Laura Wedderburn I am an Internal Medicine doctor practicing in rural Northern California. I was born in Belize, Central America but within the first year my fathers job in Agricultural Research took us to Mexico. Within the next 15 years we lived in Zaire, Pakistan, Thailand, and Zimbabwe. After attaining my medical degree and specializing in Internal Medicine I found my way into Global Health through medical disaster trips. When the tsunami devastated South East Asia in 2004, I was sent to Banda Aceh, Indonesia to provide medical care. Subsequently after the 2010 Haiti earthquake I was able to volunteer for two weeks at Hopital Adventiste in Port-au-Prince. In 2012 due to the drought in East Africa and mass exodus of half a million from Somalia to Kenya, I travelled to the Kenyan border for six weeks, again to provide direct medical care through site clinics.
At this point in my career I am hoping to move abroad to practice full time in a developing country. I feel the experience for myself and my family would be essential to my life’s goal of providing for those who are in need.
One interesting non-medical thing about me: I brew all-grain craft beer! I specialize in West Coast IPA’s and feel that I am finally putting my Chemistry degree into meaningful practice.
Erin Stratta Erin became inspired to pursue a career in Medicine and Global Health after several formative immersion experiences in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico while in college. After graduation, she took a position as a Community Health Peace Corps volunteer in Peru – where she spent 27 of the best months of her life. Upon return, she trudged through medical school at Loyola University Chicago- focusing on forming a longitudinal Medical Spanish program and supporting their fledgling Global Health program. She found time to pursue medial projects in Cuba, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, India, and Peru. She returns to Peru every 2 years – spending time both in the Andes at her Peace Corps site, and in the Amazon, supporting a long term clinic in the region. Residency at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center gave her the opportunity to return to Peru, as well as spend 6 weeks at Kijabe Hospital in Kenya. Erin became a Global Health Fellow at CCRMC because she can’t imagine a career in Medicine not linked to Global Health. Her specific passions within Global Health include supporting sustainable projects developed by locals, providing technical training for providers in low resource settings, and promoting Family Medicine training worldwide.
One interesting non-medical thing about me: I love salsa dancing, running, hiking, and the mountains!
Ben Huntley Born and raised on the rough side of Iowa, went to an unopposed broad-spectrum inpatient-based procedural-heavy family medicine residency program, then Obstetrics Fellowship (including two months at Mulago), picked up ASTMH CTropMed credentials, now working in Malawi with Partners In Health and Contra Costa Global Health program. Interesting Global Health experience that I want to share: swam in a lake with signs that said: “shisto, don’t swim”. Thought to myself: lake this nice can’t have schisto. Got schisto. Interesting
One interesting non-medical thing about me: I’ve adopted the axiom: ‘life is too short to not eat brand name cereal’.
Rachel Phillips My interest in Global Health began in my early twenties and was the outgrowth of my participation in the International Honors Program in Global Ecology. My experiences during this formative year laid the foundation for me to understand that health care should be a human right and inspired me to pursue a career as a Family Nurse Practitioner. I have been working as an OBGYN Nurse Practitioner at Kaiser for the past 16 years. While I love my job, I am continually contemplating how to make a career transition and purse my original goal of working in the field of Global Health Care.
In 2009, I volunteered with Project Hope in Guyana as a primary care clinician. I am also currently a volunteer with RN/RN Response Network.
One interesting non-medical thing about me: This past November, I took my 5-year-old daughter to Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. I am hoping to instill in her the same love of people, adventure and travel that I have.
Grace Park My name is Grace Park, and I am a registered nurse at Stanford Health Care. I was recently promoted to be the assistant patient care manager on H1 unit, a neurology step-down ICU. I have been a nurse for over 4 years now, and am interested in returning to school next year to become a family nurse practitioner with a minor in global health.
In November 2013, I joined a medical team to support the disaster relief effort in Tacloban, Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. We set up a medical clinic and treated over 2000 patients in one week for dehydration, lacerations, wounds, respiratory distress, asthma, gastrointestinal upset, infections, minor surgeries, and labor and delivery.
