“Everyone deserves the best MIS surgery wherever they are,” says Dr. Maria Bailez, co-chair of SAGES Global Committee and active participant in SAGES Global Laparoscopic Advancement Program (GLAP).
GLAP is a simulation-based education training program that teaches essential MIS surgery skills and procedures using low-cost models and professional tools to train educators around the world. Today there are ongoing GLAP programs in Costa Rica, Mexico, Uganda and, most recently, Namibia. Last year, she received the SAGES International Ambassador Award at the Namibia GLAP course from then president Dr. John Mellinger.
“It’s valuable to spread MIS in regions of the world that really need this practice,” adds Dr. Bailez, “and I’m honored to share these efforts with all of the committee members, including chair Dr. Linda Zhang, along with Drs. Nia Zalamea, Joseph Rohan, Laura Fisher and SAGES’ JQ Narvaez.”
Dr. Bailez, who heads the Surgical Department of Garrahan’s Children’s Hospital in her native Buenos Aires, adds that through this committee she’s also had the opportunity and privilege to participate in the Global Safe Cholecystectomy virtual course in Costa Rica with project leader Dr. Domenech Asbun.
Dr. Bailez joined SAGES in 2016 when she became president-elect of IPEG and describes SAGES meetings as a week of “excellence, leadership, diversity and inspiration.”
Looking ahead to SAGES 2024 in Cleveland, Dr. Bailez says, “Every presidential address I’ve attended has touched me deeply and positively influenced my surgical career. Having the opportunity to talk to Dr. George Berci in person about his MIS research projects was also one of the best professional experiences of my career.”
When Dr. Bailez isn’t designing low-cost MIS models in her spare time, she enjoys climbing mountains, sailing, cooking and hosting family and friends, playing with her grandchildren, and enjoying a glass of champagne while attending the opera or ballet!