Dr. Abdullah Saleh, OGS Director

Abdullah Saleh is a Pediatric General Surgeon at the University of Alberta. He completed his medical school and General Surgery residency at the University of Alberta and his Pediatric Surgery fellowship at the McMaster University. He helped found the Office of Global Surgery during his residency years in collaboration with various committed faculty.

He is the co-founder and Chief Executive Director of Innovative Canadians for Change (ICChange), a not-for-profit organization and social enterprise that develops innovative models and solutions to complex problems. ICChange has a long track record of successful initiatives including the Kenya Ceramic Project, the Kibera Medical Records Initiative and the Kenya Trauma and Injury Program and has received grants and partnerships from various organizations including Grand Challenges Canada, Clinton Global Initiative, UNICEF, American College of Surgeons, AMPATH, IDRC as well as government agencies, academic institutions, and private sector backing.

Abdullah was born in Iraq and lived in France and Malaysia before moving to Canada. His portfolio includes work in various countries in South America, East Africa, and South-East Asia. His interests include systems thinking, architecture and implementation, technology development and entrepreneurship, human rights development, as well as improving access to medical services and surgery to underserved and vulnerable communities.


Sandy Widder, MD, FRCSC, FACS, MHA, MSc QIPS

Dr Sandy Widder has been a faculty member of the Department of Surgery at the University of Alberta as an acute care/ trauma surgeon and Intensivist since 2008. She completed her Critical Care/ Trauma fellowship at the University of Calgary and a visiting fellowship at Ryder Trauma Centre in Miami, Florida. She has a Masters in Health Administration from UBC and has completed a Masters in Quality Improvement and Patient Safety from the University of Toronto. She has recently been appointed as the Faculty Section Head for Trauma at the University of Alberta Hospital.

Dr Widder has a strong interest in enhancing communication, promoting team cohesiveness and optimizing leadership in trauma resuscitation and has developed and co-developed training courses and simulations which are taught at a national level.

Vanessa Fawcett

Vanessa Fawcett, MD, MPH, FRCSC

Vanessa Fawcett is an Assistant Professor of General & Trauma Surgery at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, University of Alberta. She completed her General Surgery residency at the University of British Columbia, a Master of Public Health in Global Health at Harvard University, followed by a fellowship in Trauma & Surgical Critical Care at Harborview Medical Centre in Seattle. Prior to joining the faculty at the U of A, she spent a year working as a surgical instructor in Rwanda. Clinical and research interests focus on global surgery and injury prevention.

Dr. Regan Guilfoyle

Dr. Guilfoyle is a pediatric plastic surgeon and director of the Office of International Surgery. She grew up in Manitoba but lived in both the Caribbean and South America prior to her undergraduate studies. She completed a degree in environmental sciences at McGill University and then returned to Manitoba to complete her medical degree at the University of Manitoba. She trained as a resident in plastic surgery at the University of Alberta and later trained as a fellow in pediatric plastic surgery at the University of British Columbia

Dr. Guilfoyle has in interest in community and service development in under-served populations. She worked for one year as a volunteer assistant coordinator for literacy project in Georgetown, Guyana and volunteered at drop-in center for children, in downtown Winnipeg, during her medical school training. She is very excited to be involved in developing the international surgery program at the University of Alberta.