& HUNGER RELIEF
Dr Bhanu Pandiri MD, team leader
Education – MBBS from Indira Gandhi Medical college , Nagpur India
Training – Montefiore Hospital AECOM, Bronx, NY
I have been working in the Pulmonary Critical Care practice at Kaiser WLA for the past 20 years. I am also the Medical Director of critical care unit for the past 9 years. I learnt about MMK from Millicent who has been inspirational. I knew I wanted to be involved right away and told her to let me know when she was going to Kenya again.
This will be my first international medical mission and I am serving as the Team Leader of the volunteers.
I would like to be able to contribute my skills to bring good medical care to the underserved areas of the world. Being so privileged to be in this part of the world and be able to practice high tech medicine all the time, I am apprehensive and excited to learn to provide basic care at grass roots level. I am looking forward to this experience as I am sure I will be enriched at the end, and hope to give back just as much to enrich other lives.
Dr Cara gardenswartz, PHD
Education: Undergraduate at the University of Oregon and Nursing
school at Azusa Pacific University, currently in graduate school at
UCLA for my PNP (Pediatric Nurse Practitioner)
Work Experience: Have been a nurse for 2 1/2 years at Children's
Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA)
Previous Missions: Youth leader at my church Remembrance Community Church,
Led a group of high schoolers to the Dominic Republic to work with
children and spread the gospel (2011), Built houses in Mexico in 2009,
2007-2006 worked with Sonshine Ministries ministering to youth on
houseboats, and in 2006 went to Egypt and worked at a Sport Camp.
My Mission God has called me to be a nurse, I love serving
people and bring hope to people during difficult time. I wanted to go
and use my skills as a nurse to impact these peoples lives and share
God's love with them.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Certified Group Psychologist
PhD in Psychology, UCLA
MA in Psychology, UCLA
BA, University of Pennsylvania
Private Practice, Beverly Hills
Professor of Abnormal Psychology, Beverly Hills
Department of Psychology, UCLA
St Luke’s/ Columbia University Teaching Hospital
Previous Missions: Providing therapy for patients at WLA veterans association and Aids project LA. I also host conversation and food with a group of homeless people in Los Angeles on a regular basis with my children.
My Mission This is my first mission. My prior volunteer experience has been local - at AIDS Project Los Angeles and the West LA Veterans Administration. I am excited to part of this journey and thrilled to meet and to help our new friends in Kenya.
Dr Francis Lee, MD
Orthopaedic Surgeon, Musculoskeletal Tumor Surgeon, Yale New Haven Hospital, Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon, Yale New Haven Hospital, New Haven and Stamford, CT
Orthopaedic Surgeon and Professor, Yale University School of Medicine and Yale New Haven Hospital, CT
Medical Mission in Philippines
My Mission :
I am very happy to get involved in MMK and look forward to providing any help for MMK and people in Kenya.
Alexis "Lexy" Davidge, NP, team resource
I was born and raised in Southern California. I went to Arizona State for nursing school, graduating from the Mayo Clinic accelerated nursing program and accepted my first job working as a Surgical/Transplant ICU RN at UCLA hospital.
One of the main reasons I got into nursing was to get involved in medical work abroad. My passion for social justice has taken me to Nepal, India, Australia and the Dominican Republic, but no place has stolen my heart like Kenya. I recall reading about MMK in the early hours of a night shift at UCLA. I was inspired by Milli’s story (MMK Founder), and her desire to bring medical help to her home country. I was ecstatic to be selected for the 2013 MMK which was my first official medical trip as an RN. On my first trip, I worked as an RN seeing patients alongside the many other wonderful volunteers. I loved traveling to Eldoret to help remove chiggers from the children’s feet and will never forget the hot air balloon ride experience over the Maasai Mara reserve. Despite being exhausted, I felt so alive, determined to see as many patients as possible before it got dark each night. My favorite part was being out of her ICU element and having to think on my feet given the limited resources. As the team leader on my 2nd mission in 2014, I prepared the new members who had myriad of questions on what to expect or pack for the trip. As soon as we landed in Nairobi, it felt like I was coming back home. I worked in the pharmacy preparing multiple doses of prescriptions medications that MMK provides to the patients. This time, I extended my trip and worked in Eldoret alongside a family nurse practitioner, to learn the NP’s role abroad. I helped teach a First Aid and CPR class to young professionals, visited patients in the slums and experienced life in a village!
