Board of Directors
Miriam U. Rittmeyer, MD, PhD, MPH
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. She has. In 2010 and 2017 Dr. Rittmeyer received the Georgia Medical Society Health Care Heroes awards. Dr. Rittmeyer is Director of th Maternal and Child Program of Phalarope.
Christopher Rittmeyer, MD, MPH
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.
Claudia 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. 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. She is currently working at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Univeristy Medical School in the interpretation Department.
Engineer Lazaro M. Urizar, MBA
Mr. Urizar was born in Guatemala City. He is an Industrial Engineer with a master’s in business and administration. He has more than 25 years of experience in the fields of manufacturing processes of clothing, automotive part, quality control , logistics of operation and technical training for large corporations. From 2004 to 2010 he served as the director of all Industrial projects for Estrategias de Inversión, a consulting group in Guatemala City. During this period he helped develop port regulations, workflows and preliminary studies for the development of national laws. He has extensive experience in the academic field. From 2005 to 2016 he served as professor in the Engineering and Business Departments of the Rafael Landívar Universidad , universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala (USAC), Atlantic International University (AIU), and Universidad Da Vinci de Guatemala (UDV). He served also as Student advisor In Free Enterprise Program of the Rafael Landivar University. This program concentrated on promoting technical support to micro economic enterprises for the production of products in rural areas , specifically is San Juan La Laguna, Rabinal. From 2013 to 2015 he served as Chairman of the Industrial Engineering Division , Engineering Department of Rafael Landivar UniversityA
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. He is currrently the Director Medical Geriatric Neuropsychiatry at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Univeristy Medical School.
Rene Cabezas Albarracin
Rene is an agricultural Engineer from Bolivia who graduated from the San Simón University, Facultad de Ciencias Agrícolas Pecuarias y Forestales, Cochabamba, Bolivia. He worked as an Assistant Professor at the Univeristy Mayor de San Simon from 2012-2015 in the school of Ciencias Agrícolas Pecuarias y Forestales de la Universidad Mayor de San Simón. After that he founded the Instituto de Investigación e Innovación Tecnológica en Agricultura Moderna (IIITAM- Agricultura Protegida). The institute provides training in the production of crops using alternative farming techniques such as hydroponics. He also is the founder of HB Enterprise- a company that has partnered to sell the hydroponic crops to a chain of supermarkets in Cochabamba-Bolivia. He will oversee and direct the first agricultural school of alternative farming in Guatemala. The school will be built during the first quarter of 2020 in Cacerio Centro, San Jose Poaquil located in the Dry Corridor. The Dry Corridor is a strip, which stretches from Southern Mexico down to Panama. These areas suffer from severe inclement weather due to El Niño and are the most prone to drought or extreme precipitation. Farmers will learn new techniques, and Phalarope will help them build their own hydroponic systems in partnership with the local authorities. This project will be expanded to the adjacent communities in the Dry corridor.