Program Leadership

We believe the surgical residents are the lifeblood of any great Department of Surgery.

We strive to continually challenge our residents while supporting them at the same time. This is accomplished by having all levels of faculty work side-by-side with the residents on all services. For example, on our trauma surgery service residents take call with the Department Chair and the Residency Director.

Our program leadership includes diverse backgrounds and specialties, ensuring a broad experience and teaching base for our residents.

Ronald M. Stewart, M.D.

Professor and Chair, Department of Surgery

Jocelyn and Joe Straus Endowed Chair in Trauma Research

Dr. Stewart graduated from medical school and completed his surgical residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Following residency, he completed a two-year Trauma and Surgical Critical Care Fellowship at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.

In 1993 he returned to San Antonio as the Director of the Trauma Service. Since 1996 Dr. Stewart has served as the Board Chair of the Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council for Trauma. In 1999 he was awarded the Faculty Member of the Year Award from The University Health System. That same year he and the Shattered Dreams development team were awarded the Bronze Quill for writings on the award-winning injury prevention program Shattered Dreams/D.E.A.D. (Drinking and Driving End All Dreams).

In May 2000, Governor George W. Bush appointed Dr. Stewart to the Governor’s Emergency Medical Services and Trauma Advisory Council where he has served since that time. He currently is the Vice Chair and the senior member of the Council. He served as the chair of the South Texas Chapter of the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma for six years, and followed for another six years as the ACS COT Region VI Chief (Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana and Arkansas). Currently, he is the Chair of the ACS Committee on Trauma.

Dr. Stewart was the recipient of the UTHSCSA Presidential Award for Clinical Excellence (2004), the Distinguished Alumnus of the UTHSCSA School of Medicine (2005) and the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award (2007). In 2013 he was the recipient of the National Safety Council Surgeon’s Award and the American College of Surgeon’s Arthur Ellenbarger Award for Excellence in State Advocacy. He has received multiple medical student and resident teaching awards.

He is a tenured Professor of Surgery and Anesthesia, and since 2008, he has served as the Chair of the Department of Surgery, holding the Dr. Witten B. Russ Chair in Surgery. He is the Southern Surgical Society’s representative to the American College of Surgeons Board of Governors. He is Past-President of the Southwestern Surgical Congress and the President-Elect of the Texas Surgical Society.

Administrative Assistant:
Molly West
210-567-5705
west@uthscsa.edu

Daniel L. Dent, M.D.

Vice Chair for Surgical Education | Distinguished Teaching Professor

Trauma and Emergency Surgery

Dr. Dent completed a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Duke University and obtained his medical degree at the University of South Florida. He subsequently completed his residency at the University of Tennessee in Memphis; his residency included an additional year of research in Trauma and Nutrition Support. He joined the faculty in 1996 and has received numerous teaching excellence awards. As a result of his commitment to surgical and medical education he was named a Distinguished Teaching Professor. Dr. Dent’s research focus is in trauma, autotransfusion, surgical infection, and surgical education. He is the Program Director for the UTHSCSA Surgery Residency. He is the President of the Association of Program Directors in Surgery. He serves on Executive Committee of the Board of Governors of the American College of Surgeons as the Lead of the Education Pillar.

Administrative Assistant – Senior:
Kathy Hudiburgh
210-743-4130
hudiburgh@uthscsa.edu

Jason Kempenich, M.D.

Program Director | Associate Professor of Surgery

General and Minimally Invasive Surgery

Dr. Kempenich completed a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Bethel College in St. Paul, MN and obtained his medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin.  He completed his surgical residency training here at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.  Following the completion of his training he served in the United States Air Force and during this time, he completed a Surgical Education Research Fellowship with the Association for Surgical Education. Upon completion of his active duty service commitment, he joined the faculty in 2016. His clinical interests include the surgical management of obesity, gastroesophageal reflux disease, hernia, and gastrointestinal disease. In addition to serving as an Associate Program Director for the UTHSCSA Surgery Residency, he also has a significant interest in surgical education research.

Office Manager:
Veronica Davis
210-567-5730
davisv@uthscsa.edu

Ashley McGinity, M.D.

General Surgery Residency Associate Program Director | Assistant Professor

Dr. McGinity received her undergraduate degree in Sports Medicine from Samford University. She attended the University of Texas Heath Science Center at San Antonio for Medical School. She stayed at UT Health San Antonio to complete her general surgical training and surgical critical care fellowship. She then transitioned to an assistant professor in the Division of Emergency Surgery and Trauma. She serves as the Director of Geriatric Trauma. Dr. McGinity has a passion for medical and surgical ethics and serves on multiple ethics committees. She has recently helped to open a collaborative donor management unit, where she serves as a medical director. She has always had an interest in surgical education, coaching and mentorship.

Danielle M. Fritze, M.D.

General Surgery Residency Associate Program Director | Assistant Professor

Dr. Fritze completed her medical degree and subsequent surgical training at the University of Michigan. Following general surgery residency, she pursued additional fellowship training in transplantation and hepatobiliary surgery. Dr. Fritze specializes in liver and kidney transplantation as well as surgery of the liver, bile duct, and pancreas. She has a particular interest in pediatric transplantation.

Ross Willis, Ph.D.

Director of Surgical Education | Associate Professor | Director, Johnson Center for Surgical Innovation

Dr. Willis holds a master’s degree in human factors psychology and a doctoral degree in cognitive psychology from Texas Tech University. Dr. Willis’s primary roles are curriculum development and evaluation and conducting research on applying principles of learning theory to the world of surgical education.

Eileen Kleffner

Residency Academic Coordinator
210-567-5711
kleffnere@uthscsa.edu