Why MedGlobal?

MedGlobal works in hard-to-reach areas, devastated by conflict, natural disasters, ethnic cleansing, and other crises, where communities struggle with access to healthcare.

Mission

MedGlobal is a humanitarian and health non-governmental organization (NGO) working to serve vulnerable communities around the world by providing innovative, free, and healthcare. Our health services support refugees, displaced persons, and other marginalized communities in conflict-affected and low-resource settings around the world. 

Vision

Our vision is a world without healthcare disparities.

How we Started

Launched in June 2017, MedGlobal was established by a diverse group of physicians, nurses, public health specialists, and medical providers experienced in humanitarian medicine and emergency services to address the health needs of the most vulnerable across the world.

What we do

MedGlobal provides free, sustainable healthcare services to refugees, displaced persons, and most vulnerable in crisis-affected areas and low-resource settings worldwide.

MedGlobal supports local medical providers and humanitarian partners, builds capacity through critical health training, works with local communities on public health issues, deploys healthcare volunteers, and donates medical equipment, medications and supplies. These services provide life-saving and life-sustaining care, based on needs-assessments and best practices, to the most vulnerable around the world.

Our Programs

  • Disasters and Emergency Response
  • Healthcare Services
    • Infectious Disease
    • Non-Communicable Diseases
    • Maternal and Child Health
  • Mental Health and Psychosocial Support
  • Training and Education
    • Critical Care
    • ICU Nursing Care
    • Empathy
    • Helping Babies Breath
    • Point of Care Ultrasound
  • Building Healthcare Infrastructure
  • Public Health and Epidemiology
  • Nutrition
  • Quality Improvement

Since its inception in 2017, MedGlobal has deployed more than 455 medical volunteers to 15 different countries. MedGlobal has donated more than $1,000,000 of medications, medical supplies, and equipment. Our medical volunteers have donated more than $4,536,897 of professional medical services, with over 35,556 hours of service, and provided dozens of training courses to local healthcare providers

Our Core Values

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Humanitarianism

Striving to alleviate human suffering, protect life and health, and ensure respect for the most vulnerable regardless of their backgrounds while embracing universal humanitarian principles.

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Diversity

Believing that the diversity of the volunteers and staff enriches the organization and makes it easier to connect with the populations served globally.

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Cultural Competency

Accepting, and striving to understand, the differences in cultures, beliefs, and values of the populations served without prejudice or judgment.

Diversity
Volunteerism

Embracing volunteering and giving at all levels. Medical professionals are encouraged to give their time, skills, knowledge, leadership and charity to those in need.

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Professionalism

Expecting the highest conduct of medical professionals based on best practices, quality care, and evidence-based guidelines.

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Partnership and Collaboration

Sustaining the organization’s impact by working together with and training of local partners.

Purpose & Operating Principles

MedGlobal provides sustainable healthcare services to refugees, the displaced, and most vulnerable in crisis areas and low resources countries worldwide by deploying diverse short term volunteer medical missions and partnering with local organizations.

We are committed to implementing our missions based on the following operating principles:

Sustainable Impact

 Rendering positive, measurable, and sustainable impact on our beneficiaries by providing quality, free, immediate, relevant, lasting, and life-saving healthcare services to populations who may not have access to such services and collecting data to analyze the outcomes.  

 
Intense Leverage
Leveraging every dollar raised or donated through incorporating volunteerism of highly skilled medical professionals, in-kind donations, the use of technology and innovations and training.
High Visibility

Achieving high visibility for our work and partners through our active presence on multiple platforms including online and social media, digital marketing, smart advocacy, and earned media.

Board Members

Dr. Zaher Sahloul, President

Co-founder, President

Dr. Zaher Sahloul is a Critical Care specialist at Advocate Christ Medical Center and Associate Professor in Clinical Medicine at the University of Illinois in Chicago. 


He was instrumental in providing medical relief to help the civilian population in his homeland of Syria, especially in devastated Aleppo. He is on the advisory board of the Syrian Community Network and the Center for Public Health and Human Rights at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. He has written widely about the medical and humanitarian crisis in Syria and is a recognized Muslim speaker in the interfaith circles. 


