FORTE | Redefining Trauma Recovery

Our Team

FORTE benefits from a cross-site collaborative team of researchers and project management staff.  The FORTE team brings together experts in trauma surgery, psychiatry, and public health to advance our understanding of the long-term physical, emotional, and psychosocial effects of trauma. Our Boston area collaborators include Boston Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center.

Ali Salim, MD

Principal Investigator

Dr. Salim is a traumatologist and a surgical intensivist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Salim currently serves as the chief of the Division of Trauma, Burn, Surgical and Critical Care at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and is also a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Salim is also the Co-Medical Director of the Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Juan Herrera-Escobar, MD, MPH

Co-Investigator

Dr. Herrera-Escobar is a physician scientist from Colombia with advanced training in trauma outcomes research methodology. He earned his medical degree from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in 2014. In 2015, he joined the CSPH as the inaugural Pan-American Trauma Surgery (PATS) research fellow and obtained his MPH degree at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Currently, Dr. Herrera-Escobar serves as Research Director in Long Term Outcomes in Trauma at CSPH. His academic interests are in studying the long-term physical, mental, and social health consequences of traumatic injuries, as well as in the implementation of trauma registries and trauma systems design.

Nomi Levi-Carrick, MD, MPhil

Co-Investigator

Dr. Levy-Carrick is a consultation-liaison psychiatrist who serves as Associate Vice Chair, Ambulatory Services, Department of Psychiatry at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She serves as co-chair of the MassGeneralBrigham Trauma Informed Care Initiative and as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar (2018-2020), working with an interdisciplinary team on developing trauma-informed care approaches to the emergency department setting. She is the psychiatric consultant to the Critical Illness Recovery Program within the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Deepika Nehra, MD, MPH

Co-Investigator

Dr. Nehra is a trauma surgeon and surgical intensivist. She is currently an assistant professor of surgery at Harborview Medical Center/University of Washington and the associate program director for the trauma/surgical critical care fellowship at Harborview. Dr. Nehra spent three years as staff at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and was intimately involved with the FORTE project during that time. She has since transitioned to Seattle but remains involved with the FORTE project as a co-investigator. Currently, Dr. Herrera-Escobar serves as Research Director in Long Term Outcomes in Trauma at CSPH. His academic interests are in studying the long-term physical, mental, and social health consequences of traumatic injuries, as well as in the implementation of trauma registries and trauma systems design.

UW Profile

Adil Haider, MD, MPH

Co-Investigator

In addition to his role as Dean of the Medical School at Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan, Adil Haider, MD, MPH, FACS serves as the Director of Disparities and Emerging Trauma Systems in the Department of Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is regarded as one of the foremost experts on healthcare inequities in the United States, with projects focused on describing and mitigating unequal outcomes based on gender, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age and socioeconomic status. His other research focuses on long-term clinical and functional outcomes after trauma and emergency general surgery, optimal treatment of trauma/critically ill patients in resource-poor settings, and advanced analytic techniques for surgical health services research. 

Deepika Nehra, MD, MPH

Co-Investigator

Dr. Nehra is a trauma surgeon and surgical intensivist. She is currently an assistant professor of surgery at Harborview Medical Center/University of Washington and the associate program director for the trauma/surgical critical care fellowship at Harborview. Dr. Nehra’s research interest is primarily in better understanding and then working to improve the post-discharge outcomes for injured patients. She is particularly interested in focusing on individuals and communities who are at greatest risk of adverse outcomes and working to develop realistic strategies and partnerships with the community to improve outcomes for these vulnerable individuals and communities.

UW Profile

Sabrina Sanchez, MD, MPH

Site Principal Investigator

Dr. Sanchez received her MD from the University of Illinois-Chicago and her MPH from the University of Washington. Dr. Sanchez completed her general surgery residency also at the University of Washington and her surgical critical care fellowship at the University of Michigan. She has been an attending at Boston Medical Center and an assistant professor of surgery at Boston University since 2016. Her research interests surround quality of life and patient reported outcomes after trauma and emergency surgical care, geriatric surgery and palliative care, and shared decision making.

