Our mission is to build the capacity of the people of Lwala to advance their own comprehensive well-being.
Cole Barfield, MD
Cole Barfield graduated from Vanderbilt University Medical School in 2009 and went on to complete his residency in Internal Medicine, also at Vanderbilt, in 2012. During residency training, Dr. Barfield enjoyed patient care and quality improvement. Dr. Barfield saw many areas that needed improvement in health care, such as end of life care, medication reconciliation, and care coordination both inside and outside the hospital. Dr. Barfield is currently pursuing an MBA degree at Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management, focusing on General Management with a specialization in Health Care. Dr. Barfield is also a graduate of Princeton University. During the summer of his junior year at Princeton, he lived in Lui, Sudan, working with a physician at a medical mission hospital. After returning from Sudan, he completed his premedical requirements, graduating from Princeton with a B.A. in Political Science in 2003. Dr. Barfield is working toward bringing his business and medical knowledge together in order to improve the healthcare delivered to all patients. Dr. Barfield is a board certified physician in Internal Medicine. Dr. Barfield has a beautiful wife and two wonderful children.
Dave Eilers, (Board Vice-Chair)
For over 25 years, Dave Eilers has been an enterprise leader in the consumer, B2B and healthcare industries. A graduate Syracuse University, Dave began his career in marketing management; leading key accounts at Eric Mower Associates, Cowley Associates, Tenaz Import/Export and Syracuse China Corp. In 1998, Dave entered the healthcare industry as the Vice President of Sales & Marketing at B.G. Sulzle, Inc., a member of the Marmon Group of companies. Over the course of nearly 15 years, Dave pioneered new products, opened new international markets (50 country visits) and developed new business models for the healthcare industry through his work with InterV Medical Group/Roundtable Healthcare Partners and NextTech Consulting. In 2008, Dave applied his interest in Open Innovation business models to the co-founding of Blue Highway (originally a Welch Allyn company). With over 40 master research agreements worldwide, Blue Highway is dedicated to creating innovative, intellectual capital regarding early detection and diagnosis of adverse health conditions. Dave’s interest in generating the most cost-effective care models has lead him to currently become involved in remote patient monitoring and mobile health.
Throughout his marketing career, Dave has lead two start-up enterprises, raised capital for a number of acquisitions and been involved in a business turnaround and successful exit.
Outside of the office, Dave is active in the American Telemedicine Association; serves on the MedTech Board of Directors and often speaks to groups interested in open innovation and commercialization of emerging technologies.
Mechel Frost, (Treasurer)
Fred Ochieng’, MD (Co-founder, Lwala Community Alliance)
Fred is the third born of Margaret and Erastus Ochieng’s six children born in Lwala. He attended Alliance High School in Nairobi, Kenya and graduated from Dartmouth College in 2005. He graduated from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in May 2010 and is a first year resident in medicine pediatrics at Vanderbilt University. Family, faith, community support, and his friends in Kenya and abroad have helped him immensely in dealing with the painful loss of his parents. He and his brother, Milton Ochieng’, founded the Lwala Community Alliance and built the Ochieng’ Memorial Lwala Community Health Center to honor their parents who died of AIDS.
Milton Ochieng’, MD (Co-founder, Lwala Community Alliance)
Milton Ochieng’ grew up in the small rural village of Lwala in western Kenya. He is the second born in a family of four boys and two girls. His parents were both teachers. He attended Alliance High School in Nairobi, Kenya then attended Dartmouth College in the United States for his undergraduate studies. He graduated from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 2008 and is a third year resident in internal medicine at Washington University in St. Louis. He and his younger brother, Frederick Ochieng’, founded the Lwala Community Alliance and built the Ochieng’ Memorial Lwala Community Health Center to honor their parents who died of AIDS.
