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Meet Our Team

Our Staff

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.

ALESANDRA ZEGARRA

Expansion Associate

Born and raised in Lima, Peru, Alessandra holds a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management from San Ignacio de Loyola University. She has five years of experience in customer service and is passionate about creating valuable experiences. Alessandra is delighted to be part of MEDLIFE’s work empowering communities and generating sustainable impact. In her free time, she loves doing puzzles with her grandpa and watching romantic movies!

ALEJANDRO BEOUTIS

MED International Chapter Coordinator

Alejandro was born in the U.S. but was raised mostly in Lima, Peru. He studied at Rutgers University in New Jersey, where he got his BA, majoring in Political Science, and a minor in Global and Latin American studies. He is very passionate about international cooperation, development, and social issues. Before joining Medlife, Alejandro worked at ICPNA and with the U.S. Embassy promoting educational and cultural exchange between the U.S. and Peru and has been a volunteer for the past 4 years at a young professional-led non-profit organization dedicated to educating and engaging citizens in the political and social issues that affect Peru.

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.

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, 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.

CARMEN UMERES

MEDLIFE Cusco Nurse

Carmen was born in Quillabamba, Cusco, and studied Nursing at the Antonio Lorena Institute. She has extensive work experience within Cusco’s healthcare system and has held jobs in public and private hospitals, pharmaceutical distributors and municipal social assistance organizations. She is proud to bring with MEDLIFE medical assistance to even the most remote areas of Cusco.

CLAUDIA COSENTINO

MED International Coordinator

Claudia was born and raised in Lima. After studying hospitality management, she wanted to gain more experience in group management. That’s when she first started working for MEDLIFE as a trip leader for a couple of years until 2018. Later, she took a couple of years to challenge herself and moved to New Zealand – where she was introduced to the fundraising world. Claudia re-joined MEDLIFE in 2021 – this time as a Chapter Coordinator – to continue learning and growing. Last but not least, she is also a certified yoga instructor and a TEFL teacher.

CONOR NOLAN

MED International

Conor has worked on development projects across several continents, including Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and South America. He has studied international relations and international and community development at the University of Canberra, Australia. He has experience in a range of different development sectors, including education, agriculture, and women’s empowerment. Outside of work, he loves all things sports, traveling, learning about new cultures and experiencing new cuisines.

DANIXA MANOSALVA

Graphic Designer

Danixa was born in Chepen, La Libertad. She studied Arts and Graphic Design for Business at the University of San Ignacio de Loyola in Lima. She is very responsible and committed to her work. Now that she is working in MEDLIFE, she plans to do everything possible to help in the MEDLIFE Mission through graphic design!

ELLEN HAYS

Marketing and Communications Coordinator

After growing up in Tasmania, Australia, Ellen moved to Melbourne to pursue her passion for social justice by completing a double degree in Law and Politics at Monash University. After graduating, Ellen knew that she wanted to experience living abroad long-term and booked a one-way ticket to Peru. Ellen is thrilled to be contributing to the transformative work of MEDLIFE by putting her passions for storytelling and social justice into practice.

GABRIELA CAVERO

Trips and Programs Coordinator

Gabriela was born in Lima but grew up in France. After moving back to Lima with her family, she obtained a degree in communications with a major in journalism. She went on to work in Italian Cruises for a few years and then attended film school in Argentina. Back in Lima, she worked in advertising until 2012 when she started leading tours through different South American countries. Gabriela is looking forward to drawing upon her diverse range of experiences in service of the MEDLIFE mission. 

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 on 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.

HELEN GOMEZ

MEDLIFE Field Nurse

Helen is a forward-thinking and proactive person. A nurse by profession, she has prior experience working in private centers, which allowed her to obtain both knowledge and expertise in such settings. She is currently working with MEDPROGRAMS, where she and her team are responsible for organizing Mobile Clinics and providing patients with follow-up care. Helen places high importance on being able to give back to a variety of communities by offering the assistance they require while at the same time volunteering her time to do so. Helen also has a soft spot in her heart for animals, and she volunteers her time occasionally to help raise awareness for animals in need and to raise awareness.

