Andrea Walker grew up in Southern California and did her undergraduate studies in Biology with a minor in French at the University of California, Riverside. She then went on to complete her MD at the University of California, Los Angeles where she also recently graduated from the Ob/Gyn residency program. She has done global health work in Haiti, Jamaica, Sierra Leone, and Uganda, with a focus on STI awareness and cervical cancer prevention. In her free time, she enjoys reading fiction, yoga, snowboarding, hiking and dance. She is a fellow at Gallup Indian Medical Center in Gallup, New Mexico, and at Abwenzi Pa Za Umoyo in Malawi.
Anup Agarwal was an Internal Medicine resident at Westchester Medical Center, Valhalla, New York. He grew up in Gangarampur, a small village in Eastern India. He received his medical degree from Stanley Medical College, Chennai, India. After medical school, he spent a year working as a telemedicine consultant in Bangalore, India, where he had the privilege of providing teleconsultations via video conferencing in 22 primary health centers located in rural India. He then worked as a research assistant at Yale University with telemedicine, simulation, and technology in medicine. During residency, he volunteered at Bernard Mevs Hospital in Haiti. His clinical interests include chronic non-communicable disease especially diabetes and cancer, improving healthcare delivery in resource-poor settings, decision support systems in medicine and telemedicine. As a HEAL fellow, his dream is to work towards building a health system, where every human has access to affordable healthcare. In his free time, he enjoys watching cricket, movies, occasionally yoga, reading non-fiction novels. Anup is a fellow at Jan Swasthya Sahyog in India.
Arnold Jumbe was born in Milepa, Chiradzulu District, Southern Malawi. He graduated from Mzuzu University with a Bachelor of Science in Education (BScEd) as a secondary school teacher, majoring in chemistry and biological sciences. He then taught at Marymount Secondary School and University of Livingstonia. Since he had a passion for Medicine from a young age, and after having observed how badly patients were being treated and deprived of quality health services (especially from rural areas and the vulnerable people), and through his own experience, Arnold decided to change his career and do medicine to be the voice of the voiceless and make an impact on the lives of vulnerable people. He graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) at Malawi College of Medicine. He completed his internship at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, in Blantyre, Malawi and stayed in the Department of Surgery for a year post-internship. He decided to do a career in global health to acquire knowledge and skills of how best to manage avoidable morbidity and mortality in his region as a developing country, as well as learn the organization, financing and management of health care systems in this region. His interests lean towards surgery for general practice, pediatric TB and research. He is currently working as a District Medical Officer for Neno District Health office, a rural District hospital in southern Malawi. He enjoys gardening and social football during his free time. Arnold is a fellow at Abwenzi Pa Za Umoyo in Malawi.
Bikash Gauchan was born in Kalopani Village of Mustang, a famous mountain district in Nepal. He completed a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) at B. P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences in Dharan, Nepal, where served as a house officer in the department of general practice, emergency medicine, anesthesiology and critical care for a year thereafter. In August 2010, he joined Bayalpata Hospital as the acting medical director and was promoted to medical director within a month of his joining. Bikash completed a three years residency Doctor of Medicine (MD) in general practice and emergency medicine, to become a family doctor. He joined Possible at the Bayalpata Hospital, where he was given the role of Director of Medical Education. During his tenure as medical director, he served as HEAL on-site advisor for the 2015-2017 fellows. He has a deep passion for improving the health care system in rural regions. He enjoys trekking, playing football, volleyball, basketball, cricket and being involved in public debate. He is an executive member of the World Organization of Family Doctors Working Party on Rural Practice for 2016-2018 to advocate for better rural health care. He is also a member of the WONCA Organizational Equity Committee to guide and direct WONCA on equity issues for 2016-2018. He was awarded the South Asian Young General Practitioner Jyoti and Ramnikh Parekh Award in February 2015 and Taiwan Family Medicine Research Award in November 2016. Bikash is a fellow at Possible in Nepal.
