Global Brigades is an international non-profit that empowers communities to meet their health and economic goals through university volunteers and local teams.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

– Edmund Burke.

Advisory Board Members

Staff Members

Dr. Jenny Najera

Medical Brigades Director

Global Brigades Honduras

Dr. Jenny Najera

Dr. Nájera joined Global Brigades in the Winter of 2006. Her first Medical Brigade was as a volunteer translating for Doctors. That same year, she then began to work as a temporary employee assisting with Medical Brigades.

In November 2010, she was promoted to the Medical Brigades Program Lead, in charge of programming and logistics. She also started establishing relationships with health authorities and developing protocols of safety and security for Global Brigades’ volunteers.

Prior to joining Global Brigades as a permanent employee, Dr. Nájera worked for the Ministry of Health and a Private Clinic as an attending doctor and for 1 year was the official doctor of Honduran Delegation in international events.

Dr. Nájera received her degree as a Medical Doctor in 2005 from the National University of Honduras. She has 2 years of residency in Pediatrics and has participated in several forums and symposiums of vector transmitted diseases (Dengue- Malaria-Chikunguyia and Zika), as well as in various national and international congresses. Dr. Nájera is currently pursuing her Masters in Epidemiology at the Central American Technological University.

Dr. Jessica Nuñez

Medical & Dental Brigades Manager

Global Brigades Panama

Dr. Jessica Nuñez

Dr. Núñez joined Global Brigades in October of 2014 as a Brigade Coordinator for the Medical/Dental Programs in Panama, while also managing the Dental component of the program. At the end of 2015, she was promoted to the position of Manager of the Medical/Dental Program. She is currently responsible for planning, assessing, monitoring and running the Medical/Dental Program in Panama. Dr. Núñez also maintains continued relationships with the Panamanian government, private companies and foundations to work in partnership toward the improvement of the quality of health for partner communities.

Dr. Núñez has lived in Panama for 14 years, but is originally from Colombia. She received her degree as a Doctor in Dental Surgery (DDS) from the University of Panamá. During her studies, Dr. Núñez was an active participant in the medical mission of PROGIMU program, Special Olympics, Sonrisa de mujer Program and served on the publicity and marketing committees for the 2012 and 2013 University of Panama Dental Conferences.

Dr. Núñez also holds a certifications in project management and is currently pursing a certification in international public health from the University of Texas. In the future, she plans to pursue a Masters degree in public health and epidemiology.

Fun fact facts about Dr. Núñez: In Colombia she studied architectural drawing, which is still one of her hobbies. Her love for the health vocation began during her internship at the University Hospital of Valle del Cauca in her hometown, where she worked in the maintenance department.

Dr. Jose Espinosa

Medical & Dental Brigades Manager

Global Brigades Nicaragua

Dr. Jose Espinosa

Dr. Espinosa joined Global Brigades in October of 2016. His medical career began in 1980 when he started medical school at Universidad de Guadalajara. Shortly after graduating, he became the Medical Director of a private hospital in Veracruz State. He spent a year there before moving to the United States to attend school at the University of Florida, where he studied his specialty, Emergency Medicine.

Dr. Espinosa moved to Nicaragua in 1991, and joined a regional hospital in Matagalpa as an Emergency Medicine Doctor, while also working on the Pediatric Burn Unit. He worked there for 3 years before he became the owner of his own clinic. Most notable about his clinic was it became the first to treat Social Security patients in northern Nicaragua.

In 1994 Dr. Espinosa built an even larger clinic that housed an OR, ER, ultrasounds, a clinical lab, and both inpatient and outpatient care. In his clinic he served as Manager and Medical Director from 1994-2010. During this time he managed 43 doctors while continuing to practice himself.

In addition to his experience in medicine, Dr. Espinosa’s experience with Nonprofit Organizations has also made him qualified in joining the Global Brigades team. Over the course of his career, Dr. Espinosa has partnered with Peace Corps, Operation Smile, and Mission Bautista. With Peace Corps, he treated volunteers in need during their service. With Operation Smile, doctors from the United States came to his clinic to perform cleft palate surgeries because his clinic was up to standards. Lastly, partnering with Mission Bautista, Dr. Espinosa managed a team consisting of OB/GYN, ENT, Orthopedics, and General Surgery to treat low-income patients in Nicaragua.