Craig Parker (Board Chair)
Craig is the campus director for the Navigators Christian Fellowship at Boston University. Craig has served on the staff of The Navigators, an international, non-denominational Christian organization, for 30 years. His previous ministry assignments were in New Hampshire, Germany, and Virginia. For 17 years he was the Campus Director of the Navigators Christian Fellowship at Dartmouth College, where he led 14 service trips to seven U.S. inner cities and four countries. He has worked as a recruiting partner of two children’s relief organizations in Tegucigalpa, Honduras and Ain Leuh, Morocco. He specializes in fundraising and networking for the Lwala Community Alliance. He and his wife Nancy have four children and three grandchildren. Craig became involved with Lwala through his friendship with Fred Ochieng’ who was an active member of the Navigators at Dartmouth.
Caitlin Reiner, MPH
Caitlin is the Global Program Manager for the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV with the Clinton Health Access Initiative. In this capacity, she supports governments to strengthen national and district programs to care for HIV positive moms and protect infants from infection. Prior to this, she worked as the Kenya Program Manager at the Lwala Community Alliance for 2 years and served on the board of the organization from 2005-2008. Caitlin received a master’s degree in public health from Columbia University and a bachelors of arts degree in history and education from Dartmouth College. She has worked with a number of global health organizations including the International Family AIDS Program and the Millennium Villages Project and is the recipient of the 2010 Award for Excellence in Global Health from Columbia University. She is based in New York City, but spends about 30% of the year in the developing world.
D.J. Smith connects ideas, resources and people to form ventures, projects and partnerships which encourage creativity, enhance communications, foster social justice initiatives and offer solutions to complex challenges. He founded CiV, a digital communications agency and holding company over ten years ago. Prior to that, he worked for U.S. House of Representatives, where in the pre-Web days of the Internet, he led teams which built key components of the original THOMAS legislative information system at the Library of Congress. — and systems which provided public access to the results of Congressional roll call votes and committee information. After spending 8 years building online communications systems on Capitol Hill, he joined Burson-Marsteller, one of the world’s largest PR firms, to build their digital public affairs practice for Fortune 500 companies, non-profits and industry associations. D.J. also invests time and energy into common good projects and serves as advisor to several organizations including Blood:Water Mission, and NY WEB Center (PRIDE), a school-based movement in New York City which employs hip-hop media to create opportunity and hope for inner-city youth. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Free for Life International.
Marcia K. Stone
Marcia has spent 30 years helping nonprofits structure and execute their development programs. She directed various programs at Phillips Exeter Academy, the William Penn Charter School, the University of Vermont, Vermont Law School, and Dartmouth College. In the Upper Valley of New Hampshire, she served for 11 years on the board of a family service agency, The Family Place. An active Episcopalian locally, she also serves in several capacities in the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross. Marcia met the Ochieng’ brothers through Sarah and Bill Young and now serves on the development committee for the Lwala Community Alliance. Earlier she worked for several years in the international oil business in New York and conducted business research at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. She received her BA from Vassar College and MA from Harvard. An avid angler, Marcia and her husband, John, fly fish in New Zealand and South America and enjoy hiking and skiing in Vermont and Wyoming.
Lindsey is a health systems strengthening specialist who has lived and worked in Africa for over 20 years. With an MPA in health policy and management from NYU, she managed hospitals in the NY and Boston areas in the 1980’s and early 90’s. Lindsey, her husband David and their three daughters, lived in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa from 1993- 2000. Following the democratic elections of 1994, Lindsey worked with the newly appointed Eastern Cape Minister for Health to establish the first Eastern Cape Department of Health for the African National Congress. Her other professional commitment at that time, was the design and implementation of a model primary healthcare delivery system at the district level, for replication throughout the country. Lindsey and her family moved to the Upper Valley of Vermont in late 2000. She provides technical assistance to a variety of health care consulting companies, funded by USAID and DfID. Lindsey works as a freelance consultant with expertise in health systems development. Her particular area of focus is maternal child health and the infectious diseases of HIV/AIDs, malaria and TB. She also provides analysis and evaluation of healthcare delivery systems and development projects in central, eastern and southern Africa. Lindsey enjoys swimming, mountain biking, hiking, poetry and music of all sorts.
