Leadership

Gabriel Thelus, Haiti Community of St. Rose Leader, is a native of Jacsonville, Haiti.  His father’s dream was to create educational and job opportunities in their poor village.  As a result, Gabriel worked very hard to complete high school and learn English.  His determination was recognized by Brother Cosmas Rubencamp, a Catholic Xaverian brother long involved in Haiti.  Gabriel was given a scholarship to attend Virginia Tech, and he graduated in 1994 with an associate degree in Plant Agriculture.  He worked very hard in his classes and even made the Dean’s List during all semesters. After graduating, Gabriel returned to Haiti to live out his father’s dream of creating opportunity for his fellow countrymen.  He opened the first elementary school in the area, St. Rose de Lima School.  He also started a carpentry and welding apprenticeship program to teach skills to local men.  He began a market and a sugar cane mill.  Gabriel also works tirelessly to provide jobs and houses to the people of Jacsonville and surrounding villages.  He receives many visitors from the United States in the Mission House built in the community in 2009.  Gabriel is married to his wife, Maricile, and they have three children: Ti-Gabie, Garel, and Dominica.

 

Ketheline Rock Dantil, St. Rose School Nurse, is originally from the town of Pignon in the Central Plateau of Haiti.  She received her nursing degree from Centre Haitian Etudes Supérieures en Sciences de la Santé in Port au Prince in 2008.  She received additional training in pediatric diseases, vaccination, nutrition, and de-worming at the Grace Ministries in Port au Prince.  She is currently working as a nurse for the Catholic diocese of Pignon in a small clinic helping local people to receive desperately needed primary care.  She lives with her husband, Moussanto, a local veterinarian, and their son in the village of Jacsonville.  She noted the need for medical care and instruction in basic sanitation habits amongst the local children.  Thus, Ketheline currently volunteers one day during the week at St. Rose de Lima School to work with children who are ill.  She is interested in continuing to expand her involvement with the children of St. Rose and is committed to increasing the amount of public health education in the school curriculum.

 

Barbara Weis, MD, MPH &TM, Executive Director, has a long-standing interest in Global Health.  She received a BA in French and German Comparative Literature from Yale University, then served in the US Peace Corps in Togo, West Africa, as the regional coordinator for a project designed to impact the transmission of water-borne diseases by drilling wells and creating health committees in the chosen villages.  After her two years in the Peace Corps, she completed her MD and her Master’s in Public Health and Tropical Medicine at Tulane, then her residency at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx, in Social Pediatrics.  She has been an attending in the outpatient department of Sinai Hospital of Baltimore since 1990, where she has served as the Medical Director of the Pediatric HIV program, coordinator of the Advocacy Rotation, and the School Health rotation, as well as Director of the Global Health Elective.  She has been involved with Sante Total since July, 2010, recently completing her 23rd trip to Jacsonville, and is particularly excited to be returning to International Health, and the opportunity to train medical students and residents in Global Health issues.

 

Alison A. Smith, MD, PhD, Board Member, daughter of Dr. James and Paula Smith, completed her MD/PhD at Tulane University School of Medicine, and is currently an attending Trauma Surgeon at LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans. During her General Surgery residency, she received an award for her work with Sante Total.  Smith has been involved in clinical work in Haiti since 2007 and has led 15 medical relief teams to the Central Plateau patients since 2009.  She was also involved in the first wave of medical relief efforts at the General Hospital in Port au Prince following the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in January 2010.  Her relief work was recognized with daily blog postings on MTV News and a published article in The New Physician.  Smith graduated with highest honors from Oakland Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2003.  Smith graduated summa cum laude from Virginia Tech in 2007 with dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Biological Sciences and Chemistry.  She received many top awards at Virginia Tech and received local and national recognition for her leadership efforts at Virginia Tech following the shootings in April 2007.  Smith has numerous international experiences, including volunteer work in Australia, Honduras, and Mexico.  Smith also completed two USDA-funded research projects in Mali and Ecuador.  She has organized three medical trips to the Dominican Republic to treat over 2,000 Haitian refugees.

