BIOS

Tracey Straker, MD | Montefiore Medical Center | Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology

Dr. Tracey Straker is a Professor of Anesthesiology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and an Attending Physician at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York. She attended a 7year BS/ MD program – Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, based at City College in Harlem, New York. She graduated from New York Medical College with a combined MD and MPH in Medical Administration.

She completed her Master’s in Science in Health Information Technology from Georgetown and completed her CBA in Business Administration from Northwestern through the American Society for Anesthesiologists. She serves as the Vice Chair of Clinical Operations Anesthesiology, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Officer Anesthesiology, Director of General Anesthesiology, and the Director of the Advanced Airway Fellowship at Montefiore Medical Center. She also holds the rank of Adjunct Clinical Professor of Medicine at CUNY School of Medicine in New York City.

She presently serves as the Speaker of the House in the New York State Society for Anesthesiologists (NYSSA), President Elect for the Anesthesia Section of the National Medical Association and Immediate Past President of the Society for Head and Neck Anesthesia (SHANA). She serves as the Chairwoman of the Committee of Diversity and Inclusion at the Society for Education in Anesthesia (SEA). She serves as the Director of the American Society for Anesthesiology Mentoring Grant and serves on the Professional Diversity committee of the American Society for Anesthesiologists. She has authored several publications, presented at multiple international and national meetings, and serves as Editor of textbooks.

Her passion is linear mentorship. I genuinely believe in giving back, but more importantly, getting people to a place where they can give back, and sponsor. It is so extremely important to extend a hand and elevate people. As you lift people, you are lifted as well.

Gilbert S. Chandler, MD | Tallahassee Orthopedic Clinic

Dr. Gilbert Chandler received his medical degree from the University of Florida and has been practicing over 30 years.  He is board certified in anesthesiology and pain management.  Dr. Chandler was a practicing partner for 20 years at Specialty Clinic of Georgia and now practices Interventional Pain Management in his hometown of Tallahassee, Florida at Tallahassee Orthopedic Clinic.  Dr. Chandler served as a member of the Georgia State Board of Medicine and currently serves as an assistant teaching professor for the School of Medicine at Florida State University.  He is an active member of both The American Society of Pain Physicians and The American Society of Addiction Medicine.  When not caring for patients, Dr. Chandler enjoys spending time with his family.

Michael Danic, DO | Genesys Regional Medical Center, Department of Anesthesiology

Dr. Michael Danic, is a Board Certified Anesthesiologist specializing in patient safety and experience.  He is currently the Chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology at Genesys Regional Medical Center and is part of American Anesthesiology of Michigan.  He is past chair of the Genesys Co-Management Quality and Safety Committee and is a Board Member Michigan Society of Anesthesiologist.  Dr. Danic is also a leading member of Ascension Hospital’s Acute Pain Committee and works with an integrative team designing best practice’s for the system’s 120 integrated hospitals.  Dr. Danic is also a community leader for safe use of narcotics and is a board member of the Flint Area Families Against Narcotics, has sponsored medication take back events through Michigan Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network and serves on the Flint Powers High School Board of Trustees.  He is married to Christa Danic and has 2 children.

Ghazaleh Gigi Hafizi, MD, FACOG | Metropolitan Women’s Center

Dr. Gigi Hafizi is Chief Medical Officer and practicing physician at Metropolitan Women’s Center.  In this role, Dr. Hafizi focuses on the development of innovative health solutions to improve the quality and delivery of healthcare to a distinct patient population.  Dr. Hafizi oversees the company’s overall clinical program with the goal of providing preventive and therapeutic medical and surgical care to women of all ages.  She has over twenty years of experience in the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology and has a depth of  knowledge and experience in health education, disease management, patient safety and evidence-based medicine.  In the last decade, in additional to her clinical practice, Dr. Hafizi has served as a Medical Student Interviewer, Medical Student, Resident, and Physician’s Assistant teaching faculty at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.  She has held positions as Assistant Clinical Professor at GWU and VCU Schools of Medicine.  Prior to joining Metropolitan Women’s Center, Dr. Hafizi was in private practice in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Dr. Hafizi attended the University of California, Los Angeles, Howard University Medical College and completed internship and residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Tulane University School of Medicine.  She is Board Certified by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and hold an active medical license in the state of Virginia.

Natalie Payne | Student Member

Natalie Payne is in her second year of medical school at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.  She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biopsychology, Cognition and Neuroscience at the University of Michigan in 2014.  While at Michigan, she worked with a research team studying motor development in children with developmental disabilities.  After graduation from Michigan, Natalie continued working with children as a direct caregiver for foster children with severe disabilities living in a residential treatment center in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  She hopes to finish medical school, possibly enter a pediatrics residency program, and begin serving her community as a physician.  Outside of class, Natalie loves to hike and travel with her husband.

