SBAS Committees

To join any of the committees below, please e-mail:

Advocacy Committee – Chair: Linda Barry MD

Mission: Ensure that the organization maintains its social relevance to the minority community (both physicians and general community) by proactively addressing important issues related to minority health, minority health care, and academic achievement, especially in science, medicine, and related fields.

Education/Research Committee – Chair: Fabian Johnston MD

Mission: To establish, enhance and maintain efforts within the organization to improve career development and research opportunities for members who are interested in advancing their academic careers. The committee will work strategically with organizations like NIH, ACS, NCI, AACR.

Finance Committee – Chair: Fiemu Nwariaku MD

Mission: Ensure that the financial health of the organization (both present and future) is being managed effectively with a keen awareness of the opportunities and threats to SBAS viability.

Committee on Health Disparities – Dineo Khabele MD

Mission: The Society of Black Academic Surgeons recognizes the critical relationship between the health of a patient and access to care. Access to surgical care is affected by many factors. Despite these factors, several studies have shown that where access to care is equal outcome disparities become indiscernible. Optimal access is the key to quality of care.

Informatics Committee – Chair: Hope T. Jackson MD

Mission: To develop effective strategies for utilizing social media, informatics and advanced technology to connect with our constituency, educate the public on our mission, market our organization, and endeavor to remain relevant to our younger and more diverse members

Medical Student Committee – Chair: Donn Spight MD


  • Address mentorship needs in surgery for medical students
  • Support efforts that facilitate the transition from medical school to residency training school to residency training
  • Establish a mentoring program for medical students
  • Provide helpful information and guidance to medical students interested in surgical careers
  • Facilitate the involvement of medical students in SBAS

Membership Committee – Chair: Colin Martin, MD

Mission: To establish an accurate roster of the members and promote enhancement of growth, engagement, and relevance of the SBAS to all constituencies within our organizations

Program Committee – Chair: K Marie Reid MD

Mission: To work with Host institutions and local venues to create an Annual Meeting that highlights and enhances the best and brightest academic contributions submitted to SBAS each year. To provide an educational platform that promotes growth, engagement, collaboration and relevance to all constituencies within our organization. In addition, to create an accurate roster of active members.

Publications Committee – Chair: Erika Newman MD

Mission: To further advance the mission and vision of SBAS through publications and manuscripts, utilizing our collective voice for education, transformative ideas, and global dissemination. This includes review and score manuscripts submitted for presentation at the annual meeting and facilitates timely publication with the American Journal of Surgery.

Resident Committee – Chair: Lara Oyetunji MD

Mission: The Society of Black Academic Surgeons wants to address issues of resident career development in academic surgery. This is a forum for access to resources and contact with senior surgeons to lend guidance on graduate surgical education and career development.

Women in Surgery Committee – Chair: Cherisse Berry MD

Mission: The Society of Black Academic Surgeons wants to enable academic women surgeons to develop their careers and promote the advancement of minority women academic surgeons as leaders. To provide a forum to address the issues of minority women surgeons. To provide mentorship and networking opportunities to enhance minority women’s academic surgical careers.

Committee Member Directory

Name Academic Rank Specialty Institution Appointment Term
Cherisse Berry Assistant Acute Care Surgery NYU 2018-2021 Chair
Andrea Hayes-Jordan Professor Pediatric Surgery UNC 2018-2021 Senior Advisor
Sofya Asfaw Assistant Acute Care Surgery Cleveland Clinic 2020-2023
Leah Backhus Associate Thoracic Surgery Stanford 2018-2021
Linda Barry Associate MIS University of Connecticut 2018-2021
Dionne Blyden Assistant Acute Care Surgery Henry Ford 2019-2021
Adrienne Cobb Resident Breast Surgery Loyola University 2018-2021
Lola Fayanju Assistant Surgical Oncology Duke University 2019-2022
Debra Ford Associate Colorectal Surgery Howard University 2018-2021
Wendy Ricketts-Greene Associate Acute Care Surgery Emory University 2018-2021
Rian Hasson Assistant Thoracic Surgery Dartmouth 2019-2022
Dineo Khabele Professor Gynecology-Oncology Washington University 2018-2021
Crystal Mann Johnson Assistant MIS University of Florida 2018-2021
Kathie-Ann Joseph Associate Breast Surgery NYU 2018-2021
Erica Maduakolam Resident -- Wayne State University 2020-2023
Ericka Newman Associate Pediatric Surgery University of Michigan 2018-2021
Nkem Nweze Resident -- Einstein Medical Center, PA  
Lynn O’Connor Assistant Colorectal Surgery Mercy Medical Center, NY 2019-2022
Tawakalitu Oseni Assistant Surgical Oncology MGH/Harvard University 2018-2021
Carla Pugh Professor Acute Care Surgery Stanford University 2018-2021
Luz Rodriguez -- Surgical Oncology National Cancer Institute 2018-2021
Velma Scantlebury Professor Transplant Surgery Christiana Care 2018-2021
Randi Smith Assistant Acute Care Surgery Emory 2019-2021
Raeshell Sweeting Assistant Breast Surgery Vanderbilt 2019-2021
Ronda Henry-Tillman Professor Breast Surgery University of Arkansas 2018-2021
Patricia Turner Associate MIS University of Chicago 2018-2021
Cassandra White Associate Acute Care Surgery Augusta University 2018-2021

Young Surgeons Committee – Chair: Erica Sutton MD

Mission: The Society of Black Academic Surgeons recognizes the unique needs of the young minority academic surgeon (under age 45) and the need for mentorship and guidance to the current generation of minority academic surgeons. This is a forum for access to resources and contact with senior surgeons to lend guidance on academic career development and to be a forum to address the issues of young minority academic surgeons