Global Ultrasound Institute (GUSI) is an online, longitudinal training platform for Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS). Our mission is to equip front-line medical providers across specialties with high-yield, clinically-relevant POCUS skills. We offer ongoing training, evaluation, and mentorship to an expanding global community of practitioners and residencies.
Our years of experience as both practicing clinicians and expert educators make us uniquely positioned to guide your learning and increase your competency and confidence in POCUS. Whether you are an individual provider, part of a residency program, or a member of a larger health network, GUSI can provide you with the tools you need to take better care of patients.
Join us in our vision to build a community of confident and passionate POCUS practitioners who together will change the face of bedside medicine.
Meet the Team
Dr. Brandon Chase earned his medical degree at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY, and completed his family medicine residency training at Cascades East Family Medicine in rural southern Oregon. After practicing full-scope family medicine at a nearby FQHC, he returned to Cascades East as core faculty in 2014 where, as faculty advisor of a resident-driven ultrasound interest group, he woke to the possibilities of POCUS. He considers himself fortunate to have learned just enough to teach POCUS at national conferences by AAFP, AIUM, STFM, and GUSI. His passion is using POCUS to expand quality and scope of care in office-based settings, though he is quick to reach for a probe when confronted with an admission for undifferentiated shortness-of-breath.
Dr. Ryan Petering is an Associate Professor of Family Medicine at Oregon Health & Sciences University in Portland, OR. He has trained at East Tennessee State University (MD and undergrad) and OHSU (Family Medicine residency and Sports Medicine fellowship). He currently serves as Sports Medicine Fellowship Director and Sports Medicine Medical Director. Musculoskeletal Ultrasound is a cornerstone of his academic career. Specifically, musculoskeletal ultrasound
Matthew Fentress, MD, DTM&H is a family physician at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center, Martinez, California. He completed a DTM&H at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and a Global Health Leadership Fellowship with Contra Costa Family Medicine Residency and Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School. He has served with Médecins Sans Frontières, working with displaced populations in Myanmar and South Sudan, and with numerous other international organizations on projects in India, Liberia, Haiti, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, and Tanzania. He has enjoyed teaching point-of-care ultrasound since 2011, has written book chapters and articles on the use of POCUS in resource-limited settings, and is currently conducting research in Peru to evaluate the utility of point-of-care lung ultrasound in the diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis.
Ne (Melissa) Ferguson
Dr. Ferguson earned her medical degree from Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and completed residency at the Contra Costa Family Medicine Residency Program in Martinez, CA as one of the chief residents. Subsequently Dr. Ferguson completed a Faculty Development Fellowship through the University of California at San Francisco and is currently one of the Core Faculty at Contra Costa Family Medicine Residency Program. She currently works as a hospitalist, primarily teaching the current family medicine residents. She teaches residents bedside procedures on the inpatient wards and in the ICU and has particular expertise in point-of-care ultrasound. She designed the point-of-care ultrasound curriculum for the inpatient faculty and residents at the Contra Costa Family Medicine Residency Program. She also teaches point of care ultrasound throughout the country and is currently the principal investigator for IRB-approved research in point-of-care ultrasound.
Opal Taylor, MD, MPH is an attending emergency medicine physician at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in Martinez, California. Dr. Taylor was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone and grew up in Dakar, Senegal, West Africa. She completed her residency training in emergency medicine and earned her Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) training certificate at Highland General Hospital, Alameda County Regional Medical Center, Oakland, California in 2008. Prior to moving to California, she completed a Master’s of Public Health degree from The Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, with a focus on Humanitarian Assistance and Refugee Studies. She earned her medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine in 2003.
