Ronel Deidre Maart

University of the Western Cape

Ronel Maart is the Head of Prosthetic Dentistry Department, University of the Western Cape. She is a well-rounded clinician and academic with extensive experience in the private and public health sector. She completed a MPhil in Higher education and PhD with a focus on health professions education. She completed the SAFRI (Southern African Faimer Region Institute) fellowship and was member of the SAFRI- faculty. For the South African Association of Health Education 2021 conference, she was part of the local organising and scientific committee. Her scholarly contributions include local, international conference presentations and publications in national and international journals.

Aricia De Kempeneer

Operations and Programming Director, The Network: Towards Unity For Health (TUFH)

Aricia De Kempeneer, M. Sc., is the Operations and Programming Director for The Network: Towards Unity For Health. She is responsible for managing the annual conferences, virtual regional conferences, TUFH Symposiums and Workshops, TUFH Academies, ISAT, iSTEP, Digital Aspects, Social Media, Newsletter, Communications and Membership. In addition, Aricia is the liaison to the Student Network Organization.

Aricia holds a Masters in Health Education and Promotion from Ghent University and a Bachelor in Midwifery from Erasmus Hogeschool. She works as an independent midwife in Belgium and gives prenatal lessons, prenatal care, and postnatal follow-up.
Prior to The Network: TUFH Aricia worked as a midwife in Gambia, Finland, United Kingdom, and Belgium in low-risk birthing units. She co-founded and was the first president of the Student Network Organization in 2015. She has been attending TUFH annual conferences since 2012.

William Burdick

Vice Secretary General, The Network: Towards Unity For Health (TUFH)

William Burdick, MD, MSEd, is Vice Secretary General of The Network: Towards Unity for Health, an organization of community oriented health professions schools and Professor of Emergency Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. As the former Vice President for Education at FAIMER, he was responsible for creation of global faculty development programs for health professions educators. He has received awards for excellence in teaching, including the Lindbach Award and the Trustees Award in his capacity as Professor of Emergency Medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine. A graduate of Oberlin College, Weill Cornell University College of Medicine, and University of Pennsylvania, he completed residency training in Internal Medicine and is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine and American Board of Internal Medicine.

Zakiur Rahman

Rural Wonca

Prof. Dr Md Zakiur Rahman, President Primary Care & Rural Health Bangladesh. Executive, Wonca Working Party on Rural Practice. Organizing Chairman Wrhc2020 Dhaka Bangladesh . Five star doctor Award South Asia 2021. Faculty of family medicine in Bangladesh College of General practitioner’s and Bangladesh academy of family Physician.

Sankha Randenikumara

Rural Wonca

Dr Sankha Randenikumara is the Young Doctors’ Lead of WONCA – World Organization of Family Doctors and the Chief Family Physician of the group practice ‘The Family Health Clinic’ in Wattala, Colombo, Sri Lanka. Sankha started his career as the Medical Office-in-charge of a rural hospital in Southern Sri Lanka, which was transformed to an award winning model primary care hospital by the team led by him. This achievement was recognised by the World Bank and he was appointed to the expert team compiled the world bank country project – ‘Reorganising Primary Healthcare in Sri Lanka’ as the junior most member. In addition to executive portfolio, he is also actively involved in WONCA Working Parties on the Rural Practice and Environment. Sankha has delivered two orations, published several papers on international journals and contributed to a few book chapters. In addition to Family Medicine and primary care, his research interests are in planetary health, lifestyle medicine, palliative care and archaeology.

Viviana Martinez-Bianchi

Rural Wonca

Dr. Viviana Martínez-Bianchi is a family doctor, and the Director for Health Equity at Duke University’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. She was elected President-elect of the World Organization of Family Doctors in October 2023. She was appointed to serve on President Biden’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition in 2023, and to the state of North Carolina’s Social, Economic, Environmental, and Health Equity Task Force in 2020, and she served as a Latinx health advisor for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services during the pandemic response. In addition, she chaired the Health Equity Team for Family Medicine for America’s Health. Martinez-Bianchi was an Executive Member-at-Large of the World Organization of Family Doctors and its liaison to the World Health Organization from 2016 to 2021. She is Co-founder and Co-director of LATIN-19 (the Latinx Advocacy Team, and Interdisciplinary Network for COVID-19), a multisector group addressing Hispanic health during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Martinez-Bianchi has been the recipient of many awards, including the 2021 Marian Bishop Leadership Award by the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Foundation, North Carolina’s 2021 Family Physician of the Year by the North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians, and the 2022 Foundation for Health Leadership and Innovation Community Achievement Award. She was inducted to the NC Institute Medicine in 2022
Martinez-Bianchi sees patients at the Duke Family Medicine Center in Durham, North Carolina, vía telehealth, and newborn health rounds at Duke Regional Hospital. Her work includes the full spectrum of ambulatory family medicine with an emphasis on prevention, chronic disease management, women’s health, prenatal care, addressing social determinants of health, and promoting understanding of health equity.

