Five points on improving burn care in rural, remote, and resource poor health centers

James Gallagher

William Randolph Hearst Burn Center At Newyork-Presbyterian Hospital


An outline to equip burn care professionals for outreach to improve in burn care.  Practical suggestions about working together and how to make changes.



James Gallagher, MD FACS is Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery and Director of the William Randolph Hearst Burn Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital / Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Gallagher has extensive experience in the treatment of burns, surgical critical care, and international surgery. His areas of special interest include surgical education, international surgical outreach and quality.

His passion and dedication to burn care led Dr. Gallagher to Tanzania where he helped develop burn care at the Weill Bugando Medical Center in Mwanza. His commitment to improving care in low resource settings has been joined by many other members of the burn team and continues today. Over the last 10 years multiple exchange trips have resulted in a strong collaborative relationship between the Tanzanian burn team and the burn team in New York.

James Gallagher, M.D. received his B.S. Summa Cum Laude in Biochemistry from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1988 and his M.D. from SUNY Upstate Medical Center, Syracuse, New York in 1992. He completed his internship and residency training in general surgery at Robert Packer Hospital, Sayre, Pennsylvania in June 1997.

After completing General Surgery training, he spent four years in private practice in Dansville, New York before deciding to sell his home and move his entire family to Cameroon, West Africa. For more than a year, Dr. Gallagher was the sole surgeon in a rural missionary hospital.

Upon returning home to the United States, Dr. Gallagher completed fellowships in surgical critical care and trauma surgery at Stony Brook University and burn surgery at the William Randolph Hearst Burn Center at NYP/WCMC. He was then attending surgeon at The Shriners Burns Hospital for Children and the adult Blocker Burn Unit at the University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston, Texas. He was appointed Chairman of performance improvement and infectious disease of the The Shriners Hospital.
In 2009, Dr. Gallagher and his family relocated to New York City and Dr. Gallagher rejoined the team at the William Randolph Hearst Burn Center at NYP/WCMC for children and adults, which is the only burn center in the City of New York verified by the American Burn Association. Dr. Gallagher also serves as the chairmen of the ABA global health committee.

In 2015, Dr. Gallagher was made director of the Burn Center at NYP/WCMC a position he holds today. His dream is to see the Tanzanian burn unit grow and serve as a model for other centers in the region and around the world.


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