Our mission is to build the capacity of the people of Lwala to advance their own comprehensive well-being.
Robert Kasambala – Kenya Program Director
As Kenya Program Director, Robert directly supervises the team leads, works with the board, and provides the day-to-day leadership for all programs and financial controls in Lwala. He has been in this role since 2010 and has overseen rapid program growth during his tenure. Robert has more than 20 years of healthcare management experience. His previous positions at Kijabe Hospiltal included Resource Director, Clinical Support Services Director, and Community Health Coordinator. He also served as the Director of the AIDS Division at AIC Health Ministries.
Mercy Owuor – Deputy Program Director
In this role, Mercy oversees the Kenya program Team Leads and directs the execution of the annual program plan. Prior to serving in the capacity, Mercy worked for the Lwala Community Alliance as the Community Health Manager.She has a background in managing community-based programs, community mobilization, and holds a Masters degree in Community Health and Development from Great Lakes University and a BA in Sociology. Mercy was previously employed by University of Nairobi College of Health Sciences as a Field Study Coordinator.
Vincent Okoth – Monitoring and Evaluation Officer
Vincent ensures that all grant-specific data as well as department and organizational data is accurately and efficiently collected and analyzed. In addition, he develops and utilizes monitoring and evaluation (M&E) tools for the organization’s grants and programs, and educates staff on M&E tools. Vincent previously worked with the Nyanza Reproductive Health Society as a Data Officer and as a Data and Information Officer with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.
Teresa Kemuma Atandi – Nursing Officer in Charge
Teresa currently coordinates the clinical staff in Lwala including Clinical Officers, nurses, lab techs, pharmacy techs, and various aides. Teresa has worked in Lwala since 2010 providing patient care for HIV and TB, PMTCT, immunizations, and general inpatient and outpatient care. She has a diploma in community health from Kendu School of Medical Sciences.
David Adipo – Community Health Nurse Supervisor
In this position, David coordinates all public health programming, including programs in maternal health, family planning, and Youth Peer Providers. David oversees all community health staff, including community health nurses and Community Health Workers. In addition, he coordinates scheduling, training, materials and resources for all community activities. Before joining LCA’s staff, David worked with Shining Hope for Communities as a program nurse and as the Head of Nursing Services. David received his bachelor’s of science degree in Nursing and Public Health from Kenyatta University.
Paciphique Adhiambo- Education Coordinator
As Education Coordinator, Paciphique manages education staff and all education programs in the 15 local schools around North Kamagambo. She works with LCA staff, local schools and community members to design and implement effective programs, and monitors and evaluates these programs. Paciphique is a licensed social worker with extensive experience working with at-risk youth.
Edith Ingutia – Economic Development Coordinator
Edith manages income generating activities including, but not limited to, the sewing cooperative, soap making cooperative, youth groups, and agricultural work. Edith also works to engage vulnerable groups such as HIV-positive community members and young mothers in income generating activities. Edith previously served NACSO Secretariat as an Enterprise Development Advisor. Edith has a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of Nairobi and a postgraduate diploma in HIV/AIDS Management from the University of Namibia.
Mark Barasa – Operations Coordinator
Mark manages operations including transport, security, and buildings and grounds. Mark has worked in Lwala since 2011 and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance from Kenya Methodist University and CPA II section IV. He previously worked with Bethany Kids at Kijabe Hospital and Ultimate Vetserve ltd as Program Accountant. He has over 7 years of experience managing donor funds.
James Nardella – Executive Director
In his role as Executive Director, James leads program strategy and new business development. Since 2009, he has overseen the expansion of the hospital to serve 3,000 patients per month, school programming that serves 6,000 students annually, and employment opportunities for over 160 Kenyans. Under James’ leadership, annual revenue has tripled through partnerships with a diverse group of corporations, implementing partners, and foundations (such as Ronald McDonald House Charities, USAID, Johnson & Johnson, and the Segal Family Foundation). He holds a Bachelors in Fine Arts from Boston University and a Masters from the department of Leadership, Policies, and Organizations at Vanderbilt University, where he is a frequent guest lecturer. James is married to Jena Lee Nardella, the co-founder of Blood:Water Mission. The Nardellas have a young son and split time between Nashville, TN and their mutual work in East Africa. James sits on the boards of the Shared Trade Alliance, a coalition of social enterprises focused on lifting women out of poverty, and Project Pyramid, an initiative that brings together future leaders of business, education, law, medicine, and religion to learn about global poverty. James enjoys writing and speaking on vocation, global health, and community development.
