In-Country  Faculty for 2015

Rachel Hall-Clifford, PhD, MPH, MSc, is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Public Health at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA.  She is a medical anthropologist working at the intersections of anthropology and public health. Dr. Hall-Clifford conducted fieldwork in the central highlands of Guatemala on treatments for childhood diarrhea and the delivery of primary health care. She is interested in the measurement of long-term impacts of public health intervention and inequalities in the distribution of health and development funding. She is currently working on research funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health to investigate effective training of community health workers in oral rehydration therapy and zinc supplementation in Guatemala. She has also held medical anthropology research positions at Oxford University, Harvard University, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Dr. Hall-Clifford is In-Country Director of the NAPA-OT Field School.  hall-clifford@napaotguatemala.org

Juliana Gutiérrez MA, OTR/L, SWC, C/NDT, is an occupational therapist with over 25 years of experience working with the pediatric population with various diagnoses and ages. She received her undergraduate study in occupational therapy from the University of Nuestra Señora del Rosario in Bogotá, Colombia, and later completed her Masters at the University of Southern California (USC). She has an advanced practice certification in feeding and swallowing. Juliana is also a certified clinician in Sensory Integration theory, evaluation and treatment, as well as in the Neurodevelopment Treatment approach. She currently works as a clinical supervisor at Therapy West, Inc. and has lectured nationally and internationally.  gutierrez@napaotguatemala.org

Ryan Lavalley, MOT, OTR/L is a doctoral student of Occupational Science at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. His research interests include community development through occupation, occupational justice, and cross-cultural occupations. He graduated from Xavier University with a Masters of Occupational Therapy in 2013, after which he held an adjunct faculty position at Xavier teaching occupational justice and service learning theory.  In 2010, he studied in Nicaragua through the Academic Service Learning Semester program at Xavier, focusing on various aspects of social analysis and Central American history. He was a participant in the NAPA-OT Field School in 2013 as a member of the Educational Transition project group as well as the coordinator for the Field School in 2014.  lavalley@napaotguatemala.org

Carolina Axche Luna was born in a small village south of Antigua, Guatemala and grew up working in the fields and coffee plantations with her family.  She attended school and is now in her 26th year of teaching Spanish at Tecun Uman Spanish School.  She holds a Diploma in Spanish as a Second Language from Universidad Rafael Landivar, and she is in her 8th semester of law school at the Universidad Mariano Galvez.  Carolina became deeply interested in helping women and children as vulnerable populations in Guatemala, whom she believes are frequently unaware of their rights.  She is focusing on Human Rights in her legal studies and works on social and legal advocacy for women and children.  Carolina lives in Antigua with her husband, children, and grandchildren.  axche@napaotguatemala.org

Field School Officers

Gelya Frank, Ph.D., is Professor, Division of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry and the Department of Anthropology, University of Southern California. She is a medical and applied anthropologist and a cofounder of the discipline of occupational science, at USC, in 1989. Dr. Frank’s books include: Lives: An Anthropological Approach to Biography (Chandler and Sharp, 1980), Venus on Wheels: Two Decades of Dialogue on Disability, Biography and Being Female in America (U California Press, 2000), and Defying the Odds: The Tule River Tribe’s Struggle for Sovereignty in Three Centuries (Yale U Press, 2010). Among Dr. Frank’s awards and honors are the Eileen Basker Prize in medical anthropology and the 2010 Ruth Zemke Lectures in Occupational Science. Dr. Frank is Founding Director of the NAPA-OT Field School.  frank@napaotguatemala.org

Nancie T. Furgang, M.A., OTR/L has been a pediatric clinician for over 35 years, the last 20 years in the specialty practice area of neonatology. During this time she directed the Developmental Care Program, based in the Neonatology Division at the University of New Mexico. Since 2004, Ms. Furgang has served as adjunct faculty for the University of New Mexico’s Graduate Program in Occupational Therapy providing content on infant neurodevelopment and developmentally supportive care and is a certified tutor for the University’s Problem Based Learning curriculum. Ms. Furgang is currently part-time faculty for the program and serves as the Problem Based Learning Coordinator for second year graduate students. As part of the University of New Mexico's Center for Development and Disability, Ms. Furgang currently works with the Navajo Nation's Growing in Beauty program providing early intervention services and clinical training for the Navajo Nation in New Mexico. Since 2004, Ms. Furgang has held a Letter of Academic Title in the University of New Mexico’s School Of Medicine. In addition, Ms. Furgang is trained and certified in infant touch and massage by the International Institute of Infant Massage . A founding member of the NAPA-OT Field School faculty, Ms. Furgang has lead the NAPA-OT Field School’s pediatric nutrition focus area concerning infant developmental trajectories and nutrition. Ms. Furgang’s clinical interests include early childhood neurodevelopment and the development of early childhood occupations in context. Ms. Furgang also serves as the NAPA-OT Field School’s Chief Financial Officer.  furgang@napaotguatemala.org

