Our Team

our team

OUR TEAM | OUR EXECUTIVE BOARD

 

Our Team

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NICK ELLIS, MD
Emergency Medicine Physician
MEDLIFE Executive Director & Founder
 
Dr. Ellis was first inspired to create MEDLIFE through working with a local organization in Panama in 2001.  It was there that he saw how effective a grassroots organization could be in listening to the needs of people living in resource-poor settings.  From there Dr. Ellis lived and worked in Ecuador and Peru.  He continued to see that organizations that had strong community ties were able to best meet the needs of these communities.  During that time he also translated for medical missions, he quickly appreciated the resources that could be brought to bear in a resource-poor community but felt the strong communities ties were missing.  It was here that the idea for MEDLIFE was born.  Dr. Ellis felt that if he could create a community-based, community-led development organization that prioritized listening and empowering community leaders and changing key elements to the medical mission model (working with local doctors, ensuring patient follow-up) that we could improve on the medical mission model.  In 2004 Dr. Ellis led the first trip of volunteers on what would become the mobile clinic model.
 
On his own initiative, Dr. Ellis began working with doctors in Ecuador to deliver medical services to rural villages in the Andes mountain range. After encountering patients who were in need of surgical intervention, Dr. Ellis returned to Maine and, with the help of committed students, raised money to pay for these patients medical care.
 
In 2011, Dr. Ellis received his Medical Doctorate from Dartmouth Medical School. He then went on to finish his Emergency Medicine residency at Dartmouth as well.  He says that he chose Emergency Medicine because often in resource-poor settings the ER is the primary care doctor and that trauma and EMS services are major areas for development in the developing world.
 
His future goals for the organization are twofold. Firstly, to develop MEDLIFE into a leading global health NGO that works in resource-poor settings worldwide to establish better and more sustainable access to healthcare, education and a safe home. Secondly, to educate and empower students along the way, setting anyone interested in global health or international development on a clear path toward impacting a positive change in our world.
 
Dr. Ellis currently lives with his wife and 3 dogs in Lima, Peru where he works out of our international headquarters.  Each month he travels to the US to work his ER shifts. 
   
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MARTHA CHICAIZA
Director of MEDLIFE Ecuador
 
Martha was born and has spent most of her life in Riobamba, Ecuador. She has been involved with MEDLIFE since 2002 and served as Director of MED Programs Ecuador since May 2008. Martha coordinates our Mobile Clinics and community development projects in Ecuador arranges patient follow-up care and assists MEDLIFE's interns. 
ALBERTO PAREDES
Director of MEDLIFE Lima  & Director of Finances for Field Offices
 
MEDLIFE's first employee in Peru, Alberto has worked in the logistics of the Service Learning Trips in the country since day one.
He is a skilled and efficient administrator, and coordinates all aspects of our Mobile Clinics in Lima and Cusco, working tirelessly to ensure that all participants have educational, meaningful, and safe experience.
NEEMA LYIMO
Director of MEDLIFE Tanzania
 
Born in Tanzania, Neema holds a B.S. in Human Nutrition from the Sokoine University of Agriculture, and an MPH from the Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences.
She was introduced to MEDLIFE in 2014, and since then, has become increasingly more involved in the development of the organization in Tanzania.
HEIDY ASPILCUETA
Director of MEDLIFE Cusco
 
Born in Cusco, Peru, Heidy graduated in Computer Engineering at the San Antonio Abad University and has an MBA from ESAN Business School with an emphasis in Finances. Heidy has about ten years of experience organizing travel, volunteer and other education programs for international participants in Peru and other countries in Latin America.
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CARLOS BENAVIDES
Director of MED Programs Lima
 
Carlos has lived most of his life in Lima, Peru where spent over 20 years working in community development. Serving first as a community leader and later and larger scale community organizing efforts, Carlos joined the MEDLIFE team in 2010 right when it began in Lima. Carlos oversees all projects and clinics in Lima and helps build stronger working relationships with our communities. 
TIM ANSON
Director of MED International & Director of Communications
 
Tim is originally from Vermont and received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees at Franklin Pierce University. He moved to Peru in late 2012 to become the Marketing Director for a luxury travel agency. For Tim, MEDLIFE is the perfect fit: he can continue to work in his specialty while simultaneously helping the underserved communities of the world.
ANGIE VIDAL
MED Programs Administration
 
Angie was born and raised in Lima, Peru where she studied dentistry at the University of San Martin de Porres as well as at the University of Lille 2 in France.
Angie started volunteering for MEDLIFE as a student and has since assumed various roles within the organization developing the Patient Follow-Up program.
JORGE VIDAL
Administration
 
