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.

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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