Marita Cowie

Rural Wonca

Gobith Ratnasingam

Rural Wonca

Dr Gobith Ratnasingam. MBBS, MCGP, DFM, MBA ( Health) Gobith is a Family Physician and visiting lecturer at the Department of Community and Family Medicine, University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka. He is a young healthcare leader and serves national and International family medicine bodies, including a council member of the College of General Practitioners, Sri Lanka, an executive council member of the Wonca working party on Rural Practice with a portfolio of LMICs and the National chair of the Young Family Doctors’ movement ( Spice Route movement of young doctors – Sri Lanka). He involves in many primary care projects, including community-oriented primary care (COPC), which is a local contribution towards the national primary care strengthening project of Sri Lanka.

Canan Tuz Yılmaz

Rural Wonca

Family medicine specialist; worked as an academician in a rural university for five years. Interested in palliative care, working as a lecturer in the family medicine department of Bursa Uludag University. Member of EGPRN till 2014.

Barb Doty

Rural Wonca

Ala Khalid

Student Network Organization (SNO) President

Ala Khalid is a medical graduate from University of Gezira, Sudan. She has been a loyal member of SNO since 2018, last year she was working as acting president for SNO local chapter at her institution and also as international Mentorship coordinator. She’s passionate about Global Health issues, Gender Equity, and Interprofessional Education.

Nicholas Torres

Executive Director, The Network: Towards Unity For Health (TUFH)

Nicholas Torres (M.Ed.) works at the cross section between the private sector, government, and not-for-profits and aligns them toward collective social impact goals and public policy. Nick has over 20 years of experience in executive management. Nick founded and currently leads a social sector “think-tank” organization; and teaches at the University of Pennsylvania.

Nikolaj Hansen-Turton

Social Media and Conference Manager, The Network: Towards Unity For Health (TUFH)

Nikolaj in the capacity of the Social Media and Conference Manager for The Network: Towards Unity for Health (TUFH). Nikolaj also serves as Education Platform and Social Media Manager for the Social Innovations Journal. He is originally from Philadelphia and based in London.

Godwin Aja

African Regional Board Member, The Network: Towards Unity For Health (TUFH)

Professor Godwin Aja is the African representative on the executive board of The Network: Towards Unity for Health, and MPH Program Director at the Graduate School Public Health Department, Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies, Cavite, Philippines.

Kamayani Mahabal

South-East Asian Regional Board Member, The Network: Towards Unity For Health (TUFH)

Activist, Gender, Health & Human Rights

Rabia Khan

The Network: TUFH

Álvaro Enrique Romero Tapia

The Network: Towards Unity For Health (TUFH)

Tony Claeys

The Network: Towards Unity For Health (TUFH)

European Regional Board Member, The Network: TUFH. Professor in Nursing, VIVES University of Applied Science, Belgium Coordinator VIVES LiveLab: Interprofessional Education Researcher Centre of Expertise for Care Innovation, VIVES

Mohamed El Hassan Abdalla

Eastern Mediterranean Regional Board Member, The Network: Towards Unity For Health (TUFH)

Assistant Professor of Medical Education, College of Medicine and Acting Director of Medical Education Center, University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Amy Clithero-Eridon

The Network: Towards Unity For Health (TUFH)

Amy Clithero-Eridon is the North American Regional Board Member for TUFH. She is a faculty member in the Department of Family & Community Medicine at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.  Amy has a PhD in Family Medicine from the University of Kwazaulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa as well as a Masters of Business Administration with a health systems concentration and a Masters level certification in Medical Education.  In addition to teaching medical students about social determinants of health, health policy, and health services research, Amy participates in numerous educational research initiatives focusing on educational best practices and social accountability within medical education. 