Christina Brakebill is a family nurse practitioner whose initial career was in biomedical research. She earned her bachelors of science degree in molecular physiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After graduation she worked at Oregon Health and Sciences University in virology lab studying the Cytomegalovirus. She then joined the U.S. Peace Corps and served as a community health and HIV/AIDS extension volunteer in Malawi. As a result of her experiences living in a substance-farming village with a high rate of untreated HIV, Christina became determined to learn health care provision skills she could utilize in underserved communities globally. In 2013 Christina completed her Masters of Science in Nursing at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Since then she has worked in an integrated care clinic providing primary care to medically complex mentally ill, homeless, and substance abusing clients of a community mental health center in Chicago. During this time she also completed the Midwest AIDS Training and Education Center’s yearlong HIV clinician scholars program and provided care to HIV positive adults. As a HEAL Initiative fellow Christina will expand her ability to provide health care across different cultural contexts and in under resourced settings. She looks forward to studying public health and has research interests in the role of community health workers as well as nurse practitioners in the global health context. She is a fellow at Chinle Indian Health Service in Chinle, Arizona and Partners in Health in Liberia.
Corina Blackwater was born and raised on the Navajo Reservation in a town named Rough Rock. She is of the Red Running into the Water clan, born for Salt People clan, her Maternal Grandfather is Black Sheep clan and Paternal Grandfather is Beneath its Clover clan. Corina worked in the healthcare field for 24 years, she received her Nursing Assistant Certification during her sophomore year in high school and worked in nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, clinics, and dialysis facility. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Northern Arizona University. She is currently employed with Chinle Indian Health Care Services as an Integrated Behavioral Health Coach. Corina speaks the Navajo language and interprets for her native people. She is passionate about American Indian Healthcare and the introduction of integrated behavioral health in her healthcare facility. Aside from work, she loves spending time with her husband and 4 children, along with reading and photography. Corina Blackwater is a fellow at Chinle Comprehensive Healthcare Facility in Chinle, Arizona.
David Pavkovich grew up in Northwest Indiana as part of a large Serbian family. He studied Biology and created an Individualized Major entitled Science and the State while at Indiana University. His studies took him to Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine where he earned his MD. While there, he tested the waters of global health by working in Senegal. He loved both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, and spent a fruitful four years at Wayne State University/Detroit Medical Center’s Med-Peds residency program. While there, he spent time with Wayne State’s HIV specialists researching antiretroviral resistance patterns. He enjoys watching and debating about movies, finding new restaurants, and fully intends to get back into hiking while in the southwest. He is a fellow at Gallup Indian Medical Center in Gallup, New Mexico and MUSO in Mali.
Dhiren Modi was born and raised in Gujarat, India. He completed his MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) in 2003 from Saurashtra University in Gujarat, where he later received his MD in Community Medicine in 2007. During his time there, he joined SEWA Rural, a voluntary organization established in South Gujarat for integrated development of the rural poor, becoming a full-time staff member. Over the past ten years, he has served in various capacities as a community health physician and managed a “Family Centered Safe Motherhood and Newborn Care Project.” He represented SEWA Rural at district, state and national level health committees & consultations and was frequently invited to share SEWA Rural’s experiences at national and international forums. He has led a variety of community-based field operational research studies and the publication of many articles in scientific and peer-reviewed journals. Dhiren introduced a new mHealth application “ImTeCHO” to improve maternal and newborn health and nutrition by empowering ASHAs through the use of mobile and phone technology in tribal and remote areas of Gujarat. His hobbies include reading and traveling. His long-term goal is to stay at remote locations to serve the rural poor. Dhiren is a fellow at SEWA Rural in India.
Doris Kollie is the Community Clinical Supervisor for Last Mile Health and works with the Rivercess County Health Team. She received her diploma through the Tubman National Institute of Medical Arts and is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science at the University of Liberia.
Elizabeth Lally is an Internal Medicine and Pediatric physician working at Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation on the Navajo Nation. She was born in Minnesota and spent her childhood both there and in Japan. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of California Berkeley in molecular and cell biology and then attended medical school at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. During her Med-Peds Residency at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, she completed global health rotations in India focusing on palliative care and primary care, as well as a rotation at Chinle Comprehensive Health Care on the Navajo Nation. In her free time, she loves to watch movies, go camping and paint landscapes. Elizabeth is a fellow at Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation.
