Meet your 2023-2024 ARAS Executive Committee Team
Hemali started her career in Graduate Medical Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2014, being promoted in 2019 to Administrative Director of Graduate Medical Education for the Department of Surgery. She recently transitioned to Northwestern University continuing a role as an Education Coordinator for the divisions of Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular Surgery Residency and Fellowship Programs. She graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign with a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology.
She was born and raised in the Chicagoland area and is a die hard Chicago sports fan, to her dismay. Her career passion projects are related to research and professional development. She also enjoys innovation and staying up with the latest technology, implementing social media upgrades to her training programs for continued visibility by prospective candidates.
In her free time, she enjoys travelling, cooking, watching reality shows and spending too much time shopping. She is currently in the early stages of a food blog and podcast with her high school friend.
Kate Kmiec, MHA, C-TAGME
President - Elect & Professional Development
Association of Residency Administrators in Surgery
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Kate is a Detroit native currently living in Nashville. After graduating from Grand Valley State University in 2016 with her Masters in Healthcare Administration, Kate began working in the metro-Detroit area in Graduate Medical Education transitioning osteopathic residency programs to ACGME accreditation. She then decided to make the move to Nashville in 2018 to work with the Surgery Residency Program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Her passion projects within residency program management are professional development at the training program manager level and incorporating process improvement strategies into her workflow.
Outside of work, Kate enjoys biking, checking out the newest restaurant in Nashville, and making the occasional trip back home to Michigan to visit friends, family, and spend time up at the family cabin on the lake.
Kylene Smartis is the Program Coordinator of the Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) General Surgery Residency program since May 2017 and an employee of NGMC since March of 2014. NGMC General Surgery Residency received initial accreditation in 2018 and had their first residents in July 2019. She has a BA in Business Administration, a MA in Education, a MA in Educational Technology and has her TAGME certification.
In her free time, she enjoys volunteering and transporting animals for the local shelter. At home, she fosters dogs and cats as well as owning her own gang of animals.
Laura Huth is the Director of the Division of Surgery Education (DSE) at Penn Medicine.
Laura attended West Chester University (WCU) where she received dual BA degrees in French & Political Science. She recently returned to WCU to pursue her MBA.
After obtaining her undergraduate degrees, she spent a year teaching elementary school English in Paris, France and then came home to work in Social Services in Bucks County, PA.
She joined the Department of Surgery in 2010, and specifically the DSE in 2011. During her career at Penn Medicine, Laura has had the opportunity to be involved in multiple facets of Surgical Education. She held the position of Undergraduate Medical Education & Continuing Medical Education Coordinator (2011 – 2013), General Surgery Residency Coordinator (2013 – 2017), and Director of the Division of Surgery Education (2017 – present).
In her current role, Laura also works with the Center for Surgical Health, an organization dedicated to supporting, educating, and advocating for vulnerable individuals with surgical diseases.
Outside of work, Laura spends her time volunteering for various organizations dedicated to child development and education. Laura is the President of the Friends of HA Brown, a group that supports the HA Brown Public Elementary School in Philadelphia.
In her free time, Laura enjoys exploring Philadelphia with her husband Chris, their two children, Grant (7) Kennedy (5) and their pit bull, Mayo.
Mary Ann García-Bowerman is a Nuyorican originally from The Bronx, New York and graduated from Monroe College with her MBA in Business Administration and Health Management. She has been involved in Graduate Medical Education since 2005 and her last role before leaving New York was as the Senior Education Specialist for the Surgery Department at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical College. In 2016, she moved to the Peach State, Georgia, where she resides with her husband Frank and fur baby Jasper.
After moving to Georgia, she worked for two years as a Program Manager at Morehouse School for Medicine helping build and manage their first fellowship programs. In 2019, Mary Ann became the Senior Program Administrator for the Surgery Residency training program at Emory University School of Medicine. In 2021, she was the recipient of the Unsung Hero Award for the Department of Surgery.
She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, hiking, Aikido, kickboxing, motorcycle riding, event planning, writing, reading and watching movies.
Stephanie Taylor has worked as General Surgery Program Administrator at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore for 4 years and is a lifelong Marylander. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from The Catholic University of America and is currently earning her Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Leadership and Management Development from the University of Baltimore. Prior to joining the world of GME, Stephanie worked as a healthcare consultant for FTI and has a background in revenue cycle, labor productivity, and strategic planning. She recently earned her TAGME certification in December 2022. Her proudest accomplishment in GME is transforming her program from paper to electronic and finding innovative ways to use technology to improve the workflow of her trainees and faculty. In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys golfing and exploring wineries and breweries anywhere she travels!
Dana Cooley has worked in some administrative capacity in the healthcare field nearly her whole career at the Detroit Medical Center. She has spent time with Cardiology, Surgery (where she worked with the program director, although not consistently with residents), Internal Medicine working with medical students, and Inpatient Pharmacy in another institution. Dana couldn’t stay away and was called back to her surgery family in 2012 to assist the coordinator, eventually taking over the position a little more than a year after that.
She has worked closely with the graduate medical education office on coordinator development and workflow processes, including two terms on the Program Coordinator Council. She has a Bachelor in Healthcare Administration and obtained TAGME certification in 2021.
Some relaxing activities include golf in the summer and bowling in the winter. Dana also enjoys reading and spending time with her husband, two cats, and two grown children, both of whom are doing well.
Brianne Leigh Nickel has been involved in Graduate Medical Education since 2008, starting out as a Data Quality Coordinator and assisting the Family Medicine Residency program at University of Louisville. In 2010, she transitioned to a full time residency coordinator role at University of Louisville in the Department of Neurosurgery.
Upon completion of her Master's Degree in Higher Education, she moved back to her home state of Indiana, where she has worked with the Department of Surgery as the General Surgery Residency Coordinator since 2012.
In addition to her program coordinator role at Indiana University, she is also the Director of Surgical Education Administration, overseeing all program coordinator and education administrative staff members within the Department of Surgery.
Now that her nephews live in Indianapolis, Brianne spends a lot of her time with them, helping out with the school PTO, and watching them play sports!