Prominent speakers in health care are invited to give keynote presentations each year to AMSA Convention & Exhibition attendees. You’ll hear from several influential, authoritative personalities as they share their experiences and wisdom about pressing issues in medicine. Past speakers have shared their expertise on diverse topics, from clinical care to advocacy, to wellness and more.
President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund
Dr. Leana Wen is the President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. Before joining Planned Parenthood, Dr. Wen served as the Baltimore City Health Commissioner, where she oversaw more than 1,000 employees with an annual budget of $130 million; two clinics that provide more than 18,000 patients with reproductive health services; and mental health programs in 180 Baltimore schools.
A board-certified emergency physician, Dr. Wen was a Rhodes Scholar, Clinical Fellow at Harvard, consultant with the World Health Organization, and professor at George Washington University. She has published over 100 scientific articles and is the author of the book When Doctors Don’t Listen. In 2016, Dr. Wen was honored to be the recipient of the American Public Health Association’s highest award for local public health work. In 2018, Time Magazine named her one of the 50 most influential people in health care.
President, Midwest Academy
Heather Booth is one of the leading strategists about progressive issue campaigns and driving issues in elections in the United States. She has been an organizer starting in the civil rights, anti-Vietnam war and women’s movements of the 1960s.
She was the founding Director and is now President of the Midwest Academy, training social change leaders and organizers. She has been involved in and managed political campaigns and was the Training Director of the Democratic National Committee. In 2000, she was the Director of the NAACP National Voter Fund, which helped to increase African American election turnout by nearly 2 million voters. She was the lead consultant, directing the founding of the Campaign for Comprehensive Immigration Reform in 2005.
In 2008, she was the director of the Health Care Campaign for the AFL-CIO. In 2009, she directed the campaign passing President Obama’s first budget. In 2010 she was the founding director of Americans for Financial Reform, fighting to regulate the financial industry. She was the national coordinator for the coalition around marriage equality and the 2013 Supreme Court decision. She was strategic advisor to the Alliance for Citizenship, the largest coalition of the immigration reform campaign. She has been a consultant to many organizations including the Voter Participation Center, Center for Community Change, and MoveOn.
President and Founder
Dr. Rishi Manchanda is a physician, author, and health care leader who has spent more than a decade developing novel strategies to improve health within resource-poor communities. He has served as director of social medicine for a network of community health centers in South-Central Los Angeles, lead primary care physician for homeless veterans at the Greater Los Angeles VA, and chief medical officer for a self-insured employer with a large rural immigrant workforce.
In his 2013 TED Book, The Upstream Doctors, Dr. Manchanda introduced readers to the upstreamists, a new model of health care workers who improve care by addressing patients’ health-related social needs, such as food, financial, and housing insecurity. The book has become recommended reading in medical schools and universities across the world.
Dadé Akindude, MSEd, MPP
Chair, AMSA Gender & Sexuality Action Committee
Ashi Arora is a senior at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She is studying Public Health, Biological Sciences, and Entrepreneurship & Innovation and is working to pursue a career in medicine and health policy in urban communities. She is the co-founder and co-president of the PERIOD. chapter at Wayne State, a co-principal investigator on a comprehensive research study of menstrual and reproductive challenges faced by homeless women in Detroit, the Chair of the American Medical Student Association’s Gender and Sexuality Action Committee, and a democracy fellow with the Campus Vote Project. Ashi is passionate about ameliorating underlying barriers and disparities that prevent marginalized, oppressed communities from accessing tools to live healthy and happy lives. Specifically, she is an activist as a part of the menstrual movement, she is passionate about reducing preterm birth and infant mortality in Detroit, raising awareness about trans health, and addressing sexual assault on college campuses. Detroit, the true American city in her eyes, has fueled her passion to target these challenges and serve her community.
Rebekah Apple, MA, DHSc
Director, Master of Medical Management, Carnegie Mellon University
Rebekah Apple is the Director of the Master of Medical Management program at Carnegie Mellon University. Apple has worked as a physician educator and advisor for more than ten years, and serves as an educational consultant to hospital and health care systems throughout the country. Focusing on organizational ethics, leading effective change, and self-awareness, Apple has designed and delivered education to the American College of Cardiology and the American Medical Women’s Association, among others. She currently serves on the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Ethics Committee, the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Ethics Committee, teaches ethics to third-year medical students at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and is a voting member of the University of South Florida Conflict of Interest Committee for Research Integrity. Apple is a certified facilitator of the MBTI, CPI, Adept-15, Influence Style Indicator, and Change Style Indicator psychometric assessments, and was responsible for customizing two of these assessments to suit the physician leader community. She is a contributing editor to the Academy for Professionalism in Healthcare’s newsletter. Apple received a Masters in Bioethics from the University of South Florida and a Doctorate in Health Science from A.T. Still University.