In 2016, Dr. Sahloul was awarded the Chicagoan of the Year for risking his life in medical missions to Aleppo. He also received many other awards including the “Heroes Among Us” award by American Red Cross, Dr. Robert Kirschner’s Award for Global Activism by Heartland Alliance Kovler Center 2017, the Commitment to Change Award by the National Immigration Justice Center for his commitment to human rights, and the Shine a Light on Global Refugee Crisis and annual humanitarian award by UNICEF Chicago 2017.

 

In 2017, he co-founded MedGlobal and currently serves as its president.

Hena Ibrahim (board)

Dr. Hena Ibrahim, Interim Executive Director, Secretary

Interim Executive Director, Board Member

Dr. Hena Ibrahim is a Pediatrician based in Chicago. She completed her residency at Cook County Hospital and is currently in private practice at Saint Anthony Hospital where she also served as Medical Director of Ambulatory Services.

Dr. Ibrahim began her medical relief work in 2016, assisting Syrian refugees stranded in Greece along the Macedonian border. Since then, she has participated and led medical teams to various countries including Jordan, Bangladesh and Pakistan and began MedGlobal’s Rohingya refugee program in Bangladesh in 2017.

Moeen Saleem (board)

Moeen Saleem, MD

Board Member

Dr. Moeen Saleem is a physician, specializing in Cardiac Electrophysiology at the Advocate Medical Group in the western suburbs of Chicago. He received his M.D. at the University of South Carolina and did his residency in Internal Medicine at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s, where he was chief resident and completed a fellowship in Cardiology. He did a fellowship in Cardiac Electrophysiology at Northwestern Memorial, University Hospital.

Tracy Ibgui, RN

Board Member

Tracy Ibgui is a registered nurse with extensive experience in neonatal ICU nursing and case management.

Her humanitarian nursing experience began in 2010 in Haiti after the earthquake and has since participated in medical missions around the world. She is a human rights activist and has served as a member and on leadership teams of various human rights organizations.

Ted Barnett (board)

Ted Barnett, MD

Board Member

Dr. Barnett is a critical care physician. His professional life has been spent primarily in academics — at the University of Illinois, the University of Hawai’i, Medical College of Wisconsin, Louisiana State University and the University of Central Florida. He has participated in international medical work since 1989 and refugee work since 1993 working in more than twenty countries. He earned a Master’s degree in Medical Anthropology at the University of Hawai’i. He was given the Governor’s Community Service Award and the Distinguished Service Award from The American College of Chest Physicians and was awarded a Fulbright Senior Scholar fellowship in 2008 to teach and conduct research in Nepal. He currently lives in Melbourne, Florida.

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Leonard Rubenstein, JD

Board Member

Leonard Rubenstein is a lawyer who has spent his career in human rights and now focuses particularly on health and human rights, especially the protection of health in armed conflict,  and the roles of health professionals in human rights. At Johns Hopkins, he is a core faculty member of the Center for Public Health and Human Rights and the Berman Institute of Bioethics. Prior to coming to Johns Hopkins, he served as Executive Director and then President of Physicians for Human Rights, as a Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace, and as Executive Director of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law. 

 

Mr. Rubenstein’s current work includes advancing the protection of health facilities, patients, and health workers in situations of conflict, advancing refugee and migrant health and rights, exploring the ethical responsibilities of health professionals to advance human rights including in situations of violent conflict.  Mr. Rubenstein founded and chairs the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition.

