Tamara Augustine was born and raised on the Caribbean island of Dominica, not to be mistaken with the Dominican Republic. She migrated to Tennessee in 2002 and completed a BS in Chemistry and Spanish at Middle Tennessee State University. She returned to Dominica to study medicine at Ross University. It was not until a stint with Child Family Health International in Mexico during undergrad that she became focused on providing healthcare to the poorest among us, a desire which has continued to grow through the years. She accidentally stumbled upon Emergency Medicine and that was the best thing that ever happened to her! Currently, she is completing an Emergency Medicine residency at Sinai-Grace Hospital in Detroit. Her hobbies include traveling, photography, and dancing. She also loves spending time outdoors, especially near water, and hanging out with family and friends. Her long term goal is to move back to Dominica where she can sell coconuts on the beach to tourists. Tamara is a rotating fellow who will serve at Chinle Comprehensive Healthcare Facility in Chinle, Arizona and Zanmi Lasante in Haiti.
Amanda Bradke is currently a third year internal medicine resident at Boston Medical Center. She grew up in the Midwest, in the city of Grand Ledge, Michigan. After graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Michigan, she went on to complete a Master’s of Bioethics at the University of Pittsburgh with a focus on global health. During this time, Mandy wrote her thesis on the ethics of short-term medical mission trips and worked full-time at Catholic Charities Free Health Care Center. As a medical student at Case Western Reserve University, and later during residency, Mandy participated in a variety of global health experiences. She traveled to Uganda as part of SocMed, went to India as a member of the BMC’s Global Health Pathway, and spent a month on the Navajo Reservation at Shiprock Northern Navajo Medical Center. In her free time, Mandy enjoys baking, eating and travelling. She is very excited for the opportunity to collaborate with all the other wonderful HEAL fellows she will meet. Amanda is a rotating fellow who will serve at Tséhootsooí Medical Center in Fort Defiance, Arizona and Zanmi
Lasante in Haiti.
Graciela Cadet was born and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and attended the national nursing school (Ecole Nationale d’Infirmieres de Port-au-Prince). She has worked as a nurse for seven years and became the nurse manager of the Intensive Care Unit at Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais in 2013. Graciela has worked for Zamni Lasante (ZL), the sister organization of Partners in Health, for over three years, and has come to see the organization as a driving force in social justice and a key player in the promotion of equity in health. She is particularly interested in quality improvement, advocacy, and strengthening the Haitian health system, and has continued to pursue training in public health management. She believes through this fellowship she will gain the skills needed to lead the effort in making a difference at the hospital she works, in the country where she comes from, and advocating for marginalized populations around the world. Graciela is a site fellow at Zanmi Lasante in Haiti.
Grace Deukmedjian received her B.S. degree in Neuroscience
from the University of California, Irvine, followed by her medical degree from George Washington University School of Medicine. She then completed her pediatric residency training at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA and continued at UCLA as a pediatric hospitalist for three years. Her clinical and academic interests have included evidence-based pediatric hospital medicine, global health and humanities in medicine. She has spent time caring for Tibetan refugees in the Trans-Himalayan region of Northern India, worked in a pediatric hospital in Armenia, and spent one year in Haiti working on potable water and malnutrition as well as disaster relief. Most recently, she taught midwives and traditional birth attendants NRP in Ghana. She is excited to build on her previous experience, and work towards refining traditional global health practices with her new HEAL family. Grace is a rotating fellow who will serve at Tséhootsooí Medical Center in Fort Defiance, Arizona and at Possible in Nepal.
Bassem Ghali grew up in Dubai, UAE and immigrated to
Fairfax, VA where he finished high school. He graduated from Cornell University as a Mechanical Engineer, and then attended medical school at the University of Virginia and went on to do his Internal Medicine residency at Yale New Haven Hospital. It was during medical school that he signed up for a health elective in beautiful Moshi, Tanzania. It was an amazing experience and inspired him to pursue global health work. His clinical interests are varied, but range from hospital and Emergency Department “super users”, infections in critically ill patients (particularly in resource limited settings), postgraduate medical education in resource limited settings, and increasing global health exposure for US medical trainees. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his large family and friends, occasionally running, and checking out local restaurants, coffee houses and microbrews. Bassem is a rotating fellow who will serve at UCSF Department of Hospital Medicine and at Jan Swasthya Sahyog in India.
