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Meet Our Team

Our Staff

TIM ANSON

Director of MED International and Communications

Tim is originally from Vermont and received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from 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.

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.

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.

ASHLEY BRATRUD

MED International Regional Manager

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 and healthcare equality.

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.

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.

 

LEAH HACKLER

Vice President of Sales

Leah’s passion has always been centered on expanding knowledge, constantly working to understand other global perspectives. Throughout her career, she has worked for companies large and small, most with a global presence. Her travels have spanned many countries and she is thrilled to be exploring more of Latin America! Outside of MEDLIFE, Leah enjoys hiking and is also the “proud parent” of two miniature Dachshunds, Katie and Lily.

CARA HAGAN

Community & Chapter Development Manager

Cara Hagan has experience and a deep understanding of responsible supply chain management from investigating labor rights violations, advising businesses, managing supply chains in Latin America, and supporting and promoting a supply chain certification program in South Asia. She holds an MBA from the Middlebury Institute of International Study at Monterey, with a specialization in Sustainable Supply Chain Management.

KATY KEENAN

CPA Partner

MATT KINCH

Director of Operations

Matt originally hailing from Ontario, Canada, has spent the last 10 years working and living in Latin America. With a background in travel and tourism, Matt has a passion for exploring and a depth of experience working with Indigenous communities in Latin America. Now in Lima with MEDLIFE, he combines both of those worlds overseeing MEDLIFE’s global Service Learning programs. When he’s not working, Matt and his wife Stephani have their hands full with two young boys, Thomas and Nicolas.

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.

LIZ MCQUADE

MED International Associate

Liz graduated from the University of Washington with a B.S. in Public Health. She went on to join the Peace Corps as a community health volunteer in Northern Peru. After three years, Liz decided to relocate to Lima. In her role at MEDLIFE, Liz is excited to share her passion for sustainable development and health equality.

CRISTINA NEGRON

MED International Regional Manager

Cristina (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.

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.

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 help society improve their reality.

ERIN STVAN

MED International Associate

Originally from Washington, DC, Erin graduated from The George Washington University with degrees in International Affairs and Latin American Hemispheric Studies. While at University, Erin worked with LatinX immigrants at a non-profit law firm and a public health clinic. She is excited to join the MEDLIFE International team and promote healthcare equality.

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.

CRISTINA VALDERRAMA

Volunteer Support Representative

Originally from Barranquilla, Colombia, Cristina received a B.A in Communication and Journalism and a M.A in Communication and Development with a focus on Gender and Sexuality Studies. For over three years she worked designing social responsibility and public relations strategies. She has also worked with rural communities in Colombia, Ecuador, and the United States implementing development projects.

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.

AYRTON LOPEZ ALVA

Finances Associate

CAROLINE APPERT

Marketing & Content Executive

Originally from California, Caroline studied Advertising and Spanish at Syracuse University before spending the first few years of her career in New York City at an Advertising Agency. Looking for something a bit different, she left the states & headed to South America where she spent time volunteering in Ecuador and working in marketing at a luxury travel agency before starting at MEDLIFE. Here she loves that she is able to combine her passions for storytelling, Latin America, and helping those in need.

GRECIA ARPI

Finances Associate

FATIMA CORRALES

Operations Associate

Fatima was born in Leon, Nicaragua and studied Clinical Bioanalysis at the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua. During her time as an undergraduate, she volunteered at various health centers. Before joining MEDLIFE, Fatima initially worked at the Pediatric Oncology Hospital of Managua, later returning to her alma mater to become a research assistant in the microbiology department.

MONICA CORI

Operations Associate - Cusco

Monica was born in Cusco and studied Tourism and Hospitality at the Universidad Nacional de San Agustin in Arequipa. She worked many years in the field of hospitality on travel agencies organizing groups. Her greatest interest is being able to teach and through MEDLIFE, grow as a person and professional.

RODRIGO CORTES

Operations Associate - Cusco

Born and raised in Cusco, Rodrigo holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Universidad Andina del Cusco. He has always been in touch with the reality of Peru, learning from books and the experience from his travels and the people he meets. He loves nature, literature and all types of music.

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.

ALBA LUCIA PACHECO

MED Programs Lima Architect

Alba has a bachelor in Architecture and Urbanism from Ricardo Palma University in Lima. She is interested in sustainable city development and believes in public spaces as a key agent to change communities. As an architect and MEDLIFE team member, she’s convinced that her career has the power to improve people’s lives in many different ways.

ARIANA CERNA

MED Programs Education Associate

Ariana believes that working with students worldwide can make a difference in the way countries develop, especially the ones whose social and economic needs are the highest. She has studied Educational Psychology. After being in charge of the Academic and Psychological department with a different NGO project, she is very happy to be a part of our team.

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.

DOMENICA DELGADO

Operations Intern

Before joining MEDLIFE, Domenica studied business management at Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola. Her interests include social responsibility and sustainability, which is why she’s really excited about working at MEDLIFE. She hopes to learn as much as possible, as well as contribute to the Movement. She also loves music and all forms of art.

RENATO EGOAVIL

Finance & Administration Associate

After living most of his life in Honduras, where he volunteered as a translator for American medical brigades, Renato came back to Peru to study at Universidad de Lima. He is now our Finance & Administration Associate, position in which he supports all the teams in the organization on how to improve their financial processes.

ELLEN HAYS

Marketing Associate

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. Alongside her studies, Ellen worked in digital content creation for research centers at her university and volunteered at centers providing legal services to vulnerable communities.

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 our mobile clinics as a community coordinator. Janet has since joined our full-time staff as a field nurse in our follow-up program.

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.

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.

TANIA PINTO

Financial Operations Assistant

Tania was born in Madre De Dios and later moved to Cusco to study the technical career of Tourism Administration at the Abacus Institute. She is currently studying Accounting and Finance at the Alas Peruanas University and is very happy to belong to MEDLIFE.

KAREN TACUSI

MEDLIFE Cusco Nurse

Karen studied Nursing at the Didaskalio Cristo Rey School and the Technological University of the Andes where, as part of her training, she supported medical mission campaigns in rural areas of the Andean highlands. She is happy to join the MEDLIFE team where she can continue to help those patients who need it most.

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.

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.

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.

ANA LÍA ACCINELLI

Communications Associate

Ana Lía studied Audiovisual Communications at the Universidad Católica del Perú. She has experience creating documentary videos and photography for various companies and nonprofits. She has always been involved in community service, and in MEDLIFE she has found an incredible opportunity to develop her skills as well as help empower people at the same time.

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!

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 supporting the MEDLIFE team in Cusco while pursuing her Master’s degree in Social Marketing and Communications for Development at UNSAAC.

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.