MEET THE TEAM

Our 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. 

NATIONAL WORKING GROUP
2021-2022

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SUSIE MUNCNER

Co-Chair

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Susie is currently a fourth year medical student at the University of Alberta. She was lucky to discover the field of Global Surgery in her second year of medical school through the University of Alberta’s Office of Global Surgery. She has always been passionate about global health and advocacy and is currently working on a project regarding liver transplantation in Kenya. She is highly motivated to continue this work through research with the University of Cape Town. She is looking forward to connecting other students and residents to projects through which they will be able to contribute to this dynamic and multidisciplinary field! When she's not at the hospital, she loves to learn languages and host dinner parties – please share your favourite recipe with her!

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PRACHI PATEL

Co-Chair

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Prachi is a junior doctor from India with MSc. in Global Surgery from McGill University. She has been working as a research collaborator with the Center for Global Surgery, Canada on implementing a hospital-based trauma registry in India and creating a city-wide trauma database in efforts to decrease the gap in trauma care. She is an aspiring surgeon with a special interest in capacity building and health care strengthening in LMICs by bringing together clinical practice and research. She is also involved with organizations like One Surgery, Canadian Association of Global Health with the aim to amplify the voices of global health and global surgery through advocacy and research work. Prachi is a former VP External Affairs (2020-2021). She is very excited to work alongside a wonderful group of trainees and build a strong network of global surgery.

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BRIGHT HUO

Co-VP Research

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Bright is a third-year medical student at Dalhousie University. His clinical interests include the surgical management of both lung and esophageal cancers, and how the social determinants of health impact timely access to cancer detection. His research interests include the use of LDCT screening in early lung cancer detection and the integration of global surgery in Canadian medical undergraduate education. Outside of medicine, Bright is an avid soccer player and fan. He enjoys being active outdoors, and values spending time with friends and family. On occasion, he has also been known to enjoy the finer things in life!

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STEPHANIE ROBERTS

Co-VP Research

Stephanie Roberts (she/her) is a provincially recognized community philanthropist, an enthusiastic student leader, and a committed changemaker. Stephanie earned a Bachelor of Nursing degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN), where she was a recurrent Dean's List recipient, Dr. Leslie Harris Scholar, and Chancellor Award Nominee. She has served as Nursing Society President, Atlantic Conference Director of the Canadian Nursing Student Association, and Planning Coordinator of the Heart & Stroke Red Dress Event, which led to her becoming a member of the prestigious Caring Hearts Circle as a dedicated supporter of the Foundation. Stephanie is currently the President of the Memorial Medicine Class of 2023 and the Co-Chair of the MUN Branch of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada. She is working on several research projects focusing on the presence of incivility in the clinical practice setting, as well as identifying the current uses of augmented reality in minimally invasive surgical procedures, in keeping with much of her leadership and advocacy initiatives. Stephanie recently became the Atlantic Regional Director of the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) and has worked to identify and address the region's current student needs.

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JANHAVI PATEL

Co-VP Education 

Janhavi is a third year medical student at McMaster University who is very excited to join the CGSTA as the Co-VP of Education. Janhavi's vision for this team is to create opportunities for medical students to learn about Canadian champions in the field of Global Surgery and interact with them through various events. They hope to collaborate with colleagues on the team along with medical students from all schools across Canada to propel learning about global surgery within the medical school curriculum and provide ways for students to actively get involved in projects across the World.

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OMAR EL SEWIFY

Co-VP Education

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Omar El Sewify is a second year medical student studying at the University of Laval with a passion for global surgery, research and medical education. He is currently the VP Education of CGSTA as well as the UofL representative for the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Community. He works with a team of junior residents to publish evidence based research. On his spare time he enjoys running and hiking, as they allow him to push himself physically. He is also an avid coffee lover as it would be rare to find him without one after the break of dawn.

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MOHAMAD HAMMOUD

VP Finance and Administration

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Mohamad is a first year medical school student at McMaster University. He obtained his BSc in statistics and economics from the University of Toronto. He has interests in surgery as well as topics in health inequities, both nationally and globally. This drove him to get involved with the CGSTA. With a background in finance, Mohamad was particularly keen on managing the administrative & financial tasks that underpin the organization's work, from budget development to handling of the webpage. On the side, he thoroughly enjoys video games, fitness, and spending time with friends and family.

REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVES

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SHAISHAV DATTA

Ontario 

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Shaishav is a third year medical student at the University of Toronto with an interest in pursuing a career in surgery. He is involved in various research projects ranging from basic science to clinical medicine. Shaishav is particularly interested in transition-related surgery and how its delivery can be improved across the globe. For the 2021/22 academic year, he is returning to the role of Ontario Representative for CGSTA, in hopes to expand the CGSTA mission to all Ontario medical schools.

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ROSEMARY STANOEV

Eastern 

Rosemary is a second year medical student at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. She is particularly interested in global health, surgery, and the social determinants of health. Rosemary is currently one of the leads of the local MUN CGSTA Chapter while also serving as the Eastern Regional Lead for the National CGSTA Executive.

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LUKE RUCHOTZKE

Western

Luke has a BSc in Nursing and Biochemistry, and is now currently in his second year of Medicine at the U of S. When not studying, he spends time with his dog doing one of the many outdoor hobbies he enjoys. He looks forward to winter when he can cross country ski, skate, hike, make snow forts, and downhill ski. Luke enjoys finding new adventures whether it means traveling to different countries or exploring new places around his city. Luke is interested in a career involving surgery and hopes to be able to provide health care to those who most need it. He has always been interested in serving others and is excited to be part of the CGSTA national executive team.