Kuang-Ning (Annie) Huang grew up in sunny Florida and
went to undergraduate at the University of Chicago where she studied Anthropology. She took a few years off after college and spent time doing research, traveling, and eventually a stint in the Philippines with the Peace Corps. After returning home, she decided to attend medical school at the University of Vermont, and stayed on to complete her Family Medicine Residency, with a special interest in global health and palliative medicine. She has been fortunate enough to spend time with the IHS (in New Mexico and Alaska), Bangladesh, and Uganda; she also had the chance to return to the Philippines during her medical training. She is committed to continuing to work with under-served populations and providing full-spectrum care for her patients. After living for many years in the tropics, Annie has learned to ski – and absolutely loves it! She also loves scuba diving, photography, and a good meal. Annie is a rotating fellow who will serve at Tséhootsooí Medical Center in Fort Defiance, Arizona and at Last Mile Health in Liberia.
Melba Hunter was born on the Navajo reservation in a small town called Fort Defiance, Arizona. She is of the Towering House clan, born for the Coyote Pass, her maternal grandfather is of the Mexican people clan, and her paternal grandfather is of the Bitter Water clan. She was raised in the center of the Navajo reservation in a small town called Chinle. Melba attended Northern Arizona University and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Science of Nursing. She has been working for approximately 24 years with the Indian Health Services in Chinle, Arizona. Presently, she is working in the Emergency Room/Urgent Care as the Nurse Supervisor/Manager. Melba speaks the Navajo language and interprets for her native people. Working in the ER she has recognized the lack of resources needed to address the issues of alcoholism, anxiety, domestic violence, depression, and others. She is optimistic the HEAL fellowship will help bring quality healthcare to the Indian Health Services. Melba likes all foods prepared from scratch. She has 2 adult children and a ten year old; 3 grandsons, 1 granddaughter, and has inherited 2 more grandchildren. Someday, she would like to travel to other countries. She also has a passion for Interior Design. Melba is compassionate and a humanitarian. She is excited and honored to be a HEAL fellow. Melba is a site fellow at Chinle Comprehensive Healthcare Facility in Chinle, Arizona.
Matias Iberico completed his internal medicine residency training at Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco. He was born in Lima, Peru and moved to Ohio when he was five. While in medical school he was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study tuberculosis in Peruvian peri-urban slums and used that research to complete a master’s degree in public health. He is passionate about global health equity and hopes to return to Peru at some point in the future to work in medical education and health systems strengthening (while enjoying some of the world’s greatest cuisine). As a UCSF HEAL Initiative fellow, he will help build health systems that aim to eliminate illness rooted in poverty. Matias is a rotating fellow who will serve at Tséhootsooí Medical Center in Fort Defiance, Arizona and at Muso in Mali.
Colleen Keough is from the Houston, Texas area. As an
undergraduate, she studied at the University of Texas at Austin where she was often involved in community service. She became interested in being a physician in limited resource settings after volunteering at a local clinic in Austin for the medically under-served. Following graduation, she spent time volunteering with the Native Health Initiative in North Carolina and as a mentor with an organization for disadvantaged children in Argentina. She then went on to medical school at the Baylor College of Medicine, where she also stayed for residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. During her time at Baylor, she was very involved in developing the global health curriculum for medical students. She also worked as a volunteer for Engineers Without Borders. She is excited to be a part of the UCSF Global Health team and looks forward to exploring her interests in point-of-care diagnostic ultrasound training and healthcare workforce development in under-served areas. Colleen is a rotating fellow who will serve at Gallup Indian Medical Center in Gallup, New Mexico and at Zanmi Lasante in Haiti.
