2023 Guest Speakers

William J. Quinones-Baldrich MD, FACS, is currently Emeritus Professor of Surgery at the University of California Los Angeles. He was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and received his medical degree from the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine in 1977. From 1977 through 1982 he obtained general surgery training at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. In 1984 he completed a vascular fellowship at the University of California Los Angeles. He is Board Certified in both General and Vascular Surgery. Dr. Quiñones-Baldrich has been intimately involved in the development of endovascular grafting for abdominal aortic aneurysms, having performed the initial evaluation of the EVT endovascular graft, the first FDA approved endovascular graft for minimally invasive treatment of aortic aneurysms. He was the first to describe the “hybrid approach” for repair of complex aortic disease in 1999. Other interests include complete endovascular repair of aortic pathology, combined surgical/endovascular repair of aortic arch aneurysms/ dissections, and reconstruction of the vena cava for retroperitoneal tumor resections. Dr. Quiñones-Baldrich is a member of many prestigious surgical societies, including the American Surgical Association. He was President of the Peripheral Vascular Surgery Society, President of the Bay Surgical Society, President of the Southern California Vascular Surgical Society, President of the Western Vascular Society and President of the Society for Clinical Vascular Surgery. He has published over 160 articles in vascular journals and has 57 chapters in major textbooks of vascular surgery. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the Annals of Vascular Surgery and Journal of Vascular Surgery, the premier journal of the specialty. He founded the UCLA Aortic Center in 2014 and was Director of the Center at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center until 2021. He was appointed Emeritus Professor of Surgery at the Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA in 2021.

Julie A. Freischlag, MD, FACS, FRCSEd(Hon), DFSVS, is the chief executive officer of Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, dean of Wake Forest School of Medicine, and chief academic officer of Atrium Health Enterprise.  Consistently ranked among the nation’s top 50 medical centers, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist includes a growing, multi-hospital health system and physician network, the state-of-the-art and highly competitive Wake Forest School of Medicine, and the school’s technology transfer and commercialization arm, Wake Forest Innovations.

Her national leadership includes serving as a former governor and secretary of the Board of Governors and a regent and past chair of the Board of Regents of the American College of Surgeons. She is the past president of the Society for Vascular Surgery and the Society for Vascular Surgery Foundation, and past president of the Association of VA Surgeons and the Society of Surgical Chairs. Freischlag was the editor of JAMA Surgery for ten years (2005-2014) and is currently a member of the JAMA Oversight Committee and the editorial boards of the Annals of Vascular Surgery, Journal of the American College of Surgeons, British Journal of Surgery, and the Journal of the American

She mentors students, residents and young faculty and is a frequent speaker on topics ranging from her expertise in vascular diseases, teamwork and patient safety, leadership and work-life balance to women succeeding in health professions. Freischlag has dedicated her career to serving as a role model for her students, a respected colleague across health professions, a strong community leader and a national voice for improving health and health care.

Currently, Freischlag is President of the American College of Surgeons and also serves on the Board of Directors of the Association for American Medical Colleges, National Institute of Health Clinical Center Research Hospital Board, Aga Khan University Board of Trustees, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Advisory Board, the University of Illinois Health Advisory Board, and the American Hospital Association Changing Workforce Task Force.

Benjamin J. Pearce, MD, FACS, is the William D. Jordan, Jr. Endowed Professor of Vascular Surgery and Program Director of the Vascular Training Programs at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.   Dr. Pearce began his academic journey at Duke University followed by medical school at the University of Texas-San Antonio.  He was then privileged to match in General Surgery at the University of Chicago Hospitals where he won numerous teaching awards, the Gold Humanism in Medicine award and was Co-Administrative Chief Resident.

Dr. Pearce then completed the two-year Vascular Fellowship at the University of Alabama Hospitals, University of Alabama-Birmingham School of Medicine.

His first academic posting was at UT Health-San Antonio where he again won numerous recognitions for teaching excellence from both the general surgery residency and medical students.   After 4 years, he was recruited back to UAB where he has been promoted to Associate Professor and Program Director of Vascular Training.

Dr. Pearce is active in clinical research with a focus on open aortic surgery, limb salvage and carotid disease.   He has been an invited speaker at numerous national and international meetings and is privileged to be on the Executive Committee of the Association of Program Directors in Vascular Surgery.  Dr. Pearce’s efforts in furthering Vascular surgery education resulted in his Endowed Professorship which he is extremely proud of as it is named for his mentor, Dr. William D. Jordan, Jr, MD.

Peter A. Schneider, M.D., FACS, DFSVS, is Professor of Surgery in the Division of Vascular & Endovascular Surgery at University of California San Francisco. Dr. Schneider received his MD from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and completed surgery residency and vascular surgery fellowship at the University of California San Francisco.

Dr. Schneider was the founding member and chief of the Division of Vascular Surgery at Kaiser Permanente in Hawaii from 1994-2018. At Kaiser, he developed a Diabetic Limb Treatment Program and a surveillance program for patients with aneurysms and a registry for patients with carotid disease used for surveillance. He oversaw the development of the first endovascular operating room in the Kaiser healthcare system.

Dr. Schneider is a Distinguished Fellow of the Society for Vascular Surgery and is the past president of Western Vascular Society and Vascular and Interventional Advances (VIVA). He has been invited to numerous national and international visiting professorships, served as director, faculty or course director for many specialty courses and performed revascularization procedures in more than a dozen countries. He authored “Endovascular Skills,” the 4th edition published in 2019, and has co-authored three other books on various aspects of vascular disease. Dr. Schneider founded two medical device companies, served as an advisor to many others, and has been awarded numerous patents.