Program Leadership


Karen Brasel, M.D., M.P.H.

Dr. Karen Brasel, Professor of Surgery, is the General Surgery Residency Program Director, Vice-Chair for Education and Assistant Dean for GME at Oregon Health and Science University. She is also a member of the Educational Scholars Collaborative.  She received her BA from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota and her MD from the University of Iowa. She completed her surgical residency and her Master’s in Public Health at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul and her Surgical Critical Care Fellowship at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. She comes to OHSU from the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), where she was given a dual appointment as an Assistant Professor of Surgery and as an Assistant Professor in the Health Policy Institute in 1999. At MCW, Dr. Brasel served as a Clerkship Director, member of the Curriculum and Evaluation Committee, Director of Resident Research, Director of the Surgical Critical Care Fellowship Program for eight years, and as a member of the Society of Teaching Scholars. She is the recipient of multiple teaching awards, including the Association of Surgical Education’s Outstanding Teacher Award in 2006.

Dr. Brasel is a nationally renowned leader in many aspects of surgery, including her role as Contributing Author and Sub-Committee Chair for the Surgical Education and Self-Assessment Program (SESAP®) for many years and as the prior ACS Committee on Trauma ATLS Sub-Committee Chair and international director of ATLS ®. She served two years as Chair of the Curriculum Committee for the Association of Surgical Education and has served on several committees for the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, including currently chair of the Critical Care Committee and member of the Board of Managers. She has also served on the Executive Committee of the American College of Surgeons Board of Governors and is a Director of the American Board of Surgery. She currently leads the American Board of Surgery’s pilot program on establishing Entrustable Professional Activities in General Surgery.

Dr. Brasel’s clinical practice is trauma/critical care and emergency general surgery. Her research focuses on surgical palliative care, ethics, education, and quality of life after trauma.

Note: Beginning May 1, 2024, Dr. Brasel will be stepping down from the director position in order to assume her new appointment as Vice President of the American Board of Surgery. Associate Program Director Dr. John Stowers will serve as interim program director while a national search is conducted.

Heather Hoops, M.D.

Heather Hoops, M.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Trauma, Critical Care and Acute Care Surgery. She received her medical degree from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine before completing her surgery residency here at OHSU. Prior to her return to OHSU as faculty, Dr. Hoops completed a fellowship in surgical critical care at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Erin Maynard, M.D., Department of Surgery

Erin Maynard, M.D., is an Associate Program Director for the general surgery residency as well as the Head of the Division of Abdominal Organ Transplantation. Dr. Maynard received her M.D. from The Ohio State University and completed a surgical residency at Maine Medical Center. She went on to complete a Hepatobiliary and Abdominal Organ Transplant Surgery Fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. She maintains a clinical appointment as an Associate Professor in the Division of Abdominal Organ Transplantation at OHSU.

Her clinical interests include the surgical treatment of benign and malignant disease of the liver, bile ducts and pancreas in addition to abdominal organ transplantation. Dr. Maynard is the faculty leader for our bi-annual mock oral examinations for residents in the 4th and final years of clinical training and she provides post-graduation board preparation for residents who have completed training. She is an outstanding educator and has received teaching awards for her work with medical students, residents and fellows.

Dr. John Stowers

John Stowers, D.O., joined the OHSU Department of Surgery in 2018 as Assistant Professor of Surgery within the Division of Gastrointestinal and General Surgery.  He is a full time general and minimally invasive surgeon at the Portland VA Medical Center and was named the Director of the Robotics Curriculum in 2020.  His interests include development of standardized robotics training and evaluation to enhance technical skills through simulation and clinical practice.

Dr. Stowers’ residency training and military experience allowed him to continue a broad-based practice in general surgery with a focus on minimally invasive techniques for gastrointestinal and hernia surgery, including complex abdominal wall reconstruction and colorectal procedures.  His educational focus is on post graduate education and teaching through simulation and clinical evaluation of resident performance.  This has led to the development of a novel robotics training curriculum to enhance resident’s robotics experience and performance to prepare them for future practice and fellowship. 

Dr. Stowers is a fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons and of the American College of Surgeons. 

Divya Sood

Divya Sood, M.D., joined our Division of Surgical Oncology in 2022 following General Surgery residency at the University of California San Diego and a Complex General Surgical Oncology fellowship at the University of Chicago. Her immediate plans here at OHSU include the re-launch of our Peritoneal Surface Malignancy and HIPEC program and playing an integral role in our multidisciplinary GI cancer team. 

Dr. Sood has a particular interest in the oligometastatic paradigm across multiple histopathologies. In addition to HIPEC, she has expertise in cytoreductive surgery for metastatic neuroendocrine tumors, as well as both open and minimally invasive foregut and HPB oncology.

