Summer 2023 Faculty

Rachel Hall-Clifford

Rachel Hall-Clifford, PhD, MPH, MSc, is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Public Health at Agnes Scott College.  She is a medical anthropologist working at the intersections of anthropology and public health. Dr. Hall-Clifford conducted fieldwork in the central highlands of Guatemala on treatments for childhood diarrhea and the delivery of primary health care. She is currently working on an mHealth project with lay midwives in the Chimaltenango Department of Guatemala to improve maternal and neonatal care.  She is interested in the measurement of long-term impacts of public health intervention and inequalities in the distribution of health and development funding. She received her PhD and MPH from Boston University and her MSc from the University of Oxford, and she has also held medical anthropology research positions at Harvard University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Rachel is Director of the field school.

Stephanie Roche

Stephanie Roche, MPH, is a PhD candidate in Implementation Science at the University of Washington, Department of Global Health. Stephanie’s research interests focus on understanding the quality of those services and the patient experience of care. Her publications on short-term medical missions in Guatemala and on medical malpractice in the U.S. examine the physical and emotional harms endured by patients. She completed her BA in Cultural Anthropology and Hispanic Language and Literature and her MPH in Global Health at Boston University. She first participated in the NAPA-OT Field School in 2011 as a student member of the NGO Networks for Health group. In 2012, she served as the field school coordinator, and in 2013 she was the faculty supervisor for the investigation on patient experiences of medical missions and in 2017 of the midwifery project. Her research interests include translation of patient safety standards to resource-limited settings, cross-cultural and bioethical challenges to patient and family engagement, and the role of philanthropic aid in public health system strengthening.

Megan Lewis

Megan is the Founder and full-time Director of Guatemala Occupational Therapy (GOT) Ministries, empowering and serving children with disabilities in Guatemala since 2015.  She completed her Master of Occupational Therapy in 2010 from the University of Kansas, and provided vision rehabilitation services for 7 years in Kansas City, where she lives with her husband when she is Stateside. 
is passionate about the profession of Occupational Therapy and is investing in the development of the profession in Guatemala.  She has provided comprehensive pediatric OT services in a Guatemalan Mayan village since 2011, and loves the opportunity to intentionally implement complex cultural considerations in her therapy provision.   Megan has collaborated with various Universities across the United States as a Fieldwork Educator to advance and support the professional development of OT students.  Her passions are serving people with disabilities, going on long walks with her husband, Andrew, and learning new things!    

Juliana Gutierrez

Juliana Gutiérrez, OTD, OTR/L, SWC, is an occupational therapist with over 25 years of experience working with the pediatric population with various diagnoses and ages. She received her undergraduate study in occupational therapy from the University of Nuestra Señora del Rosario in Bogotá, Colombia, and later completed her Masters and Doctorate at the University of Southern California (USC). She has an advanced practice certification in feeding and swallowing. Juliana is also a certified clinician in Sensory Integration theory, evaluation and treatment, as well as in the Neurodevelopment Treatment approach. She currently works as a clinical supervisor at Therapy West, Inc. and has lectured nationally and internationally. Juliana is OT Fieldwork Coordinator for the field school.