Jorge graduated as a Dentist at the San Martin de Porres University in Lima. Jorge has been supporting the MEDLIFE mission by acting as a main dentist on our mobile clinics, where he attended thousand of patients with passion and dedication.
As well as working in the field, Jorge supports MEDLIFE through working in the administration area in the office.
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AMPARO ULLOA
Lima Office Manager
 
Amparo is a long-time supporter of MEDLIFE and wears many hats as a full-time employee with the organization. In addition to assisting in administrative duties, Amparo brightens the office with a positive, can-do spirit and boundless energy.
BRENDA ELLIS
Administrative Assitant
 
Brenda Ellis received her degree from Husson College in Bangor, Maine. She worked for many years in a major medical center in New Hampshire. Helping people has always been a passion of hers. From the MEDLIFE office in the USA,  she plans to continue to do this in any way she can. 
ALEXANDRA PALACIOS
Operations Associate
 
Alexandra studied Hospitality Management at San Ignacio de Loyola Institute. After graduating she had the opportunity of traveling to different parts of Perú and South America where she was able to see different types of living situations. Her greatest passion is helping people, respecting their culture, customs, visions, and desires.
RENATO EGOAVIL
Finance Associate
 
Renato got a degree in International Business at the University of Lima.
He was born in Peru but has lived most of his life in Honduras, where he has done volunteer work as a Translator for American medical brigades. He is a firm believer that health and education are two basic human rights and the two most important things for improving the quality of life of any person. That is why he is happy to be a part of MEDLIFE.
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JANIA SEPULVEDA
Operations Associate
 
Jania graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management at San Ignacio de Loyola University, in Lima Peru. After graduation, she worked at Disneyworld in Florida before returning to Lima to pursue a career close to home.
Jania enjoys going to the theatre and dancing during her time off. She is very glad to be part of MEDLIFE and looks forward to helping the community through her work.
RODRIGO SALDARRIAGA
Operations Associate
 
Rodrigo studied Hospitality Management at San Ignacio de Loyola University. After finishing he started a second degree in Business Management. Since he finished his internship at the United Nations Development Program he discovered the passion for working in the social development sector and wants to keep working hard in that area to learn more and help society improve their reality.
MERCEDES OLAVE
MEDLIFE Cusco Nurse
 
Mercedes is a licensed nurse from the San Antonio Abad University in Cusco. She has worked for more than 16 years with several organizations. Mercedes speaks Quechua perfectly and is thoroughly familiar with the social problems of the communities of the Peruvian highlands. She has participated in an internship about the indigenous women's health in the cities of Acre and Rondonia in Brazil and has recently completed a Diploma in Basic Sanitation Management and Sustainable Environment by the Universidad Andina del Cusco.
RUTH VARONA
MEDLIFE Lima Nurse
 
Ruth was born in Lima, Peru where she studied to nursing. Ruth has always enjoyed working with children and serving those in need. She first began working with MEDLIFE in 2011 in our mobile clinics and later came on full-time as a field nurse. Ruth now manages our follow-up program in Lima and coordinates all medical professionals in the clinics.
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JANET LUDEÑA
MEDLIFE Lima Nurse
 
Janet was born in Ayacucho, Peru but has lived in Lima most of her life. She studied nursing, specializing in care for the elderly and young children. Janet started with MEDLIFE in 2011 working in the pharmacy area during our mobile clinics and a community coordinator. Janet has since joined our full-time staff as a field nurse in our follow-up program.
CARMEN NARVAEZ
MEDLIFE Lima Nurse
 
Carmen has been a nurse technician for the last 19 years. She loves working with her patients in our follow-up program because she enjoys helping people get well and supporting people through difficult times.
Outside of work, Carmen enjoys cooking and spending time with her two children and husband.
MARIA CHAVEZ
MEDLIFE Ecuador Nurse
 
Born and raised in Cebadas, Ecuador, María speaks both Quechua and Spanish. She has been with MEDLIFE since 2007 and acts as a liaison between MEDLIFE and the communities we work in. María announces Mobile Clinic visits, coordinates new projects, visits patients who require follow-up care and provides assistance in operating our Mobile Clinics.
VALERIA MALDONADO
MEDLIFE Ecuador Nurse
 
Valeria Maldonado was born in Riobamba, Ecuador. She is a nurse graduated from the Metropolitan University of Guayaquil and works with MEDLIFE as a Field Nurse doing social work in the communities where we held the Mobile Clinics. Valeria is really happy to work in MEDLIFE because she can support people from rural areas in her community.  
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RICARDO CCASANI
MED Programs Lima Projects Associate
 
We met Ricardo during the construction of the staircases and the daycare at his community, Union Santa Fe. Thanks to Ricardo's extensive construction experience, we were able to optimize costs and logistics. Currently, Ricardo continues to work in the development of his community while working full-time in MEDLIFE.
EDINSON ALIAGA
MED Programs Lima Architect
 