Alexa Lindley grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She stayed in the Midwest for college at Denison University in Ohio and after college, worked in research at Northwestern University in Chicago. She was inspired to pursue a career in under-served medicine while working at a free clinic in Chicago’s medically under-served Englewood neighborhood. During medical school at the University of Michigan she worked on health education projects in the Dominican Republic and Ecuador. She finally left the lovely Midwest for equally lovely San Francisco to join the Family and Community Medicine Residency Program at UCSF/SFGH where she was inspired by her mission-driven colleagues who care for a diverse group of San Francisco’s most vulnerable patients. Following residency she stayed on an extra year as a chief resident. She is passionate about primary care for under-served patients, medical education and comprehensive women’s health. She is excited to join the HEAL Initiative. Alexa is a rotating fellow who will serve at Tsehootsooi Medical Center in Fort Defiance, Arizona and at Compañeros en Salud in Mexico.
Sauveur Marcel M. was born in Petite Riviere-de-l‘Artibonite, a rural area located in the lower Artibonite in Haiti. He grew up in Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, where he attended both high school and the State University of Medicine and Pharmacy. He spent about one year at the Hospital Ste Therese of Hinche based in the central Haiti as part of his social service prior to obtaining his license in Pharmacy in 2000. He has been working since September 2000 with Zanmi Lasante, first as a pharmacist in the system, and in 2011 was promoted to the position of Director of Pharmacy and Procurement. Over the years, Sauveur has greatly contributed to building a well-organized pharmaceutical system and procurement team across all the ZL sites. His field experience after one decade working with Zanmi Lasante has helped him better understand the relevance of global health, which is key from his standpoint to improve access and quality of care in the remote areas of Haiti. Sauveur is a site fellow at Zanmi Lasante in Haiti.
Leanne Marcotrigiano is originally from Central Pennsylvania. She majored in Biology and Sociology at Franklin & Marshall College, where she developed an interest in public health and race relations. After college, she worked for a small nonprofit in Portland, ME, where she helped study an intervention to improve correction officers’ treatment of mentally ill prisoners. While at Jefferson Medical College, she joined Physicians for Social Responsibility and studied local and international programs that promote healthy communities. As a medical student, Leanne twice traveled to Nicaragua, where she volunteered at a hospital in Jinotepe. Her time in Nicaragua confirmed her commitment to family medicine and to caring for Latinos. Leanne chose to train at the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, a FQHC in a largely Latino community in northern Massachusetts. During residency, Leanne was grateful to work with seasoned global health physicians in Nicaragua, Ghana and Guatemala. She also completed Harvard’s Global Mental Health: Trauma and Recovery Certificate Program and helped establish a program that recruits Lawrence women to serve as birth companions (doulas). She admires the thoughtful and collaborative HEAL approach to global health and is excited to become part of the HEAL family. Leanne is a rotating fellow who will serve at Lifelong Medical Center in Oakland, California and at Compañeros en Salud in Mexico.
Stephen Mehanni was born in Egypt to an Egyptian father and Canadian mother, though he arrived in the U.S. early in life. He grew up in rural Florida, and remained in the state for medical school at University of South Florida. He was exposed early on to the idea that healthcare can transcend national borders, hearing stories from family friends who dedicated their lives to medical mission work in Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt. Medical school provided an introduction to the realities of healthcare abroad, with clinical rotations in rural Ethiopia and a Tibetan community in India. Stephen moved to Portland, OR for internal medicine residency at Oregon Health & Science University, where he served as a chief resident. A newly formed residency partnership with BIDMC afforded the opportunity for several clinical rotations in Botswana, where the heavy burdens of HIV and TB make for a unique and challenging environment. Stephen has a passion for clinical medicine, and interests in medical education, narrative medicine, and communication skills. He is excited to join the HEAL family. Stephen is a rotating fellow who will serve at Gallup Indian Medical Center in Gallup, New Mexico and at Possible in Nepal.