JENNIFER ARANGUREN

MED International Coordinator

Jennifer holds a degree in hospitality management and has 8 years of experience in tourism. She is passionate about customer experience, social responsibility, and sustainability. Jennifer enjoys working at MEDLIFE because it allows her to do what she loves while making an impact on vulnerable communities. Another passion of Jennifer’s is taking care of her house plants and watching them thrive and grow!

JENNIFER CASANI

MEDLIFE Lima Field Nurse

Jennifer lives in Union Santa Fe and is currently a field nurse for MEDLIFE. She works with the field team to organize Mobile Clinics in Lima. She was introduced to MEDLIFE during the pandemic when she began working at our Community Soup Kitchen. Thanks to this role, she was able to remain close to her daughters and work in her community. Before MEDLIFE, she worked as a nurse with various private medical centers. She has a devotion to working in healthcare and knew she could contribute her skills and enthusiasm to the organization.

JHON MEJIA

MED International Coordinator

Jhon is a professional in tourism and hospitality with almost 8 years of experience working in the industry. Passionate about providing a great customer experience, Jhon enjoys traveling, discovering new cultures, and meeting people from all around the world. At MEDLIFE, he is looking forward to combining his passion for supporting people in need with his desire to empower future world-changers. Outside of work, Jhon enjoys playing with his 5 dogs, enjoying a cup of coffee, and listening to music.

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.

JULIA ALFARO

MEDLIFE Lima Housekeeper

Julia joined MEDLIFE in 2012 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 in the organization.

MARIA CHAVEZ

MEDLIFE Ecuador Nurse

Born and raised in Cebadas, Ecuador, Maria 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.

MARIA FERNANDA RAMIREZ

Expansion Associate

Since she was a little girl, Maria Fernanda always wanted to explore the world and learn about different perspectives on life. Her experiences traveling abroad have helped her grow and opened her eyes to diverse realities. When Maria Fernanda discovered the impact created by MEDLIFE, she was immediately interested in getting involved. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Hotel Management.

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.

MARTHA KENNEDY

MED International Coordinator

Martha studied Global Development at Queen’s University where she obtained a BA and realized her passion for sustainable development and community organizing. She is from Toronto, Ontario, and has spent the last six years volunteering and working for various non-profit organizations in Canada, Central America, East Africa, and Southeast Asia. At MEDLIFE, she is thrilled to combine her enthusiasm for youth mentorship and community empowerment, with her drive to create positive change.

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.

NICK ELLIS, MD

Emergency Medicine Physician
MEDLIFE Executive Director & Founder

Nick was inspired to create MEDLIFE when in 2001 in Panama he saw how effectively a grassroots organization could listen to the needs of people living in resource-poor settings, and subsequently enact change. He went on to work in both Peru & Ecuador which furthered his passion for understanding the root causes of poverty and exposed new complexities to the issues communities face. In 2004 he created MEDLIFE with the goal of establishing better and more sustainable access to healthcare, education, and a safe home for resource-poor families through the empowerment of communities and a student-led movement.

Nick received his Medical Doctorate from Dartmouth Medical School and completed his Emergency Medicine residency at Dartmouth as well. Dr. Ellis currently lives with his wife, son, and 3 dogs in Lima, Peru where he works out of our international headquarters, and each month he travels to the US to work his ER shifts.

 

NICOLE RAMIREZ

Sales Operations Coordinator

Nicole Ramirez was born in Cusco, Peru. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance with a minor in Global Studies from Carroll University in Wisconsin. Her experience living abroad prompted her to found CoderDojo, a nonprofit offering free programming lessons to young Peruvians. Nicole’s passion for discovering new places and giving back to her home country has led her to join MEDLIFE.

