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Al-Refaie Named Chair of Surgery in Omaha 

Jan 6, 2023
3 min Read
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Creighton University School of Medicine and CHI Health are pleased to announce the appointment of Waddah B. Al-Refaie, MD, FACS, as the new chair of the Department of Surgery at Creighton University School of Medicine Omaha campus and Chair of the Department of Surgery for CHI Health Clinic. He will oversee and direct the clinical, research, education, academic and innovative missions of general surgery, colorectal, trauma/acute care surgery, cardiovascular, and thoracic surgery at Creighton and CHI Health.  

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Al-Refaie comes to Creighton from MedStar Health and Georgetown University, where he served as regional chief of Surgical Oncology, the John S. Dillon Chair in Surgical Oncology and Surgeon in Chief of the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.  

He is a fellowship-trained surgical oncologist with over 15 years of expertise in gastric cancer, skin cancer and soft tissue sarcomas. He obtained his medical degree from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. After finishing an internship at Al-Amiri Hospital in Kuwait, he completed his residency at the University of California San Diego. He then completed a surgical oncology fellowship at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Prior to Georgetown, Al-Refaie served as the co-director of the University of Minnesota Surgical Outcomes Research Center.  

He has over 130 peer-reviewed publications, books, and book chapters covering various aspects of surgical oncology including variations and disparities in surgical care and has earned numerous honors and awards for his work. He is an invited speaker on gastric cancer, soft tissue sarcomas and advanced cutaneous cancers. Al-Refaie has contributed in establishing cancer surgery standards for gastric cancer, GI cancer, and soft tissue sarcomas as part of the American College of Surgery Cancer initiatives. 

Al-Refaie is a member of several prestigious surgical and cancer societies, including the American College of Surgeons, Society of University Surgeons, Surgical Biology Club, American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Southern Surgical Association, and the American Surgical Association, just to name a few. He is on the editorial board of Journal of Surgical Research and an Editor for Annals of Surgical Oncology. 

He founded and led the Surgical Disparities Taskforce at MedStar Health and Georgetown University Medical Center to promote equity in surgery. Al-Refaie also serves on national Diversity, Inclusion and Equity (DEI) initiatives to advance the workforce diversity agenda in surgery. 

Al-Refaie will join Creighton and CHI Health in March 2023. He will report to School of Medicine Dean Robert Dunlay, MD, and Physician Enterprise System Senior Vice President Randy Pritza, MD.