Stanford, CA

Associate Professor, Veterans Affairs and Stanford University

Represented: Clinicians

Leah Backhus, MD, MPH, FACS, currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Washington in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery and as Chief of Thoracic Surgery at the VA Puget Sound. As a thoracic surgeon, Backhus has been fortunate to merge her interests in diversity along with those of both her clinical and academic pursuits. She has demonstrated a personal commitment to diversity by chartering a Dean’s Standing Committee on Minority Faculty Affairs within the medical school and in serving on the Executive Steering Committee for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Additionally, Backhus is a member of the Society of Black Academic Surgeons and has served as mentor to many in an attempt to address some of the disparities in academic surgery. As a researcher, Backhus has explored racial segregation as a determinant of lung cancer outcomes as well as the area of organ donation and transplantation, where disparities abound. It is evident through her research that she also values direct engagement with patients as key informants in evaluating needs and quality of life toward understanding barriers to care and adherence to national quality standards.

Backhus previously served as a member of the Advisory Panel on Improving Healthcare Systems and a member of the Advisory Panel on Healthcare Delivery and Disparities Research from August 2016 to August 2019.

Conflicts of Interest

As of February 28, 2018

  • National Lung Cancer Roundtable Member (Chair of Taskforce on Women and Lung Cancer) in conjunction with the American Cancer Society

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