Dr. Taylor is passionately motivated to care for the underserved. This has led her to focus on point of care ultrasound (POCUS), which is an essential diagnostic tool that is widely available and portable to remote settings that are under-resourced and in disaster situations. She uses POCUS daily as part of her emergency medicine practice at the county hospital as well as internationally in medical mission trips to developing countries. Dr. Taylor spent 6 weeks teaching ultrasound to medical providers on Congolese and Burundian refugee camps in Tanzania. She subsequently volunteered with International Medical Corps in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake and had the first-hand experience of working in a disaster setting where POCUS was the principal imaging modality available in the tent hospital emergency department.
Dr. Jeff Pierce is a family doctor who splits his time between teaching obstetrics at the UCSF Contra Costa Family Medicine Residency and teaching inpatient adult medicine at the Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency. After completing his residency in 2007, Jeff spent an amazing year working with the Baylor Pediatric AIDS Corps in the southern African kingdom of Lesotho. From 2012-2014, he completed a fellowship in Global Health Leadership through Contra Costa Regional Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital. During this fellowship he focused on high risk and surgical obstetrics, as well as point-of-care ultrasound in resource-limited settings. He has worked in Latin America, Asia, and Africa off and on since 1997. Jeff has taught ultrasound to residents, staff physicians, medical students, clinical officers, and nurses around the United States and in sub-Saharan Africa since 2012.
Dr. Ximena Wortsman is a radiologist and was the founding Chair of the dermatologic ultrasound community at the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM), which is the scientific organization in charge of education and accreditation of ultrasound in the USA. She has received the category of a fellow member of AIUM that recognizes individuals who have substantially contributed in a most distinguished fashion to the field of ultrasound.
She has more than 170 publications, including two books on dermatologic ultrasound, “Dermatologic Ultrasound with Clinical and Histologic Correlations” and the “Atlas of Dermatologic Ultrasound.”
She serves in the Editorial Board of the Journal of the American Academy International (JAADi) and the Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine. Additionally, she is a reviewer for several scientific journals. Dr. Wortsman is a member of several scientific societies in the dermatologic, radiologic, and ultrasound fields.
She is the medical director of the Institute for Diagnostic Imaging and Research of the Skin and Soft Tissues in Santiago, Chile, and an adjunct professor in the Departments of Dermatology at the University of Chile and Pontifical Catholic University in Santiago, Chile.
Her research comprises a wide field of applications of ultrasound in dermatology, particularly the ultrasonographic early detection and characterization of common dermatologic conditions. Nowadays, her practice is fully dedicated to performing dermatologic ultrasound examinations and research on this field.
Dr. Nahreen Ahmed is originally from the Greater Philadelphia area, she attended Drexel University College of Medicine and subsequently went on to residency at the University of Illinois in Chicago where she concomitantly completed her Master’s Degree in Public Health and was also invited to stay on for a Chief Residency. She went on to pursue a fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical care at NYU/Bellevue which is also where she launched her Global Health Career by founding the Bangladesh Ultrasound Initiative, a training program for critical care physicians in Dhaka, Bangladesh. This program has now successfully seen over 150 physicians trained in bedside ultrasound and has become self-sustaining. She joined the faculty at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and is currently an Assistant Professor in Clinical Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care as well as a Penn Center for Global Health Scholar. Within one year she trained the entire faculty of the division of Critical Care in Point-of-Care Ultrasound as well as co-founded the Philadelphia Area Critical Care Ultrasound Program which is the first of its kind in the area, wherein all 7 city hospitals were brought together to train all incoming Critical Care fellows in Point-of-Care Ultrasound. This training program has now been ongoing for the last two years and has trained over 100 fellows. After the success of the Bangladesh training program and the Philadelphia training program, she has participated in similar programs in Ethiopia with the East African Training Initiative, and subsequently has worked to bring Ultrasound training and medical care to crisis zones such as Yemen, Sierra Leone, and the Rohingya Refugee Camps in Bangladesh with Medglobal. She is currently on the Board of Directors for a non-profit called Bridge to Health and is their Head of Ultrasound and has been an integral part of the planning and implementation of Point-of-Care Ultrasound programs with the focus on local capacity building including the Pediatric Lung Ultrasound program in Uganda and the Maternal Ultrasound program in Kenya. Dr. Ahmed has a strong belief in capacity building with the aid of technology and telecommunications and that the key to sustainability in global medicine is via medical education and a hands-on training approach which empowers local clinicians.