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Nahreen Ahmed, MD

Board Member

Dr. Nahreen Ahmed is originally from the Greater Philadelphia area, she attended Drexel University College of Medicine and subsequently went on to residency at the University of Illinois in Chicago where she concomitantly completed her Masters Degree in Public Health and was also invited to stay on for a Chief Residency. She went on to pursue a fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical care at NYU/Bellevue which is also where she launched her Global Health Career by founding the Bangladesh Ultrasound Initiative, a training program for critical care physicians in Dhaka, Bangladesh. This program has now successfully seen over 150 physicians trained in bedside ultrasound and has become self-sustaining. She joined the faculty at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and is currently an Assistant Professor in Clinical Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care as well as a Penn Center for Global Health Scholar. Within one year she trained the entire faculty of the division of Critical Care in Point-of-Care Ultrasound as well as co-founded the Philadelphia Area Critical Care Ultrasound Program which is the first of its kind in the area wherein all 7 city hospitals were brought together to train all incoming Critical Care fellows in Point-of-Care Ultrasound. This training program has now been ongoing for the last two years and has trained over 100 fellows. After the success of the Bangladesh training program and the Philadelphia training program she has participated in similar programs in Ethiopia with the East African Training Initiative, and subsequently has worked to bring Ultrasound training and medical care to crisis zones such as Yemen, Sierra Leone, and the Rohingya Refugee Camps in Bangladesh with MedGlobal. Dr. Ahmed has a strong belief in capacity building with the aid of technology and telecommunications and that the key to sustainability in global medicine is via medical education and a hands-on training approach which empowers local clinicians.

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LaDale George

Board Member

A highly experienced legal advisor and strategic counselor on regulatory compliance and business transactions, LaDale George concentrates his regulatory compliance practice on advising healthcare clients and his transactional counsel on healthcare and non‐healthcare corporate matters. LaDale guides clients engaged in traditional and innovative healthcare businesses through complicated regulatory frameworks, including FDA and FTC regulated pharmaceutical, medical device (software), and biologics clinical research, clinical development, and post‐approval marketing compliance; telehealth/telemedicine; and multi‐state provider licensing compliance. LaDale’s primary client base ranges from startups to FORTUNE 100 companies. His focus is on technology‐enabled healthcare companies, small to large pharmaceutical, medical device and in vitro diagnostic companies, and traditional healthcare providers engaged in the development or integration of technology in healthcare. In addition, LaDale reserves about 10 percent of his practice time to provide legal services to charitable organizations engaged in national and international social justice and advocacy campaigns, and disaster relief and reconstruction efforts.

Alfredo Mena-Lora

Alfredo Mena-Lora, MD

Board Member

Alfredo J Mena-Lora, MD, FACP is an infectious diseases specialist and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). He practices at the University of Illinois Hospital and at Saint Anthony Hospital, where he leads infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship. He enjoys working with underserved communities in Chicago and abroad. Dr Mena-Lora has a passion for teaching residents, fellows and students and serves as Program Director for the Infectious Diseases fellowship program at UIC and Clerkship Director for Internal Medicine at Saint Anthony Hospital. His research interests include infection prevention, antimicrobial use and resistance in the United States and internationally. He is an active member of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America and the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

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Sam Song, MD

Board Member

Dr. Sam Song is an Obstetrician/ Gynecologist based south of Seattle. Her focus is Women’s Health. She received her MD from the Medical College of Pennsylvania and completed her residency at the University of California, Fresno.

Dr. Song has been a practicing physician for over 20 years and began her medical relief work in 2015. Recently, her relief work has taken her to Jordan, Greece, and Sierra Leone as part of a global response team to provide care for Syrian refugees and local citizens. She currently sits as a board member on Women Physicians for Humanity and MedGlobal.

Riley_Jones

Riley Jones, MD

Board Member

Riley G. Jones is a recent addition to the MedGlobal team, having joined our Colombia program in February 2020. He is an academic hospitalist and director of the internal medicine global health program at the University of Florida. He earned his MD from the University of Louisville before completing his training in internal medicine. He completed his master’s degrees in conflict, security, & development studies in global health as well as biostatistics from King’s College London and Tulane University, respectively, as well as completing the Gorgas DTM&H in Lima, Peru. He specializes in health system rebuilding in conflict-affected and post-civil war settings and his research focuses on the impact of peace negotiations on health outcomes between armed groups, public health interventions in low-resource and complex humanitarian emergencies, and the role of the health sector in reinforcing transitions to peace.