BUMC Profile

Haytham Kaafarani, MD, MPH

Site Principal Investigator

Dr. Kaafarani is an Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, and a Trauma Surgeon at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). He currently serves as the Medical Director of the MGH Center for Outcomes & Patient Safety in Surgery (COMPASS) and the TESSCC Director of Research. He is a leading surgeon-scientist recognized nationally and internationally with more than 200 published textbook chapters and scientific manuscripts focused on improving surgical outcomes, patient safety and quality benchmarking of surgical care. He is the creator of ESS, the Emergency Surgery Score, POTTER, the Artificial Intelligence emergency surgery risk calculator, as well as the intraoperative adverse events Severity Classification Scale. 

George Velmahos, MD, PhD, MSEd

Site Principal Investigator

Dr. Velmahos is the John F. Burke Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and Chief of Trauma, Emergency Surgery, and Surgical Critical Care at Massachusetts General Hospital, both in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the Trauma Program Leader for the Center for Integration of Medicine with Innovative Technology (CIMIT), and is the Founder of the Center for Early Trauma Research at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also an Honorary Professor of Surgery at the University of Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa), the Aristoteleion University of Thessaloniki (Salonica, Greece), and the University of Thessalia (Larissa, Greece). Additionally, Dr. Velmahos is the Director of the Hernia Center at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

Emma Reidy, MD, MPH

Sr. Project Manager

Emma Reidy manages several research projects at the Center for Surgery and Public Health including PACTS, FORTE, RESTORE, and NTRAP. Previously, served as the coordinator for the evaluation of a CDC-funded multi-site HIV prevention portfolio at Northwestern University in Chicago. She has experience conducting qualitative research and analysis, providing capacity building and technical assistance, and running program monitoring and evaluation. She received her BA from Brandeis University and MPH from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. While pursuing her MPH, she conducted a qualitative evaluation of HIV service implementation in Rakai, Uganda.

Taylor Lamarre

Research Assistant

Taylor Lamarre is a recent graduate of the University of Vermont where she earned a B.A. in Biology on a Pre-Medical track, with a minor in Behavioral Change Studies. Taylor is the Research Assistant for the FORTE project at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. While at the University of Vermont, Taylor worked at the Clinical Genetics Office of the U.V.M. Medical Center. She also held the position of Education Chair in FeelGood, a club dedicated to ending extreme poverty by 2030 through empowering individuals to effect their own change. Her academic interests include long-term mental health outcomes, and she intends to pursue a medical degree in the future.

Anthony Gebran, MD

Research Fellow

Dr. Gebran is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Division of Trauma, Emergency Surgery, and Surgical Critical Care at the Massachusetts General Hospital & Harvard Medical School. He obtained his medical degree from the American University of Beirut (AUB) in June 2020. He has published more than 20 manuscripts in top journals including Annals of Surgery and JACS and has presented at multiple national scientific conferences. His research interests include using Artificial Intelligence-based models to improve medical decision-making in trauma and emergency surgery and understanding patient-reported long-term outcomes following injury. Dr. Gebran is an aspiring academic surgeon and intends to pursue training in general surgery following completion of 2 years of postdoctoral fellowship at MGH.

Jefferson Proaño-Zamudio, MD

Research Fellow

Dr. Proaño-Zamudio is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Division of Trauma, Emergency Surgery, and Surgical Critical Care at the Massachusetts General Hospital & Harvard Medical School. He obtained his MD degree from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) in May 2021. His research interests include understanding long-term outcomes after injury, and clinical outcomes in the elderly surgical patient. Dr. Proaño-Zamudio is an aspiring surgeon and intends to pursue residency training in general surgery upon completion of his research fellowship.