Dr. Russ White, Dr. Arega Fekadu Leta, and Dr. Agneta Odera present: “Rheumatic Heart Disease in Lower and Middle Income Countries.”
Dr. Russ White
Dr. Russ White was born in the Belgian Congo to medical missionary parents. He has served as the chief of surgery at Tenwek Mission Hospital in Kenya since 1997, where he spends the majority of his time. He is also a clinical professor of surgery at Brown University School of Medicine in Providence, Rhode Island. He was the program director of the Tenwek Hospital General Surgery Residency program from 2008 until 2017. In this capacity, he worked as a full-time medical missionary with World Gospel Mission with other consultant Christian surgeons at Tenwek Hospital to train ten surgical residents in a fully approved 5-year general surgical residency. In 2018, he initiated the first fellowship level training in cardiothoracic surgery in the region, which graduated its first board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon in December 2020. He has special interests in cancer of the esophagus and rheumatic heart disease.
Dr. White is currently working closely with Tenwek Hospital and Samaritan’s Purse to build the Cardiothoracic Center at Tenwek Hospital. This will be the largest dedicated cardiothoracic unit in Sub-Saharan Africa. Construction is slated to begin in July 2021, with an estimated opening date of January 2024.
Dr. Arega Fekadu Leta & Dr. Agneta Odera
Dr. Arega Fekadu Leta (from Ethiopia) and Dr. Agneta Odera (from Kenya) were the first two general surgery residents at the Tenwek Hospital Residency Training Program. They both completed their board certification in general surgery through the College of Surgeons of East, Central, and Southern Africa (COSECSA) in 2012.
Dr. Arega then went on to serve for four years as a general surgeon in Malamulo Hospital in Malawi, where he helped initiate a new general surgical residency program. He then returned to Tenwek Hospital to become the first fellow in the cardiothoracic fellowship program. He completed his training and was the first board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon in all of COSECSA in December 2020. He joined Dr. White as a faculty member in cardiothoracic surgery at Tenwek Hospital in January 2021.
Dr. Agneta worked for two years as a general surgeon at Tenwek Hospital, before pursuing and completing a fellowship in pediatric surgery in Durban, South Africa. She then returned to Tenwek to become a fellow in cardiothoracic surgery. She will complete her fellowship and sit for COSECSA board exams in December 2021. She plans to pursue a final, short fellowship in congenital heart surgery before returning to Tenwek Hospital as a full time congenital heart surgeon.
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