 

E. Alton Sartor, MD, MBA, Board Member, Director of Finances, completed his MD and MBA at Tulane and a Residency in Neurology and is now a Neuro-Oncology Fellow at Boston University.  Dr. Sartor has been involved with Sante Total since December 2010 and currently manages the 501(c)3 non-profit status of Sante Total.  He has experience as a Senior Reactor Operator of Reed College’s nuclear reactor, builds computers, and is currently working to change the approach to medical education.  He has worked in both Kenya and Haiti on a variety of projects and is planning on continuing his work overseas.

 

Carl Mickman, MD, Board Member, completed his Emergency Medicine residency at Mount Sinai in New York, Class of 2018, and an ultrasound fellowship before serving with “Doctors without Borders” for a year.  He is currently an ER attending.  He attended medical school at LSU and is originally from Minneapolis, MN. After two years of teaching high school science in New Orleans and volunteering abroad, Carl began medical school at LSU-New Orleans. He became involved with Sante Total shortly thereafter and spent six weeks in Jacsonville in May and June 2011 creating a community needs assessment. Using medical records, interviews and questionnaires, this assessment served as the basis for several other endeavors in the community.

 

ClinicKids

Devi Yalamanchili, MD, Board Member, Research/Grant Development Chair, is currently an Internal Medicine & Pediatrics Assistant Professor/Hospitalist attending with University of South Florida Physicians group at Tampa General and St. Joseph Children’s Hospitals in Tampa, FL. She went to medical school at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center – New Orleans. Her primary focus is in global health and service in resource-poor areas, and she has been extensively involved in both local and international medical service projects in several countries including India, Rwanda, Malawi, Vietnam, Mexico, Bangladesh, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic. Dr. Yalamanchili has been a medical volunteer with Sante Total since 2010 and is excited to continue to be a part of the future endeavors to optimize the medical services for this community.

 

violet_yeagerViolet Yeager, MSPH, DO, Board Member, graduated from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine with an MSPH in Tropical Medicine and then completed her degree at the William Carey College of Osteopathic Medicine. She has completed her psychiatry residency and is currently completing a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry. She has been participating in research since 2005 and completed a research fellowship at the Tulane Traumatology Institute with research focus on torture survivors.  She is passionate about treating trauma survivors, supporting refugee and asylum seekers, forensics, disaster response, and international medical service. She has worked in Thailand, Vietnam, West Africa, and Mexico. Along with her medical experience and international experience, her prior work experience in military logistical operations with the US Army, the US Navy and with the American Red Cross allows her to contribute significantly to the Sante Total team. Violet is enthusiastic about the mission of Sante Total and has been working with the organization since 2013.

 

Serena Murphy

Serena Murphy, MD, Board Member, graduated with the Class of 2016 from LSUHSC New Orleans, and is from Birmingham, AL. She completed her general surgery residency at the University of Vermont and will be completing her fellowship in Colorectal Surgery at UC Irvine. Two years after receiving her BS in Biochemistry from Birmingham-Southern College in Alabama, Serena joined the United States Air Force as a second lieutenant and began at LSU Medical School. She became involved with Sante Total in her first year of medical school and has since spent over five weeks in Jacsonville, from May to June 2013, to continue ongoing research on the helminth prevalence in the pediatric population and the effect of additional latrines within the community. Serena is excited to continue her involvement in Sante Total and to be a part of the strengthening and growth of Jacsonville’s community.