Dr. Arufe completed medical school at Universidad del Salvador, Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2005 and residency in internal medicine at the Instituto de Investigaciones Médicas ¨Alfredo Lanari¨ in 2010 and then did a hepatology and liver transplant fellowship at Hospital Universitario Austral until 2013. During his fellowship and through 2018, he worked as an intensive care unit physician at Sanatorio Mater Dei, Buenos Aires. Currently, he is hepatologist at Sanatorio Sagrado Corazon and Hospital Universitario Austral, Buenos Aires, Argentina and runs the hepatology fellowship program there.
His interest in ultrasound started in 2009. He did the post graduate course on ultrasound and doppler at ¨Sociedad Argentina de Ultrasonografia en Medicina y Biologia (SAUMB)¨ 2009-2010. He started to apply the concept of POCUS in hepatology 9 years ago and has been using POCUS ever since. And coined the term HEPOCUS (also his twitter handle) which to him means strategically using ultrasound to answer liver-related clinical questions and improve patient care. He has coordinated the HEPOCUS course at the Sociedad Argentina de Hepatologia (SAHE). He is also a specialist in liver elastography. He believes that POCUS has changed the face of medicine, and specifically believes in the power of HEPOCUS to improve the speed and accuracy of diagnosis, and improve patient care.
Dr. Stefano Zito is triple boarded in internal medicine, emergency medicine, and geriatrics and works primarily as an Emergency Medicine physician in Italy in a Regional Trauma Center Hospital. He completed medical school in 2013, did residency in internal medicine and completed a fellowship in Geriatrics. He worked as a Hospitalist and then found his calling in the emergency department. His Ultrasound experience started in 2015 when he completed a Masters in Abdominal Ultrasound; afterwards, he added all the others modules to complete his POCUS background. Ever since, ultrasound has been a foundational part of his daily work.
Stefano is now on his third long-term mission with Doctors Without Borders, the organization through which he became a POCUS expert, member of the international telemedicine platform, and Trainer, with special competency in FASH (HIV/TB ultrasound). At the beginning of the Covid pandemic, he worked as an Emergency Room clinical coordinator in his hospital and taught a special unit of Family Medicine on lung ultrasound focused on COVID pneumonia.
Kaya Belknap, MD, MPH is a family physician currently working in Nakuru, Kenya. She grew up in South Sudan and Kenya and moved to the US for university and medical school. She completed her residency and fellowship training at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in California then returned to Africa to practice. She received POCUS training as part of her residency and immediately identified its unique role in assisting clinicians in under-resourced areas without easy access to other diagnostic modalities. She is dedicated to medical education in Africa and passionate about POCUS training as a part of medical education. She has been an instructor for Contra Costa Regional Medical Center’s POCUS courses and taught POCUS in Malawi, Ethiopia, California and Alaska. She has worked in Malawi, South Sudan, and Kenya and she uses POCUS everywhere she practices.
Dr. Romeo Wahome (MD) is currently a senior medical officer at Mbarara Regional and Referral Hospital (Uganda), involved in training and mentorship of other specialties in POCUS and Ultrasonography in resource limited environments. He is currently a finalist resident in Emergency Medicine, a PURE mentorship graduate with several publications in POCUS, with emphasis in the East African Environment and trauma with roots in Uganda and Kenya. He strives to expose as many healthcare providers to POCUS and its benefits to reduce in-hospital mortality. Dr. Wahome is a father, husband, and Christian with several community outreach programs.
