Dedicated to affecting change
Our staff members make a difference. They reach out to help neighbors who live down the street and across the globe.
Working everywhere from south Los Angeles to Mozambique, our staff strives to improve health in low-resource settings by advancing medical education, cultivating partnerships, developing and expanding programs, and stepping into any role in any location where they find need.
Rachel Abbott, MSc
Program Coordinator, Global Health Program
As Program Coordinator, Rachel contributes to many aspects of the Global Health Program’s evaluation, program development, budget, and administrative activities. Prior to UCLA, Rachel worked for three years as Research Coordinator for the Medi-Cal Quality Improvement Program at the UC Davis Institute for Population Health Improvement, with a focus on advancing the health of low-income mothers across the state. Rachel has a particular interest in advancing women’s health in low resource settings as well as evaluation of programs and interventions to improve the livelihoods of those most in need.
Rachel earned a Master of Science in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2018 and completed her Master thesis on the Determinants of early childbearing among Kenyan women using Demographic and Health Surveys data (2014): informing interventions to reduce adverse maternal/child outcomes.
Chris Buck, MD, MPH
Partner Lead, Mozambique
Dr. Buck is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at UCLA and Director of the UCLA-Mozambique Academic Partnership which supports pediatric, surgery, and family medicine residency training programs throughout the country. In this role, he also serves as the focal point for all UCLA medical students and residents who complete clinical and research rotations in Mozambique.
Over his career as a pediatrician, Dr. Buck has developed comprehensive clinical and public health HIV experience along the continuum of pediatric care from preventing mother-to-child transmission to antiretroviral treatment and management of comorbidities including TB, and is currently a technical advisor to the Mozambique Ministry of Health in the areas of pediatric HIV, pediatric TB, and drug resistant TB. Prior to joining UCLA, he worked for the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative in Malawi and for CDC Mozambique.
Dan DeUgarte, MD
Director of Global Health Student Research, Global Health Program
Dr. DeUgarte is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Division of Pediatric Surgery at UCLA and Chief of Pediatric Surgery at Harbor-UCLA. As the Director of Global Health Student Research, Dr. DeUgarte oversees the Global Short-Term Training Program for medical students between their first and second years of school, as well as the medical student Global Health Pathway. For the past decade, Dr. DeUgarte has been helping build pediatric surgical capacity in Mozambique with the development of partnerships, training workshops, bilateral exchanges, and clinical research.
Dr. DeUgarte's interests include the implementation of quality improvement projects in limited-resource settings, including in Los Angeles public hospitals. Dr. DeUgarte also serves on the Global Committees for the Society of University Surgeons and the American Pediatric Surgical Association.
Risa Hoffman, MD, MPH
Interim Director, Global Health Program
Dr. Hoffman is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases and an Associate Director of the UCLA Infectious Diseases Fellowship Training Program. As the Interim Director, Dr. Hoffman oversees all of the clinical and classroom elements of the Global Health Program, as well as opportunities for expansion, including of multidisciplinary opportunities within the health sciences and across UCLA.
Dr. Hoffman is passionate about global health research and her current research portfolio focuses on HIV co-morbidities as well as on the implementation of HIV service delivery in resource-limited settings. For the past ten years she has served on the leadership team of a large PEPFAR/USAID grant that is a collaboration between Partners in Hope, a nonprofit medical center in Malawi, and the UCLA Division of Infectious Diseases. Dr. Hoffman maintains a weekly outpatient HIV clinical practice in south Los Angeles and works on the inpatient Infectious Diseases consultation service at UCLA.
Paul Janoian, MD
Travel and Tropical Medicine Specialist, Global Health Program
Dr. Janoian is a Clinical Instructor in the Division of Infectious Diseases. As the Travel and Tropical Medicine Specialist for the Global Health Program, Dr. Janoian oversees all aspects of health and health-related safety for medical students, residents, fellows, staff, and faculty who travel through the David Geffen School of Medicine for training, research, clinical care, and other types of service.
