Our Leaders


Meaningful research at multiple major pediatric trauma centers takes skilled leadership. Meet the physician leadership team of the ATOMAC+ Pediatric Trauma Research Network.

David Notrica, MD, FACS – President

David Notrica, MD, FACS – President

Phoenix Children's Hospital

Dr. David Notrica is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated Cum Laude from Duke University in 1988 and Emory University School of Medicine in 1992 where he was class president and a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha National Medical Honor Society. He completed his General Surgery residency training at Emory University in 1997 where he was awarded the Joseph Whitehead Award for outstanding Resident. He completed his Pediatric Surgery Fellowship training at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston in 1999.

He is a Professor of Child Health and Surgery at the University of Arizona College of Medicine Phoenix, Associate Professor of Surgery at Mayo Clinic, Trauma Medical Director at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and Fellowship Program Director for the Pediatric Surgery Fellowship at Mayo Clinic/ Phoenix Children’s Hospital. He was also one of the founding members of the ATOMAC pediatric research network.

Dr. Notrica was Chairman of Surgery at Phoenix Children’s Hospital before becoming Chief of Staff in 2006. He has been identified more than 10 times as a Top Doc by Phoenix Magazine, and was named a Healthcare Hero by the Phoenix Business Journal in 2014. He Cofounded and co-chairs the Western Pediatric Trauma Conference and the Southwest Trauma and Acute Care Symposium.

Dr. Notrica developed and continues to direct the Level 1 Trauma Center for Phoenix Children’s Hospital. This program is the only ACS-Verified Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center in the state of Arizona. He has recently completed an NIH-funded subaward with UT-Houston using bone marrow stem cells to mitigate traumatic brain injury.

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Dr. Notrica's Bio
Robert Maxson, MD, FACS – Vice President

Robert Maxson, MD, FACS – Vice President

Arkansas Children's Hospital

Dr. Maxson received his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University, his M.D. from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, and completed a surgical residency at UAMS in 1996. He went on to complete fellowships in Pediatric Surgery from Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital. Dr. Maxson was instrumental in building the Level I pediatric trauma centers at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, Dell Children’s Hospital in Austin and then Arkansas Children’s Hospital, working as a consultant in the development of the Arkansas Trauma System from 2009 to 2016.

Dr. Maxson has co-authored over 70 articles and four book chapters and has received multiple awards for research and teaching. He is a member of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the American Pediatric Surgical Association, the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Trauma Society, the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, and the Society of Critical Care Medicine. He has served as the Chair of the Verification Review Committee for the ACS Committee on Trauma. He is Board certified in General Surgery and Pediatric Surgery.

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Jessica Naiditch, MD – Secretary

Jessica Naiditch, MD – Secretary

Dell Children’s Medical Center

Dr. Naiditch was born and raised outside of Pittsburgh, PA. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Carnegie-Mellon University in 2003. She completed her general surgery residency at Northwestern University in Chicago in 2014 before moving to Dallas to complete a fellowship in pediatric general surgery at the University of Texas-Southwestern in 2016. She joined the Austin Pediatric Surgery group in 2016 and soon thereafter became the Trauma Medical Director of the only Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center in Austin, TX, at Dell Children’s Medical Center.

Dr. Naiditch is an Assistant Professor for the Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care and Assistant Chief of the Division of Pediatric Surgery. Dr. Naiditch is a member of the American Pediatric Surgery Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Pediatric Trauma Society, and the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma. She is a site reviewer for the American College of Surgeons Verification Review Committee. She is board-certified in General Surgery and Pediatric Surgery.

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Karla Lawson, PhD, MPH – Treasurer

Karla Lawson, PhD, MPH – Treasurer

Dell Children’s Medical Center

Dr. Karla A. Lawson, PhD, MPH is the Director of the Dell Children’s Trauma and Injury Research Center and an Associate Professor of Surgery and Perioperative Care at the University of Texas-Austin Dell Medical School. She received her doctoral degree from the University of Texas in 2003 and was awarded the Cancer Prevention Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the National Institutes of Health for 2003-2006. She received a Master in Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2004, where she concentrated in epidemiology and biostatistics. Her current research interests include the prevention and clinical decision making of non-accidental trauma injury, injury surveillance, risky alcohol and drug use in adolescents, and pediatric trauma clinical practice.

Dr. Lawson has authored over 90 peer reviewed publications, invited reports and book chapters. She is a member of the Society for the Advancement of Violence and Injury Research (SAVIR) and has acted at the chairs of the Scientific Committee and Council of National Injury Research Centers, and as a member of the SAVIR Board of Directors.

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Jeremy Johnson, MD, FACS, FAAP

Jeremy Johnson, MD, FACS, FAAP

Oklahoma Children’s Hospital at OU Health

Jeremy Johnson, MD, FACS, FAAP, is an Associate Professor in the Pediatric Surgery section of the Department of Surgery at the University of Oklahoma. He is the Pediatric Trauma Medical Director of the ACS-verified Level 1 pediatric trauma program at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital at OU Health.