Daria Szkwarko, DO, MPH is an assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Brown University. She did her FM residency at Brown and completed a preventive medicine fellowship and Masters in Public Health at the University of Massachusetts. She is the family medicine lead for the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH) consortium in Kenya and facilitates a bilateral educational exchange between North American FM trainees and Kenyan FM trainees at Moi University. Dr. Szkwarko is passionate about POCUS education and the expansion of this skill globally. She co-leads the point of care ultrasound (POCUS) curriculum at Brown University for the FM residency program, and she co-led the first POCUS workshop for FM physicians in Kenya in 2017 in collaboration with the Kenyan Association of Family Physicians which trained more than 90% of all FM physicians in the country.
Dr. Nicholas LeFevre is a family physician and faculty at the John Peter Smith Family Medicine Residency and the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine in Fort Worth, Texas. He completed a point of care ultrasound fellowship through the Ultrasound Leadership Academy and now directs the POCUS curriculum for JPS, the largest family medicine residency in the country with a focus on underserved rural, urban, and international medicine. He helped write the AAFP POCUS Residency Curriculum Guideline, has authored textbook chapters on POCUS, and teaches ultrasound locally and nationally through AAFP and STFM. He maintains a full-spectrum family medicine practice including inpatient, outpatient, and maternity care including high risk and surgical obstetrics, and is passionate about the use of POCUS in all of these settings to improve the quality of care we provide.
Dr. Stromberg completed medical school at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine (UNM) in 2010 and residency training at Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency Program in 2013. He is currently Core Faculty with the UNM Family Medicine Residency, Inpatient Education Director for the Family Medicine Residency and Director of the Feedback Initiative for the UNM School of Medicine. His passions include working with the underserved, full-spectrum family medicine, and reproductive health. He helped develop the POCUS curriculum for UNM Family Medicine Residents. He has trained various UNM faculty on POCUS skills and teaching POCUS to learners. He has integrated POCUS into his clinical work since 2016 and is a thrilled member of the GUSI team. Outside of medicine he likes spending time with his family and being in the wilderness.
Kara Toles, MD is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine (EM) at The University of California, Davis School of Medicine and Director of Equity and Inclusion in the Department of EM. She is passionate about emergency medicine, POCUS, clinical education, and health equity. She honed her ultrasound skills in residency just across the bay in East Oakland at Highland Hospital, a historic Emergency Medicine program that is known nationally for creating excellent clinicians who are passionate about health equity. She holds a certificate in point-of-care ultrasound from Highland Hospital and the American Board of Emergency Medicine and has taught POCUS both nationally and internationally. She is excited to share the joys of POCUS with you.
Nelson Fundi is a Medical Doctor specializing in the provision of Primary Care. Currently he is finalizing his residency in Family Medicine at the Aga Khan University in Nairobi, Kenya. He has a passion for POCUS having received training as part of the residency, attended workshops led by leading faculty from Contra Costa, and completed an elective at Contra Costa Regional Medical Centre certified by Global Ultrasound Institute (GUSI). Currently he serves as a volunteer POCUS trainer with the departments of Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine at the Aga Khan University-Nairobi and with the Emergency Medicine Kenya Foundation. His long-term goal is to be clinician-researcher participating in provision of both emergent and non- emergent care in which he firmly believes POCUS would play a key role especially in low resource settings.
Dr. Jason Reinking is the medical director for the TRUST clinic in Oakland, CA, a center for health care for the homeless brick and mortar clinic and street medicine programs. He graduated medical school at Loyola Chicago and encountered POCUS at Contra Costa Family Medicine Residency, honing its skills in its emergency room followed by a global health fellowship with a focus in ultrasound with PIH in Malawi. Driven by its usefulness in medicine for marginalized populations from the streets of Oakland to the hills of Malawi, Dr. Reinking is dedicated to bringing POCUS education to those that most benefit. He has presented on POCUS at international street medicine conferences, written textbook chapters on POCUS, and has taught courses from Anchorage to Nairobi.