One interesting non-medical thing about me: Since January 2012, I’ve paid off $80,000 of my school loans. My goal is to be debt free by the end of year 2015!
Adeola Fakolade I was born and raised in Ibadan, Nigeria. My previous global health experience is
from a rotation in rural Nigeria while in medical school. I am currently a family medicine resident and looking forward to further training and a career in Global health. From this bootcamp, I am hoping to learn from other people’s global health experiences and develop skills that would help me in a sucessful global health career.
One interesting non-medical thing about me: I love dogs, and during my spare time, I like to spend time with my nieces and nephews and hang out with my friends and family. Also, I am going to Honduras in the spring and am very much looking forward to it.
Sarah Niecko I currently live in beautiful Juneau, Alaska, with my husband. I have been a practicing physician assistant for over 8 years and am currently working on a PhD in global health studies. I have been on numerous medical missions across the world and hope to make this a long-term lifestyle once both my husband and I both finish our doctorates. I enjoy hiking in Juneau’s mountains, kayaking in her seas, and taking in the serenity that nature brings.
One interesting non-medical thing about me:I have been a vegetarian for over 25 years, 5 years a vegan.
Catherine Bjerum I have been a physician for 13 years. Before that I was an HIV educator for 15 years, including 2 years in West Africa through the Peace Corps. I have worked in medical clinics in Guinea, India, Equador and Lesotho. Currently I am working on a clinical trial in Cote d’Ivoire. I would like to find a way to split my time professionally between the US and international sites. Outside of work I like hiking, skiing, international travel and I have been to all 7 continents.
Lori Baxter is a Physical Therapist and Public Health Professional from the Pacific Northwest. She was first introduced to health disparities while studying farmworkers’ occupational health for her undergraduate thesis. Lori then addressed educational and health inequities as a bilingual elementary teacher on the Texas-Mexico border, through Teach For America. After pioneering Emory University’s dual-degree Doctor of Physical Therapy and Master of Public Health program, she worked as a pediatric Physical Therapist in Washington, DC with a multi-cultural, under-served population. She lived in rural, Southern Belize for a year where she was the Rehabilitation Director for Hillside Health Care International. She now manages the aquatic therapy program and outreach, while providing direct patient care, at a private pediatric therapy clinic in Portland, Oregon. She is passionate about working at the intersection of physical therapy and public health, and expanding opportunities for people with disabilities, both in the U.S. and abroad. Lori and her husband hope to relocate to a developing country where they can continue their careers.
In her free time, Lori enjoys running, practicing yoga, and eating Belizean chocolate!
Erica Hertzog I currently work as an RN in the Emergency Department at Stanford Hospital; prior to that, I’ve worked around the country at many different hospitals with widely varying populations. Although I love to travel, I’ve never worked internationally. At this Bootcamp, I’m hoping to learn new ways to apply my skills and to make connections so that I can expand the borders of my practice. When I’m not working, I love to go sailing in the Bay or work on my land in the Sierra foothills. There is no shortage of projects to keep me busy!
Anne Agger My name is Annie Agger, I’m originally from NY, went to school in Massachusetts, lived in Maine for 25 years and recently moved back to Massachusetts. I’m an RN and have worked as nurse for over 20 years, mostly in Maternal/Child Health. I’ve also worked in a Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Center for Women and as part of a team doing Child Abuse Assessments.
I’ve always loved traveling; experiencing new places and cultures. In May I went on a medical mission to Senegal; we ran health screenings for women in the fishing industry, prisoners, and city hall employees. I was responsible for health screenings and an education program for pregnant women. My experience inspired me to learn more about Global Health and find a way to use my nursing skills and experience in this field. I currently am taking an online certificate course in Global Health through Massachusetts General Hospital. I hope to learn as much as I can about the field of Global Health, meet people who have contributed to this growing field so that I may do the same.
One interesting non-medical thing about me- Sometimes I like being with my dog more than being with my daughters (age 19 & 23), but not too often.
