We couldn’t do what we do without our amazing staff, health promoters, health educators, and all of the volunteers and community members who serve alongside us in health and hope. 

Leadership and Key Staff

DR. GABRIELLA WOO, MD

Executive Director

Dr. Gabriella Woo Moreno is a Nicaraguan physician and public health leader with more than ten years of experience in the on-the-ground work and partnership building necessary to reduce health inequities. Currently serving as the Executive Director of Fundación AMÓS, Salud y Esperanza (AMOS), Gabriella firmly believes that health for all is possible when evidence-based, faith-based, and community-based models are combined to ensure that health services reach the most vulnerable members of our society. In 2021, Dr. Woo was selected as a Social Entrepreneurship Fellow of The Gratitude Network, having demonstrated leadership in the implementation of an innovative business model serving children and youth. She is also a distinguished graduate from the CAHI (Central American Health Initiative) Innovative Leaders in Health Fellowship Program of the INCAE Business School and is certified in Health Services Management through the Universidad Americana (UAM).

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DR. DAVID PARAJÓN, MD, MPH, MBA

Co-Founder

Dr. David Parajón, a physician, public health practitioner, social entrepreneur, and medical missionary, co-founded AMOS Health and Hope with his wife, Laura, building on the vision and pioneering community health work of his father, Dr. Gustavo Parajón. Dr. David earned his M.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, OH. He trained in internal medicine at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center in Albuquerque and in preventative medicine at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, MD, earning his M.P.H. He earned his M.B.A. from INCAE School of Business in Managua, Nicaragua. Dr. Parajón currently serves as faculty with the General Internal Medicine Division at the University of New Mexico and as an Associate Missionary through International Ministries. 

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DR. LAURA CHANCHIEN PARAJÓN, MD, MPH

Co-Founder

Dr. Laura Chanchien Parajón, a family physician, medical missionary (International Ministries), and public health professional, co-founded AMOS Health and Hope with her husband, David, and worked in the health equity “trenches” of rural Nicaragua for nearly 20 years. Dr. Parajón currently serves as Deputy Cabinet Secretary for the New Mexico Department of Health, Executive Director for the UNM Office for Community Health, and Assistant Professor in the UNM Department of Family and Community Medicine. She has a strong call to work towards a world where every child has the opportunity to thrive and live an abundant life. Dr. Parajón received her B.A. from Brown University, M.D. from University of New Mexico (UNM) School of Medicine, and M.P.H. from UNM School of Public Health. She completed her residency in family medicine at UNM School of Medicine.

CHRISTINE LAFFERTY

Development and Communications Directorchristine.lafferty@amoshealth.org

Christine (Christy) Lafferty is from Cleveland, Ohio. As a young adult, she developed a deep sense of commitment and passion for serving others, motivated by her Christian faith. After studying Sociology and Spanish in college, she followed a call to serve as a young adult missionary for 3 years, working alongside communities in Nicaragua and farmworkers in California. Christy has had the honor of working with AMOS for the past 10 years, and has fallen in love with its model and community-based approaches. She also has a special interest in women’s health and in her free time has worked with couples as a birth doula and childbirth educator. 

MARISSA ALANIZ

Donor Relations Officermarissa.alaniz@amoshealth.org

Marissa Alaniz has been working with AMOS for more than 3 years and is currently based in Ann Arbor, Michigan as AMOS’s Donor Relations Officer. Born and raised in Ann Arbor, she graduated from the University of Michigan, then worked for 3 years in Development and Communications at a local food bank. Before she was hired as a staff member, Marissa served on several mission teams with AMOS and the First Baptist Church of Ann Arbor, and in 2018, moved to Nicaragua to volunteer on the AMOS Development team for one year. Marissa has a passion for cultivating philanthropy from diverse audiences and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree from IUPUI’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

VIOLETA RUIZ

Officer of Partnerships and Volunteer Experiencesvolunteers@amoshealth.org

JILMER SÁNCHEZ

Delegations Coordinatordelegations@amoshealth.org

Jilmer Sánchez is from the town of Siuna, located near Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast. He learned English years ago while volunteering alongside a medical mission organization in his hometown. Jilmer has served as Delegations Coordinator for more than 5 years, coordinating mission teams that come down to work alongside AMOS and leading community health projects in rural areas.

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LYDIA CALDERA

Development and Communications Managercommunications@amoshealth.org

DR. EMILE OLIVIERI, MD

Health Programs Manageremile.olivieri@amoshealth.org

LESTER LORENTE

Rural Health Program Coordinator

LUIS MEDRANO

Grants Specialistluis.medrano@amoshealth.org

Board of Directors 

The Board of Directors ensures that AMOS effectively carries out its mission and is well-positioned to work towards our vision of health and hope for all.

board meeting 2018
  • Roberto Antonio Martínez, MD, MPH, Board President
  • David Hallett, JD, Vice President
  • Rev. Kent Harrop, Secretary
  • Rev. Dr. Tim Spring, D.Min., Treasurer
  • Carol Harvey, RN
  • David Parajón, MD, MPH, MBA
  • Deborah Norton, MD, MPH
  • Gary Claus, CPA
  • Kim Sandnes
  • Laura Chanchien Parajón, MD, MPH
  • Rev. Mike Jeffries
  • Honorary Members:
    • Dr. Suzanne Lake, PhD
    • Arthur Francis, CA
    • Marlene Francis, PhD
    • Robert McElroy, MD