International Trustee, AMSA National
Yokaira is an International Medical Graduate from UNIBE School of Medicine located in Dominican Republic. Her journey as an AMSA leader began in 2015 as the president of her local chapter. Being more exposed to all the amazing opportunities AMSA has to offer, she aspired to be a part of the AMSA National Leadership. This led her to become International Regional Director followed by International Trustee, making this her second term as a member of the Board of Trustees.
Yokaira was awarded the 2017 James Slayton Leadership of Excellence Award. Her passion for AMSA has grown tremendously throughout the years and she has always stayed true to the association’s values. Yokaira is in the works of pursuing a neurology residency. She was born in Dominican Republic and raised in Orlando, Florida. Her favorite pastime is spending time with her friends and family and doing outdoor activities.
Edward Campion, MD
Executive Editor, New England Journal of Medicine
Edward W. (Tad) Campion, MD, is the Executive Editor at the New England Journal of Medicine, where he has worked for 30 years. He also serves as the Online Editor and oversees NEJM.org. He directed the launch of the NEJM onto the Web in 1996, and then helped move it into audio, video, and interactive data presentations, as well as onto the iPad and smartphone and into the world of social media.
Dr. Campion was formerly the Chief of the Geriatrics Unit at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital; he maintains appointments at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He graduated with honors from both Dartmouth College and Dartmouth Medical School. Before attending medical school, he studied philosophy as a Rhodes Scholar at The Queen’s College, Oxford, attended Union Theological Seminary as a Rockefeller Fellow, and taught math for two years at a public school in Harlem, New York City. He did his medical internship at Cambridge Hospital and completed both medical residency and rheumatology training at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Marco Ertreo, MD
Resident Physician, Medstar Georgetown University Hospital
Sam Foldy, MS
OMS-IV, Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine
Sam Foldy is a fourth-year osteopathic medical student from the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine and is AMSA’s Chair of the D.O. Advisory Board for the 2018-2019 leadership year. He is a former Pre-Doctoral Anatomy and Osteopathic Principles and Practice Teaching Fellow at the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine. During his fellowship year, he also received a Master of Science in Adult Education with a concentration in Curriculum and Instructional Design from Troy University. Sam has been involved in multiple AMSA National leadership positions in the past, including serving on AMSA’s National Board of Trustees as the Vice President for Leadership Development, as well on the Board of Regional Directors as a Medical Regional Director for Region III.
Lisa Freeman, DVM, PhD, DACVN
Professor, Tufts University
Laura K. Guyer, PhD, MEd, RDN
Master Lecturer, University of Florida
Laura K. Guyer, PhD, MEd, RDN, returned to University of Florida (UF) in 2011 to establish the only undergraduate academic program nationwide dedicated to the elimination of health disparities. Health Disparities in Society is housed in the Center for Gender, Sexualities and Women’s Studies Research in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Dr. Guyer teaches courses in health disparities, women’s health and health literacy; her research investigates health disparities in vulnerable populations and barriers to building health literacy capacity in individual patients and the public.
Before returning to UF, Dr. Guyer was the Associate Director at Suwannee River Area Health Education Center (AHEC) where she directed internships for medical, physician assistant and MPH students. She co-authored Quit Smoking Now!, the first statewide curriculum used by the Florida AHEC Network to provide tobacco cessation education to Floridians. She co-founded Engineering THE LAW (ETL), Inc., a non-profit organization that teaches grassroots advocacy principles to state and national professional associations.
Dr. Guyer was a tenured Associate Professor and Director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics and Combined Master of Science Degree-Dietetic Internship program at the University of Florida. She has been a clinician in acute care, wellness nutritionist, rural nutrition consultant and first editor of The Handbook of Medical Nutrition Therapy: The Florida Diet Manual. She is published in numerous peer reviewed and consumer publications and has held leadership positions in the Florida Public Health Association and Florida Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Dr. Guyer maintains professional registration with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Wayne Jonas, MD
Executive Director, Samueli Integrative Health Programs
Dr. Jonas is a practicing family physician, an expert in integrative health and health care delivery, and a widely published scientific investigator. Additionally, Dr. Jonas is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Medical Corps of the United States Army. From 2001-2016, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Samueli Institute, a non-profit medical research organization supporting the scientific investigation of healing processes in the areas of stress, pain and resilience.