Emily Cotter Emily is a recent graduate of the Contra Costa Family Medicine Residency and currently a UCSF/CCRMC Global Health Fellow. She worked in Zimbabwe while pursuing her MPH and has since worked in Kenya, Sierra Leone, and Burundi, with plans to work in Malawi over the coming year. Her medical interests include infectious diseases, primary care, human rights, health inequities, and working with asylum seekers. She also enjoys urban homesteading, crafting, and wood working.
Kana Kornsawad My name is Kanapa but I go by Kana. I was born and raised in Thailand then moved to the United States in 2004. I was working as a research coordinator at UCSF and later moved to San Antonio, Texas, to pursue residency training. I don’t have any formal global health experience, but a part of me was molded by my time practicing rural medicine during my medical school and internship years in Thailand. My goal is to be able to periodically return to my home country and provide needed health services for the poor. In my free time, I enjoy watching movies, playing with my dog and travelling.
Sheena Grant I was born in India, grew up in Canada and have lived in the United States for the past 20 years. I have traveled internationally and have a huge heart for Global Health, however my experiences in Global Health are limited. I am married with two children and I love the outdoors.
Project: Dr. Willborn, Dr. Reeck, Dr. Kornsawad and I are developing a Global Health elective for the residents of University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio with the hope of eventually creating a Global Health Tract.
Kevin Li Since completing my residency in Family Medicine in Dallas, I have been practicing in adult primary care in the Bay area for the last eight years. I worked at a community health center in Oakland’s Chinatown for six and half years before moving over to Kaiser in 2014, where I am currently on part time staff.
I have a strong interest in health education and promoting health literacy. I have very limited Global Health experience, and I am eager to learn and be inspired to participate more at this Bootcamp. My one overseas medical experience was for one month during residency in which I volunteered at a center assisting runaway children in central China that was run by Doctors without Borders.
One interesting non-medical fact: I taught high school biology and marine biology at a public school in Silver Spring, Maryland, before pursuing family medicine. I would love to return to the classroom in the future.
Katherine Willborn I am a lifelong Texan and practice academic hospital medicine at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center San Antonio. I have participated in short term medical trips to Mexico, Haiti, and Niger. I completed a one-year fellowship in Acute Medicine in Adelaide, South Australia, in order to gain experience in a different medical system and work on physical examination skills. This past January, I attended Intermed, a four-week global health intensive in Adelaide, and am working toward a graduate diploma in International Health and Development. Non-medical: I am an artist, a photographer, a contemplative, and highly value whimsy.
Christine Jun I am currently working as a hospitalist in Chicago. I’ve had some exposure to global health having participated in short term projects in Africa, Central and South America, and East Asia. My interest in global health has grown more recently as I have been involved in medical education and clinical work in East Asia.
I love to travel and do things outdoors. Rock climbing is one of my newest hobbies (although most of it is indoors in Chicago).
Jackie Yaris I’ve been an internist in private practice in Beverly Hills for about 20 yrs, but my real passion is healthcare for the underserved, both here and abroad. I have been on multiple medical missions since 2007- my experiences are an odd juxtaposition with my practice- my patients at home frequently comment on the travel pictures the fill my exam rooms, and always ask “where’s next?” As my kids are getting older and leaving i would like to figure out how to incorporate more international medical work and global medicine into my career. I am hoping to meet more people in the global health community and get some ideas.
Interesting (ish) stuff- I hike and climb big, tall mountains- many weekends you will find me in the Sierras…
Kathryn Roberts Hi! I’m Kathryn Roberts. I work as a Certified Nurse-Midwife at a tribal health tertiary care center in Anchorage, Alaska. Relatively new to the health care world, I graduated from Vanderbilt University and have been practicing for almost two years. Caring for rural Alaskans has its own challenges for access to care and resources, and I hope to eventually apply those skills in the global health arena. I look forward to learning from others while I build experience here in the states.
One interesting non-medical thing about me: I like running! Not competitive by any means, I do it just for fun. I’ve completed 3 marathons and 6 half marathons.
