Jonathan Payne, MS - Director

Jonathan Payne

Jonathan Payne, MS, is a health software engineer turned public health practitioner using information and communication technologies to transform health delivery in low and middle income countries. He is currently launching the mHealth Standards and Interoperability Working Group for the mHealth Alliance, hosted at the United Nations Foundation. He is director of the Maternal Concept Lab, a cross-cutting collaborative that is making the world's best practices for maternal-child health available in standards-based, digital formats. Jonathan also leads the mHealth Working Group at Partners In Health. He previously worked with D-tree International to manage the implementation of maternal health protocols on mobile phones in Bihar, India, in collaboration with CARE India. He has worked or traveled in over 30 countries, and worked as a consultant for international not-for-profits, academic medical centers, and the private sector. Jonathan received a M.S. at the Harvard School of Public Health and B.E. from Vanderbilt University.

Maria Freytsis, CNM, MPH - Public Health Informatics Specialist

Maria Freytsis

Maria is a nurse midwife with 15 years of clinical experience in maternal and child health. As a midwife she has worked in both hospital and independent birth center settings, in the US and internationally. She earned her Masters in Public Health at Columbia University and Public Health Informatics certificate at Johns Hopkins University. Her international work has focused on improving health services for women through training, program planning and evaluation, and provision of direct clinical services as well as clinical supervision. She has worked in diverse rural and post-disaster settings including post-war Kosovo, rural Guatemala, Tibetan areas of western China, post-tsunami Indonesia and post-earthquake Haiti. Maria is committed to finding creative solutions to the challenges that midwives face in caring for women locally and globally. Her current focus is on the development of mobile and digital tools for midwives and nurses working in low-resource areas. The overarching goal of this work is creation of reusable, best practice content with an open source approach to facilitate effective use of emerging technologies in these settings.

Brian Dant - Open Source Community Manager

Brian Dant

Brian is responsible for writing code and finding people who want to work on OCL's tools, and making sure they are "bringing the awesome" as part of the team. He's currently employed at Startup Institute, where he writes code to support the business mission. He's a big fan of Python, Django, and Vim. He loves building and supporting the programmer community as a co-organizer of Code Mentors Boston.

Hamish Fraser, MBChB, MSc, MRCP - Advisor

Hamish Fraser

Dr. Fraser is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Associate Physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He trained in General Medicine, Cardiology and Knowledge Based Systems in the UK and completed a fellowship in Clinical Decision Making and Cardiology at MIT and the New England Medical Center.

His work has led to the migration of medical informatics tools and expertise from developed countries to some of the most challenging environments in the developing world. For ten years Dr. Fraser has been the Director of Informatics and Telemedicine at Partners In Health (PIH), where he leads the development of web-based medical record systems, data analysis tools, and pharmacy systems. These systems support the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis and HIV, primary care and heart disease in Peru, Haiti, Rwanda, Lesotho, Malawi and the Philippines.

Along with colleagues from the Regenstrief Institute at the University of Indiana and the South African Medical Research Council, Dr. Fraser is a co-founder of the OpenMRS collaborative, an international collaboration to develop a flexible, open source medical record system platform for use in developing countries. He also leads a training program in Rwanda to train local computer scientists to build medical information systems like OpenMRS. Dr. Fraser has a strong interest in the evaluation of medical information systems in developing countries.

Andrew Kanter, MD, MPH - Advisor

Andrew Kanter

Dr. Kanter is Director of Health Information Systems/Medical Informatics for the Millennium Villages Project (MVP) at the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Interested in application of ICT to health in the developing world, he has worked or traveled in more than 50 countries. Prior to joining Columbia, he recently spent 12 years with a private medical informatics company where he helped develop the Healthmatics EHR now being sold by Allscripts in addition to providing medical terminology and consulting services to other electronic medical record companies. He is currently appointed to Columbia University full-time in the Departments of Biomedical Informatics (College of Physicians & Surgeons) and Epidemiology (Mailman School of Public Health) while coordinating the development and implementation of the Millennium Global Village-Network (MGV-Net) for MVP. He directs the Columbia International eHealth Lab (CIEL) in the Department of Biomedical Informatics which brings together resources from the medical school, public health school and the Earth Institute for eHealth work around the world. His work focuses on bringing real-world solutions to resource-poor settings to help them achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

Neal Lesh, PhD, MPH - Advisor

Neal Lesh

Neal Lesh is the Chief Strategy Officer of Dimagi, Inc. He received a PhD in computer science from the University of Washington in 1998 and a Master in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health. From 2005-2009, he lived in East and Southern Africa, working on information systems for projects including large-scale AIDS treatment programs, rural hospitals, and research projects. His primary focus now is on the CommCare project to equip community health workers with phone-based applications to help them plan their day, manage household visits, and report their data. He has been active in helping to form and lead many open source communities and discussion groups including OpenROSA, OpenMRS, and the ict4chw discussion group.

Olivia Velez, PhD, MS, MPH, RN - Advisor

Olivia Velez

Olivia Velez is the Senior mHealth Advisor for USAID's Maternal Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP) and a Senior Technical Specialist with ICF International where she is leading strategy development on the use of mobile phones to address maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) in the developing world. Dr. Velez was previously a National Library of Medicine Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Columbia University in the Department of Biomedical Informatics, where she maintains an affiliate faculty role. While at Columbia, she designed a mobile application for use by midwives at the Millennium Villages project site in rural Ghana. Dr. Velez has over 15 years experience in health informatics. Her research interests are in point-of-care decision support for frontline health workers in low-resource settings that address global MNCH disparities.

Former Team Members

Marianne Muchura, MD - Clinical Fellow

Marianne Muchura

Dr. Marianne Muchura is a member of the clinical faculty at Harvard Medical School and Tufts School of Medicine. While completing a Residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Harvard Medical School’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Dr. Muchura developed and nurtured a keen interest in the improvement of health systems, and access to care in resource-constrained countries. Nowhere did the implications and realities of this correlation become more apparent for her, than during her time working with women and children in community and referral hospitals in her native East Africa.

Having obtained a degree in Business Administration prior to pursuing Medicine, Dr. Muchura also has a background in Information Systems, working previously as a project analyst for the healthcare company CIGNA. As an intern at the World Health Organization in Geneva, she worked as a member of the reproductive health an research team, developing guidelines for maternal health and identifying research priorities in this area. Improving systems within the field of healthcare has therefore come as a natural fit for Dr Muchura, as it allows her to combine elements of her expertise in both fields, and apply this to an area she is passionate about—leveraging technology to make critical healthcare accessible to low-income communities, not just in the developing world, but in the US as well.

Laura Ortiz-Suardy

Laura Ortiz-Suardy

Laura is a marketing professional with keen interest on the intersection of mobile services and health technologies toward improving the quality and access of care in developing countries. Originally from the Dominican Republic, is now leaving in Munich, Germany working for Nokia Siemens Networks.She has a Masters in Innovation Technology Management and Project Management from Rochester Institute of Technology.