Dr. Jonas was the Director of the Office of Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health from 1995-1999, and prior to that served as the Director of the Medical Research Fellowship at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians.
His research has appeared in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of the American Medical Association, Nature Medicine, the Journal of Family Practice, the Annals of Internal Medicine, and The Lancet. Dr. Jonas received the 2015 Pioneer Award from the Integrative Healthcare Symposium, the 2007 America’s Top Family Doctors Award, the 2003 Pioneer Award from the American Holistic Medical Association, the 2002 Physician Recognition Award of the American Medical Association, and the 2002 Meritorious Activity Prize from the International Society of Life Information Science in Chiba, Japan.
Dr. Jonas is currently the Executive Director of Samueli Integrative Health Programs, an effort supported by Henry and Susan Samueli to empower patients and doctors by providing solutions that enhance health, prevent disease, and relieve chronic pain.
Dr. Jonas has led and participated in hundreds of research studies beginning with his time as Director of the National Institutes of Health Office of Alternative Medicine. While serving as CEO and President of the non-profit research organization Samueli Institute, his work set the bar for evidence-based research in the areas of pain, stress and human performance.
Barbara Lewis, MBA
Managing Editor, DocCom
Barbara Lewis, MBA, began her career as a journalist writing for numerous national publications from The Wall Street Journal to Modern Healthcare and the British Medical Journal. She returned to school, obtaining an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, where she taught business communication. Barbara founded a marketing consulting firm in 1991; however, she left her career when she spent two weeks in the ICU with her sister who tragically passed away in 2012. She decided to dedicate the rest of her life to improving the patient experience. She is the former Co-chair of The Beryl Institute’s Global Patient & Family Advisory Council and the Southern California Kaiser Permanente Regional Member Advisory Council. Barbara is the Managing Editor of DocCom, an on-line communication skills learning program for medical students, residents and physicians, which sponsors a podcast – Healthcare Communication: Effective Techniques for Clinicians. She is the Managing Director of the Academy for Professionalism in Health Care. Barbara is the author of the books, Get a Black Belt in Business and Get a Black Belt in Marketing, based on her black belt in karate.
Linda Prine, MD
Medical Director, Reproductive Health Access Project
Senior Associate, Advocacy & Organizing, RESULTS
Carly Pildis serves as Senior Associate, Advocacy and Organizing for RESULTS. Previously, she served as Operation Vote Director for Obama for America- DC, Interfaith Organizing and Advocacy Fellow for Jubilee USA Network, and as a Political Organizer/Advocacy Consultant for American Jewish World Service for the 2008 NH Primary. She also serves as a Contributing Editor to Tablet Magazine.
Timothy E. Quill, MD
Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry, Medical Humanities and Nursing University of Rochester Medical Center/ Department of Medicine/ Palliative Care Division
Timothy E. Quill, MD, is Distinguished Professor in Palliative Care at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) where his is also Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry, Medical Humanities and Nursing. He was the Founding Director of the URMC Palliative Care Division and a Past President of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. He is Acting Director of the URMC Schyve Center for Biomedical Ethics.
Dr. Quill has published and lectured widely about various aspects of the doctor-patient relationship, with special focus on end-of-life decision making, including delivering bad news, nonabandonment, discussing palliative care earlier, and exploring last-resort options. He is the author of several books on end-of life care and over 150 articles published in major medical journals. Dr. Quill was the lead physician plaintiff in the New York State legal case challenging the law prohibiting physician-assisted death that was heard in 1997 by the U.S. Supreme Court (Quill v. Vacco).
Dr. Quill received his undergraduate degree from Amherst College (1971), and his MD from the University of Rochester (1976). He completed his Internal Medicine Residency in 1979 and a Fellowship in Medicine/Psychiatry Liaison in 1981, both from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Dr. Quill is a Fellow in the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, a Master in the American College of Physicians and an ABMS certified palliative care consultant.
Paul Rizk, MD
Resident, University of Florida
Paul Anthony Rizk is an Orthopaedic Surgery resident at the University of Florida and recent graduate of UT Southwestern Medical School after completing degrees in Physics and Chemical Engineering at Lamar University. Paul developed a passion for the learning process and teaching after struggling with the transition into medical school. He hopes to continue to help refine the learning process for medical students and future residents at all levels of their training, ultimately teaching residents at an academic institution in the future.