He currently lives in Matagalpa with his wife. He has two children and a granddaughter, and his hobbies include singing, riding his Harley, and playing bass guitar.

Dr. Cornelius Normeshie

Medical Brigades Manager

Global Brigades Ghana

Dr. Cornelius Normeshie

Dr. Cornelius Normeshie is an alumnus of the University Of Ghana Medical School where he obtained the bachelor degree of medicine and surgery. He is committed not only in providing high medical care to individuals but passionate about promulgating public health measures that will improve the health of populations in deprived communities.

Dr. Cornelius is an adaptable and responsible person with tremendous leadership skills having led the medical students association of Ghana in various capacities. He also has attended several global health conferences within Africa, Asia and Europe. He has also participated in various medical outreaches and health programs in various communities across Ghana.

Currently, he is the co-founder of REACH-OUT GLOBAL FOUNDATION, a non-governmental organization involved in improving the lives of women and children in deprived communities.

Cornelius lives in Accra and loves reading, watching soccer and playing chess.

Dr. Martha Espinoza Torrez

Dental Brigades Manager

Global Brigades Nicaragua

Dr. Martha Espinoza Torrez

Dr. Torrez started working for Global Brigades Nicaragua in January 2015, as a temporary dentist. After showcasing great performance on Brigades, she was later promoted to the Dental Lead, joining the permanent staff in April 2015.

Dr. Torrez studied at UNAN-LEÓN University. She then worked for nine years in a private clinic, providing holistic treatments to patients. During this time, she also volunteered with the Nicaraguan Children Fund, an organization that provides dental consultations to children. It was in this position that Dr. Torrez discovered her love for community service.

Dr. Torrez hopes to improve access to dental care in Nicaragua, while increasing the focus on preventative care.

Dr. Rosario Girón

CHW Program Manager

Global Brigades Honduras

Dr. Rosario Girón

Dr. Girón joined Global Brigades in 2010 as a temporary medical doctor for Medical Brigades in Honduras. In 2015, she was promoted as the lead for Global Brigades Honduras’ Community Health Workers (CHWs) and Referral Programs. She was responsible for sourcing donations to assist with patient referral cases, as well as training community volunteers in chronic diseases and first aid for the Community Health Workers program. Due to increasing responsibility with both programs, Dr. Girón now solely focuses on the CHW program. Dr. Girón also participated in Global Brigades’ first Surgical Brigade in South Honduras.

Dr. Girón received her diploma as a Medical Doctor from the National University of Honduras. She then worked with the Government’s health center for 10 years, where she was in charge of their STD clinic.

Dr. Marelyn Mayorga

CHW Program Manager

Global Brigades Nicaragua

Dr. Marelyn Mayorga

Dr. Mayorga started working for Global Brigades Nicaragua in May 2016 as a leader of Community Health Workers program. Before her work with Global Brigades, Dr. Mayorga worked with the Nicaragua Ministry of Health as a Doctor and Sonographer. She also worked as a preschool teach and Coordinator for promoters of sexual and reproductive health.

Dr. Mayorga studied medicine in Cuba, specializing in General Community Medicine. She received also received a diploma in ecografia basica, as well as accounting.

Dr. Mayorga’s greatest desire is to develop and execute strategies that empower the health of communities. She believes this is essential in continuing this beautiful planet.
Your greatest desire is to develop strategies and carry them out to empower and settle them to prioritize the prevention and promotion of health. That is what is essential to continue in this beautiful planet.

Dr. Gladys Turcios

Patient Referral Program Manager

Global Brigades Honduras

Dr. Gladys Turcios

Dr. Turcios was born in Tegucigalpa where she currently lives. She studied at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras where she graduated on April 2014 as a Medical Doctor.

Dr. Turcios joined Global Brigades on February 2016 as a Program Lead for the Referral Program. The Patient Referral program sources donations to assists patients, identified during Medical Brigades, with procedures and surgeries. Dr. Turcios is also working on the development of Global Brigades’ Surgical program, which which will assist referral patients, as well as other patients from communities near Hospital de Ojojona, where the Surgical Brigades will take place.