Emeritus Faculty

Amber Angell, MOT, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist and doctoral student in occupational science, Division of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, University of Southern California. Amber has worked for over 7 years as a pediatric occupational therapist in clinic, school, home, and early intervention settings. She has received training in the DIR®/Floortime™ model and in Ayers Sensory Integration®, including certification in administration of the Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT). For the past 2 years, Amber has worked as a research assistant on an ethnographic project exploring diagnosis disparity for African American children with autism. Her research interests are health disparity, early child development, and occupational justice. Ms. Angell led the Pediatric Nutrition project for the 2013 NAPA-OT Field School session.

Gari Clifford PhD, MSc, SMIEEE, is an Associate Professor of Bioinformatics and Biomedical Engineering, Director of the Centre for Doctoral Training in Healthcare Innovation at Oxford University's Institute of Biomedical Engineering. He is also the founder and Director of the Centre for Affordable Healthcare Technologies at Kellogg College, a James Martin Fellow and the Interim Director of Affordable Healthcare at the George Institute for Global Health. At Oxford, Gari directs a research group focused on machine learning and signal processing to extract actionable information from medical data. In particular he focuses on intensive care medicine, cardiovascular disease, circadian rhythm disorders, sleep and mental health. His research is aligned with the concept of sustainable healthcare and he has a particular focus on resource-constrained mHealth and circadian rhythms. Prior to joining the faculty at Oxford Gari was a Principal Research Scientist at MIT, where he spent six years managing the engineering effort behind a multi-million dollar project to collect and analyse the world's largest public database of hospital data. Gari has licensed several patents and been closely involved in the regulatory approval of  medical devices for over 10 years. His research has won several awards including the 2009 Martin Black Prize, the 2010 mHealth Alliance Award, the 2011 International Engineering World Health Design Competition, the Dell Best Innovation Leveraging Technology Award 2012 and the Computing in Cardiology Challenges in 2008, 2012 and 2013 for ECG analysis and Mortality Prediction.  clifford@napaotguatemala.org

Margaret A. Perkinson, PhD, is director of the field school’s gerontology component. She received her doctoral degree from University of California, San Francisco and has conducted gerontological research for over 30 years. The NIH National Institute on Aging, AARP-Andrus Foundation, and the Administration on Aging have funded her research in long-term and community-based care. Her current research, funded by the Alzheimer’s Association, focuses on exercise and dementia. She is past president of the Association for Anthropology and Gerontology (AAGE), past executive board member of Association of Gerontology in Higher Education, current editor-in-chief of Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, serves on the editorial boards of Physical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics and Anthropology and Aging Quarterly, and is a board member of Global Alliances through Gerontological Engagement (GAGE). She is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, and the Society for Applied Anthropology. She has established relationships with the leadership of Ermitas, Guatemala’s Alzheimer’s Association, and with colleagues in gerontology, geriatrics, and occupational therapy who are responsible for the education of practitioners and formation of policies related to Guatemala’s aging population.

Stephanie Roche is a recent graduate from Boston University School of Public Health with a Masters of Public Health in Global Health; she also holds a double B.A. in cultural anthropology and Hispanic language and literature. After receiving a research grant from her university, Stephanie spent a summer in Quito, Ecuador where she served as a research assistant on a study of gender and sports in Ecuador. She then spent a year in Madrid as an international program coordinator, after which she relocated to Guatemala where she is conducting qualitative research on gender attitudes among Mayan women. Stephanie has been Coordinator of the NAPA-OT Field School in 2012 and 2013, when she also co-led the project on Surgical Referrals.

Jenny Womack, MA, MS OTR/L SCDCM CPH is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Jenny’s educational background spans occupational therapy, folklore and public health, and she combines these perspectives to understand community as a dynamic construct based in doing together. Her clinical background as an occupational therapist includes work in inpatient neurorehabilitation, long term care, assistive technology and community-based efforts focused on inclusive practices in transportation, housing, tourism and aging in place. She has served on the Community Mobility specialty certification board and currently on the Gerontology Special Interest Section steering committee for the American Occupational Therapy Association. She teaches content in applied kinesiology, neuroscience, leadership and community-based practice to occupational therapy students, and works with the Orange County (NC, USA) Department on Aging in the Aging Transitions program, as well as with the UNC Aphasia Center on a project to address community participation for adults with aphasia. Her work in Folklore focuses on the intersection of community, identity and performance, with a particular interest in women’s choruses and the performance of activism. Jenny grew up in rural western North Carolina and is influenced both by this context and by strong family traditions in craftwork.