William W. Pinsky, M.D., FAAP, FACC  | Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates

William W. Pinsky is Chief Executive Officer of Intealth, President of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), and Board Chair of the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER), ECFMG’s nonprofit foundation. Prior to joining ECFMG in 2016, Dr. Pinsky was Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer of the Ochsner Health System (OHS) in Louisiana. He also served as Executive Vice President of Ochsner International and Professor and Head of the Ochsner Clinical School, a U.S. partner of the University of Queensland School of Medicine in Australia. Dr. Pinsky retains an Honorary Professor title from the University of Queensland. Before joining OHS, he held a number of senior academic and executive roles at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan, and at the Detroit Medical Center.

Dr. Pinsky is a past board member of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, as well as the Alliance of Independent Academic Medical Centers, where he also served as President. In his role at Intealth, Dr. Pinsky continues to work closely with the leadership of numerous national and international organizations involved in medical education and health professions regulation.

A pediatric cardiologist, Dr. Pinsky received his medical degree from Saint Louis University School of Medicine and trained at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Cardiology, and the American College of Chest Physicians. His honors include the Leadership Award from the Faculty of Medicine and Biological Sciences of the University of Queensland, and the Founders Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Pinsky is also the founder of Racing For Kids®, a non-profit foundation that uses professional motorsports to bring awareness to the health care needs of children and children’s hospitals.

Kenneth Simons, MD | Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals, Inc.

Dr. Kenneth Simons is the Designated Institutional Official and Executive Director for Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals, Inc. (MCWAH) and Sr. Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education and Accreditation at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Professor of Ophthalmology and Pathology.

Dr. Simons earned his medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine, completed a residency in Ophthalmology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill and a fellowship in Ophthalmic Pathology at the Jules Stein Eye Institute, University of California Los Angeles.  Dr. Simons is a diplomat of the American Board of Ophthalmology.  He is a past chair of the AMA Section on Medical Schools Governing Council, and served as the Section’s delegate.  He is a past member of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Board of Directors, serving on its Executive Committee and as chair for the Policies and Procedures Committee and the Committee on Requirements.  In March 2011, Dr. Simons was appointed to the Wisconsin State Medical Examining Board in 2011, elected Chair in 2013, and served as Chair through May 2020. He has also served as Chair of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission (IMLCC). Dr. Simons was elected to the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) Board of Directors in April 2017 and now serves as immediate past Chair.

Dr. Simons has previously served on the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) Board of Directors and served as its Secretary-Treasurer. He was elected to the board of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) and re-elected, completing his service in 2021. He served as Chair of the ACGME-I Surgical and Hospital based Review Committee from 2016-2021 which accredits international residency and fellowship training programs.

Dr. Simons passion is  ensuring that trainees are educated in supportive educational environments so that they will be able to provide safe, quality care to their patients. In his little remaining free time, Dr. Simons enjoys spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren, as well as traveling.

Helen Van Etten, AuD  | National Committeewoman, Republican Party of Kansas

Helen Van Etten was elected in 2008 as the Kansas Republican Party National Committeewoman.  She has served as a delegate at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Republican National Conventions.  She has also served on the Budget Committee, RNC Site Selection Committee and RNC debate Committee.  Furthermore, she serves as the RNC Rule Committee as well as the RNC Executive Committee.

Van Etten has been active in the Kansas Republic Party for over 20 years.  She served as the president of the Kansas-Federal of Republic Women’s Shawnee Chapter.  Van Etten is a national board member of the National Federation of the Grand Order of Pachyderm Clubs.  She also served as a trustee to the PAC Maggie’s List, which seeks to increase the number of Republican women elected to public office.  She was the secretary for Republicans Oversea.  Recently, she has been elected as the co-chair Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Conservative Leadership Caucus.

Since 1985, Helen Van Etten has been an audiologist.  She works for the Topeka School District as the chief audiologist.  In 1988, Van Etten was on the board of directors for the Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and remained on the board until 2006.  Between 2004 and 2007, she served on the advisory committee for KAN Be Healthy, a Kansas State Medicaid program for youths and young adults.  In 2010, Van Etten was appointed to the Ex-Office, Board of Governors of the Eisenhower Excellence in Public Service Series.

In 2013, she was appointed to the Kansas Board of Regents by Kansas Governor Sam Brownback (R).  She has served on several of the board’s committees, including chair of the Academic Affairs Standing Committee, the Midwest Higher Education Compact (MHEC) as a representative and commissioner, Washburn University Board of Regents, and the Higher Education and K-12 Coordination Council.  She was re-appointed to the Kansas Board of Regents for the second term in 2017 (2017-2021).

Helen Van Etten hold a Master’s Degree in Audiology from Wayne State University and a Doctorate in Audiology from University of Florida.