Savior F. Mendin is a Liberian Registered Nurse. She was
born and grew up in Monrovia, Montserrado County, and graduated from Tubman National Institute of Medical Arts in Monrovia in 2008 with a diploma in Nursing, and from the Mother Patern College of Health Sciences in Monrovia, Liberia in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with distinction. In 2008, Savior began working at St. Francis Hospital, the only referral hospital in Rivercess County. Here she saw patients with poor outcomes due to delay in referring them from remote villages, where people must travel several miles through dense forests, crossing rivers in canoes, to access health care. This led Savior to engage with communities to deliver services. She served as a social worker with the United Nations Population Fund, and as supervisor of Community Ebola Case Investigators with the Liberia Ministry of Health. Savior remains zealous about advocating and educating the populace on the need to live healthy lives to promote health and avoid illnesses. Her current function as a Training Supervisor with Last Mile Health, where she trains Community Clinical Supervisors and Community Health Workers in providing basic community health services in remote communities, aligns with her passion to mitigate complications from illnesses, and fosters her ardent ambition to tackle Liberia’s most serious health issues as a public health professional. In her spare time, Savior enjoys reading mystery novels and listening to Liberian Gospel Music. Savior is a site fellow at Last Mile Health in Liberia.
Rose Ochieng grew up in Kenya, then moved the United States. Her interest in healthcare began in high school and continued to be fostered in undergrad at Kansas State University, leading to medical school at University of Kansas. All along, she knew she wanted to have global health experience as part of her training, given her goal of being involved in health care in her home country. During medical school, she had opportunities for global health experiences in Kenya, India, and Belize. She was also able to pursue an MPH, which has also added to her preparation.Currently she is finishing a Family Medicine Residency at Harbor-UCLA Med Center, where she has been fortunate to be involved in medical trips to Tecate, Mexico, in addition to also providing primary care to the underserved population in her current community. She is thrilled and excited to learn and grow as a collaborator and clinician in the next 2 years. Rose is a rotating fellow who will serve at Lifelong Medical Center in Oakland and at Last Mile Health in Liberia.
Jacquelin Pierre is from the northeastern region of Haiti,
and attended medical school at the State University of Haiti School of Medicine from 2000 to 2006. He completed his residency program at Port-au-Prince General Hospital and graduated in Internal Medicine in January 2011. He also completed postgraduate training in infectious diseases and HIV care at a joint program led by the University of Maryland and the University Notre Dame of Haiti. He is now working as Internist and Chief of Service at Sainte Therese Hospital, a regional hospital in the Central Plateau with Partners in Health. He has always had a great interest in working with the most vulnerable people and advocating on their behalf for health equity and social justice. Jacquelin is a site fellow at Zanmi Lasante in Haiti.
Jonathan Powell is originally from the Northeast. He grew up in New England and studied Economics at Dartmouth. After less than a year in the financial industry, he relocated to Mali to serve in the Peace Corps, where he worked with rural communities on income-generating activities, sanitation, and literacy. It was that experience that inspired him to pursue a career in medicine, so he completed pre-med courses in Philadelphia, and then headed back to New York for medical school at Cornell. He took a year off from medical school to conduct Pediatric HIV research in Ghana as a Doris Duke clinical research fellow. He came out West for residency to train at Contra Costa Family Medicine Residency in the Bay Area where he served as chief resident during his 3rd year. Whenever he has some free time, Jonathan tries to get away for some skiing or backpacking. Jonathan is a rotating fellow who will serve at Chinle Comprehensive Healthcare Facility in Chinle, Arizona and at Jan Swasthya Sahyog in India.
Aaron J. Price is a member of the Navajo Nation born and raised in Fort Defiance, AZ. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and a Minor in Psychology from the University of New Mexico. He is a Chief Manuelito, Indian Health Services, A.T. Anderson Scholar, and has completed extracurricular work at the Yale School of Medicine. While at UNM, Dr. Price served as president of the American Indian Medical Society, as a Center for Native American Health representative, and worked in multiple research labs including the Departments of Vascular Physiology and Biochemistry. Beyond academia Dr. Price was involved with the recruitment of Native American youth throughout the greater Four Corners area and has worked tirelessly to expand Native American self-determination via the establishment of pipelines to higher education. After graduating from medical school, Dr. Price went on to the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, where he completed an internship in Emergency Medicine. Dr. Price then returned to the University of New Mexico, where he completed a residency in Internal Medicine with an emphasis in Cardiovascular Medicine. He currently the Chief of Internal Medicine. Aaron is a site fellow at Tséhootsooí Medical Center in Fort Defiance, Arizona.
