Phalarope, Inc.

  Improving young lives by empowering women and involving men

Board of Directors

Miriam Urizar Rittmeyer, MD, PhD, MPH- Chairman
Dr. Rittmeyer is a native of Guatemala, where she received  her medical degree (MD) from Francisco Marroquin University.  In 1989 she received her MPH in international health from Johns Hopkins University and in 1996 her PhD. in nutritional epidemiology from the University of North Carolina, School of Public Health.  Dr. Rittmeyer served as the Executive Director for Community Health Mission from 2005 to 2014, and as a member of the Safety Net Planning Council Evaluation Committee.   Among some of her  academic honors Dr. Rittmeyer received the Post-Doctoral NIH (National Institute of Health)  National Research Scientist Award in 1994 and from 1988- 1991 the Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Organization of American States.
Christopher H Rittmeyer, MD, MPH- Vice Chairman
Dr. Rittmeyer was born in Rochester New York.  Dr. Rittmeyer received a B.S. from Cornell University, a M.D. and M.P.H . in epidemiology from Johns Hopkins University.  He worked one summer at ICDDRB, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and two months in Tuba City, AZ and Gallup, NM in the IHS.  He did his residency in pediatrics and fellowship in pediatric gastroenterology at University of North Carolina Children's Hospital.    He has been the past chair of the department of pediatrics at Memorial Health in Savannah, GA and has taught pediatrics and clinical epidemiology at South University in Savannah.  He has been the head of pediatric gastroenterology at Memorial Health in Savannah since 1996 where he teaches residents, medical students, nurse practitioner students and physician assistant students.  He is adjunct faculty at  Mercer University Medical School.
Florence Kayongo - Secretary
Mrs. Kayongo was born in Uganda where she received a bachelors of arts in political in 1994.  She received her postgraduate diploma in education in 1996 and in 2009 a Masters in business administration.  For 16 years Mrs. Kayongo has worked in community development through education, microfinance, governance and organization capacity, strategic planing in 5 countries in East and West Africa with local organizations and governments.  Her work accomplishments include the adoption of a school feeding program in 2009 in 8 schools in Kamivenge/Kabala Uganda and in the  Volta Area of Ghana.  This program was expanded to 40 schools by the end of 2010.  She also participated as regional program manager of a community micro-finance program with the Stromme Foundation in East Africa.      
Beatrice Williamson, RN

Born in Uganda, currently  employed as a Registered Nurse at Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah GA.  Mrs. Williamson received her BS in Agriculture at Makerere University; Uganda, a MS in Agricultural  Economics at University of Maine, Orono ME and her AS Nursing South Georgia College, Douglas GA

Juan Carlos Urizar, MD

Dr. Urizar was born and raised in Guatemala, where he obtained his medical degree from Francisco Marroquin Medical School.  He immigrated to the United States in 1998 and did 3 years of psychiatry residency training at The Institute of Living/University of Connecticut, then transferred to the Harvard Longwood program at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts as a chief resident, and then as fellow in Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine.  After graduation he became an attending at Brigham & Women’s Hospital working as a consultant and instructor for Neuropsychiatry and Primary Care clinics.  He held faculty appointment at Harvard Medical School until 2011 when he moved to San Antonio, Texas to open a private practice.  Besides his interest in neuroscience, he is interested in medical anthropology,  health promotion and education, and social justice.   He currently holds two board certifications in General Psychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry  Diplomate from the United Council of Neurologic  Subspecialties

Claudia Margarita Avila-Urizar, MD 
Doctor Avila Urizar graduated from Francisco Marroquin University Medical School in 1997 and came to the United States in 1998 .   She moved to the Boston, Massachusetts in 2001 and started working in teaching Spanish medical terminology to third and fourth year medical students at Harvard University Medical School, later working in clinical research and volunteering at the Spanish Clinic at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. While her children were in elementary school she participated in fundraising and chaired the parents association for the public school they attended.  She worked as an Instructor at Harvard Medical School for first year medical and dental school students on how to perform a proper medical interview. She has worked as research assistant with Dr. Leonel Rodriguez in pediatric gastroenterology and finally as research assistant for Dr. Zeina El Chemali MD, MPh from the Behavioral Neurology Unit at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  In 2010 she and her family moved to San Antonio, Texas. She and her husband started their own company, Urizar Avila Neuropsych, PLLC in 2014.  Her interests and work has always been oriented towards public health with concentration in the areas of primary care, preventive medicine and health education.

Guatemala Team 

Dra. Ana Evelyn Mazariegos Carrascosa - Country Officer

Born in the city of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. Dr. Mazariegos is a gerontologist with an emphasis on bioethics, gender, palliative care and research. She is currently an associate professor at the School of Medicine at the University of San Carlos, Guatemala.  Dr. Mazariegos oversees all Phalarope projects in Guatemala and interacts with local organizations partnering with us.