Nesengani Tintswalo

Nelson Mandela University – TUFH Institutional Member

Yigzaw Sendekie Tegbar

Jhpiego Corporation

Mabel Nangami

Moi University – TUFH Institutional Member

I am an Associate Professor of Health Policy and Health Systems Management and former Dean of the School of Public Health, college of health sciences at Moi University. I have engaged with the Women’s I have over 35 years of extensive experience in teaching, research, and consultancy. I was also Chair of the Community Based Education and Service (COBES) program under the College of Health Sciences where learners are placed and learn in rural and urban communities for at least 25% of their learning time before graduation. I have led and contributed to institutional research and capacity building initiatives leading to policy change in health management through research grants such as the IDRC funded first Moi University research Chair on health systems research at Moi University. Was the lead faculty on the MasterCard Foundation Higher Education Collaborative in Africa in collaboration with the DLSPH, University of Toronto as prime (2021-2022). I currently serve as Board Chair of a Country Referral Hospital and also a Board member of the African One Health Universities Network (AFROHUN) collaboration with over 18 institutions across 10 countries in Africa; PI (MPI) on the NIH funded D43 in HIV research training, implementation, and dissemination with AMPATH and Indiana University Global Health; developing regional (with AMREF) and national curricula (middle-level managers and policy makers) under the Ministry of Health-Kenya; facilitated JAS 4 seminar under the Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA) doctoral program on knowledge translation including policy communication and trained as TOT under the PRB policy communication program. Mentored over 50 masters and doctoral students through thesis supervision including thesis examination for Makerere University, School of Public Health, health policy at University of Witwatersrand and University of Western Cape in South Africa.

Bernhard Gaede

University of KwaZulu-Natal – TUFH Institutional Member

I am a family physician currently appointed as Associate Professor and Head of Department of Family Medicine at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in South Africa. Prior to this appointment I was the Director of the Centre for Rural Health at UKZN and have worked for over a decade in rural settings in South Africa. I am a SAFRI / FAIMER fellow and have a broad interest in medical humanities and recent research includes health professional education, distributed training platforms and community engagement.

Omaswa Francis

The African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation – TUFH Institutional Member

Onuora Odoh

Oasis Community Health Foundation – TUFH Institutional Member

Sebastien Manirakiza

University of Burundi – TUFH Institutional Member

Sarah Kiguli

Makerere University College of Health – TUFH Institutional Member

Marietjie De Villiers

TUFH Advisory Board Member

Noeline Nakasujja

TUFH Advisory Board Member

Noeline Nakasujja is Chair for the Department of Psychiatry at the College of Health Sciences and the first female Associate Professor of Psychiatry in Makerere University Uganda. She is the Chairperson of the Uganda Society for Health Scientists and Co-Chair for the Community Care for the Elderly task force of The Network: Towards Unity for Health (TUFH). In addition to being an ardent practicing psychiatrist, her roles also include being an educationist who has mentored numerous students. Her research interest focuses on neurocognitive assessments across the life span as well as other areas in the field of psychiatry.

Jana Müller

Stellenbosch University

Jana, a physiotherapist by training, is a part-time lecturer in Rural Health at Stellenbosch University, Ukwanda Centre for Rural Health. She has a special interest in rural interprofessional education and collaborative practice, she is chair of the Rural Rehabilitation of South Africa and a board member for the African Interprofessional Education Network. She is currently doing her PhD in health professional education at Stellenbosch University.

Barry Andrews

University of the Western Cape

I am professor at the University of the Western Cape. I am the HOD of the Sport, Recreation & Exercise Science Department and the project coordinator of High Performance.

Michelle Viljoen

University of the Western Cape

Michelle is a registered pharmacist with the South African Pharmacy Council (SAPC) since 1996 and is currently the Deputy Director of the School of Pharmacy: Pharmacology and Pharmacy Practice cluster at the School of Pharmacy, University of the Western Cape (UWC). She holds a MSc and PhD degree in Pharmacology. She has been a lecturer in Pharmacology since 2002 with extensive involvement in the teaching of undergraduate pharmacy, dental and nursing students. She also has extensive experience in teaching at post graduate level. She has acted as study supervisor, co-supervisor and external examiner for a large number of masters and PhD students over the years. Her main research focus areas are: pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, pharmacogenetics of antiretrovirals, adverse drug reaction reporting at community level and improving compliance and adherence to antiretrovirals. She has published extensively in peer reviewed journals since 2008 and have presented annually at national and international conferences. She has a special interest in bioethics and ethics related to health and clinical research and served as the vice-chair of the Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) of the Faculty of Health Sciences, at the North West University (2016) and is currently a member of the Biomedical Research Ethics Committee (BMREC) at the UWC. She has working experience as a regulatory affairs consultant with proficiency in Good Clinical Practice (GCP) and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). 

Natalie Gordon

University of the Western Cape

Natalie Gordon is an oral hygienist and senior lecturer in the Department of Oral Hygiene, Faculty of Dentistry, University of the Western Cape, South Africa. My interests are oral health promotion, clinical practice in oral health and creating community-based service learning opportunities. I have a particular interest in the integration of oral health into the primary health care approach. These areas are also my research interests. My scholarly contributions include conference presentations and publications on local and international platforms.

Lorraine Tanya Dube

University of the Western Cape

Tanya Dube is a pharmacist and lecturer in Pharmacy Practice at the School of Pharmacy, University of the Western Cape (UWC). She holds a Masters in Public Health from UWC and is a joint doctoral candidate with UWC/University of Antwerp, Belgium. Her research interests are adherence to chronic disease medicines – including syndemics and multimorbidity, rational medicine use and substance abuse.