Safia Rubaii works as an IHS emergency physician at Gallup Indian Medical Center, in Gallup, NM. Born in Iowa, she has lived mostly in Florida, Colorado, and New Mexico. She started working in healthcare as a nursing home “kitchen girl,” then as a nurse’s aide, before completing nursing school at the University of South Florida. She worked as an RN in a variety of settings (education, urban and rural emergency, ICU, and OB at a large urban hospital; migrant health; and as a Boulder Community Hospital eye health volunteer in Mante, Mexico). She attended medical school at the University of Colorado, with electives in tropical medicine/infectious disease at Cayetano Heredia in Peru and in Costa Rica (LSU). She completed her internal medicine internship in Colorado, and her emergency medicine residency at the University of Florida. After working briefly at the Yukon Kuskokwim Hospital in Bethel, Alaska, she worked at the Navajo hospital in Tuba City and in rural Colorado before coming to Gallup Indian Medical Center. She completed the DTM&H program at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Besides under-served and native health care, compassion in healthcare, and the change process; she is passionate about languages, and has an MA in Linguistics from the University of South Florida. She loves to learn, hike, back-country ski, cycling, dance, and study Classical Literary Tibetan and the arts, especially ceramics. Safia is a site fellow at Gallup Indian Medical Center in Gallup, New Mexico
Rekha Sherchan grew up in Kathmandu, Nepal and earned a Bachelors in Dental Surgery from Universal College Of Medical Sciences-College Of Dental Surgery (UCMS-CODS) in Bhairahawa, Nepal. She is currently working as a Staff Dentist at Possible, a non-profit healthcare company working to provide high quality, free-of-cost healthcare in rural Nepal, where she has worked for the past one and a half years as the only dentist for the 250,000 people in the Far Western region of Nepal. Rekha hopes to deepen her expertise in Global Health through programs like the HEAL Initiative. She believes in serving the poorest of the poor and has a sincere intent to enhance the medical and dental condition in the rural areas of Nepal. Additionally, Rekha wants to stand for the betterment of women in rural areas especially with respect to Gender Based Violence and discrimination. She aspires to promote health and equity all over Nepal. Rekha is a site fellow at Possible in Nepal.
Cristina Stuefen grew up with a father in the military, so her family moved around a lot before settling in South Dakota. She received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from South Dakota State University, and is currently working towards her Masters of Science in Nursing through the University of Arizona. Currently, she is the Lead Clinical Nurse for the Multi-Service Unit at Tsehootsooi Medical Center in Fort Defiance, AZ, and holds certifications in Medical-Surgical Nursing and Gerontological Nursing, with interests in geriatrics, diabetes, and epigenetics. Her four children are her motivation and inspiration, and she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with family. Cristina is a site fellow at Tséhootsooí Medical Center in Fort Defiance, Arizona.
Regina Szczesniak was born and raised with eight siblings in Philadelphia, PA. She remained in Philly for her undergraduate studies at Temple University, where she discovered her passion for social justice and fostered a commitment to serving the poor and disenfranchised, while earning her B.A. in Women’s Studies and History. She spent the following year exploring movements for social justice in Latin America through volunteer work and travel, ultimately deciding to pursue medicine with the goal of becoming a physician advocate for the underserved. After completing her pre-requisite coursework, she earned her medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 2013. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia’s largest safety net hospital, serving one of the region’s most impoverished populations in North Philadelphia. Regina loves yoga, vegetarian food and spending time with her husband and her absurdly large family! Regina is a rotating fellow who will serve at Chinle Comprehensive Healthcare Facility in Chinle, Arizona and at Zanmi Lasante in Haiti.