Joshua_Hoyt

Joshua Hoyt

Board Member

Joshua (“Josh”) Hoyt has been a community, electoral, immigrant rights, faith, and consumer organizer for the past 44 years. He has worked as Executive Director / Senior Organizer for local, metropolitan, state-wide, and national organizations, and worked in the USA as well as South and Central America and Europe. His areas of strength include issue campaigns; the connection of building community and electoral power; and the training and mentoring of organizers and executive directors.

Since 2002 Josh has worked in leadership positions in the immigrant rights movement. From 2012 to 2020 Josh was the founding Executive Director of the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA); from 2002 to 2012 he was the Executive Director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR); and in 2010 he was a founding co-chair of the Illinois and the American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC). Josh is on the Boards of Directors for the American Business Immigration Coalition and MedGlobal.

Over the course of his career Josh has organized campaigns that have changed electoral demographics through naturalization and GOTV; caused Illinois to have among the most immigrant friendly policies in the U.S.; won healthcare for 170,000 working poor; won housing improvements for thousands of low income tenants and national policy changes; won refunds of hundreds of millions of $ from utility companies; and made police enforcement less discriminatory.

During his career Josh has worked with and learned from many of the pre-eminent organizing networks in the U.S., including the Center for Community Change, the Industrial Areas Foundation, the Gamaliel Foundation; and National People’s Action. Josh was educated at the University of Illinois and the Universidad Central de Barcelona, Spain, and received his Master’s Degree from the University of Chicago. He has testified before Congress; spoken to such national media as the Leher News Hour, the O’Reilly Factor, the Lou Dobbs Show, the Glenn Beck Show, and the New York Times and Wall Street Journal; published opinion pieces and articles in the Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, the Huffington Post, U.S. Catholic, and other magazines; and directed several political campaigns. He speaks fluent Spanish and limited Portuguese.

Rolla_Sweis

Rolla Sweis, PharmD, MA, BCPS

Board Member

Dr. Rolla Sweis is currently the Vice President of Operations at Advocate Christ Medical Center. She is responsible for the operations of the medical center and driving growth within all service lines. Before taking that role, Rolla served as the Executive Director of Pharmacy where she oversaw multiple advocate hospitals, specialty pharmacy, and ambulatory pharmacy services. Rolla was the Director of Pharmacy at Christ Medical Center and Children’s Hospital-Oak Lawn from 2012-2017. At Christ Medical Center, from 2009-2011 Rolla served as the clinical manager and from 2004-2009 Rolla was the ED Clinical Coordinator. Throughout her experience, Rolla set up clinical services in the ED, optimized and expanded clinical services throughout both hospitals, started the ED Pharmacy residency program, led the pharmacy renovation and expansion, and implemented automation in the pharmacy. Many of these initiatives resulted in several million dollars in savings annually. Prior to starting at Christ Medical Center, Rolla started her career as a pharmacist at South Suburban Hospital. Rolla received two ASHP Best Practices Awards for her work in the ED in 2006 and 2008. Rolla holds a Doctorate of Pharmacy from the University of Illinois and a Master’s in Organizational Leadership.

Stevan_Weine

Stevan Weine, MD

Board Member

Dr. Weine is Professor of Psychiatry at the UIC College of Medicine, where he also Director of Global Medicine and Director of the Center for Global Health. For 30 years he has been conducting research both with refugees and migrants in the U.S. and in post-conflict countries, focused on mental health, health, and violence prevention. His research mission is to develop, implement, and evaluate psychosocial interventions that are feasible, acceptable, and effective with respect to the complex real-life contexts where at-risk populations live. This work has been supported by multiple grants from the NIMH, NICHD, DHS, NIJ, and other state, federal, and private funders, all with collaboration from community partners. This work has resulted in more than 130 publications and two books: When History is a Nightmare: Lives and Memories of Ethnic Cleansing in Bosnia-Herzegovina (Rutgers, 1999) and Testimony and Catastrophe: Narrating the Traumas of Political Violence (Northwestern, 2006). He has been awarded two Career Scientist Awards: “Services Based Research with Refugee Families” from the National Institute of Mental Health and “Labor Migration and Multilevel HIV Prevention” from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Dr. Weine is the 2020 recipient of the Abraham L. Halpern Humanitarian Award of the American Association for Social Psychiatry.

