Scanlan Family Scholars

AATS Scanlan Family Valerie Rusch Mentored Career Development Award.

Dr. Rusch is the Attending Thoracic Surgeon, Vice Chair of Clinical Research and was Chief of Thoracic Surgery at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. She also is a Professor of Surgery at Cornell University Medical College. Dr. Rusch was among the first women in the country to be board certified in this field. She had a longtime friendship with Brigid Scanlan as they both had a deep passion for supporting women in cardiothoracic surgery and remains friends with The Scanlan Family.


Dr. Anna Maria Garcia Cardoso.

Anna Maria Garcia Cardoso is a Thoracic Surgery resident at “Pavilhão Pereira Filho Santa Casa de Misericórdia Hospital in Porto Alegre”, RS, Brazil. She completed her medical degree and general surgery training in the southern region of Brazil.

She will be undertaking an internship at the Thoracic Surgery unit of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, under the guidance of Dr. Paula Ugalde.


Dr. Penelope Adinku .

Dr Penelope Adinku is a Cardiothoracic Surgeon with the Korle-bu Teaching Hospital, Ghana. She completed her Cardiothoracic Surgery Fellowship Training with the West African College of Surgeons in April 2022 becoming the first Ghanaian female Cardiothoracic Surgeon. She was also awarded the best graduating candidate in Cardiothoracic Surgery for the year 2022. She is passionate about cardiac surgery and mentorship. Dr. Adinko will be working with Dr. S. Adil Husain at Primary Children’s Hospital at the University of Utah.


Dr. Arifa Alizad.

We are happy to announce Dr. Arifa Alizad is our first annual recipient of the AATS/Scanlan Family Valerie Rusch Mentored Career Development Award. She will be spending time with Dr. Thoralf Sundt at Massachusetts General Hospital. She was a third-year cardiac surgery resident at French Medical Institute for Mothers and Children in Kabul, Afghanistan. She started working in cardiac surgery in 2015 and evacuated to the United States in August of 2021. After re-settling in the United States, she completed a Cardiovascular Observership at HCA Health Care in Houston.