Dr. Girma Tefera has been serving as the chairman of the board of the Ethio-American Doctors Group (EADG). In his own words, Dr. Girma got involved with EADG “with the hope that EADG will provide me with an opportunity in my journey from “SUCCESS TO SIGNIFICANCE.” Most of us particularly physicians of Ethiopian origin have been chasing after our personal success. I believe for the most part we have achieved that goal. As I reflect back on this issue, I am proud of so much good work I was able to do working with my physician colleagues in Ethiopia whom I consider my Heroes. EADG will give me the opportunity to be a part of an institution that will fundamentally change health care delivery in Ethiopia. I love the fact that this organization has planned the most sustainable way of providing care. I think this is the ultimate way of GIVING BACK TO MY COUNTRY.”
Dr. Girma attended the University of Pisa in Italy for his medical education and he received his general surgery training in Germany, followed by sub specialty training in vascular surgery at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, Wisconsin, where he is now professor of surgery.
In addition to his responsibilities at the University, Dr. Girma is currently the Char of the Division of Vascular Surgery that employs 16 full time vascular surgeons. He also serves as Vice Chair for Global Surgery within the Department of Surgery. He is also the Medical director for the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Operation Giving Back Program (https://www.facs.org/ogb). ACS is one of the oldest surgical organizations in the world that has over 80,000 surgeon members across the world.
Dr. Girma is a member of several national and international surgical organizations including the American Surgical Association, American College of Surgeons, Society for Black Academic Surgeons, Society for Vascular Surgery, and Mid-Western Vascular Surgery Society.
He has also authored and coauthored over fifty scientific and scholarly papers, a number of them focused on medical care in Ethiopia.
With all the success he has enjoyed abroad, Dr. Girma has been making significant contributions in Ethiopia since 2005. His partnership work includes the development of Emergency Medical Training Program at Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital (TASH) both in adult and pediatric emergency medicine. This is the foundational program that led to the expansion of Emergency Medical Services across Ethiopia. The program was possible because of team work with great leaders at TASH that included Dr. Aklilu Azaje, Dr. Sisay Worku, Dr. Nebyou Abebe, Dr. Assefu Woldetsadik, Dr. Tigist Bacha, Dr. Muluwork Teffera, and others.
He has also partnered with Dr. Nebyou Seyoum to develop Vascular Surgery service and Training Program at TASH. This initiative has been successful and has resulted in a sustainable Vascular Surgery Training Program.
Over the past 2 years Dr. Girma has coordinated and supported a collaborative consortium from 13 universities from the USA, to provide continued support in workforce development, patient care and online education for Hawassa University Department of Surgery. This project is unique in that new surgeries have been introduced such as Laparoscopy, and we are in the process of supporting the establishment of a comprehensive Trauma Education, Research and Care. Dr. Girma also led as the University of Wisconsin Co-Principal Investigator for the Medical Education Program Initiative that was US funded but led by Dr. Miliard Derebew at Addis Ababa University TASH.
Over the years, with the spirit of giving back, Dr. Girma has been able to contribute so much in Ethiopia His current dream is to see how EADG can fundamentally change health care delivery in Ethiopia both in quality and quantity once the hospital is fully functional.