Edinson studied Architecture at the Ricardo Palma University in Lima, Peru. In his free time, he likes to play guitar and draw. As a MED Program’s member, he is looking to build high-quality homes and structures for those in need. He is happy to be part of MEDLIFE because of the service that is given to the people. He thinks that any career should be focused on giving back to others.
SARAH MARGOLIS
MED International Associate
 
Sarah attended Ithaca College where she studied English and Spanish with a focus in Latin American Studies. As an undergraduate, she was able to explore her interests in Education and Public Health academically and through several volunteer and internship opportunities. Sarah is excited to combine these two passions at MEDLIFE where she hopes to help make healthcare available to those in need.
CRISTINA NEGRON
MED International Associate
 
Kiki studied at Clark University where she studied and obtained a BA in Biology. While taking a gap year before pursuing medical school she applied for an internship with MEDLIFE. During this internship, she fell in love with working with those most in need and decided to stay to continue being an advocate for public health. Kiki is excited to further develop her skills as a social justice pioneer for the communities we work with.
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ELIZABETH TRUFFA
MED International Associate
 
Elizabeth graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a B.A. in Psychology and Social Justice, concentrating on Women's and Gender Studies. She has strong, resilient passions for human rights, social justice, and international affairs. Elizabeth explored her passions volunteering in Tanzania, studying human rights in Italy, and presenting research on reproductive rights in the Netherlands.
GEORGIE FRYKBERG
MED International Associate
 
Georgie graduated from the University of Technology Sydney with B.Bus in Marketing and B.A. in International Studies. She developed her passion for community health and social justice whilst working for a medical non-profit in Australia and through her volunteer work in Latin America. Georgie is very excited to join MEDLIFE and its efforts to bring sustainable healthcare and education to communities.
ASHLEY BATRUD
MED International Associate
 
Ashley received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota. She discovered her true passion for human rights while partnering with an NGO for immigrant services in Washington State and teaching minority students in Guizhou, China. Ashley is very excited to join the MEDLIFE team to continue advocating for global communities, sustainable development, and healthcare equality.
ROSALI VELA
Communications Team Lead
 
Rosali graduated as professional in Audiovisual Communication and Multimedia from the Toulouse Lautrec Institute in Lima. She also holds a Bachelor degree in Communication Sciences from the Inca Garcilaso de la Vega University. Before joining MEDLIFE, Rosali worked in interactive publicity agencies where she contributed to award-winning projects and became a specialist in website design, multimedia development, and video production.
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EDWARD DOHERTY
Communications Associate
 
After graduating in Television and Video Production at Southampton Solent University, Edward left England to spend his time traveling Asia and Australia before settling in Lima. It's here where his passion for documenting other cultures flourished and he was allowed an insight into the lives of those MEDLIFE works to help. Not only does he love photographing the members of these communities, but he loves learning from them.
SHEILA FUERTES
Communications Associate
 
Sheila graduated in Arts and Graphic Design for Business from the San Ignacio de Loyola University in Lima, Peru. She is very observant, intuitive and compromising, which has helped her better appreciate her surrounds her and understand how graphic design can be used as an agent of change and as a social tool. Sheila is now looking forward to helping MEDLIFE with its mission while putting her skills to work.
JULIA ALFARO
MEDLIFE Lima Housekeeper
 
Julia joined MEDLIFE through a connection with Carlos Benavides, MEDLIFE Peru's Director, and is currently in charge of housekeeping at the office. A vital piece of keeping the organization running, Julia helps out an immense amount during mobile clinics when important materials need shuffling around the office. Julia never skips a beat, she is always available and willing to help out others at the organization.
 

Our Executive Board

The mission of the Executive Board is to help families achieve greater freedom from the constraints of poverty, empowering them to live healthier lives. The Executive Board oversees MEDLIFE's operations domestically and abroad and is fiscally and operationally responsible for MEDLIFE's Service Learning Trips and MEDLIFE Project Fund projects. The Executive Board also works with student groups to organize volunteer trips, fundraise, build greater support for MEDLIFE, and foster student leadership. The most committed, hard-working, and experienced individuals are invited to sit on the Executive Board. The Executive Board currently consists of five members:

Nick Ellis, MD, MEDLIFE Founder and CEO
Education: International Development Studies (B.A.) at McGill University
Pre-Medical post-baccalaureate, University of Maine
Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School 

Juan Camilo Vanegas
Education: Microbiology (B.A.) University of Maine

Jerry Ellis
Education: Counseling (M.S.) Oregon University
MDiv Boston University

Martha Chicaiza
Director of MEDPrograms Latin America
Director of MEDPrograms Ecuador

Carlos Benavides
Director of MEDPrograms Peru