A leader in global anesthesia and surgery, Kelly McQueen, MD, MPH, has been named chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

Currently a professor in the departments of anesthesiology and surgery at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, McQueen has a clinical practice focused on pediatric and obstetric anesthesiology, as well as anesthesia in ambulatory clinic settings.

At the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, McQueen directs Vanderbilt Anesthesia Global Health and Development and the Vanderbilt Global Anesthesia Fellowship.

Portrait photo of Kelly McQueen
Kelly McQueen

McQueen’s commitment to humanitarian aid, disaster relief and global anesthesiology and surgery research has a worldwide reach. She has founded global initiatives and volunteered with organizations committed to providing surgery for populations in need, including Doctors Without Borders and Operation Smile.

In 2010, she founded the non-profit Global Surgical Consortium, which promotes safe anesthesia practices and improved surgical infrastructure in low- and middle-income countries. In 2015, she founded the Alliance for Surgery and Anesthesia Presence, a multidisciplinary society integrated within the International Society of Surgery which advocates worldwide for safe anesthesia and surgery.

McQueen’s research focuses on the neglect of anesthesia and surgical infrastructure in low-income countries, the value of training and education for improving anesthesia and surgery in these settings, and the impact of patient safety atrocities. Her collaborative research emphasizes the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to solving the global anesthesia and surgery crises that impact five billion people worldwide.

“I am passionate about applying the lessons learned from my global work and clinical practice to serve others growing their own careers in anesthesiology,” McQueen said. “And I am honored to do this at an esteemed institution where public health is paramount, where collaboration is valued alongside excellence in medical education and clinical service.”

McQueen earned her undergraduate degree from Colorado College, her medical degree from the University of Vermont College of Medicine and a Master of Public Health degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. She completed her anesthesiology residency at the University of Arizona and the Mayo Clinic and obstetrical anesthesia fellowship at Mayo Clinic.

An award-winning children’s book author, she has developed an elementary school curriculum for HIV/AIDS education.

“We are fortunate and delighted to have a creative, intrepid and collaborative anesthesiology leader on the global stage joining our leadership team,” said Robert Golden, MD, dean of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. “Dr. McQueen’s tremendous humanitarian work and her passion for patient safety embody the university’s commitment to improving the lives of the people of Wisconsin, and beyond.”

McQueen’s appointment is effective October 1, 2019.