ABOUT US

Jami Smith, MPA, MEd, PA-C

Founding Member, Chief Executive Officer and President

Both a dreamer and a planner, Jami was first introduced to the community of Santiago in 2013 as part of a medical team.  She has returned every year since, working with a dedicated team to provide education and supplies for improved health of the community.  She dreams of a time when everyone has access to quality health resources and plans for projects to improve the health of the community. She is grateful to be part of this team working to improve health outcomes for the community of Santiago.

Emilee Thomas, MMS, MPH, PA-C

Founding Member, Chief Financial Officer

Emilee has always had a love for travel and public health. She is incredibly grateful to have found a way to do both through Mayanza. Emilee earned a dual Master’s degree in both Medical Science and Public Health, and education continues to be a priority in many facets of her life.  She currently lives in Manhattan where she works as a physician assistant in oncology. Participating in the work done by Mayanza and interacting with such a wonderful community in Guatemala is an opportunity that Emilee feels very lucky to be a part of.

Carla Pardee, MS, PA-C

Founding Member, Vice President

Carla currently practices as an emergency medicine physician assistant and as
an Assistant Professor for Rutgers University. A die-hard Rutgers girl, she
studied for seven years at Rutgers, graduating with a Bachelors of Science in
Public Health and Psychology in 2008 and a Masters of Science in Physician
Assistant studies in 2016. Her love for health education and promotion first
began during her undergraduate years when she worked as a peer educator
teaching about various public health topics. During her first medical mission to
Cusco, Peru, she worked at a maternal health clinic and provided necessary care to a rural population. Carla speaks both Spanish and Portuguese, and is working on learning Tz’utujil, Santiago Atitlan’s indigenous Mayan language.

Dolores “Lola” Ajtujal Chiviliu

Community Health Educator

Lola joined the Mayanza team in 2018 as our first community health educator.  She travels to our four partner schools each week to engage the children in interactive session centered around health education topics such as hygiene, nutrition, and exercise and tools for managing emotions.  In addition, she facilitates a diabetes lifestyle modification group for women of the community of Tzanchaj. Lola was educated as a primary school teacher and is originally from Santiago Atitlan. She is able to work with a variety of literacy and language levels in her students as her mother tongue is Tz'utujil, second language Spanish and third is English. She dreams of expanding the education sessions to the parents of the children in this community and to serve even more children.  She is thankful for the professional development opportunity to work with Mayanza and improve the health of her community.

Adrienne Benn

Chief Growth Officer

Adrienne joined Mayanza in February 2019 on her first, of many, medical service trip. Performing the role of a dental scribe, ignited a fire in her heart for global public health and more health education in the Guatemalan community.  Adrienne studied Journalism at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and will complete an MBA and MS in Healthcare Leadership from Cornell in Spring 2020. She currently works in patient marketing at Takeda Pharmaceuticals.

Elizabeth Eden, MS, PA-C

Diabetes Prevention Program Manager

Liz first visited Guatemala in the summer of 2015 and fell in love with the people and vibrant culture. She returned for her first trip with Mayanza in February 2019, which further fueled her passion for increasing healthcare access to local natives. She is thrilled to continue working with Mayanza to expand the organization's impact on the community of Santiago. She hopes to provide lasting and impactful healthcare and education to the people of Guatemala. Liz is a certified physician assistant working in urgent care in New Jersey. 

Katie Stebbins, MMS, PA-C

Anemia Prevention Program Manager

Katie currently lives in Maine and has been working as a hospitalist Physician Assistant since earning her Master’s of Science in Physician Assistant studies from Arcadia University in 2017. She has always had a passion for integrating her love of travel and global health into her practice, making her way around the world through various medical service trips. During her first trip with Mayanza in February of 2019, she quickly connected with the Santiago community and shared Mayanza's passion for improving the population's health. She is now excited and grateful to continue to expand public health education and promotion in Santiago with the Mayanza team. She also hopes to learn a little Spanish while she's at it.

Priscilla Lam, MS, PA-C

Secretary

Priscilla is thrilled to join the Mayanza team and participate in her first medical mission trip as a clinician. She graduated from Wake Forest School of Medicine with a Masters in Medical Science in 2017. She currently works at NYP-Cornell as an inpatient Physician Assistant in oncology. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, running, and baking. She is looking forward to meeting the Santiago Atitlan community and getting involved in projects to help improve healthcare in Guatemala.   

Febe Quinillo

Physical Education Educator

Febe is a preschool teacher with a passion for personal fitness and athletics from Santiago Atitlan. She has worked with Mayanza since 2019 leading the fitness portion of the Women's Diabetes Lifestyle Prevention Program.  She is excited to share her love of fitness with women and help them to form healthy habits involving exercise.

Kate Pickett, MPH, DMD

Chief Dental Officer

Kate received her Master’s in Public Health with a Global Dental emphasis while earning her Dental Medicine Degree. She is currently practicing dentistry in Manhattan in a private office. She is grateful to be part of the Mayanza team and following her passion of addressing global dental issues. When she is not doing dentistry, she is with her husband chasing her young daughters through Central Park or out exploring this beautiful world.

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Mayanza, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) not for profit organization

​Contact us: 

mayanza.guatemala@gmail.com

Mayanza, Inc.

PO Box 85 

Rocky Hill, NJ 08553