His current clinical and academic interests focus on improving tropical medicine education and training for medical trainees, and he has spent significant time at the school’s partner sites in Peru, Malawi, and Thailand, helping to expand collaborative training efforts. In addition to his work in tropical medicine, Dr. Janoian maintains a general infectious diseases and travel medicine outpatient clinical practice in Encino, CA.
Fola May, MD, PhD, MPhil
Co-Director of Postgraduate Global Health Education, Global Health Program
Dr. May is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director of Quality Improvement in the Division of Digestive Diseases at the David Geffen School of Medicine (DGSOM). As the Co-Director of Resident and Fellow Global Health Education, Dr. May is working to support trainee programs that offer clinical and/or research opportunities in global health, including providing linkages across DGSOM’s Departments and Divisions and leveraging resources and expertise to make global health activities more broadly accessible at the postgraduate level. She is also leading our new Global Health Seed Grant and Travel Grant Programs.
Dr. May’s research portfolio addresses challenges in access to preventative services nationally and internationally, community engagement in health, and patient education.
Lee Todd Miller, MD
Director of Medical Student Clinical Education, Global Health Program
Dr. Miller serves as the Associate Dean for Student Affairs at the David Geffen School of Medicine. In his role as the Director of Medical Student Clinical Education for the Global Health Program, Dr. Miller oversees all global clinical electives, playing a central role in establishing and supporting mutually beneficial partnerships with host sites. Over the years, Dr. Miller has worked on education-related projects in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Myanmar, Peru, Rwanda, South Africa, and Zambia. He also made substantial contributions to the Diarrheal Diseases Control Program at the World Health Organization during a sabbatical in Geneva.
Dr. Miller is the founder of Partners for Pediatric Progress, a non-profit project under the umbrella of the David Geffen School of Medicine and the Global Health Program. This program is committed to improving the care of children in Mozambique and Peru through the establishment of training partnerships that address the priority needs of local leadership.
Kiran Mitha, MD, FAAP
Partner Lead, Peru
Dr. Mitha is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of General Pediatrics. As one of the Partner Leads for the Global Health Program’s partnership in Peru, Dr. Mitha helps oversees the relationship between the Department of Pediatrics at the Hospital Regional de Loreto and UCLA. She works with medical students and residents traveling to Peru for their international electives and focuses on building capacity within the pediatrics ward in Iquitos, Peru. Projects have primarily focused on building skills in pediatric resuscitation to help manage the high levels of critically ill children who present to the hospital.
In addition to her work in Peru, Dr. Mitha serves as a Co-Director of the Global Health Track for the Pediatrics Residency Program at UCLA. She also serves as the Director for Pediatric Programs for Seed Global Health, a non-profit supporting the education and training of local healthcare workers in East Africa. Lastly, Dr. Mitha maintains her clinical practice as a general pediatrician at the UCLA Children’s Health Center in Westwood.
Zoe Stathopoulos, MA
Program Manager, Global Health Program
As the Program Manager, Zoe works closely with the Director to ensure smooth running of all aspects of the Global Health Program across medical student, resident/fellow, and faculty/staff initiatives. She has a particular focus on supporting partnership development, oversight for systems strengthening to facilitate global health work, program evaluation and expansion, and internal and external relations and communications.
Prior to joining UCLA, Zoe spent nearly 10 years supporting initiatives, creating partnerships, and managing policy advocacy activities for high-quality global health and nutrition programs in Washington, DC. Zoe has spent time living abroad, and working in Bangladesh, South Africa, and Vietnam, including supporting Vietnam in opening the country’s first human milk bank.
Traci Wells, PhD
Director of Education, Global Health Program
Dr. Wells is the Director of Education for the Global Health Program, and also serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. Her interests in medical education range from developing comprehensive and innovative pre-departure ethics and cultural humility training, to pairing students with mentors in their area of interest(s), and finding creative ways to evaluate and strengthen our global health programs. She speaks French fluently, and her global health fieldwork has included serving as a research consultant in Mali and Niger, with World Vision as a local partner.
This formative research examined various aspects of the curriculum for an after-school club that incorporates games, books, and videos that teach about water, sanitation, and hygiene and neglected tropical diseases, with a focus on inclusion of children with disabilities.