Valerie L. Tenequer is a member of the Navajo Nation and is of the Yucca Fruit-Strung-Out-In-A-Line clan from Leupp, AZ and born for the Near the Water clan of Chilchinbeto, AZ. She grew up on the Navajo reservation and graduated from Chinle High School in Chinle, AZ, then went onto complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ. While working as a Public Health Nurse, Valerie became inspired to continue her formal education in Public Health and completed the Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Graduate Certificate Program with the University of Arizona Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health in Tucson, AZ. Currently, Valerie is an Infection Control Nurse at Chinle Comprehensive Health Care Facility and looks forward to strengthening her skill-set in leadership and public health delivery as a HEAL Initiative Site Fellow. Valerie loves spending time with her husband, three sons & family; and enjoys running, hiking, watching movies, listening to music, and reading. Valerie is a site fellow at Chinle Comprehensive Healthcare Facility in Chinle, Arizona.
Micaela Theisen is a nurse practitioner who grew up in rural Longview, Washington. She attended University of Portland for a degree in history and psychology before returning for an accelerated RN-MSN program in Clinical Nurse Leadership. She worked for several years as an ICU/ER RN in the Portland, Oregon area before moving to Bolivia and volunteering in the small village of Palacios. When an earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti in January of 2010, Micaela moved from Bolivia to Haiti where she managed an Emergency Room in a field hospital for 6 months and then worked in a tuberculosis ward for critically ill TB patients. She returned to Washington to complete a Doctorate of Nursing Practice and Family Nurse Practitioner program at the University of Washington while continuing to volunteer frequently in Haiti, including during the height of the cholera outbreak. She worked for 2 years as a nurse practitioner in the Philadelphia area, and then in 2014 she moved to Liberia to work as the Chief Nursing Officer of an Ebola Treatment Unit. She took a short break from Liberia to assist in the immediate aftermath of the 2015 Nepal Earthquake, and then returned to Liberia to work on nursing education projects. She is currently traveling through SE Asia and Southern Africa prior to starting fellowship. Aside from her desire to see the world, she has interests in infectious disease and disaster response, and enjoys running, bicycling, hiking, camping, and fishing with her friends and family. Micaela is a rotating fellow who will serve at Chinle Comprehensive Healthcare Facility in Chinle, Arizona and at Zanmi Lasante in Haiti.
Miranda Williams is originally from the cool waters of the Oregon coast and is an enrolled member of one of nine federally recognized tribes called Siletz. She has three sons, Sequoyah, Denali and Nakoa and one daughter, Priah that live and attend school in the Navajo community. She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Nutrition with a concentration in Dietetics from Arizona State University and has over 11.5 years of public health experience working in American Indian communities with a keen interest in prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. For the past five years, Miranda has been in her current position as a Supervisory Public Health Advisor at the Chinle Service Unit Diabetes Program for Navajo Area Indian Health Service. She has advocated on a local and national level for culturally-tailored diabetes services for the people of Navajo. Through her leadership, the diabetes program team has put together testimonials in the form of digital stories and patient success stories which have given a voice to patients’ efforts to transform the care of diabetes. Miranda has been a supporter for innovation and care improvement within the Chinle Service Unit. The HEAL Initiative fellowship will expand upon her patient-care experience and will strengthen her skill-set in leadership and public health delivery. Miranda is a site fellow at Chinle Comprehensive Healthcare Facility in Chinle, Arizona.
Marla Yazzie was born and raised in Fort Defiance, Arizona. At an early age she was fascinated with caring for young babies and children. Marla received a BA in Anthropology from Dartmouth College in 2004. She then did pre-med courses at the University of New Mexico while working as an EMT and a research program assistant for the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health. In 2012, she received her MD from University of Arizona College of Medicine. Afterward, she went back to the New England area to complete her Pediatric Residency at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA in 2015. Her dream of being a Navajo pediatrician came true when she accepted a position at her hometown hospital after residency. She is passionate about American Indian healthcare. Her hope is to care for and encourage a generation of American Indian children that will be not only be successful in the modern world but carry on the traditions of their ancestors. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, watching movies, and running. Marla is a site fellow at Tséhootsooí Medical Center in Fort Defiance, Arizona.