I am so grateful for having these two opportunities to learn from the Kenyan people. My volunteer work with MMK inspired me to apply for NP school in hopes that one day I would return back to the beautiful people of Kenya with the new knowledge. I then attended UCLA’s acute care nurse practitioner program from 2014-2016. I moved to Dallas, Texas after accepting a nurse practitioner job at Baylor University Medical Center. I work specifically with mechanical assist devices, cardiogenic shock, transplant and advanced heart failure patients. Now that I am settled in Dallas and confident in my new role as as NP, I am excited to be returning to Kenya for my third medical mission with MMK. As an MMK board member, I am dedicated to increasing knowledge about the medical needs in places such as rural Kenya and encouraging others to volunteer their time!
Trained as a general nurse at York University UK 2001-2004.
Graduate certificate Infection control - principles, primary and secondary care 2010 at Northumbria University UK.
Nursing degree at Northumbria University UK 2011.
Advanced clinical skills and Nurse Prescribing 2012-2013 at Northumbria University UK.
Advanced Life Support at Northumbria NHS Trust UK 2015.
Advanced clinical skills and disease management at Masters level in 2018 at Teesside University UK.
Nursing for 14 years. Predominantly worked in Emergency Medicine 2004-2008 and then moved into Infection Control nursing with specialist interest in outbreak management 2008-2012.
Nurse Practitioner in General Surgery and Orthopaedics including out of hours Medicine and cardiac arrest responder 2012-2017 and currently working as Nurse Practitioner in minor injuries and illnesses for adults and children.
Being a nurse, I have a passion for helping and caring for people and making a difference in someone's life. As well as the love of the job and advancing my own career, I, also in my spare time, participate in charity work, raising money for people in need from suffering with cancer or cognitive impairment or a chronic disease and most recently animals in need.
My Mission: To share my nursing experience, knowledge and skills to help others less fortunate. To improve health and educate people is my passion and why I chose this profession and this mission to make a difference to someone's life.
Michelle allchurch, np
AMANDa york, rn
Education: I received my first degree in Food and Nutrition from the University of Idaho in 2012. I went back for my BSN from Northern Arizona University and graduated in December of 2016. I recently completed my first years as a Med/Surg flood nurse at a hospital in Scottsdale, AZ.
Previous Missions/Volunteerism: This is my first mission trip and I am so excited to be apart of this amazing experience!
My Mission: Throughout my time as a RN I have worked in a large hospital setting. I am looking forward to the more personal feel of the smaller clinics while working with the community and experiencing the local culture.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of San Francisco. One year of Adult Surgical Step Down experience as a Registered Nurse at UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center with a focus on urology, kidney transplant, head & neck, and trauma.
Immersion Trip to Poland consisting of living across from concentration camps with individuals from ten different countries. Several years as a regional leader for troubled youth and various other leadership positions for cultural and community-based organizations.
Growing up in a violent community, in the Bay area, I told myself I no longer wanted to sit in waiting rooms hoping everything would be okay, but instead would be on the other side of those doors doing everything I could to make the difference. I’ve carried this mentality into my career as an RN, my service as a regional youth group leader, my work in the community, my slam poetry, my public speaking, my aspirations to become a university professor; and I will carry it into this medical mission to Kenya.
jason jemera, rn
MONETTE GOMEZ, RN BSN
State Registered Nurse from United Kingdom 1981
Registered Nurse US 1983
Basic Life Support (BLS), Certification 2012
Pediatric Life Support (PALS) Certification 2012,
Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) Certification 2012
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 2015
25 years experience in Interventional Cardiology. Last 15 years adding Interventional Radiology. Experience includes teaching, mentoring, contract work in area hospitals. Able to circulate, scrub and monitor with equal proficiency. Administers conscious sedation and monitors patients’ recovery post procedure. Currently acting as a Charge Nurse for 3 busy interventional suites, coordinating procedures, supervising a 15 person staff, plus physicians. Considered an expert in the field. Currently works as Staff Development Sister training physicians and nurses on cardiac emergencies in the cardiac catheter lab at London Bridge Hospital.
This is my second trip to Kenya with MMK having volunteered with the organization back in 2014. I am so excited to be going back. Volunteering is one of the main reasons I became a nurse and when I first went to Kenya, I was so humbled by the experience and knew that I was going to come back.