Katherine Falk – Development and Communications Coordinator
As Development and Communications Coordinator, Katherine works on donor and partner development, organizational content and messaging, volunteer coordination, event planning, and keeps track of all things related to fundraising. Her background is in education and counseling with at-risk children, and she holds an M.Ed. from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. Prior to joining the Alliance staff, Katherine conducted and published educational research and coordinated a federally funded research center at Vanderbilt University. She also has extensive grant writing experience. Katherine has worked with under-resourced communities in Romania, Northern Ireland, and Kenya. In particular, she has been involved in holistic development efforts in the Turkana region of northwest Kenya and currently serves on the board of Share International. In addition, she leads an afterschool reading program for inner-city children.
Mindy Skelton – Field Operations Officer
In this role, Mindy serves as the backstop to all Kenya program activities, working directly with the Kenya program staff to ensure that programs are executed with excellence. Mindy’s background is in engineering management and development economics, and she holds a bachelors degree from Vanderbilt University. Prior to joining the Alliance team, Mindy worked as a healthcare consultant at Huron Consulting Group. Her work at Huron included design and implementation of new processes, department and leadership structures, software, and tools to provide the foundation for patient flow optimization. Mindy also has international community development experience and has volunteered in communities in Uganda, India, Laos, and Northern Thailand. In addition, she is working with a Thailand based development organization to create preventative health education materials and prevention programs specific to the tribal region in Thailand.
Kelli Ross – Assistant to the Executive Director and Development Associate
In this role, Kelli manages manages organizational communication and work flow; conducts donor research and donation tracking; supports the U.S. board; and manages day-to-day details of the office operation. Kelli’s background is in journalism, public relations and peacebuilding. She holds a BA in communication arts from Union University (Jackson, TN) and an MS in conflict analysis and resolution from George Mason University (Arlington, VA). Prior to joining Lwala, she worked as a freelance writer and photographer, a news reporter at The Jackson (TN) Sun, director of communications for faith-based microfinance organization Five Talents in Vienna, VA, and for the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations in Washington, DC. She has also worked and studied in Kenya, South Sudan, Liberia, India, Peru, and Israel.
Cole Barfield, MD
Cole Barfield graduated from Vanderbilt University Medical School in 2009 and went on to complete his residency in Internal Medicine 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.
Elizabeth Carr, MBA (Board Chair)
Elizabeth holds a B.A. in Economics and a B.S. in Finance from the University of Richmond. A Michigan native, she returned to her hometown to earn her M.B.A. in 2012. Her professional experience includes the Commodities division of Goldman Sachs and five years as Director of Development at New York Road Runners in New York City. She lives with her husband and baby daughter in New York City. She is currently a member of the Diaconate at Redeemer Presbyterian Church, writes for several parenting-related websites, and is laying the groundwork to launch a technology-related start up.
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 of 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 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. Craig 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 Glover, MPH (Secretary)
Caitlin is the Senior Program Manager for Family Planning with the Clinton Health Access Initiative. Prior to this, she served Clinton Health Access Initiative as the Global Program Manager for the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV. She also 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 Tampa, but spends about 30% of the year in the developing world.
Lindsey Toomey, MPA
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.
You can help us sustain our existing programs and roll out further initiatives by making a donation now.
September 2nd, 2014
Check out our Community Health Worker team in their new Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) shirts! We are grateful for RMHC's support of Lwala's outreach to reach all under-5 children in the community to provide health education and link them to treatment and care!