Nayanatara Rao I graduated from Medical School in India, pursued a career in General Surgery and completed Masters in Plastic Surgery. Married and moved to the USA – to the bay area and was unable to pursue Surgical career. Completed Residency in Chicago in Internal Medicine and continued to do fellowship in Geriatric Medicine. I work in Kaiser Santa Clara as a Geriatrician specialized in Sub-acute care and Dementia. I practice Hospice and Palliative care as well.
I volunteer at the India community center free clinic on and off. I am an unofficial doctor to many parents/ grandparents visiting from India. I have no specific Global Health Experience. I am aware of the needs as I grew up in India and have had to work in Rural PHC (Public Health Center’s) with minimal to bare necessities. When I joined Plastic Surgery, my vision was to be able to give part of my time to perform Cleft lip and Palate repairs for free. It did not materialize and life took its course. I am a single mom and raised 2 kids 15 and 19 years now. I think they are grown up enough to let me pursue my dreams and I want to give back to those in need of health services.
Travel and Food are my interests. I recently saw Cowspiracy- a documentary. I am contemplating switching to be a Vegetarian.
Amanda Reeck I was born in Mexico into a missionary family with an American father and Canadian mother, moved to Honduras at age 8 where I lived until I moved to the US for college. Since high school I have traveled to Madagascar, Guinea Bissau, Peru and Dominican Republic, as well as multiple visits to Mexico and Central America.
I completed residency in Internal Medicine and joined the hospitalist faculty at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio where we are excited to develop a global health program and curriculum.
Non-medical fact: I love to dote on my niece and nephews in Honduras when I get the chance. I also like to hike, travel and try new foods.
Saira Alimohamed Hi, my name is Saira Alimohamed. I am a pediatrician and am an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Medical College of Georgia. I have had many rich, exciting and humbling global health experiences, in direct service, advocacy and policy and I look forward to continuing to build this work into my career. I am fluent in Spanish and have served in Central and South America, mostly. One fun fact, I love the ocean and it is where I find myself at peace.
Jessica Kraft My experience and global health interests are vast. Moving frequently at an early age, I developed an openness to resettle. Each journey came with its own set of novel eye opening experiences, solidifying my adoration for the field of global health. My path started out in Minnesota, then I lived, studied, and worked in a number of capacities, states, and countries finally leading me to my current residence in Boston.
Each new place and role opened my eyes to how intertwined the world is, no more than in the context of global health. In the words of Parker Palmer, ” We are a profoundly interconnected species, as the global economic and ecological crises reveal in vivid and frightening detail. We must embrace the simple fact that we are dependent on and accountable to one another.”
Thus my career and educational path has tried to emulate this revelation, I strive towards accountability. I have an MPH and RN/MSN with a certification in complex humanitarian emergencies and HIV care. My public health and clinical roles have ranged from peace corps volunteer, teacher, leader in capacity building, program manager, health educator, public health professional and now family practice nurse practitioner. My particular passions are HIV and other communicable diseases, health workforce shortage, migrant and refugee health, and health and human rights for under served populations.
One interesting non-medical thing about me: It is hard to distinguish between my personal and professional interests because variety is the spice of life. I love to travel to new lands, taste new dishes, and have a thirst for knowledge and life. I am lucky to have an incredible partner and dog who join me on hikes, camping, and re-calibrating in the great outdoors.
Joesph Nwadiuko is a Nigerian-American resident-physician in Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and is the executive director of the Diaspora Health Network, an initiative dedicated to supporting US-based health workers of foreign heritage to give back to their home countries. He has worked in 7 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. He has been conducting work and research on diaspora health professionals for the past 5 years. He completed his MD at the University of Pittsburgh, his MPH Candidate at Johns Hopkins (focusing on health systems in low and middle income countries) and his BA in History from Amherst College in Massachusetts. He speaks fluent Spanish and limited French and Hassiniyan Arabic.