Erin Lorencz was born and raised on a farm in the thumb of Michigan. Before college, she traveled to Kenya, where she first was given an opportunity to work with refugees. She attended Grand Valley State University, during which time she spent a summer teaching in India. She received her BA in Philosophy before spending her year prior to medical school working on airstrip construction and other development projects with an aviation NGO In Madagascar. She attended Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and enrolled in the Leadership in Medicine for the Underserved program, which took her to Flint, MI. During medical school, Erin led the Refugee Health student elective and worked as a research assistant for a pediatric HIV and neurodevelopment project in Uganda. Returning to Uganda, she completed a rotation with the Foundation for the Medical Relief of Children as well as one working with obstetric fistula patients. She finished her residency program at the Mountain Area Health Education Center in the lush and beautiful mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, where she was active in helping develop the substance abuse in pregnancy program. Her interests include access to emergency obstetric care in under-resourced settings, prevention and treatment of obstetric fistula, and substance abuse in pregnancy. Erin is a fellow at Gallup Indian Medical Center in Gallup, NM and at the Tribal Health Initiative in Sittilingi, India.
Fatima Rodriguez is originally from Mexico City. She studied Medicine at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, where she worked as an instructor in Tissue and Cell Biology for 3 years. She did her social service year in rural Chiapas, running one primary care clinic supported by the MoH and Partners In Health (PIH) Mexico. After learning that mental health disorders were highly prevalent in these communities she decided to stay and work as the Mental Health Coordinator in PIH Mexico. She has continued to integrate mental health services in rural primary care clinics by training physicians and Community Health Workers in treating mental health disorders. She is also a clinical supervisor and is very interested in improving her clinical skills to provide high quality healthcare to patients and medical education to young physicians. She is eager to learn about Global Health and other HEAL fellows’ experiences. Fátima is a site fellow at Compañeros En Salud in Mexico.
Gajanan Phutke was born and raised in Maharashtra, India. Gajanan received his medical degree from Government Medical College, Nanded. During his final year, Gajanan got in contact with a platform called ‘Nirman’ for restless youths to come together and seek life goals to do something in life beyond just earning money. His work with Nirman inspired him to work for rural healthcare. To acquire multiple speciality skills, he joined Family Medicine Residency at a rural hospital Jan Swasthya Sahyog Ganiyari in 2014. Gujanan is interested in improving rural health care especially to vulnerable groups through service, research and advocacy. Gajanan is a fellow at Jan Swasthya Sahyog in India.
Isaac Kulimushi is passionate about humanitarian work and has acquired expertise in program development, planning and management. He also has experience working in Community Health, Public Health Nutrition, Reproductive Health, HIV/AIDS and Gender-Based Violence. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Science from the Evangelic University in Africa, after which he received his Medical Degree from the University of Lubumbashi. He has attended a postgraduate course in Clinical Research, ISPED at University of Bordeaux in France. Currently, Isaac serves as the Chief Operations Officer of Muso Health based in Mali. Over the past twelve years, he has worked in DR of Congo, Rwanda, Chad, Burundi and Cameroon over the past 12 years. Isaac Kulimushi is a fellow at MUSO in Mali.
Jeanne Rittschof grew up in Eastern North Carolina where she spent her childhood catching sea creatures in the estuary. She went to Duke University where she majored in biology, then UNC Chapel Hill for medical school followed by the University of Michigan for her med/peds residency. Jeanne is currently practicing full spectrum Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock, New Mexico. She enjoys working for the Indian Health Service and caring for the Dine People. She strives to provide quality and accessible whole-person care for under-served populations and to help patients advocate for themselves with a problem-solving approach. Additionally, Jeanne would like to broaden the impact that she and other physicians can have by using their whole training to improve the effectiveness of healthcare delivery. She is a fellow at Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock, NM.