I am looking forward to going back to volunteer in the villages again. Kenya will always be a special place in my heart and I have been wanting to go back for a while.
1991-1993 California State University, Los Angeles, Master of Science in Nursing
1974-1977 University of Illinois College of Nursing, Chicago, Illinois; Bachelor of Science in Nursing
1973-1974 University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois; Pre-nursing
1967-1968 University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin; Liberal Arts.
May 2017-Present Retired Assistant Professor of Nursing, Mount Saint Mary’s University, Los Angeles, Ca
January, 1994-Spring, 2017, Assistant professor of nursing, Mount Saint Mary's University.
Awarded Tenure in August, 2001
December, 1990-November, 1993, Mount St.Mary’s College Instructor of Nursing,
July 1986-August 1995, Kaiser Hospital, Woodland Hills Medical Center
Part-time and per diem staff nurse on the maternal child health care units.
I retired in May, 2017 from my full-time position as an Assistant Professor of Nursing, and I am looking forward to volunteering my time to contribute to the health and well-being of people who are medically under-served. It will be a great privilege to use my nursing skills and knowledge to teach about health and wellness. As a professional nurse, I have always had a particular interest in health prevention and teaching about wellness. I support the goals and philosophy of The Medical Missions Kenya, and its spiritual grounding.
Patricia "patty" melnick, rn
MR Michael melnick
Antioch College - Yellow Springs, Ohio, Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics. 1969
1986 - Present - Consulting Actuary and President of Melnick Consulting Group. Mr. Melnick has nearly thirty-five years experience in pension actuarial consulting, including the design, funding and communication of retirement plans and executive deferred compensation programs. For the last 15 years, one of his major areas of focus has been the design and administration of cash balance plans. He is an Associate of the Society of Actuaries since 1982, an Enrolled Actuary under ERISA since 1982, and a member of the American Society of Pension Actuaries since 1988. For three years, he was Vice Chairman of the Committee which writes the exams for the enrollment of Actuaries under ERISA. He has developed actuarial pension software which is sold and used nationally. He has lectured at various technical meetings of employee benefit professionals including the Western Pension Conference, and the Enrolled Actuaries Workshops in Los Angeles and Orange County. He is also is a frequent speaker at other professional organizations on general pension topics. Mr. Melnick is President of Melnick Consulting Group, an actuarial consulting firm in Woodland Hills, California which he formed in 1986. He has completed graduate work at the University of Wisconsin in mathematical logic. He won a special award from the Society of Actuaries for scoring among the top five undergraduates in the country on Part I of the Society's exams, and also received a perfect 800 score on his math S.A.T
My Mission: I am planning on retiring at the end of April 2018, and I would like an opportunity to contribute to the well being and health of others and also to learn about other cultures.
mr david melnick
University of California, Los Angeles - The Anderson School of Management, MBA, 1996 University of California, Berkeley - History and Social Sciences, BA, 1990
Vice President Web Isolation at Proofpoint and previous founder and CEO of WebLife, brings almost 25 years experience in technology and security. David has worked extensively with both US and Global companies advising them on setting strategy, developing risk based priorities, and operationalizing effective governance of highly sensitive and regulated data. David’s experience includes implementing security technology and addressing privacy regulatory requirements including Global, U.S. Federal and U.S. State privacy requirements. As a past two term board member of (ISC)2, David traveled internationally representing the security and privacy profession. David has authored several books through McGraw Hill Publishing and Macmillan Publishing including PDA Security: Incorporating Handhelds into your Enterprise. Currently his books have been translated into 4 languages including Japanese, Chinese and Italian. David is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/E CIPP/US), a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
My Mission: To make a contribution to communities in need.
Sonaali pandiri, student
I am on my way to finishing my studies at Amherst College in western Massachusetts. I major in Sexuality, Women's and Gender Studies and I am on the pre-med track.
I am part of a pre-health club on my campus called Kidney Disease Screening and Awareness Program (KDSAP) which helps raise awareness about kidney disease and puts on an annual kidney disease screening in our local community for free. In addition, we volunteer weekly at the local soup kitchen as a way to engage with members of the community and spread awareness about our program.
My Mission :
I am actually staying in Kenya for a month, volunteering in a women's health clinic after the medical mission trip is over. After graduating, I hope to get more hands-on experience in public health initiatives, and this mission is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see this in action. In the long term, I hope to help combat health disparities and work to make medicine more inclusive and cross-cultural. I am very excited to help with this medical mission and to learn more about Kenya.
