Each month, the AAS Membership Committee presents the “Member Spotlight” – an opportunity to introduce you to a member of your association.
Dr. Jennifer Rickard is an Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Division of Critical Care/Acute Care Surgery at the University of Minnesota. She also serves as an Honorary Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Rwanda College of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Dr. Rickard received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she doubled majored in both zoology and medical microbiology/immunology and graduated with honors. She remained at the University of Wisconsin for her medical doctorate and went on to Rush University Medical Center for her surgical residency. Thereafter, she completed the prestigious Paul Farmer Global Surgery Fellowship and spent much of her time caring for patients in Rwanda, building an operative database, and assessing epidemiology and outcomes in patients with peritonitis. In addition, she received her Masters in Public Health from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health during her global surgery fellowship. Subsequently, she went on to complete a surgical critical care fellowship at the University of Minnesota.
Since joining the faculty at the University of Minnesota in 2016, she has been instrumental in continuing to develop the Department of Surgery’s global surgery program and serves on both the advisory and steering committees. With her interest and experience in global surgery, she continues to spend six months of each year in Rwanda working with the Rwanda Human Resources for Health Program. Here, in addition to her clinical responsibilities, she has worked to expand the surgical training program at the University of Rwanda, working clinically at University Teaching Hospital of Kigali (a large tertiary referral center) where she mentors visiting students and residents from multiple US training programs. She works closely with her Rwandan surgical colleagues to improve the quality of care for both trauma and emergency general surgery patients, which have historically represented a largen burden of disease with significant morbidity and mortality.
Her current research program is focused on the role of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase carriers in Rwandan surgical patients and the impact that this may have on surgical site infections, which has been funded by the University of Minnesota Center for Global Health.
Dr. Rickard has been a member of the Association for Academic Surgery since 2015. During this time, she has served as the Chair of the Global Affairs Committee and is currently serving on the Education Committee.