Jennifer Bass grew up in Michigan where her passion for public health was sparked at a young age by her mother’s work as a school nurse in Detroit. She went on to study Human Biology at Stanford University with a concentration in global health and infectious diseases. She decided to pursue medical training to gain both the clinical skills to serve individuals and a vantage point for shaping equitable and effective health systems. While at the University of Michigan Medical School, her experiences in the Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Chinle, AZ served to strengthen her passion for delivering care in resource-limited settings. She also got to fulfill her dream of working at the CDC where she focused on rabies control in Kenya and monkeypox surveillance in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She went on to complete training in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University where she became increasingly interested in global health education. She has been admiring the values and aims of the HEAL initiative since its creation and is thrilled to get to join the HEAL community as a fellow at Last Mile Health in Liberia and Gallup Indian Medical Center in New Mexico.
Jonas Telson was born in Germany and raised in Woodstock, New York. Jonas Telson is a graduate of the Latin American School of Medicine in Havana, Cuba. He completed a family medicine residency at the Mid-Hudson Family Medicine Residency Program near his hometown. His training included a commitment to work with the most in-need and disadvantaged members of his community, as well as a dedication to transnational humanitarianism. In his free time, Jonas is rarely found indoors. He spends his time hiking, rock climbing, swimming, and biking. Jonas is a fellow at Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock, New Mexico and at Companeros en Salud in Mexico.
Karthik Kavasseri did his Family Medicine Residency at the Mountain Area Health Education Center in Asheville, NC. He completed medical school at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, where his education was based in Grand Rapids and Flint, Michigan. He received a Bachelor of Science in Social Theory and Practice at the University of Michigan, and completed a year of Americorps in Detroit, MI prior to medical school. Karthik has always been interested in social justice and community involvement. In Detroit, he lived on an urban farm and participated in projects improving housing equity, access to healthy foods, and school lunches. It became clear through this work that being an active participant in one’s community is also a key to personal fulfillment and happiness. This worldview ultimately led him to family medicine, where he sees clear avenues for community leadership and activism. Karthik has global health experience in Uganda through the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children, and Honduras through Shoulder to Shoulder. Karthik is a fellow at the Tribal Health Initiative in Sittilingi in India and Gallup Indian Medical Center in New Mexico.
Kristin Burstedt Leonard was born in Concord, California and raised in the sunny Bay Area and Oahu, Hawaii. She majored in Biology at Saint Mary’s College in nearby Moraga, where she met the love-of-her-life, and now husband, Michael. She then attended medical school at Des Moines University where she discovered her passion for pediatrics, adult medicine, geriatrics and mental health. She decided to focus on family medicine as it emphasizes the care of the whole person. Natividad Medical Center’s mission of providing the highest quality care for the underserved drew Kristin to their Family Residency Program. Caring for the hard-working field workers at Natividad, has been an extremely humbling and enriching experience for her. While at Natividad, she led an after-school social-emotional health program for children at a local elementary school in an effort to prevent future effects of trauma, such as mental illness. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with all the wonderful people she has been blessed to call family and friends: her husband, supportive parents (including her in-laws), three brothers, two sisters-in-law, extended family and friends from all walks of life. As an eternal optimist, Kristin enjoys looking for the joy in all of life’s moments and helping to spread that joy to others. Kristin is a fellow at Natividad Medical Center in Salinas, California.
Krupali Patel was born and raised in Ndola, Zambia. Her upbringing in Africa and exposure to the poverty and lack of medical professionals there, painted a vision where social justice and healthcare would be accessible to all, including the poorest of the poor. Determined to bring this vision to life, and be an advocate and voice for the underserved, Krupali ventured to Texas, where she completed her undergraduate studies in Biochemistry and Medical Humanities at Baylor University. She took a year off after college and volunteered her time, serving in rural Zambia and in the Himalayan foothills of Rishikesh, India. She then went on to medical school at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York City and completed her residency in Internal Medicine at St. Luke’s University Hospital in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Over the years, she has been fortunate to have various global health experiences in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, India and Zambia. Her hobbies include embracing the simple, nomad life; traveling, hiking, dance and yoga. She is an Earth wanderer and environmentalist who also enjoys hugging and planting trees, sleeping under the stars and cleaning up trash from polluted rivers and forests. Krupali is excited to be a part of the UCSF Global Health team, serving with other HEAL fellows to bring an empowering change to global health equity and social justice. She is a fellow at Tuba City Regional Health Care in Arizona and Tribal Health Initiative in India.
