Nearly a decade ago I co-founded a non-profit organization called Medic Mobile. We design, deliver and support world-class open source software for health workers who provide care in the hardest-to-reach communities. After several incredible, deeply challenging and hopeful years co-leading the organization, I decided pursue further studies in the hope I could address Medic Mobile’s growing research needs, and also satisfy my appetite for books and writing. With the support of a Gates Cambridge Scholarship, I recently completed a PhD in innovation studies and organizational ethnography. My thesis was titled Sensemaking and Human-Centered Design: A Practice Perspective. I worked with a remarkable supervisory committee in professors Michael Barrett, Mark de Rond and Jennifer Howard-Grenville.

Today, I lead Medic Mobile’s research efforts and teach an MSc level course on mHealth through the University of Edinburgh’s Global Health Academy. My expertise is in human-centered design research and practice, with a focus on health equity, delivery innovation, doorstep care and new models of precision global health. I do fieldwork and practice human-centered design with ten fellow designers at Medic Mobile, I collaborate on RCTs and other investigations with Medic Mobile’s research partners, and I continue to publish my own research, the latest of which is available on my academia.edu profile.

Since co-founding Medic during the fourth year of my undergraduate program, I’ve worked with a great team to design and implement several open source software applications, implementing over 70 digital health projects in 23 countries. With a suitcase as head quarters, I traveled throughout East Africa to oversee Medic Mobile’s key program areas of design research, product development and implementation, keeping each area is in tune with the bigger picture for health systems strengthening as well as the local contexts of the places Medic works. At the end of 2017, these projects support about 20,000 health workers who serve millions of patients and Medic Mobile’s work has been recognized with a number of high-profile international awards. In 2017 we were one of five organizations featured in the Tech Museum’s tech for global good exhibits, and in 2014 Medic Mobile received a Skoll Award for social entrepreneurship. I received a 2011 mHealth Innovator of the Year award, a 2010 Echoing Green Fellowship and a 2009 Compton Mentor fellowship. Our work has been covered by a variety of news outlets including The Economist, CNN, The Discovery Channel, Reuters, and The Guardian. My writing has been published in scientific journals and conferences as well as The Oregonian and National Geographic.

My academic trajectory reflects a broad interest in technology, designing and global health equity. I also hold degrees in sociology, biochemistry & molecular biology and the liberal arts. As an undergraduate at Lewis & Clark, I conducted honors thesis research in ribosome biogenesis and was named a Pamplin Fellow, the highest honor Lewis & Clark awards its students. I developed a passion for activism and the social sciences through a policy effort that resulted in a series of lectures for nursing students and community groups and contributions to the writing and passage of health reform legislation in Oregon (which predated and was later rolled into the U.S. Affordable Care Act). I later conducted ethnographic research at a walk in clinic in down-town Havana, and among health workers who use mobile phones in Malawi. I have lived and worked in the Pacific Northwest, The Netherlands, Guatemala, Cuba, Malawi, Kenya and the United Kingdom. I’m proficient in Spanish and Dutch.

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