Dr. Luisa Castejón

Pharmacy Manager

Global Brigades Honduras

Dr. Luisa Castejón

Luisa started with Global Brigades in December 2007, a few months after graduating from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras (UNAH), as the first Pharmacist to accompany medical brigades. It was a challenge for her to start completely from scratch, but gradually she has added new procedures to properly dispense medications. Luisa currently works as the pharmacy lead and is in charge of all pharmacists working on medical brigades in Honduras.

From a young age, Luisa knew she wanted to study pharmacy. As a child, she would visit the hospital and admire the doctors and women health workers and knew that one day, she would be one of them. Shortly after graduation, she interviewed with Global Brigades and realized that the position was her dream job. On every brigade, she has been able to serve fellow Hondurans from the most neglected communities while enjoying Honduras’ beautiful scenery.

Adolfo Corrales

Pharmacy Manager

Global Brigades Nicaragua

Adolfo Corrales

Adolfo joined Global Brigades Nicaragua in November 2016 as the Pharmacy Lead, after a friend told him about the organization and he was inspired to join the movement to help more people and do something different in his life. Adolfo coordinates all temporary pharmacy staff for brigades and prepares medicine and medical supplies for each group. He and the pharmacy team are striving to improve the medications list to offer treatments for more illnesses.

In 2012, Adolfo received his degree in Pharmacy and Chemistry from UDO University. He also holds a higher diploma in Leadership and Human Potential. He then worked as a pharmacist with AGAPE, an ONG that specializes in helping children with disabilities. Originally from Managua, Adolfo moved to Esteli to work for a private pharmacy for 3 years prior to working for Global Brigades.

Ariel Corrales

Data Informatics Manager

Global Brigades Nicaragua

Ariel Corrales

Ariel Corrales joined Global Brigades in January 2015 as an interpreter for Medical Brigades. Later that December, he joined the permanent staff and started working as the Data Informatics Lead for Global Brigades Nicaragua. He supports Medical Brigades with the use of the Electronic Medical Records System, OpenMRS, collecting and analyzing very important information for other programs in the holistic model. He also sometimes coordinates Medical and Public Health Brigades.

Ariel received his Systems Engineer degree at National University of Engineering (UNI) Managua. He then worked for three years in Estelí at the Polytechnic University of Nicaragua as the Systems Engineer Major lead. He then became the Academic Secretary for the university, assisting students and teachers. He is currently pursuing his MBA.

Ariel loves working for Global Brigades because he knows that all the hard work and effort is helping people.

Ophelia Swanson

Patient Referral and Surgical PA

Global Brigades USA, Honduras

Ophelia Swanson

Ophelia became part of the Global Brigades family in 2012 when she helped found the Medical Brigades Chapter at Central Michigan University. She was also the Coordinator for Marketing and Outreach for CMU’s chapter as it began to grow into other programs. In her last year at Central Michigan, Ophelia led the school’s first Public Health Brigade.

She graduated from Central Michigan in 2015 with a Bachelors Degree in Biomedical Science. Six weeks after graduating, she moved to Estelí, Nicaragua, to join the International Office as a Chapter Advisor. In January 2016, Ophelia moved to Tegucigalpa, Honduras to become a Health Program Associate, working closely with the Medical Team. Apart from engaging students in their brigade planning, Ophelia enjoys working with the Medical Team to promote and improve the Surgical Brigades and Patient Referral Programs. When not at the office, Ophelia plays guitar and enjoys exploring new cafés around the city.

Philomena Panagoulias

CHW & Community Pharmacy PA

Global Brigades USA, Honduras

Philomena Panagoulias

Philomena joined Global Brigades in July 2015 as a Program Associate in Honduras. She had previously participated in an Environmental Brigade and a Human Rights Brigade in Panama. In her current role, she works to plan brigades and connect volunteers with in-country programs. ​Philomena specializes in the Public Health and Community Health Worker Programs, working to develop programmatic initiatives and promote them internationally. She also works with the Business Program on social enterprise projects within communities. With these programs, Philomena has worked to orchestrate ​several professional brigades and conferences for community leadership.