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MAXINE JOLY-CHEVRIER

Quebec 

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Maxine is currently a pre-med at the University of Montreal. Beyond her interest in medicine, she’s passionate about public health and involving herself in her community. She works with international and local organizations such as IFMSA-Quebec as a local organizer of the SCOPH public health program, member of the National Youth Council of Kids Help Phone and recently, she co-founded a medical club on disruptive technologies that will impact medicine globally (robot-assisted surgery, AI, telemedicine, etc.). As the Quebec Regional Representative, she is motivated to make global surgery better known in the province by working alongside clubs.

ADVOCACY TEAM

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EHSAN YAVARI

VP Advocacy

Ehsan Yavari is a second year medical student currently studying at McMaster University. He was first exposed to Operation Smile and global surgery during his one-week plastic surgery elective. Ever since then, Ehsan has been interested in exploring the field of global surgery to help advocate for surgical care in low income countries and underserved communities. He hopes to use his past experience in research, mentorship, and climate advocacy to help in this process.

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SHAILY BRAHMBHATT

Advocacy Team Member

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Shaily is a first-generation settler on Indigenous lands covered by the Dish with One Spoon Covenant Wampum and Ontario Treaties 2, 6, 7, and 35. She is a third-year MD-MPH candidate through the MD+ Track at Western University. As a medical trainee and settler, she is committed to reconciliation and improving health inequities in surgical care through research and policy.

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MADELINE MCDONALD

Advocacy Team Member

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Madeline is a PGY1 in General Surgery at McMaster University. Her experiences in Global Health include a Masters of Global Health from McMaster University, international courses, exchanges and projects through the International Federation of Medical Students Associations during medical school. On a local level, she has organized with committee groups, met with Members of Parliament and leaders in the Ontario Medical Association, and participated in community outreach around the issues of social assistance reform, fair wages and affordable housing. Currently, she is a member of the Advocacy Team for Canadian Global Surgery Trainee’s Alliance.

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JAMILA SKINNER 

Advocacy Team Member

Jamila is a second-year medical student at the Schulich School of Medicine. She is passionate about global health and is thrilled to be part of the CGSTA team where she continues to learn more about global health advancements and initiatives. Outside of medicine, Jamila enjoys being active and exploring new places - she will never say no to a farmer’s market trip or to test out a new restaurant.

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ADITYA SIKAND

Advocacy Team Member

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Aditya is a second year medical student at Western University, and is interested in providing equitable surgical care programs in developing countries. Having lived in India for 10 years and seeing the vast disparities in healthcare resources compared to Canada, Aditya developed a strong passion for Global Health. He pursued an MSc in Global Health at McMaster University, where his research work focussed on the rise in cardiovascular diseases in low-middle income countries and the barriers these countries face with prevention and intervention. After completing his Masters, he joined CGSTA to raise awareness regarding the important work that surgeons in Canada do in low-middle income countries. In his spare time, he enjoys playing badminton, tennis, hiking, and travelling. In the future, he is interested in working with NGOs and other stakeholders to implement sustainable health programs in developing countries.

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ELIZABETH KHVATOVA

Advocacy Team Member

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Elizabeth is currently a fourth year undergraduate student at the University of Toronto, Canada. Currently studying neuroscience and economics she is interested in the intersection of policy with individual behaviour, effects of policy on patient care and saftey, and global access for surgical care. She is also passionate about systems evaluations and quality improvement, leading the University of Toronto Chapter of the Insitute for Healthcare Improvement (UTIHI) where she aims to provide students with opportunities to get involved in quality improvement and raise awareness to current issues and solutions within the Canadian healthcare systems.

JUNIOR ADVISORY BOARD

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RAMYA KANCHERLA
Resident Lead

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Ramya is a fourth year General Surgery resident at McMaster University. She has a longstanding passion for global health, completing her undergraduate in Health Sciences with a specialization in global health. She previously worked for the United Nations Joint Commission on HIV/AIDS and the World Bank and has represented Canada’s youth at the World Health Assembly and Pan-American Health Organization. These previous experiences ignited her passion for global surgery, in particular, health systems strengthening and global surgery education. Ramya is one of the founders, previous co-chairs and now the resident lead on the CGSTA team. She is excited to work alongside this great team to develop a strong global surgery network across Canada.  

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ANISA NAZIR
Past Co-Chair 2020-2021

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Anisa is a graduate student at the Institute of Medical Sciences at the University of Toronto with research interests in surgical safety and simulation. She has been part of CGSTA since its formation in 2018, serving as VP Communication and later as Co-Chair 2020-2021. Anisa completed the Graduate Certificate in Global Surgery at the University of British Columbia in 2021. She has served on various other committees as well as held leadership roles in national and international organizations focusing on global health, gender equity, and community service. Anisa is looking forward to working alongside a wonderful team, building strong connections, and collaborating with global surgery organizations in Canada and internationally. 

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AMANPREET BRAR
Resident Lead

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Amanpreet Brar (Preet) is currently a fourth year General Surgery resident at UofT. She grew up in India and moved to Canada during high school.  Her interests lie in Global Health, Health Equity, and Artificial Intelligence.  She is currently the national lead for COVID Global Surgery collaboration as part of the GlobalSurg NIHR network. Her previous research and advocacy work have focused on immigrant health, and investigating the practice of gender-selective abortions amongst South Asian immigrants in Canada. In future, she hopes to explore the role of Artificial Intelligence in the fields of Surgical Oncology and Global Surgery.