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Mark Ryan, MD, MSPH, FACS

Mark Ryan, MD, MSPH, FACS

Children's Medical Center Dallas / University of Texas Southwestern

Mark L. Ryan, M.D., M.S.P.H., FACS, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery and the Assistant Director of Pediatric Trauma at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He specializes in pediatric trauma and surgical critical care.

Dr. Ryan earned his medical degree at Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He completed a residency in general surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, where he also earned a Master of Science in Public Health. He then received advanced training in pediatric surgical critical care and pediatric surgery through separate fellowships at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital/The University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Arkansas Children’s Hospital/University of Arkansas for Medical Science, respectively.

Board certified in surgery, pediatric surgery, and surgical critical care, he joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2018. He is the Associate Medical Director of Trauma Services and the Surgical Medical Director for ECMO and Trauma Critical Care.

Dr. Ryan is a member of multiple medical societies relating to trauma and pediatric surgery. He serves on local and national committees on surgical critical care, trauma, and disaster management. He has contributed to two books and written dozens of articles.

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Dr. Ryan's CV
Regan Williams, MD, MS, FACS, FAAP

Regan Williams, MD, MS, FACS, FAAP

Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital

I am a pediatric surgeon with a clinical and research focus on pediatric trauma. I have been the Trauma Medical Director at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital for 5 years. Le Bonheur is a ACS-verified level 1 trauma center in an urban community with approximately 2000 trauma admissions each year. My general surgery training occurred also in Memphis where I spent many months training at one of the busiest adult trauma centers in the country, the Elvis Presly Memorial Trauma Center, which treats over 1300 firearm injuries each year. The importance of decreasing firearm injuries was apparent then and was brought to the forefront in 2017 when we saw a spike in firearm injuries in children at my trauma center. A research approach at our institution found a large increase in 2017 in firearm injuries with much worse increase since the COVID 19 pandemic. Since that time, I have worked extensive both in and out of the hospital to support and prevent firearm injuries in children.

In 2019, we conducted a study which reported a two-fold increase in adverse childhood experiences in our trauma clinic. This data lead to funding to bring Mental Health Counselors into the hospital to provide integrated behavorial health to injured children and their families. Through this work, we identified an increase in acute stress scores in children that were victims of gunshot wounds. Concurrently, we received city government funding to start a hospital-based violence intervention program to support victims of violent injuries and prevent further injuries. I have been working extensively in the community to build partnerships to prevent community violence and treat our families after violence has occurred. We have partnerships with the city and county government, the school system, community interrupters and juvenile court. The last partnership has grown with federal funding to extend the wraparound services we provide to victims of violent injuries into juvenile court utilizing a primary prevention model to support children before injury occurs.

This study will assess school enrollment in pediatric trauma patients and compare violent vs non-violent injuries. In taking a public health approach to decreasing firearm injuries, we must identify risk factors for violent injuries (truancy) and build programs to modify those factors.

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Regan Williams' Bio
Katie Russell, MD

Katie Russell, MD

Primary Children’s Hospital

Dr. Russell stands at the forefront of pediatric surgery, specializing in neonatal and pediatric conditions treated with minimally invasive techniques. As a leading figure at Primary Children’s Hospital, she holds the positions of Trauma Medical Director and Director of the Utah Pectus Program. Dr. Russell is pioneering a multidisciplinary clinic focused on treating pulmonary hypoplasia stemming from congenital diaphragmatic hernia, congenital lung lesions, and giant omphalocele, showcasing her commitment to advancing care in complex pediatric conditions.

Her leadership extends beyond clinical practice into telehealth, where she spearheads initiatives aimed at reducing travel-related costs for families, ensuring both outpatient and inpatient care are more accessible. Dr. Russell’s passion for research is evident through her active involvement in the Western Pediatric Research Consortium, where she collaborates on cutting-edge studies to enhance pediatric surgical care.

Dr. Russell’s dedication to global surgery has taken her to some of the world’s most challenging environments. From spending two months in South Sudan with Médecins Sans Frontières to participating in surgical missions across Haiti, Guatemala, Tanzania, and responding to the 2015 Nepal Earthquake, she is committed to improving surgical care worldwide. Her global efforts are a testament to her vision of extending high-quality medical care to underserved populations.

Educationally, Dr. Russell’s journey began with a B.A. in Visual Art from Brown University, followed by an M.D. from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, where she was elected to AOA. Her general surgery residency at the University of Utah included a research fellowship under Dr. Eric Scaife, culminating in a groundbreaking randomized controlled trial on cost containment in pediatric appendectomy. Notably, her contributions to wilderness medicine and her dedication to teaching at the Alaska Mountaineering School and the National Park Service highlight her diverse skill set and commitment to community service.

Outside the hospital, Dr. Russell finds joy in the mountains with her husband Dave and their daughter Wild. Whether skiing, snowboarding, or embarking on outdoor adventures, she embraces the balance between her professional endeavors and personal passions.

Dr. Russell’s career is a testament to her unwavering commitment to pediatric surgery, global health, and research. Her contributions to medicine are not just in her surgical achievements but in her holistic approach to healthcare, teaching, and family life.

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