Dr. Jason Yost currently splits his time between the new family medicine residency program in Eureka and a small community ER in Arcata without specialty coverage. Point of care ultrasound is an integral component of Dr. Yost’s daily practice and he uses it in approximately 20-30% of his outpatient encounters (same for ED). In the outpatient setting, he is able to provide ultrasound-guided joint injections not otherwise available in his community. In addition, Dr. Yost’s POCUS skills allow him to make bedside diagnosis of DVTs, urinary retentions/hydronephrosis, pneumonia, as well as estimate ejection fractions. Due to extremely limited resources, outpatient ultrasound takes a month to be performed, which significantly compromises patient care. Given that, POCUS offers evidence-based tools to significantly shorten diagnosis and treatment time, decrease ER visits, and improve patient satisfaction.
Dr Erickson completed medical school at the University of Minnesota, followed by family medicine training at Tacoma Family Medicine in Washington state. He has spent his career practicing rural, full-spectrum family medicine including point of care ultrasound, operative obstetrics, and GI endoscopy. He has previously taught in a variety of settings including precepting medical student and resident rural rotations, a temporary family medicine residency faculty position in Greeley, CO, and teaching office procedure CME courses through the National Procedures Institute.
He is an avid user of POCUS in his own busy clinical practice, and an enthusiastic advocate for colleagues seeking to add POCUS to theirs. He helped develop and implement multi-specialty POCU
Dr. Sally Graglia is an emergency medicine physician with fellowship training in point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS). After completing Emergency Medicine residency at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) – Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, Dr. Graglia pursued fellowship training in Ultrasound at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). During her fellowship, she worked with PURE (Point-of-care Ultrasound in Resource-limited Environments) in Uganda which led her to take an appointment with the Liberia College of Physicians and Surgeons (LCPS) as Ultrasound Education Director in Monrovia, Liberia. Dr. Graglia has experience in various capacities and environments including Africa, Central and South America, and Eastern Europe. Her passions include medical education, point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS), and global health.
Elizabeth Sayre is the GUSI Operations Manager. Her professional background includes non-profit and arts administration, music performance, university teaching, advocacy for traditional artists, grant writing, arts philanthropy, interpretation/translation (Spanish and French), and organizing educational travel to Cuba for health professionals . She has researched and played Afro-Cuban music since 1992, and has authored 15 articles and co-authored a book chapter on traditional musicians and music. She studied graduate ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University, and holds an MA from the Graduate Program in Literature at Duke University, as well as dual Bachelors’ degrees from MIT in Chemical Engineering and Humanities.
Ari Eisen is the Communications Manager for GUSI. She has over five years of experience managing communications for several nonprofits in the Bay Area. Most recently, she served as the Program Director at Urban Adamah, an environmental education center in Berkeley. In addition to designing and producing programs at the intersection of environmental sustainability and health, Ari developed and managed the communications strategy for the organization. Ari is currently working towards her Master’s Degree as a student at the University of Pennsylvania’s Executive Program in Social Impact Strategy.
Neil is a family physician who has dedicated his career to providing medical care to the underserved both nationally and internationally. He has provided full spectrum care in low resource settings and understands the utility and need for POCUS. Neil’s practice has included work in emergency medicine, obstetrics, ambulatory care, inpatient, rural, and disaster medicine. In 2011, as a core faculty member at Contra Costa Family Medicine Residency, he created a global health fellowship and one of the first POCUS curriculum training programs in Family Medicine. He is proud that graduates of Contra Costa have become recognized leaders in POCUS education. He has taught POCUS to thousands of providers and has been the principal organizer of POCUS workshops at AAFP, CAFP, STFM, Contra Costa, and other family medicine residency programs in the United States and abroad. Neil is the primary author and editor of the American Academy of Family Physicians Point of Care Ultrasound Curriculum Guidelines and has co-authored multiple articles on the use of POCUS in Primary Care and Global Health.