Her investigative interests include clinical trial development and health services research. As part of the University of Chicago Cancer Health Disparities Training Program, she was engaged with underserved populations within Chicago in an effort to increase and diversify participation in clinical trials. Dr. Sood intends to continue this work of improving cancer health disparities here at OHSU, alongside her clinical practice.

Raphael Sun, M.D.

Dr. Raphael Sun provides the full spectrum of pediatric surgery and fetal surgery as well as complex surgical oncology and colorectal surgery. 

He is an expert in prenatal anomalies and conditions such as congenital diaphragmatic hernia, sacrococcygeal teratoma, gastroschisis, omphalocele, congenital lung malformations and tracheoesophageal fistula. Along with pediatric surgery, he also specializes in fetal surgery including in-utero interventions such as twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome using laser photocoagulation. He also performs prenatal neural tube defect repairs fetoscopically.

Dr. Sun chose pediatric surgery because it allows him to make a lifelong difference in children’s health.  Children are born with conditions that they have no control over, and he finds it extremely gratifying to make an impact that can be life changing. As the father of two young children, who were born during his two-year pediatric surgery fellowship, Dr. Sun learned quickly what it felt like to be a parent. He understands how parents feel when they bring their children to the hospital.

Dr. Sun earned his M.D. degree from the Medical College of Virginia – Virginia Commonwealth University. He completed his residency in general surgery at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, where he also served as an administrative chief resident. During his residency, he completed his research fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis and his pediatric surgery fellowship at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. He received advanced training in perinatal/fetal surgery at Texas Children’s Fetal Center. 

When he’s not working, Dr. Sun enjoys spending time with his wife and children. He enjoys cooking for his family and traveling, and looks forward to spending time outdoors in the Pacific Northwest. He also serves in the United States Air Force Reserve.

Phil Van, M.D., Department of Surgery

Philbert Van, M.D., was named Assistant Program Director/Advisor for Military Residents in August 2020. Dr. Van received his M.D. from Drexel University College of Medicine, and completed his training in General Surgery at OHSU in 2012. Dr. Van remained at OHSU for his fellowship in Surgical Critical Care. In July 2013 he accepted a faculty position in the OHSU Department of Surgery/Division of Trauma, Critical Care, and Acute Care Surgery. Dr. Van maintains an Associate Professorship of Surgery at OHSU and is also a surgical intensivist at the Veterans Affairs Portland Health Care System. He is dually Board-certified by the American Board of Surgery in Surgery and Surgical Critical Care.

In 2019 Dr. Van was commissioned as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Medical Corps, US Army Reserve. He is a member of the 915 Forward Surgical Team, based in Vancouver, Washington. He has served our country in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

His research interests included coagulation, venous thromboembolism prophylaxis, and fluid resuscitation.

Dr. Van has received numerous military honors and awards and frequently provides instruction at OHSU and beyond regarding trauma, combat casualty care, and resuscitation.

In his spare time, amongst other community service endeavors, he has volunteered with the TSA at Portland International Airport as a passenger screening canine volunteer.

Administrative Team

Erin Anderson joined the Department of Surgery education team in 1999. She has served as Education Manager overseeing the general surgery residency program since 2017. Erin has been witness to major programmatic developments over the years and has supported more than 200 graduating residents during her tenure at OHSU. She is an incredible asset to our program, understanding the ins and outs of every aspect of resident life and training.

Molly Barron, Department of Surgery

Molly is a graduate of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota with a background in Psychology. She came to Portland in 2008 to study at Multnomah University and has since called Portland home. Her hobbies include exploring the Pacific Northwest, collaborative board games, and trying new local coffee shops.

Rachel Bassett joined the Department of Surgery as our Education Coordinator in 2019. She received her Master’s degree in English from California Polytechnic Institute, Pomona in 2012, and then taught both overseas and domestically at the collegiate level. From there, Rachel moved into academic administration in Los Angeles before accepting her position here at OHSU. Outside of work, Rachel's interests include her dog (named Subaru, which she has been assured is a perfect name for Portland), automotive interests (including autocross and rally cross), video games, and reading.

Sam Fletcher-Taylor

Sam Fletcher-Taylor has been working for hospitals since she moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2008. She started at OHSU in 2016 and joined the Department of Surgery in 2021 as an education assistant. In her free time, she loves gardening, historical costuming, and watching home renovation shows that have inspired many a fun project at home.

Ashley Wold joined the Department of Surgery as our second Program Technician in 2021 after earning her degree in Healthcare Administration from Pacific University. Ashley began her career in healthcare as a Medical Assistant at OHSU in 2009. During that time she found her niche working side-by-side with Surgeons in the specialty of Women's Health. Outside of work, Ashley enjoys photography,  hiking, camping, rock climbing, and anything else she can do outdoors. She has a new puppy (Spring 2022) named Luca and is excited to take him on all of her future adventures!