Marwa Saleh received her medical degree from Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar and completed her residency in Family Medicine and Global Health from UT Southwestern. Marwa was born and raised in Lebanon, and left to Qatar after graduating from high school, to join an accelerated medical training program with Weill Cornell Medical College. Throughout her medical school she volunteered with NGOs for short-term medical trips in Uganda, Nepal and Ghana focusing on community health projects. Prior to graduating with her MD, she spent a year between Tanzania working at a local hospital and medical school, Geneva, working with the UNHCR on resources for health workers, and Lebanon assisting with the early response to the local refugee crisis. Marwa completed her Family Medicine Residency training at UT Southwestern, where she helped establish their Global Health track, elective and partnerships in Guatemala. Marwa is a fellow at Possible in Nepal.
Max Weston received his Family Medicine residency training at Swedish First Hill in Seattle, Washington. He was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan and studied biology at the University of Michigan. While there he developed his medical interest through a focus on ethics and social justice. He attended medical school at Michigan State University where he received additional training in underserved leadership. With broad medical interests, he pursued Family Medicine to address the medical need in a variety of populations and settings. He has trained and worked in urban, rural, wilderness, and international locations including Nicaragua, Uganda and Malawi. Max serves as a fellow at Gallup Indian Medical Center in Gallup, New Mexico and at Jan Swasthya Sahyog in India.
Miguel C Gómez was a resident at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in Martinez, California. He grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico and did his undergraduate studies in biology and history at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. He then went on to complete his MD at the University of New Mexico. His interest in global health was kindled as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali. He has done global health work in Mali, Kenya, Malawi and Mexico. When he has time, he loves to collect and listen to records, read, run in the hills, and go camping/backpacking with his beagle. Miguel serves as a fellow at Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock, New Mexico and at Compañeros en Salud in Mexico.
Myra Francisco was born in a small community on the Navajo reservation called Lupton, Arizona. She is of the Water Flows Together clan born for the Black Streaked Wood People, her maternal grandfather is of the One Walks Around clan, and her paternal grandfather is of the Bitter Water clan. She was raised in Phoenix, Arizona and Lupton, Arizona. Myra has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Education with an emphasis on Community Health Promotion, an Associate Degree in Nursing, and a Masters in Administration with an emphasis in Health Sciences. She has worked with the Indian Health Services for approximately eleven years and has worked in Crownpoint, NM, Gallup, NM, and Phoenix, AZ. Myra has worked in a diverse range of settings, including adult/pediatrics, medical/surgical, float pool, infusion/wound care and as a Nurse Educator. She has also worked as a Research Nurse for the National Institute of Health. She is currently the Lead Clinical Cohort Liaison for the Navajo Birth Cohort Study and a fellow at Gallup Indian Medical Center. Myra has chosen to work within IHS and Tribal systems as a way to give back to those who have supported her. As a recipient of direct-care services herself, she recognizes there are many challenges and areas that need improvement and hopes to empower those who receive care and provide care at these facilities. Aside from her professional career, Myra loves being an aunt, traveling to new places, walking, and spending as much time as possible with family. Myra serves as a fellow at Gallup Indian Medical Center in Gallup, New Mexico.
Nadra Crawford was a resident at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center. She was born in Los Angeles, CA, received her bachelor’s degree from Colby College in Waterville, ME, and completed medical school at the Escuela Latino Américana de Medicina in Havana, Cuba. Nadra became interested in healing and bridging the gap between healthcare and her community at an early age. When she was 13, she participated in a “medical mission” in the Caribbean where she witnessed commensurate health inequities. These experiences led to her studying medicine abroad, working in the Amazon with the forgotten indigenous people of Peru, and joining the HEAL Initiative. Nadra is a fellow at LifeLong Medical Center in California and Possible in Nepal.
