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Our executive team is made up of undergraduate, graduate, medical students and residents at universities across Canada. We aim to educate aspiring global surgery professionals to advocate for safe and timely access to surgical care for all. 


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Omar El Sewify is a third year medical student studying at the University of Laval with a passion for global surgery, research and medical education. He is currently the Chair of CGSTA as well as the Director for the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Community. He works with a team of residents/staff to publish evidence based research. On his spare time he enjoys running and hiking to push his limits. He is also extremely keen on helping push CGSTA forward on all fronts!

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VP Internal

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Chloé Blackman is a third-year medical student at Dalhousie University. She obtained her MSc. in Community Health and Epidemiology at Dalhousie University in 2020. During her MSc, she did an international research project in Tanzania to study the impact of counselling and adherence to HIV medications. This project sparked her passion for global surgery, resource stewardship, and advocacy. Chloé is currently working on a research project to study the out-of-pocket cost of breast cancer treatment in Nigeria. This is Chloé’s second year on the executive team and first year as VP Internal. She is excited to continue to promote CGSTA at the national level while working with all the CGSTA chapters across Canada.

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VP Education

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Amanda is a third-year medical student at the University of Toronto. She is passionate about equity, diversity and inclusion in healthcare, quality improvement, and artificial intelligence, and how these areas intersect with global surgery. She is excited to work with the CGSTA team this year and increase awareness and engagement with global surgery among medical students! Outside of medicine, she enjoys painting/digital art, running, and attempting to cook and bake.




VP Advocacy

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Alan Gou is a third year medical student from Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN).  Alan is passionate about promoting global surgery and health advocacy in underserved communities, particularly in Labrador.

As VP Advocacy, Alan has two main goals:

1) Collaborate with other national working groups to advocate for the need of global surgery in medical education.

2) Amplify the voices and stories on the state of healthcare in Northern, rural, and Indigenous communities in Canada.



VP Advocacy 

Retage Al Bader is from Western Ontario's Class of 2025, and completed her undergrad studies at Dalhousie University in Medical Sciences. Her interests include global surgery, health equity, and medical education.

She was previously involved in growing the global surgery chapter at Western and excited to join the team as VP Advocacy.

Through this role, she looks forward to creating partnerships to grow partnerships to grow CGSTA, supporting students interested in getting involved in global and rural surgery, and advocating for underserved communities.

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Advocacy Team Member

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Kassandra Coyle is a second year medical student at Dalhousie University. Prior to medicine she completed a BSc in Life Sciences and an MSc in Translational Medicine, both at Queen’s University. During her undergrad, she was involved with a non-profit organization which aimed to help empower communities in Central America and West Africa. This experience sparked her passion for global outreach, allowed her to gain insight into the state of healthcare in a country with less resources than Canada, and truly highlighted the astonishing health inequalities, all of which had a significant influence on her journey into medicine. In her position on the advocacy team, Kassandra is excited to learn more about global surgery while connecting with like minded trainees and mentors who share her interest in improving the care for populations that are chronically underserved.



Advocacy Team Member

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 Karolina Mastalerz-Sanchez is a third-year medical student at Queen’s University. As part of the Queen’s Accelerated Route to Medical School, she has spent two years of her undergraduate studies focused on sciences, global health, and philosophy. As a long-standing advocate for health equity, Karolina has supported her community through meaningful engagement in accessibility policy development and implementation, in addition to supporting initiatives dedicated to underserved youth. She is excited to continue her work in advocacy in her first year with CGSTA through equitable, intersectional, and harm reducing approaches.




Research Team Member

Roxaneh (Roxana) Zaminpeyma is a second year medical student at Dalhousie University. Roxana received her BSc. in Cell Biology and MSc. in Experimental Surgery at McGill University. Roxana became interested in global health during her internship with Dr. Alaa Murabit, a global health expert and UN high level commissioner. There, she learned about gender inequities, health journalism and security, and inclusive leadership. During her masters, Roxana was a teacher’s assistant for a digital health innovation course by Dr. Nitika Pai, and was inspired by the global health projects that were discussed. She is now part of the research team at CGSTA and is looking forward to contributing to global surgery research and advocacy! 

