Our Team

Director, Rhode Island Burn Center at Rhode Island Hospital
Chief, Division of Trauma/Surgical Critical Care
Daithi Heffernan, MD
Adult Surgery Team

Residency: University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

Medical School: Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

Residency: Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin, Ireland

Fellowship: University of California San Francisco Medical Center

Fellowship: Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN

Pediatric Surgeon

Arlet G. Kurkchubasche, MD, is a board-certified general and pediatric surgeon who has provided care at Hasbro Children's Hospital for the past 20 years. She is currently the program director for the Pediatric Surgery Fellowship Program at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, one of 40 such programs in North America.

In addition to her clinical training, she spent time in the labs at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, where she also developed her passion for management of patients with complicated health issues and intestinal failure, and this remains her clinical focus to date. She currently remains active in multiple clinical trials, especially those examining the outcomes of infants after surgical interventions. She has also spearheaded a pediatric program in thyroid cancer that provides more age-appropriate care to this population of children. Her focus on pediatric tumors has been evidenced by her position as the regional surgical co-principal investigator for the Children's Oncology Group and as the chair of the pediatric tumor board.

She remains active in all aspects of pediatric surgery (abdominal and thoracic, open and minimally invasive), airway endoscopy, and neonatal patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) ligations.

Stephanie Lueckel, MD is a trauma attending in the trauma and surgical critical care division of Rhode Island Hospital and assistant professor of surgery at The Warren Alpert School of Medicine of Brown University. 

Previously she traveled to Malawi, Africa, during which time she trained young Malawian surgical residents in critical care at Kamuzu Central Hospital. As medical director, Lueckel provides clinical care for patients under her supervision, directs the medical aspects of transfusion-free care, and advises other physicians and surgeons in blood conservation techniques.

Pediatric Surgeon-in-Chief and Division Chief of Pediatric Surgery, Hasbro Children's Hospital

Francois Luks, MD, PhD, is pediatric surgeon-in-chief and division chief of pediatric surgery at Hasbro Children’s Hospital. 

Dr. Luks earned his bachelor’s degree from Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen, his medical degree from Universitaire Instelling Antwerpen, and his PhD in medical sciences from Catholic University Leuven, all in his native Belgium. He completed his residency in general surgery at Catholic Medical Center of Brooklyn and Queens (NY), then a residency in pediatric surgery at Hospital Ste-Justine in Montreal. He spent two years on a research fellowship through Catholic University of Leuven before joining both Hasbro and Women & Infants as Attending Surgeon in 1994. 

Dr. Luks has taken on progressively senior management roles at Hasbro, serving as director for trauma in the PICU for 15 years from 1995 to 2010, then subsequently director of trauma for the whole of Hasbro Children’s Hospital. He has served on and led more than a dozen standing and ad hoc committees at the hospital, from those in his specialty like the Pediatric Trauma Patient Care Committee, which he chaired, to those addressing issues in the broader hospital community, such as the Rhode Island Hospital Strategic Planning Committee. He has also continued to serve concurrently as attending surgeon at Women & Infants, and for several years each as attending surgeon at Morton Hospital (Taunton, MA) and New England Medical Center (Boston, MA). He also operates at St. Anne's Hospital in Fall River, MA. 

His research interests include fetal development and fetal surgery, and in particular the etiology of twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. He was the site principal investigator for the first randomized study on endoscopic fetal surgery for this syndrome; the Brown Fetal Treatment Program was the only North American center participating in the study. The program is a founding member of the North American Fetal Treatment Network (NAFTNet); Dr. Luks has been a member of its Executive Committee since 2007.

Dr. Luks has published and presented widely, with more than 120 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters and more than 100 abstracts. He has served The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University for his entire 25 years in Providence, currently as director of the Program in Fetal Medicine, and professor of surgery, pediatrics and obstetrics & gynecology. Throughout the course of his time at Brown he has served as independent course director, faculty sponsor and thesis director to numerous promising medical students.

Pediatric Trauma Medical Director, Adolescent Bariatric Surgeon

Elizabeth J. Renaud, MD, is a surgeon at Rhode Island and The Miriam hospitals. She specializes in pediatric surgery and performs procedures at Hasbro Children’s Hospital. At Albany Medical Center, she was a pediatric trauma program director, associate professor of surgery and associate surgical residency program director. She held similar leadership positions at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center between 2009 and 2011. She was honored with the New York Rising Stars award in 2013.

Dr. Renaud’s research interests include trauma, outcomes research, minimally invasive surgery, and adolescent bariatric surgery. Her work has been published in several peer-reviewed journals and book chapters, such as the Journal of Pediatric Surgery and the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery. She has presented her research on topics such as endometrial cancer, appendicitis and childhood obesity. She is a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, the Pediatric Trauma Society and the American Pediatric Surgical Association.

Pediatric Surgery Team

Medical School: Wayne State University School of Medicine, MI
Residency: Wayne State University School of Medicine, MI
Fellowship: St. Louis University

Burn Care Team

Burn care therapy is delivered by a knowledgeable and integrated multidisciplinary team consisting of physicians, surgeons, social workers, speech and language pathologists, respiratory therapists, nutritionists, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, case managers and pharmacists.

Burn Rehabilitation, Occupational and Physical Therapy
When a patient comes to the Burn Center, we strive to maximize recovery and retention of function. Starting on the first day of admission, our treatment includes a rigorous rehabilitation program that maximizes range of motion, strength and flexibility.

Clinical Social Work
A licensed clinical social worker is a member of the multidisciplinary burn team and provides crisis intervention, counseling and emotional support to patients and families dealing with the complex challenges related to burn injuries.

As members of the critical care team that manages the most critically ill burn patients at our Burn Center, Burn Intensive Care Unit (BICU) and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), nurses provide care for the most seriously injured patients.

Nutrition Services
Because adequate nutrition is crucial to help prevent infection, assist with wound healing and maintain energy and strength, nutrition services actively participates in the team management of burn patients.

Physician Assistants/Nurse Practitioners
Working under the supervision of an attending physician, mid-level providers provide constant, day-to-day care for burn patients.

Respiratory Care
The respiratory team is available to the burn team 24 hours per day, 7 days per week to assist with bronchoscopy, intubation, ventilator management, set-up and implementation of conventional or high frequency ventilation and transport.

Speech and Language Pathology
Speech-language pathologists evaluate and treat speech, language, cognitive-communication, voice and swallowing disorders in individuals of all ages.

More about The Burn Center at Rhode Island Hospital