Mohammed_Abunada

Mohammed Abunada

Board Member

 

Our Team

Hena Ibrahim (board)

Dr. Hena Ibrahim, Interim Executive Director, Secretary

Interim Executive Director, Board Member

Dr. Hena Ibrahim is a Pediatrician and humanitarian serving as Interim Executive Director for MedGlobal. She has been on the Board of Directors since its inception in 2017. She began her medical relief work in 2016, assisting Syrian refugees stranded in Greece along the Macedonian border. Since then, she has participated and led medical teams to various countries including Jordan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. She also began MedGlobal’s flagship program for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

Dr. Ibrahim graduated Cum Laude in International Relations and Pre-Medicine from Loyola University and holds a medical degree from St. George’s University. She is currently in private practice, where she also served as Medical Director of Outpatient Services. She is Board-Certified in Pediatrics and has been teaching both medical students and residents for the last 10 years, receiving an Excellence in Teaching award.

Kat_Fallon

Kathleen Fallon, Director of Policy and Communications

Director of Policy and Communications

Kat is responsible for coordinating MedGlobal’s policy, advocacy, and communications work internationally. She is a human rights and humanitarian policy specialist with over 9 years of experience. Before joining MedGlobal, she previously held positions as the Senior Humanitarian Advocacy Lead at The Syria Campaign, where she worked with Syrian medical professionals and rescue workers, the Advocacy and Communications Manager at the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), and the Executive Manager at STAND, an advocacy organization focused on preventing and ending mass atrocities. She also has previous experience working with civil society organizations and conducting research in Rwanda, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon.

Kat holds a Master of Science in Public Health with a focus in International Health from the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health and an Master of Arts with a focus in Conflict Management and International Economics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). In her free time, Kat enjoys hiking with her dog Waffle and reading memoirs of musicians.

Ann_Madsen

Ann Madsen, Grants and Development Manager

Grants and Development Manager

Ann is a grant and development professional, with over 7 years of experience working for nonprofits in the human rights and humanitarian realm. As the Grants and Development Manager for MedGlobal, Ann coordinates the development and oversight of grants, drafts proposals and oversees donor relations. Prior to joining MedGlobal, Ann was the Associate Director of Development for 1736 Family Crisis Center in Los Angeles, where she developed programs serving the homeless community and victims of domestic violence in Southern California. She also worked at the Syrian American Medical Society Foundation, writing and overseeing grants focused on providing healthcare to internally displaced Syrians and Syrian refugees. Ann previously worked in Kosovo at the European Center for Minority Issues, developing and managing programs promoting the social, political and economic inclusion of minority communities in Kosovo. She also has experience working with civil society organizations to promote the rights of vulnerable groups in Chile and the UK. Ann holds a Master of Arts in Human Rights Theory and Practice from the University of Essex and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Tulane University.s

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Denisse Pareja Valarezo, Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist

Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist

 

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Emma Forte Sczudlo, Missions Coordinator

Missions Coordinator 

Emma works with MedGlobal’s field teams to plan and implement programs in the countries where MedGlobal works. Before beginning work for MedGlobal, Emma worked as Program Coordinator for international nonprofit organization Bridge to Health, where she organized missions to Kenya and Uganda, among other duties. Emma also has experience in the education sector, having worked as the Director of Client Engagement for an educational consulting company, and in procurement and marketing, as she owns an online business manufacturing and selling products of her design. Emma holds a Masters of Science in Global Medicine from the University of Southern California and a Bachelors of Science in Neuroscience from the University of California Santa Cruz.