Contributing Faculty

Gelya Frank
Gelya Frank, PhD, is Professor, Division of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry and the Department of Anthropology, University of Southern California. She is a medical and applied anthropologist and a cofounder of the discipline of occupational science, at USC, in 1989. Dr. Frank's books include: Lives: An Anthropological Approach to Biography (Chandler and Sharp, 1980), Venus on Wheels: Two Decades of Dialogue on Disability, Biography and Being Female in America (U California Press, 2000), and Defying the Odds: The Tule River Tribe's Struggle for Sovereignty in Three Centuries (Yale U Press, 2010). Among Dr. Frank's awards and honors are the Eileen Basker Prize in medical anthropology and the 2010 Ruth Zemke Lectures in Occupational Science. Dr. Frank is Founding Director of the NAPA-OT Field School.
Nancie T. Furgang
Nancie T. Furgang, MA, OTR/L, has been a pediatric clinician for over 35 years, the last 20 years in the specialty practice area of neonatology. During this time she directed the Developmental Care Program, based in the Neonatology Division at the University of New Mexico. Since 2004, Ms. Furgang has served as adjunct faculty for the University of New Mexico's Graduate Program in Occupational Therapy providing content on infant neurodevelopment and developmentally supportive care and is a certified tutor for the University's Problem Based Learning curriculum. Ms. Furgang is currently part-time faculty for the programand serves as the Problem Based Learning Coordinator for second year graduate students. As part of the University of New Mexico's Center for Development and Disability, Ms. Furgang currently works with the Navajo Nation's Growing in Beauty program providing early intervention services and clinical training for the Navajo Nation in New Mexico. Since 2004, Ms. Furgang has held a Letter of Academic Title in the University of New Mexico's School of Medicine. In addition, Ms. Furgang is trained and certified in infant touch and massage by the International Institute of Infant Massage. A founding member of the NAPA-OT Field School faculty, Ms. Furgang has led the NAPA-OT Field School's pediatric nutrition focus area concerning infant developmental trajectories and nutrition. Ms. Furgang's clinical interests include early childhood neurodevelopment and the development of early childhood occupations in context. Ms. Furgang also serves as the NAPA-OT Field School's Chief Financial Officer.
Ryan Lavalley
Ryan Lavalley, MOT, OTR/L is a doctoral student of Occupational Science at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. His research interests include community development through occupation, occupational justice, and cross-cultural occupations. He graduated from Xavier University with a Masters of Occupational Therapy in 2013, after which he held an adjunct faculty position at Xavier teaching occupational justice and service learning theory. In 2010, he studied in Nicaragua through the Academic Service Learning Semester program at Xavier, focusing on various aspects of social analysis and Central American history. He was a participant in the NAPA-OT Field School in 2013 as a member of the Educational Transition project group, served as the coordinator for the Field School in 2014, and was field school coordinator and co-faculty for the child migration project group in 2015. During the 2016 session, Ryan was field school coordinator and core curriculum faculty.
Gari Clifford
Gari Clifford PhD, MSc, SMIEEE, is the Interim Chair of Biomedical Informatics, and Associate Professor of Bioinformatics and Biomedical Engineering at Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology. He is also adjunct faculty at Morehouse School of Medicine, Honorary Professor at The Sleep & Circadian Neuroscience Institute, University of Oxford, Distinguished Guest Professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China and Deputy Editor of the Journal Physiological Measurement published by the Institute of Physics and Engineering. Formerly on faculty at the University of Oxford, he directed the Centre for Affordable Healthcare Technologies at Kellogg College, Oxford, where he was an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, James Martin Fellow and Interim Director of Affordable Healthcare at the George Institute for Global Health. Gari leads a research group focused on machine learning and signal processing to extract actionable information from medical data. In particular he focuses on intensive care medicine, cardiovascular disease, circadian rhythm disorders, sleep and mental health. His research is aligned with the concept of sustainable healthcare and he has a particular focus on resource-constrained mHealth and circadian rhythms, with ongoing clinical trials in India, South Africa and Guatemala. Prior to joining the faculty at Oxford Gari was a Principal Research Scientist at MIT, where he spent six years managing the engineering effort behind a multi-million dollar project to collect and analyse the world's largest public database of hospital data. Gari has licensed several patents and been closely involved in the regulatory approval of medical devices for over 10 years. His research has won several awards including the 2009 Martin Black Prize, the 2010 mHealth Alliance Award, the 2011 International Engineering World Health Design Competition, the Dell Best Innovation Leveraging Technology Award 2012 and the Computing in Cardiology Challenges in 2008, 2012 and 2013 for ECG analysis and Mortality Prediction.
Margaret A. Perkinson
Margaret A. Perkinson, PhD, is director of the field school’s gerontology component. She received her doctoral degree from University of California, San Francisco and has conducted gerontological research for over 30 years. The NIH National Institute on Aging, AARP-Andrus Foundation, and the Administration on Aging have funded her research in long-term and community-based care. Her current research, funded by the Alzheimer’s Association, focuses on exercise and dementia. She is past president of the Association for Anthropology and Gerontology (AAGE), past executive board member of Association of Gerontology in Higher Education, current editor-in-chief of Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, serves on the editorial boards of Physical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics and Anthropology and Aging Quarterly, and is a board member of Global Alliances through Gerontological Engagement (GAGE). She is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, and the Society for Applied Anthropology. She has established relationships with the leadership of Ermitas, Guatemala’s Alzheimer’s Association, and with colleagues in gerontology, geriatrics, and occupational therapy who are responsible for the education of practitioners and formation of policies related to Guatemala’s aging population.
Jenny Womack
Jenny Womack, MA, MS OTR/L SCDCM CPH is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Jenny’s educational background spans occupational therapy, folklore and public health, and she combines these perspectives to understand community as a dynamic construct based in doing together. Her clinical background as an occupational therapist includes work in inpatient neurorehabilitation, long term care, assistive technology and community-based efforts focused on inclusive practices in transportation, housing, tourism and aging in place. She has served on the Community Mobility specialty certification board and currently on the Gerontology Special Interest Section steering committee for the American Occupational Therapy Association. She teaches content in applied kinesiology, neuroscience, leadership and community-based practice to occupational therapy students, and works with the Orange County (NC, USA) Department on Aging in the Aging Transitions program, as well as with the UNC Aphasia Center on a project to address community participation for adults with aphasia. Her work in Folklore focuses on the intersection of community, identity and performance, with a particular interest in women’s choruses and the performance of activism. Jenny grew up in rural western North Carolina and is influenced both by this context and by strong family traditions in craftwork.
Amber Angell
Amber Angell, MOT, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist and doctoral student in occupational science, Division of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, University of Southern California. Amber has worked for over 7 years as a pediatric occupational therapist in clinic, school, home, and early intervention settings. She has received training in the DIR®/Floortime™ model and in Ayers Sensory Integration®, including certification in administration of the Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT). For the past 2 years, Amber has worked as a research assistant on an ethnographic project exploring diagnosis disparity for African American children with autism. Her research interests are health disparity, early child development, and occupational justice. Ms. Angell led the Pediatric Nutrition project for the 2013 NAPA-OT Field School session.