Nathaniel Uchtmann grew up on a family farm in Illinois, where formative experiences shaped a deep respect for natural beauty and complexity. Building on that important early exposure to “real-world interconnectivity”, he also greatly enjoyed classroom opportunities to study connections through college coursework in Natural Sciences, Humanities, and Romantic Poetry. After completing his undergraduate degree at Southern Illinois University, he volunteered for one year in Kenya, which confirmed the suspicion that “unity through diversity” and “global citizenship” were not empty abstractions, but well worth pursuing. Afterwards, he completed a Law Degree, Master’s Degree in Environmental Sciences, and Medical Degree at the University of Illinois–with the aim of exploring joint promotion of environmental conservation and poverty reduction at the global level. He finished his residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics in June 2017 at the University of Illinois in Peoria. Nathaniel is a fellow at Natividad Medical Center in Salinas, California and Last Mile Health in Liberia.
Pragya Rimal was born and raised in Kathmandu, Nepal. She is currently working with Possible as a fellow and as the Mental Health Research Manager where she leads mental health implementation research. Pragya has a Masters in Psychology from India and has experience working with NGO’s, in both clinical and educational settings. She aims to expand her horizon in global health, with a special focus on global mental health. Further, Pragya wants to specialize in adolescent and geriatric mental health. As a future project, Pragya would like to better understand mental disorders across cultures using a combined approach of both sociology and psychology. Pragya has an exceedingly positive and balanced attitude towards her work, herself and her surroundings. She is passionate about mental health and wishes to continue working in rural and marginalized communities, where the need for care and the neglect of mental health are both high. In a country with 27.8 million people, 53 psychiatrists and less than 60 psychologists, majority of whom are based in urban areas, Pragya wishes to continue working in rural Nepal. Pragya is a fellow at Possible in Nepal.
Rachel Lusk grew up in northern Arizona and received her B.S. in Biology and Society from Arizona State University. She then received her medical degree from the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix, and completed her pediatrics residency at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Her time volunteering at a family homeless shelter throughout college and medical school inspired her to pursue a career caring for underserved populations as a physician, and she was fortunate to have global health experiences in Mexico, Malawi and Kenya. She is passionate about primary care for underserved patients and medical education. She is excited to continue learning about caring for underserved communities locally and abroad as a HEAL Fellow. Rachel is a fellow at Natividad Medical Center in Salinas, CA and SEWA Rural in India.
Ravikumar Manoharan is a rural surgeon working with Tribal Health Initiative in a remote forested valley in South India. After his medical graduation, his life changed while working with this unique community health program. With a commitment to work on tribal health issues, he went on to study Public Health in London. He then worked with another tribal community in central India where malaria and tuberculosis were rampant. He has finished the rural surgery training program and has ever since returned to Sittilingi to manage a 30-bed tribal hospital and train young doctors willing to work in rural areas. Ravi is a fellow at Tribal Health Initiative in India.
Rebecca White is a recent graduate of the psychiatry residency at Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, CA. She grew up in the small town of Eaton Rapids in Michigan. After her first year of college, she took a year off and served in a small medical clinic in a rural village in the Philippines which sparked her interest in global health and inspired her to pursue medical training. When she came back she obtained an undergraduate degree in International Rescue and Relief at Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska and went on to complete her medical training at Loma Linda University. During medical school, she became passionate about mental health and decided to focus her career on improving global mental health services. In her spare time, she enjoys sewing, hiking, reading, and learning new things. Rebecca is a fellow at Chinle Medical Center in Arizona and Possible in Nepal.
Rodrigo Bazúa was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico. He studied medicine at the Faculty of Medicine of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). After graduating from medical school in 2015, he completed his social service year as a primary-care physician in rural Chiapas with Compañeros en Salud (CES). After finishing his social service year, Rodrigo served as the Community Health Programs Coordinator and Clinical Supervisor with CES, mainly working with Community Health Workers. Rodrigo is passionate about strengthening health systems and health equity. He is very excited to join the HEAL family. Rodrigo is a fellow at Compañeros en Salud in Mexico.
