colorado, he has 3 young children and a wife.  

    Michael Villarreal, M.D.

    Michael E Villarreal is a PGY3 general surgery resident at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, OH. He completed a bachelor's degree in Neuroscience with a minor in Chemistry at Baylor University in Waco, TX and medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, TX. He is currently completing a two-year research fellowship in clinical trials with the Division of Critical Care, Trauma, and Burns while obtaining a Master of Business Administration at The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business. In July of 2019, he will begin studying surgical ethics as an ACS-MacLean Center Surgical Ethics Fellow and will explore ethical issues that arise in the practice of modern surgery.

    Eric Walser, M.D.

    Dr Eric Walser is a 3rd year General Surgery resident at Western University in London, Ontario. He is currently completing a MSc in Surgery focusing on the economic ramifications of competency- based surgical training. He is originally from Northwestern Ontario, receiving his BSc in Physiology and Pharmacology from Western University and his MD from the University of Toronto before returning to London for surgical training. He is an ATLS instructor and involved in a variety of teaching actives at the resident and medical student level. His research interests include trauma and acute care surgery outcomes as well as surgical education. In his free time he enjoys skiing, cycling, running and hiking. He hopes to pursue a career as an academic trauma and acute care surgeon. 

    Elizabeth Warnack, M.D.

    Dr. Elizabeth Warnack is a PGY-5 general surgery resident at New York University Langone Health and Bellevue Hospital Center. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she graduated cum laude with a B.S. in English from Dartmouth College. She then completed medical school at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. She began general surgery residency at NYU in 2014. During residency, she pursued a year of clinical trauma research at Bellevue Hospital. Dr. Warnack plans to pursue fellowship training in trauma and acute care surgery and surgical critical care after residency.

    Ashley Williams, M.D.

    Dr. Ashley Williams, a native of Augusta, Georgia, received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Spanish from the University of Georgia. She then received her Medical Degree from the University of South Carolina. While in her chief year as a General Surgery Resident at the University of South Alabama, she is currently applying for fellowship in Acute Care Surgery with plans to pursue an academic career. She has a special interest in gun violence, recidivism and health equity, as well as global surgery. While in residency, Dr. Williams has had the opportunity to serve on multiple mission trips and investigate health disparities among trauma patients in her community. Most notably, she is the Creator of Project INSPIRE, a hospital-based injury prevention program aimed at reducing recidivism by providing exposure, allocating resources and offering longstanding mentorship to at-risk teenagers convicted of gun crimes. Given its evidence-based success, Dr. Williams is planning to implement this program on a larger scale.  Ultimately, her goal is to become a leader in the field of Acute Care Surgery and a servant of mankind. She is humbled by the opportunity to be amongst the leaders of Acute Care Surgery present today.


    In-Training Fellow

    Melike Harfouche, M.D.

    I completed my undergraduate studies at Georgetown University with a major in Political Science and my medical degree at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. I lived in Lilongwe, Malawi as a Doris Duke Clinical Research Scholar from 2011-2012. I completed General Surgery Residency at Temple University Hospital in July 2018 and subsequently moved to Baltimore to begin a two-year Critical Care and Acute Care Surgery Fellowship at the Shock Trauma Center. I am currently completing an online/part time master’s in public health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. My research interest is in improving outcomes in acute care surgery by addressing social determinants of health, with a focus on violence prevention and mental health. I am originally from Istanbul, Turkey.


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