Dr. Juan Carlos Puyana is the Director for Global Health-Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh. He has been the PI of several training grants, and he has been successfully and uninterruptedly funded by the NIH since 2006, through several global health funding mechanisms. Dr. Puyana is a trauma/acute care surgeon and a Global Health educator, specifically in the areas of trauma, injury, and medical informatics in trauma and emergency surgery. He has been the principal investigator (PI) of six global health research and training grant programs on capacity building, medical informatics, and eHealth. These grants have supported short- and long-term educational training programs for health professionals from several Latin American countries. Dr. Puyana is an international mentor and a clinical investigator. He has mentored over 20 students from Latin America who have been engaged in a variety of training programs at the University of Pittsburgh, including short-term research and trauma systems/informatics training, as well as master’s and PhD degree programs in Public Health and Clinical Translational Sciences.
Dr. Puyana has been the PI of two previous D43 training grants. The first training grant, entitled “International Collaboration in Trauma and Injury Research Training (ICTIRT),” was awarded in 2006; subsequently, Dr. Puyana was awarded a Fogarty International Center D43 training grant, entitled “Informatics Training for Global Health (ITGH).” Dr. Puyana was also funded by an R25 mechanism to provide capacity building (eCapacity). Under this grant, he directed a project on eCapacity for Trauma Information Systems and Research Education in Guatemala. The goal of this initiative was to develop innovative educational approaches to enhance research capacity at low- and middle-income country (LMIC) institutions by expanding the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in global health research and research training. Under this funding opportunity, Dr. Puyana leveraged the research capacity established under the D43 on ITGH.
Dr. Puyana is an expert in developing international capacity-building programs in the fields of trauma, trauma registries, and trauma datasets in global surgery. He has established fruitful and reciprocal mentoring collaborations in clinical areas and research educational endeavors with several universities and trauma centers from Latin America and Kenya.
In 2017, Dr. Puyana was appointed to the Global Health Committee of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), and in such capacity, he co-authored the publication “Global Health and the Future Role of the United States,” the most recent NAS report on Global Health. He is a member of the Definitive Surgical Trauma Care (DSTC™) teaching faculty in Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Brazil, Singapore, and Greece.
As a Global Health trauma surgeon, Dr. Puyana has worked in underserved emergency rooms and low-resource public hospitals in numerous Latin American cities. This experience has allowed him to witness the harsh realities of providing care in areas of high violence and challenging political and economic conditions, and he has gained a wealth of knowledge of the barriers and challenges to be overcome to ensure effective and long-term educational endeavors in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) fundamental to reducing injury-related mortality worldwide. He was the president of the Pan-American Trauma Society (2011-2012), and working through this organization, Dr. Puyana created and sustained fruitful academic exchanges among many countries in Latin America. He designed several trauma-training courses and developed a handbook and course on ultrasound applications for emergency care and trauma management, as well as a course on disaster response. Dr. Puyana’s strategy, combining clinical research training, capacity building, and clinical mentoring overseas, has strengthened the University of Pittsburgh’s international academic activities. Dr. Puyana has directly mentored seven students that obtained master’s degrees and one student who completed a PhD in clinical translational sciences. He is currently mentoring two additional international PhD students in translational sciences. Dr. Puyana’s collaborations have created opportunities abroad for many Pitt medical students, residents, and fellows to participate in clinical research programs and mentored surgical rotations in Latin America and Africa.
View a list of Dr. Puyana’s publications here.