Sheryl B. Livingston was born and raised on the Navajo Reservation on the outskirts of Gallup, New Mexico. Sheryl is of the Towering House Clan, born for the Meadow People. Her maternal grandfather is of the Water’s Edge People, and her paternal grandfather is of the Bitter Water Clan. Sheryl attended Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Sociology with an emphasis in medical care and gerontology. After receiving her degree, she taught preschool and special education on the Navajo Reservation. She also worked with at-risk youth in an experiential outdoor program. During this time, she also worked with an early intervention program for infants and children and their immediate caregivers. It is through this early intervention program that she became more aware of the need for mental health services in the community. She returned back to school and received her Master’s Degree in Counseling from the University of New Mexico. She is currently working with Gallup Indian Medical Center as a Licensed Clinical Counselor. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, coloring, gardening and traveling, especially spending time with her son. Sheryl is a fellow at Gallup Indian Medical Center in Gallup, NM.
Susana Samaniego was born in Washington, D.C. After a charmed childhood in the nation’s capital, she moved to Chicago, IL, for her undergraduate studies at the University of Chicago, where she spent her junior year abroad in Seville, Spain. A double major in Biological Sciences and Spanish Literature prepared her not at all for her time after college as a Hollywood nanny in Los Angeles, CA, but it did help her figure out that she wanted to be a doctor. So, she returned to the midwest to attend the Chicago Medical School, where she fell in love with surgery. She completed her Surgical Residency at New York Medical College/Westchester Medical Center, and decided to practice General Surgery as a locum tenens physician, traveling to underserved communities across the United States in need of surgical services. Growing up as a first-generation American, with parents who emigrated from Paraguay in South America, Susana was fortunate enough to begin traveling the globe at a very young age. In her travels, she began to understand the disparities in access to basic necessities, including healthcare, across different populations and socioeconomic groups. This inspired her to pursue a career not only in healthcare but also global health. From free medical clinics in Chicago to rural surgery in Ecuador to Orthopedic Surgery in Taiwan and Urology in India, she has volunteered at home and abroad to help those in need. She is excited to join the HEAL team and learn how to continue to provide access to care to the most vulnerable populations. Susana will serve at Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock, NM, and Companeros en Salud in Chiapas, Mexico.
Viet Nguyen was born and raised in the cultural melting pot ofSouthern California. She became an advocate for human rights in college, raising awareness about world hunger and Oxfam, and lobbying for HIV/AIDS programs in Washington, D.C. This led to her receiving her public health graduate degree at UC Berkeley, where she studied infectious diseases and global health, investigating risk factors for Hepatitis B and C co-infections in HIV positive patients in Jos, Nigeria. She then returned to Southern California for medical school at UCLA, where she worked with Child Family Health International in Dehradun, India, and then later completed an HIV elective in Malawi. Her passion for advocacy and social justice drew her to the mental health field, completing psychiatry residency at UCLA, where she was the first community and global mental health chief resident. Viet also volunteers for Physicians for Human Rights, conducting asylum evaluations for victims of torture in Los Angeles, as she is particularly interested in refugee mental health. She was fortunate enough to create global mental health electives in Indonesia and rural South Africa during residency, and considers herself even more fortunate to be serving at Possible in Nepal and the Department of Mental Health in Los Angeles.
William Shunkamolah is a member of the Osage, Navajo, Kiowa,and Tohono O’odham tribes. He received my Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Montana in Missoula, MT. William grew up in NM, but have lived and worked in various Native communities in Arizona, Oklahoma, and Montana. His thesis and dissertation research focused on American Indian people’s grief and bereavement experience, which he explored using both qualitative and quantitative methods. He completed his postdoctoral residency at the San Carlos Apache Tribal Wellness Center in San Carlos Arizona, and completed his internship at the Indian Health Care Resource Center of Tulsa in Tulsa, OK. He will have been employed with the Indian Health Service at the Gallup Indian Medical Center in Gallup NM for 3 years this October, and have been the Acting Director of Behavioral Health since the beginning of 2017. He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, music and concerts, movies, and various sporting events. William is a fellow at Gallup Indian Medical Center in Gallup, NM.