Sangmin lee, STUDENT
I am a tenth grade student at the Horace Mann School in Bronx, New York. I am passionate in spreading my knowledge, whether it be through my background in basketball and lacrosse, musical instruments such as the cello, and my academic interests in the sciences. I look forward to contributing and partaking my time to the medical mission in Kenya and further interactions.
Every summer, I return to my middle school’s music camp to be a counselor and teacher for young cellists. This will be my international mission. However, I have been very active in my local community. Every Saturday morning, I partake my time in Habitat for Humanities, in which I help build houses for military veterans. I also raise money for UNICEF, and founded my school’s chapter of Soles 4 Souls.
My Mission :
I would like to provide any help for MMK, delivery of medications, and assistance to health
care providers. I would like to teach basketball. I recently began to create the Global Hoops for Kids Organization, a non-profit organization for installing hoops, donating basketballs, and teaching young children the sport. I look forward to interacting with children and our team members in Africa. I have been able to live in an area where medicine is easily accessible, and I feel as if every child in this planet has the birth-given right to our world’s fast growing and quite astonishing advances in medicine.
Education: I am an 8th grader student and attend the same school as Sean which is how I learnt about MMK and its great work in Africa.
Previous Missions/Volunteerism: I am passionate about activism and have raised money to support the Tobie Lee Foundation; a non profit organization that helps families that are plagued by addiction. The organization helps cover the cost of rehab, primarily at the Pasadena Recovery Center. I want to do whatever I can to make sure kids like me do not have to struggle without hope. I have seen firsthand that there is hope for families like mine to get help from treatment programs. I also hosts conversation and food with a group of homeless people in Los Angeles on a regular basis with my mom, stepdad and sister.
My Mission: I am excited about this mission and I can't wait to explore Africa. I want to be able to help people who don’t have access to medications. Especially children. This is my first mission.
Eli gardenswartz , STUDENT
sean mucheru, student
I am an 8th grader student at Crossroads school in Santa Monica, California. I am lucky to be in a school that gets us all involved in activism and social justice. I am especially passionate about lack of clean water in 3rd world countries and endangered animals like the rhinos and elephants. I like traveling and enjoy my African adventures especially watching the wildebeest migration in Maasai Mara.
In 2016, I joined my very first medical mission trip as the youngest MMK volunteer ever. I was shocked by the poor conditions of the villages and yet surprised by their resilience and patience. While in Los Angeles we check out the LA traffic before we head out, in the villages, they have to adjust their schedules to accommodate the wild animals; like going to fetch water before the elephants head out. I remember one day I was so hungry but all these kids didn't have food and had walked for miles to come to the clinic. I had a protein bar in my pocket, but couldn't eat it in front of the hungry crowd. My solution? I had to climb on a tree away from the crowds to take a bite of my snack bar. I was amazed and humbled by the crowds' patience. They waited in line for a medical evaluation and no one complained.
I am looking forward to going back to volunteer in the villages again and serve those in need. I am especially excited because my friend Eli is coming along and it is a privilege to share my African roots with my friend.
MILLICENT MUCHERU (MANYORE), RN BSN, PHN
Associate degree of Nursing, Park University Kansas, 2004
Bachelor Degree in Nursing, University of Texas, Arlington, 2011
Public Health Nurse, 2012
Millicent is the founder of MMK and organizes all the trips to Kenya. Her nursing career has taken her to various specialties including critical care, cardiac units, pulmonary nursing and Telehealth nursing. She worked at UCLA in different nursing units from 2004-2014 as a Registered Nurse where she earned the Community Service award in 2012 for her work in MMK. She currently works at Kaiser Permanente. Millicent migrated to the US from Kenya where she was quickly diagnosed with Hypertension, a disease she had never heard of at the time. This is partly because a routine blood pressure check is virtually unheard of in the rural village where she grew up. There are thousands of people with hypertension who are never diagnosed or put on the simple medical regimens that can help prevent potentially deadly problems like stroke, heart disease or kidney failure that are linked to high blood pressure. That is why MMK was founded; to provide free basic health services and free screening to communities where health care is not accessible.
It is such a privilege to be in a position to give back to those in need. MMK continues to partner with local Kenyan organizations to provide free life saving essential medications, saving lives and making a difference. I feel honored and extremely blessed to have volunteers join me in this life changing experience.