Gezzer Ortega, MD, MPH, a Brooklyn native, born to immigrant parents from the Dominican Republic, is the Lead Faculty for Research and Innovation for Equitable Surgical Care at the Center for Surgery and Public Health (CSPH), Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Harvard Medical School. Dr. Ortega is also Adjunct Faculty at the Patient Reported Outcomes, Value & Experience (PROVE) Center at BWH. Dr. Ortega received his medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine, Master of Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Bachelor of Science from Syracuse University. Dr. Ortega is a health services researcher with a focus on developing and implementing solutions to address surgical inequities.
Dr. Ortega is the Project Director for the Provider Awareness and Cultural dexterity Toolkit for Surgeons (PACTS) Trial, which aims to develop and evaluate a curriculum for surgical residents to improve communication and engagement during cross-cultural encounters. Within the work to eliminate health disparities, Dr. Ortega has focused on improving surgical care for patients with limited English proficiency. His inspiration for comes from his background and motivation to diversify the medical workforce. In doing so, Dr. Ortega is a Co-Founder of the Latino Surgical Society, which aims to cultivate, nurture, and support the advancement of Latino surgeons. He also serves as faculty and mentor to the Building the Next Generation of Academic Physicians and Tour for Diversity in Medicine organizations. Dr. Ortega is also a Co-Director of the CSPH and Program for Global Surgery and Social Change Research Fellows Summer Course, which provides a foundation of health services research skills for trainees.
Dr. Ortega’s commitment to service extends to the global community as he has conducted and planned surgical education courses and advocacy programs in the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Liberia, and Malawi. Promoting education and health through research, innovation, and service at multiple levels is ingrained in Dr. Ortega’s core. As a physician-scientist, his focus is to contribute to the field of surgery and eliminate health inequities through research and humanitarian efforts.