Becca_Sheehy

Becca Sheehy, Volunteer Coordinator

Volunteer Coordinator

Becca is passionate about helping MedGlobal volunteers find an opportunity that suits their interests and specialty. She also oversees the Internship Program, Telemedicine Projects, and POCUS Projects. Prior to joining MedGlobal, she held positions in the U.S. refugee resettlement field, as well as the public sector. Becca holds certificates in Project Management as well as a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Interior Design from Iowa State University.  She is an avid sports fan, gardening enthusiast, and can often be found cycling around Chicago neighborhoods.

Abdelsamad_Abdalla

Abdelsamad Abdalla, Sudan Program Manager

Sudan Program Manager

Abdelsamad Abdalla is responsible for MedGlobal’s overall operations in Sudan. He specializes in preventive medicine, particularly on communicable diseases and outbreak control. Before joining MedGlobal, he previously held positions as the Program Manager for World Vision International, Project Manager for National Initiatives for Development Organization, a Public Health Consultant for Communicable Disease Control, and an EPI consultant for the Sudan Ministry of Health. Abdelsamad holds a Bachelor’s of Public Health from the University of El Imam El Mahdi School of Medicine and Health Science, as well as a Diploma of Pharmaceutical Studies with a focus in pathology from Leicester Medical Academy School of Public Health and a Diploma of Computer Science from the University of Nyala.

Labib_Tazone_Utshab

Labib Tazone Utshab, Bangladesh Program Manager

Bangladesh Program Manager

Labib is a development professional who is responsible for the overall MedGlobal’s operations in Bangladesh. In prior rolse, Labib worked as a Liaison Coordinator at C3NTRE under Bangladesh Urban Resilience Project, where he coordinated with ministries including the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief. He also held the role of Advocacy Officer at NGO Forum for Public Health where he worked directly with Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission- RRRC, local government, and other local civil society organizations. Labib leads ‘Light to Life,’ a youth-led organization which advocates for youth mental health in Bangladesh. As a recognition for his contribution in the development sector, he received the ‘Joy Bangla Youth Award’ from Centre for Research and Information (CRI). Labib holds a Master’s degree in Development Studies focused in Development Policy and a Bachelor’s degree in Disaster and Human Security Management from Bangladesh University of Professionals. Labib is fun-loving and a great cyclist. 

Angela Restrepo

Angela Restrepo, Colombia Program Manager

Colombia Program Manager

Angela is an internationalist and political scientist, who works as the Colombia Program Manager coordinating MedGlobal’s operations and relations with partners, local government, and other NGOs. She used to work for the local government as part of the team at the border and international cooperation secretary in Cúcuta, Norte de Santander. Angela worked with migrant and refugee populations coming from Venezuela, and created public policy, coordinated with GIFMM partners, and supported government programs designed to deliver services to migrant communities. She has also worked as a University Teacher at the Air Force Intelligence School located in Bogotá, Colombia. Angela holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Political Science from Nueva Granada Militar University.

Catherine_Bell

Catherine Bell, Communications Fellow

Communications Fellow

Cat is a human rights advocate and digital storyteller responsible for MedGlobal’s communications work, in print and online. She previously held the position of Marketing Director at Nō Studios, a creative arts hub in Milwaukee, WI founded by Oscar Winner, John Ridley. She has previous experience working with non-profit organizations, and has conducted field research in Madre de Dios, Peru, on rural-urban migration of indigenous youth. Cat holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs and Latin American Studies from the Marquette University College of Arts & Sciences.

Kiki_Swanson

Kiki Swanson, Administrative Coordinator

Administrative Coordinator

Kiki is a global public health specialist, who works closely with the Executive Director and Board of Directors to coordinate and manage activities at MedGlobal. Before joining MedGlobal, she previously held positions as the Project Coordinator and then Grants and Program Manager at The Samburu Project, where she currently serves on the Board of Directors as the Secretary. She also has previous experience working with organizations and conducting research in Kenya, Bhutan, Ghana, Rwanda, and Ethiopia. Kiki holds a Bachelor of Science in Integrative Physiology from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a Master of Public Health with a focus in Global Health Program Design, Monitoring, and Evaluation and Infectious Disease from the Boston University School of Public Health.