Mena Ramos The seed for global health was first planted as a child growing up in the rural Philippines bearing witness to the stories of relatives whose lives were lost as a direct result of poverty. As an undergraduate at Brown, I worked with a community health organization in Metro Manila assisting in a needs assessment for a community of patients with Hansen’s disease and advocated for better wages for local nurses and doctors. My path led me to study medicine at the Latin American School of Medicine in Havana, Cuba, inspired and humbled by the commitment of a government to provide basic healthcare for all despite political and economic constraints. I was privileged to study alongside thousands of students from South and Central America and become part of the much needed global health workforce. I completed my family medicine training at Contra Costa where I nurtured my interest for teaching, facilitating workshops in women’s health for community health workers in India and the Philippines, and ultrasound training for family medicine residents. As a global health fellow at Contra Costa, I will be facilitating family medicine and ultrasound training for Malawian medical students at the Neno District Hospital in Malawi. In the future, I hope to return to the Philippines and work in capacity building around medical student education and family medicine training.
One non-medical thing about me: I enjoy playing Afro-Cuban percussion like batá drums for dance classes in Berkeley and San Francisco.
Andres Zuleta After a 5 hour bus ride, a 3 hour truck ride and 3 hours trekking, we arrived at the village of Rio Negro, Guatemala where I met Juan. He is in his 40s and survived the Rio Negro massacre in the 80s. He told me that he had rocks in his nose and then proceeded to show me that by sticking a knitting needle through his nose he could hear and feel the calcifications which had been causing him severe infections for 35 years. I then proceeded to investigate with my otoscope to confirm that he indeed had huge sinus calcifications. I felt a deep sense of responsibility as the likelihood of someone else reaching that village anytime soon was slim. After dislodging some of these calcifications for over 5 hours, I felt our isolation; him as a patient and me as a physician. The next day I had to travel back to Guatemala city. Fortunately, we found an ENT surgeon in Guatemala city that was willing to take care of him and with the help of another nonprofit he got to guatemala city for the care he desperately needed. This made me realize that timely, appropriate diagnosis and treatment could’ve saved him and his family 35 years of suffering. These types of experiences inspire me to continue working on the development of a non profit – Samasta Health Foundation. The vision is to use technology to improve quality and access to care in remote areas by expanding the capacity of community health workers. I was born in Medellin, Colombia and currently practice Hospital medicine in New York and Connecticut.
Eirini Iliaki, MD, MPH
I was born in Greece and spent most of my life in a small city in the island of Crete. My mother is a social worker and I grew up listening to heartbreaking human stories and learned early on how socioeconomic factors can affect well-being in my city the same away they can affect other souls around the world. I came in the US after completing medical school in Greece, did basic Immunology research, obtained an MPH at HSPH, followed by policy research at Harvard and eventually joined the Cambridge Health Alliance for residency and Chief residency. I was blessed with the opportunity to work and learn in different settings, although always short term: I rotated for month in an urban Public Infectious Disease hospital in Salvador, Brazil in 2009. I was part of the response to the Haiti earthquake in 2010 as one of the deputy medical directors of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative/ Love a Child Disaster relief center in Fonds Parisien. I then traveled in rural South Africa as a Yale/Stanford Global health scholar and provided clinical care mainly for patients with HIV/TB.
After residency, I specialized in Infectious Diseases at Boston University and returned to my beloved Cambridge Hospital, a public hospital in the midst of a very vibrant immigrant community. I work as a clinician educator in the Hospitalist and Infectious Diseases Departments as well as in the Cambridge DPH TB clinic. I co-founded the CHA Global Health Initiative, a forum to share ideas and create community around global and local problems and in June 2015 I had the opportunity to return to Haiti as part of the DPH’s Peace committee and the Cambridge- Les Cayes sister city initiative in order to start collaborating with the local public hospital. Currently, my goal is to create a global health track for our IM residency and effectively support our residents with a passion about Global Health and to continue the collaboration with Haiti. Given the recent economic issues in Greece, one of my long-term goals is to influence policy especially around establishing primary care and refugee crisis management. I am especially interested in how to empower, nurture and support my students locally and my colleagues in Haiti or Greece to reveal the leader within them.
Outside work, I am a passionate cook and enjoy preparing Mediterranean food using lots of ingredients that I bring from home.