In May 2015, Philomena received her B.A. in philosophy and political science from Loyola University Chicago.

Maura Riordon

Medical & Dental Program Associate

Global Brigades USA, Honduras

Maura Riordon

Maura was first introduced to Global Brigades while studying at Mount Allison University (MTA). She volunteered on MTA’s first Medical Brigade to Honduras in February 2008 and continued to brigade with MTA as an interpreter until she started working for the organization. In September 2015, she moved to Panama City to work as a Global Health Program Associate. She worked there for 9 months and then transferred to Honduras in June 2016. She currently works as a Program Associate out of the Tegucigalpa, Honduras, office and is the Medical-Dental Team Champion, which includes helping with the Vision Screening Station. As a Program Associate, Maura works directly with volunteers and in-country programming teams to help run successful brigades.

Maura received her B.A. with a double major in French Studies and Hispanic Studies from MTA in May 2010, her Honours B.A. with a specialization in French-Spanish-English translation from the University of Ottawa in June 2013, and her General Interpreting Graduate Diploma from York University in October 2015. Prior to working with Global Brigades, Maura worked for the Embassy of Peru in Ottawa, Ontario and at the Language Technologies Research Centre in Gatineau, Quebec, where she translated, revised, and edited numerous documents, helped to organize events, and created website content. In her free time, Maura enjoys baking, salsa dancing, and spending time with friends and family.

Katie Miller

Health Program Associate

Global Brigades USA, Panama

Katie Miller

After growing up in Arizona, Katie left the heat for the cooler weather of Colorado where she attended the University of Denver. She studied Biology, Chemistry and Psychology in the pursuit of a career in the health field. Katie split her time equally being either locked in the library studying or outside camping and hiking, pretending that the only things in life are medicine and mountains.

Katie’s involvement with Global Brigades while at the University of Denver pushed Katie’s passion for medicine to incorporate a love for all-things public health, ultimately driving her to apply to work as a Chapter Advisor with Global Brigades in Nicaragua and later as a Global Health Program Associate in Panama.

Will Plaugher

Health Program Associate

Global Brigades USA, Panama

Will Plaugher

William joined the Program associate team in Panama in September 2016. As a Program Associate, he communicates with volunteers and chapter leaders and assists them in the brigade planning process. Additionally, he works with the in-country teams to plan the on-brigade logistics.

William received his B.S in Molecular Biology and a minor in Spanish from Chapman University. During his time at Chapman University, William went on multiple Medical Brigades to Honduras and Nicaragua. This sparked his interest and ultimately led to his aspiration to work for Global Brigades after graduating. Someday, William wants to be a dentist. In the meantime, he is eager to work with Global Brigades to empower rural communities in Panama. When William is not at work, you can find him exploring Panama, hiking, or playing soccer.

Alysha Roberts

Health Program Associate

Global Brigades USA, Nicaragua

Alysha Roberts

Alysha joined Global Brigades in the fall of 2012 as a volunteer with Medical Brigades at Acadia University in Nova Scotia. She soon after took on the role as Education Chair for her chapter, helping with pre-brigade preparation for Medical and Public Health Brigades. After a pilot Water Brigade day in 2014, Alysha returned to campus and founded her university’s Water Brigades chapter, with whom she took part in two additional brigades. As a Campus Chairperson in 2015, she hosted Canada’s largest Global Brigades Student Leadership Conference to date and traveled to Nicaragua for a Global Health and Sustainability Institute. In June 2016, Alysha joined the Nicaragua team full-time as a Program Associate, where she prepares students for their brigades and develops program content for Medical Brigades to improve the student, physician, and patient experience.

Alysha received her BSc in Psychology with a specialty in Neuroscience from Acadia University, where she graduated as a University Scholar in 2015. Before her role as a Program Associate, Alysha worked as a Research and Teaching Assistant at her alma mater, Acadia. Outside of Global Brigades, she has enjoyed roles as an Exercise Instructor for elderly nursing home residents and as a Physiotherapy Assistant in her hometown of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.