 

Temrah Okonski, Board Member, is the senior physical therapist for PACT: Helping Children with Special Needs, childcare center in Baltimore, MD. Temrah received her Bachelors of Science degree from Simmons College in 1988 and held post graduate fellowship positions at Hermann Hospital, TX and Georgetown University, DC. She was the pediatric physical therapist for the US Airforce Base, Misawa, Japan from 1994 to 1997. While in Japan she also worked at the local Japanese hospital treating adults. Published material includes: Clinical Management in Physical Therapy, 1990: “Clinical Fellowships”; Today’s Student in PT, 1990: “Clinical Fellowships”; Simmons Review, 1990: “In Our Opinion: Two Witnesses at Tiananmen Square”; Today’s Student in P.T. 1991: “Rehabilitation of the Elderly Patient”; Navy Medicine, 1999: “Supporting Our Children: A Review of Popular Positioning Devices”; Pediatric Physical Therapy, 1995: Book reviews; Kids Count, Yakima,WA 2000, Those Tumbly Bumbly Toddlers”; Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics, 2022: “A New Orthosis: Seating Frame”. Temrah became involved with Sante Total in 2012.  She became a Sante Total board member in 2015 and she is currently a Rotary District Assistant Governor of Howard County, MD. She is currently working with Rotary and Sante Total to complete Jacsonville’s medical clinic. 

 

 Julia Clemens, MD, Board Member, Webmaster, graduated from Wesleyan University in 2016, where she majored in French Studies and Biology. She completed medical school at the University of Vermont and will be completing her pediatric residency at the University of Wisconsin where she will be a member of the primary care and global health tracks. She is very interested in international medicine and public health. She started volunteering with Sante Total in 2013 and has been on seven trips prior to starting medical school and now helps to run the website.

 

 Margarite Matossian, MD/PhD, Board Member, Student Leader, completed her MD/PhD at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans and is currently a first-year resident in Internal Medicine at the U of Chicago with the goal of becoming an oncologist. She is originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan. She received her BA in Biochemistry at Kalamazoo College where she was recognized for building Women in Science programs at local schools. Margarite’s research focus is cancer biology, specifically breast cancer. Margarite has been involved in Sante Total since 2015 as a second-year medical student and has participated in three trips. She has a role in coordinating trips to Jacsonville, and recruiting students from the medical, public health and other fields to participate in trips.

 

Sergei Robinson, DO, Board Member, completed medical school at Lecom in PA and did his internal medicine residency at Wright State University in Ohio. He is currently an internist and a flight surgeon for the USAF in Alaska and also works as a hospitalist in California. Sergei has been to Haiti multiple times since 2010. Initially he went to assist with water filtration and orphanage work. During officer training he met Serena Murphy who encouraged him to investigate Sante Total. Sergei has since been on several trips to Jacsonville and is always eager to come back!

 

Christina Stiles, MD, Board Member, Social Media, graduated from Bates College in 2015, where she majored in Biological Chemistry and Mathematics. After graduation, she worked for a year and a half as a Clinical Research Coordinator in the Burn Unit at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. She started volunteering with Sante Total in 2010 and has been on twelve trips in total. She is passionate about international medicine and public health which led her to work in Uganda for a year as a Strategic/ Research coordinator with a nonprofit organization called OmniMed.  She will graduate from the University of Chicago Medical School in June, 2022 and will begin her pediatric residency at Oakland Children’s Hospital.

 

 

Eric Delss, Board Member, earned degrees in architecture and urban design from Virginia Tech and Harvard University.  Recently, he completed studies in land preservation and conservation planning from the University of Pennsylvania.  Eric first visited Haiti as a student at Virginia Tech in 1998, where he met Gabriel Thelus and saw the foundations of what was to become the St. Rose de Lima School.  For over twenty years, Eric has worked closely with Gabriel, his wife Erinn, and parents Charles and Carol Delss to grow a strong connection between Jacsonville and sponsoring communities in Maryland and Pennsylvania.   As the son of a teacher and the husband of a teacher, he recognizes that the power for social change and improved community health rests in guaranteeing access to quality education.  Eric is excited to contribute to the efforts of Sante Total and to continue this important and necessary work. Eric lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and two sons.