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Research Team Member

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Gurjovan Sahi is a second-year medical student at the University of Toronto.

Before medical school, Jovan completed his undergraduate degree at McMaster University, studying Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour. As part of CGSTA, he is interested and committed in promoting global health equity to improve surgical outcomes. In his spare time, he enjoys playing soccer.

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Research Team Member

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Lisa is a second year Masters student at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health studying International Health Systems. During her undergraduate at the University of Toronto, she joined the Advocacy team at CGSTA, igniting her interest in global surgery and involvement with CGSTA. Currently, she is an Academic Fellow at the Global Surgery Foundation in Geneva, Switzerland. She is also working on her research project on risk factors for disability amongst burns surgical patients in low-resource settings. She is motivated to integrate the principles of quality and health systems within surgical outcomes through research and in her role within the Research Team at CGSTA.





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Pouriya is a third-year medical student at uOttawa and is interested in pursuing a career in surgery. He obtained his BSc in Life Science at McMaster University and proceeded to complete a Master's in management at Schulich School of Business before starting medical school. Pouriya is passionate about global health, advocacy, and quality improvement. He is involved with various research projects in the realm of quality improvement, medical education, and clinical medicine. As a previous executive member of the Ottawa surgery interest group and the Co-President of the uOttawa chapter of Operation Smile, he has worked to increase student exposure to surgical specialties and global surgery. As the Ontario representative Pouriya hopes to continue expanding CGSTA’s mission through enhancing collaboration and communication amongst the Ontario medical school chapters. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking and skiing.




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Charlotte (She/Her) is a third year medical student at Memorial University of Newfoundland. She completed a BASc in Health at St. Francis Xavier University. Her honours thesis focused on developing a feasible water contamination detection system. Her interests include global health, health equity and global sustainability. Charlotte is the past president of the Association of Women Surgeons MUN Chapter as well as the past Director of Student Wellness for the Canadian Atlantic Medical Student Association. As Eastern Regional Representative, Charlotte is thrilled to continue to represent and support medical students from Eastern Canada. In this capacity, Charlotte intends to enhance communication between the Eastern region and CGSTA chapters across Canada to improve student exposure to advocacy, research and educational opportunities relating to global surgery.

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Bilal Amani is a first-year medical student at the University of Montreal pursuing a M.D/M.Sc track, and possesses a Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Law from the University of Ottawa, underscoring his commitment to social justice. Currently focusing on a master's in public policy and international relations, he aims to address poverty and healthcare disparities in developing countries. In addition to his academic pursuits, Bilal works as a research assistant in the CHUM (University of Montreal's main hospital), where he investigates healthcare access for children in India and the challenges associated with social protection schemes, particularly their impact on disadvantaged communities. His recent field to Agra, India, as seen in the picture above, has further confirmed his eagerness to help fight disparities in healthcare needs in  resource limited settings. With a vision to advance CGSTA's mission, as the Quebec representative, Bilal aims to foster collaboration and advocacy among Quebec's medical school chapters to work towards equitable surgical care.




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Georgia is a third year medical student at the University of Alberta who developed a passion for global health through equity and justice focused public health research during her undergraduate degree. Now that she has realized her interest in surgery, she is very excited to explore the world of global surgery alongside her peers from across Canada. Outside of medicine, she loves to backpack, hike, and spend cold Edmonton winters starting new knitting projects.


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Past Chair & Team Advisor

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Prachi is a junior doctor from India with a Master's in Experimental Surgery from McGill University, Canada. Dr. Patel is an incoming Chair of the Gender Equity Initiative in Global Surgery (GEIGS) and is a current Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto. She is an aspiring surgeon passionate about global surgery, gender equity, and surgical education. She served as the Chair of CGSTA for two years and successfully established the foundation of the trainee network in Canada. She is very excited to pass on the baton to the new executive team and continue to supporting and guiding their efforts in global surgery.

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