PERLA SANCHEZ MARTINEZ

Operations Coordinator

Perla has a degree in Tourism, Hospitality and Gastronomy from Ricardo Palma University. She has worked in tourism both in the public sector and in private companies. She is very happy to be part of MEDLIFE as it unites her passion for tourism and her experience in NGOs. Perla has been a volunteer for various social causes and outside of work she enjoys playing with her pets and cycling. 

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.

RICARDO SOLTERO

Expansion Associate

Ricardo holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and has worked for several non-profit organizations and tourism agencies. Over the last 6 years, he has worked for MEDLIFE as a Trip Leader. This has been one of the most rewarding experiences he has ever had because of the direct impact on people’s lives. Now, as part of the Expansion Team, he is passionate about continuing to grow the MEDLIFE Movement so we can partner with more local communities to make an impact. Ricardo loves exploring nature, traveling, and learning to play music.

ROSALI VELA

Communications Team Lead

Born in Lima, Peru, Rosali joined MEDLIFE in 2012. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences from UIGV and a professional technical degree in Audiovisual Communication and Multimedia from the Toulouse Lautrec Institute. Rosali is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Social Marketing and Communications for Development at UNSAAC.

TIFFANY WEISS

Marketing Associate

Tiffany was born in Ohio, and raised in Michigan, USA. She studied photography and design while also finding a passion for teaching English. Through teaching online, she connected with many wonderful people in Latin America and made the choice to pursue a life abroad. She fell in love with Peru and made it her home. During the pandemic, she spent her time teaching and volunteering in low-income communities. In her free time, she loves trying new foods, photography, and relaxing with her Peruvian rescue cats.

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

Hear it From MEDLIFErs

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Reya Seby
Western University

This trip motivated me more to pursue a career in the healthcare field so that I can use my resources to help those who need it the most, similar to MEDLIFE’s mission.

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Victoria DiCanio
University of Connecticut

It was most enjoyable to finish the hard work and see how big a difference a group of individuals can make. It was such an amazing experience.

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Anita Woo
University of Toronto

I enjoyed the mobile clinics the most, especially the dental and triage portions. I would definitely recommend a MEDLIFE trip, it was a great experience.

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David Saff
Maclay High School

The most enjoyable part of my trip was hanging out with the amazing group of kids I was with. I would highly recommend a MEDLIFE volunteer trip to others.

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Sydney Sansone
Nova Southeastern University

This trip made everything that I was learning in my public health courses come to life and immersed me in a new culture while also learning about medicine.

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Abygail Youmans
College of Charleston

Being involved with MEDLIFE is not like joining another club - its bigger than that. It is about joining a movement that seeks to help change people’s quality of life for forever.

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Emi Hofmann
University of Central Florida

Not only was I able to participate in a week long Mobile Clinic, shadowing doctors of all types of specialties including pharmacy, dentistry, gynecology, and more, but I was also able to learn about the culture and visit incredible places.

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Julian Takagi-Stewart
University of Toronto

One thing that I really loved about this trip was that MEDLIFE made sure that the volunteers got an understanding of the complexity of issues that lead to underprivileged people in communities outside of the main city

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Hannah Van Hofwegen
University of Ottawa

Whether it was basketball with the local kids, assisting the doctors, talking with families, building washrooms, holding babies, or spending time with the people who were on the SLT with me, this was an amazing opportunity that I would do over and over again.

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Isabelle Holt
Cornell University

I loved learning about the patients MEDLIFE has followed and how they offer real help to people with chronic/urgent conditions. It is amazing how the organization formed real connections with the communities.

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Valerie Lindeborg
Parent

Our family had the privilege of participating in multiple trips with Nick [founder] and his amazing staff. Their expertise made the trips unforgettable while instilling in my boys the fundamentals of good character: selflessness, compassion, and empathy.

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Harry Vildibill
University of Georgia

As an aspiring physician, MEDLIFE motivated me to further continue my goal of becoming a doctor. In fact, I enjoyed the Tanzania Service Learning Trip so much that I decided to go on another trip to Cusco, Peru.