- Who We Are
Who We Are
We are a group of students, residents, and faculty who are promoting the Penn Global Surgery Group mission through education, collaboration, and research.
Sarah Hamimi is one of the co-Directors of PGSG. She grew up in Alexandria, Egypt and graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2022 with a BS/MS in Neuroscience. Her interest in global health and surgery was ignited due to her diverse range of experiences in healthcare across many countries. She is deeply interested in developing strategies to deliver culturally competent, sustainable surgical care in resource-limited settings across the globe.
Sai Mannam is a first-generation Indian immigrant and recent graduate of the University of Georgia with a BS in Computational Neuroscience. He is deeply passionate about improving global healthcare access, with a focus on serving under-resourced communities. He is dedicated to improving global skilled surgical workforce populations and to creating data collection and patient-tracking infrastructures for care delivery optimization. Sai's ultimate goal is to create sustainable solutions that expand access to surgical care in developing countries, using his knowledge and passion for improving global healthcare access to make a positive impact on underserved communities.
Lunch Talk Coordinator
Kirin Naidu is one of the co-Lunch Talk Coordinators for PGSG. She grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and received her BSE in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania and her MPhil in Bioscience Enterprise at the University of Cambridge. Kirin hopes to combine her background in engineering, interest in surgery, and passion for global health to create solutions to improve and adapt surgical care in low-resource settings.
Lunch Talk Coordinator
Joyce Jiang is one of the co-Lunch Talk Coordinators for PGSG. She grew up in Florida and graduated from the University of Florida with a BA in Classical Studies and a BS in Chemistry. Joyce first gained an interest in global health through a service learning experience in the Cuzco region of Peru. She hopes to continue learning about delivering sustainable, culturally competent surgical care in resource-limited settings.
Mackenzie Castellanos is one of Symposium Co-Leaders for PGSG. She grew up in Indiana and studied Neuroscience and Philosophy at Indiana University. She developed a passion for global health after doing volunteer trips to Peru, Costa Rica, and Indonesia focusing on public health and sustainability. Mackenzie hopes to combine her interests in neurosurgery and global health to increase access to neurosurgical care in low-resource settings.
Tony Leche is one of the Symposium Coordinators for PGSG. He grew up in Tampa, Florida and graduated from Yale University with a BS in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry. He is interested about promoting global healthcare access across various sub-specialties to help underserved communities. He hopes to continue learning how to build sustainable surgical care as well as promote global surgery to colleagues and medical institutions.
Research and Relations Coordinator
Chau Phung serves as the Research and Relations Co-Coordinator for PGSG. She grew up in Vietnam and graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a major in Neuroscience and minor in Sociology. Having the opportunity to experience two different health care systems, Chau develops an interest in global health and enhancing surgical access to resource-limited patients.
Research and Relations Coordinator
Neil Reddy is one of the Research and Relations Co-Coordinator for PGSG. He grew up in New Jersey and graduated from Emory University, where he studied Biology and Economics. His interest in global health was sparked during a mission trip to India that addressed gaps in medical education. Neil is interested in building surgical capacity in low-resource areas.
T Peterson Wagner
I wanted to support a greater focus on global surgery after I spent two years in Romania and saw what a huge difference easy access to surgery can make in people’s daily lives. I’m a book reviewer, tutor, weightlifter, and husband
David A. Spiegel, MD
David A. Spiegel, MD, is an attending surgeon in the Division of Orthopaedics at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia with expertise in neuromuscular disorders, spine conditions and fractures, and is an associate professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He attended Duke University for college, medical school, and orthopaedic surgical residency training, and then completed both a research and a clinical fellowship in pediatric orthopaedics at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Spiegel has dedicated considerable energy to volunteer work in low and middle-income countries, most frequently Nepal and Iraq. His myriad contributions to global surgical development are detailed in our At Penn section.
Neil Sheth, MD
Faculty Research Advisor
Neil Sheth is Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Finance at the University of Pennsylvania. He then spent 2 years on Wall Street as a Financial Analyst in Solomon Smith Barney's Healthcare Investment banking division prior to attending medical school at the Albany Medical College. Following medical school, he completed a 6 year Orthopaedic Surgery residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Following residency, he completed an adult hip and knee reconstruction fellowship at Rush University as well as a 3 month mini-fellowship at the Endo Klinik in Hamburg, Germany focusing on peri-prosthetic infection. Dr. Sheth has now returned to join the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania and focuses his research on bone loss pertaining to revision total hip arthroplasty, peri-prosthetic infection and the role of orthopaedic surgery in global health.
Jordan Swanson, MD, MSc
Jordan Swanson is an attending surgeon in the Division of Plastic Surgery at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia with special clinical expertise in cleft, craniofacial, and pediatric plastic surgery. His innovation and research initiatives are focused principally on how surgical care can be better adapted to low-resource settings, through design of clinical devices and techniques, locally-driven leadership and team capability strengthening, and reorienting care pathways appropriate to local contexts and resources. In parallel, these initiatives are also generating insight into less-invasive, patient-directed advances for surgical care delivery in tertiary settings. He previously worked and lived in Nicaragua, collaborating with Operation Smile and the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health to build a joint Comprehensive Cleft and Craniofacial program, and is the primary investigator of the Cirugia Para el Pueblo pilot program to advance the access to and impact of rural surgical care in Nicaragua. He also serves as Director of Surgical Innovation at Operation Smile, in which he co-leads development of clinical training programs, surgical research, and clinical program design specific to lower-resource settings, and is a plastic surgeon at the Shriner’s Hospital for Children.
General Surgery Resident Advisor
Omar Ramadan is a fifth-year general surgery resident at Penn. He was born in Pittsburgh, PA, raised in Kobe, Japan, and has Lebanese roots. He completed his undergraduate studies at Emory University, double-majoring in Biology and Economics. He received his medical degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine and spent a month in Beirut, Lebanon, with a general surgery service at a community hospital. He has a strong interest in health policy and global surgery, particularly in developing efficient and effective surgical care solutions in low-resource settings.
Rosaline Zhang, MD, MSTR
Rosaline graduated from the College at Penn with double majors in urban studies and biology. She is passionate about global surgery and the opportunity to integrate her interests in public health, education, community development and surgery. She served as a research fellow for the CHOP Plastic Surgery division while pursuing a a Masters in Translational Research. Her other interests include promoting women in medicine and student wellness. She graduated from Perelman in 2019 with an MD and MTR.
Rachel Johnson, MD
Rachel's interest in global surgery began after learning about the disparities in access to surgical care around the world. As a first year medical student, she realized that there was no organization on campus that was specifically dedicated to raising awareness and educating the Penn community about these issues, and started the organization along with Rosaline Zhang and James Friedman. She graduated in 2018.
James Friedman, MD
Co-Founded the Penn Global Surgery Group during his orthopedic residency at University of Pennsylvania. He has a strong interest in delivering surgical care to underserved communities both domestic and abroad. He completed his residency in 2019 and is currently practicing as a board-certified orthopedic sports surgeon at Alpine Orthopaedics Medical Group in Stockton, California.