Richard Wamai, PhD
A Kenyan, Richard G. Wamai is an assistant professor at Northeastern University in the Department of African American Studies. He earned his Ph.D. in international health and development from the University of Helsinki, Finland. Prior to joining Northeastern, Wamai was a research fellow at the Department of Global Health and Population at Harvard School of Public Health. Before that, Wamai was a research associate at Oxford University Department of Social Policy. Wamai has previously worked in a number of institutions including the Johns Hopkins University Institute for Public Policy and the Bloomberg School of Public Health, the World Bank, the London School of Economics Center for Civil Society, the Nordic-Africa Institute in Sweden, and the University of Nairobi in Kenya. Wamai conducts research in the areas of health systems and HIV/AIDS epidemiology and policy in developing countries.
Senator Bill Frist, MD
Doctor and Senator Bill Frist is both a nationally recognized heart and lung transplant surgeon and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader. Senator Frist majored in health policy at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs before graduating with honors from Harvard Medical School and completing surgical training at Massachusetts General Hospital and Stanford. As the founder and Director of the Vanderbilt Multi-Organ Transplant Center, he has performed over 150 heart and lung transplants and authored over 100 peer-reviewed medical articles and chapters, over 400 newspaper articles, and seven books on topics such as bioterrorism, transplantation, and leadership. Dr. Frist represented Tennessee in the U.S. Senate for 12 years where he served on both Health and Finance committees responsible for writing health legislation. He was elected Majority Leader of the Senate, having served fewer total years in Congress than any person chosen to lead that body in history, and his leadership was instrumental in passage of prescription drug legislation and funding to fight HIV/AIDS at home and around the world. Today Senator Frist is focused on domestic health reform, the basic science of heart transplantation, global health policy, economic development in low-income countries, health care disparities, medical mission work in Sudan, the health of the mountain gorilla, and HIV/AIDS. Dr. Frist annually leads medical mission trips to Africa. Frist is chair of Save the Children’s “Newborn and Child Survival” campaign and the Nashville-based Hope Through Healing Hands. His current board service includes the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Partnership for a Healthier America” campaign to eliminate childhood obesity within a generation, the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Kaiser Family Foundation, ONE Vote 2010, the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Harvard Medical School Board of Fellows, and the Advisory Committees for Global Health at Duke and Harvard. Senator Frist was the 2007-2008 Frederick H. Schultz Professor of International Economic Policy at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and the 2010 University Distinguished Professor of Business and Medicine at Vanderbilt University. He is a partner in the private equity firm of Cressey and Company. Senator Frist’s latest book, A Heart to Serve: The Passion to Bring Health, Home, and Healing, is an inspirational treatise of channeling one’s passions to serve others through medicine, politics, and global health. Dr. Frist lives in Nashville, Tennessee
Sten Vermund, MD, PhD
Dr. Vermund is the Director of the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health in Nashville, TN. He also serves as a Professor of Pediatrics, Medicine, Preventive Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and as the Amos Christie Chair in Global Health. Dr. Vermund’s research interests lie in infectious disease control and prevention with a focus on developing countries and underserved areas of the southeastern US. Dr. Vermund’s current (2007) funded grants include projects in Mozambique, Zambia, Pakistan/Bangladesh/India, and China . He also has strong ties in Peru (clinical tropical medicine), Jamaica (public health training), Jordan (pediatric respiratory disease surveillance), and Costa Rica (ethics training). Dr. Vermund works closely with the Vanderbilt-Meharry Center for AIDS Research; the VU Program in Medicine, Society, and Health; the Center for Epidemiology; and the Institute for Medicine and Public Health. He serves as Principal Investigator of a Family Health International -Vanderbilt grant for the HIV Prevention Trials Network Leadership Group. Dr. Vermund also spearheads the Vanderbilt-Meharry Global Framework Program to develop global health training and curricular content for both institutions.
Joel Vikre works on global health innovation and strategy for Management Sciences for Health in Cambridge, MA. He graduated from Dartmouth College with high honors in ecology and went on to live and work with poor communities in Nicaragua, Mexico, and Kenya. He holds an M.S. in Public Health from the University of California Berkeley, where he wrote an ethnography of changing AIDS stigma in Lwala. From 2006 to 2009, he served as the first Executive Director of the Lwala Community Alliance.
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