Shirag Shemmassian, PhD
Founder, Shemmassian Academic Consulting
Read bio Dr. Shirag Shemmassian is a medical school admissions expert who has helped hundreds of students get into top schools such as Harvard, Mayo, and UCSF. Growing up with Tourette Syndrome in a middle-class family, Dr. Shemmassian was often mocked by peers and teachers and discouraged from applying to elite colleges. Therefore, he taught himself everything he needed to know to graduate debt-free with his B.S. in Human Development from Cornell and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from UCLA. Dr. Shemmassian has been featured on The Washington Post, New York Post, Business Insider, and NBC, as well as been invited to speak at Stanford, Yale, and UC Berkeley. He presents on topics including standing out on medical school applications, writing memorable personal statements, and navigating higher education with a disability.
Dr. Shirag Shemmassian is a medical school admissions expert who has helped hundreds of students get into top schools such as Harvard, Mayo, and UCSF.
Growing up with Tourette Syndrome in a middle-class family, Dr. Shemmassian was often mocked by peers and teachers and discouraged from applying to elite colleges. Therefore, he taught himself everything he needed to know to graduate debt-free with his B.S. in Human Development from Cornell and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from UCLA.
Dr. Shemmassian has been featured on The Washington Post, New York Post, Business Insider, and NBC, as well as been invited to speak at Stanford, Yale, and UC Berkeley. He presents on topics including standing out on medical school applications, writing memorable personal statements, and navigating higher education with a disability.
Loice Swisher, MD FAAEM
Clinical Associate Professor, Emergency Medicine Mercy Philadelphia Hospital
Read bio Dr. Loice Swisher has been a nocturnist for two decades at Mercy Philadelphia Hospital, an inner-city community hospital associated with the Drexel Emergency Medicine Residency Program. Her plans for an academic career were radically altered when her daughter developed a malignant brain tumor and the resection surgery neurologically devastated her child. Since that life-changing event, resilience has become a personal and professional passion. Dr. Swisher participates in residency, institutional, regional and national resilience committees. In addition, she is a professional member of the American Association of Suicidology and the co-founder of the National Physician Suicide Awareness Day instituted on September 17, 2018.
Dr. Loice Swisher has been a nocturnist for two decades at Mercy Philadelphia Hospital, an inner-city community hospital associated with the Drexel Emergency Medicine Residency Program. Her plans for an academic career were radically altered when her daughter developed a malignant brain tumor and the resection surgery neurologically devastated her child. Since that life-changing event, resilience has become a personal and professional passion. Dr. Swisher participates in residency, institutional, regional and national resilience committees. In addition, she is a professional member of the American Association of Suicidology and the co-founder of the National Physician Suicide Awareness Day instituted on September 17, 2018.
Kelly Thibert, DO, MPH
Resident Physician (PGY-2), Grant Family Medicine at Ohio Health
Read bio Kelly Thibert is a second-year Family Medicine Resident at Grant Family Medicine in Columbus, Ohio. She attended the University of Central Florida (Go Knights!) in Orlando, Florida, where she majored in Molecular and Microbiology and minored in Women’s Studies. She attended Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine in South Florida where she earned her Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine and Master of Public Health degrees. Before applying to residency, Kelly served as the National President for the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), improving her health policy skills which she believes are vital to being an advocate and change agent for her patients and the communities in which they live. Kelly is passionate about comprehensive reproductive health, health policy and social activism.
Kelly Thibert is a second-year Family Medicine Resident at Grant Family Medicine in Columbus, Ohio. She attended the University of Central Florida (Go Knights!) in Orlando, Florida, where she majored in Molecular and Microbiology and minored in Women’s Studies. She attended Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine in South Florida where she earned her Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine and Master of Public Health degrees.
Before applying to residency, Kelly served as the National President for the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), improving her health policy skills which she believes are vital to being an advocate and change agent for her patients and the communities in which they live. Kelly is passionate about comprehensive reproductive health, health policy and social activism.
Perry Tsai, MD, PhD
President, AMSA National
Read bio Dr. Tsai is the National President of AMSA. He recently graduated with his MD and PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. He grew up outside New Orleans, LA, he enjoys singing, and he plans to pursue psychiatry for residency training.
Dr. Tsai is the National President of AMSA. He recently graduated with his MD and PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. He grew up outside New Orleans, LA, he enjoys singing, and he plans to pursue psychiatry for residency training.