Tracey-Ann Adonis

University of the Western Cape

Tracey-Ann Adonis is a Senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology in the Faculty of Community and Health Sciences at the University of the Western Cape. I am involved in education and training of postgraduate students in Psychology at Honours and Masters level as well as teaching undergraduate students at third year level. I am the Third year level coordinator. Community and Contextual Psychology and Qualitative research methods are taught at these levels where community engagement opportunities are integrated into the learning, teaching and research activities of students. Dr Adonis has extensive experience in partnership projects and research niche areas include quality of life in substance use and maternal health, educator well-being in challenging contexts and emerging adulthood.

Renier Coetzee

University of the Western Cape

Renier Coetzee is a pharmacist. Prior to joining the School of Public Health in 2022, he worked at the School of Pharmacy (UWC) where he was responsible for the development of various undergraduate and postgraduate clinical programmes. He currently serves on various local and national department of health committees. Renier is the Vice-Chair of a non-governmental organization, Touching Nations, which focusses on patient centered care for less fortunate communities. His current research focus is in the area of Patient Safety, with a special interest in Rational Medicine Use and Antimicrobial Stewardship. Using the social accountability framework, he is collaborating with various role players and stakeholders to engage with communities to strengthen the health care systems.

Abigail Dreyer

University of Witwatersrand

Abigail Dreyer is a full-time lecturer in the Department of Family Medicine, Division of Rural Health at the University of Witwatersrand. She holds a Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA) fellowship and a fellowship with the sub-Saharan FAIMER regional institute (SAFRI). She served as the Chairperson of the Faculty Committee for Community-Based Health Science Education (CoBHSE) and is an academic member of the university Senate. For the Southern African Association of Health Educationalists (SAAHE), she plays a leadership role for two Special Interest Groups, the Interprofessional Education (IPE) SIG, and the Education for Sustainable Healthcare (ESH) SIG. She is a reviewer for the African Journal of Health Professions Education and the Rural and Remote Health Journal. She has been on the scientific and organizing committees of both local and international conferences. She has more than 25 years’ experience of working in rural and underserved communities in the Western Cape, Free State, Gauteng, North West, and Mpumalanga as well as Lesotho and Swaziland. Her teaching is centered on faculty development, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the faculty. She maintains and fosters learning opportunities in communities for students to apply their skills to contribute to community citizenship. Her research interests include curriculum design, and innovations in Medical and Health Professions Education, community-engaged teaching, collaborative practice, interprofessional teaching, and research that contributes to improving the quality of health care in rural and underserved areas. Her PhD explored the use of decentralised training platforms in the undergraduate training of medical students.

Tracey Naledi

University of Cape Town

Tracey Naledi is a Public Health Medicine Specialist and Associate Professor of Public Health Medicine at the University of Cape Town, Faculty of Health Sciences (UCT, FHS). She is the Deputy Dean: Social Accountability and Health Systems at the UCT, FHS

Klaus von Pressentin

University of Cape Town

I am based in Cape Town, South Africa, where I work at the University of Cape Town as the head of the Division of Family Medicine. I completed my PhD in 2017 which evaluated the impact of family physicians within the district health system of South Africa. My research focuses on health service strengthening, health systems (especially human resources for health), as well as health professions education. My current volunteer activities include serving as the Editor-in-Chief of the South African Family Practice Journal, serving on the Council of the College of Family Physicians of South Africa and serving on the Education and Training committee of the South African Academy of Family Physicians.

John-D Lotz


JD is a Family Physician working at Madwaleni Hospital – a deeply rural district hospital along the Wild Coast of South Africa. Together with his wife, they have been privileged to be living out their passion for rural health here since 2014.

Judy Lewis


Judy Lewis is a public health sociologist and Professor Emeritus of Public Health Sciences and Pediatrics at the University of Connecticut Medical School. Her major interests are women’s health, maternal, child and adolescent health, and health care in low resource countries.

Cornell Hart

University of the Western Cape

Cornel Hart is the Programme Coordinator for the Community Development (CD) Professional Degree, Evaluator for the Scholarship of Engagement at the UWC, and a Board Member of the South African Higher Education Community Engagement Forum (SAHCEF). She specializes in Programme Evaluation and Micro-Macro Level Community Well-being Assessments’ alignment to national and international development drivers (e.g. AU Goals, SDG’s). Cornel assists HEIs (nationally & internationally) with CD Practice, Service-Learning, Community Engagement (CE) and Scholarship of Engagement (SoE) to monitor and evaluate their Societal Impact (i.e Broader Impacts).

Khabiso Ramphoma

University of the Western Cape

Dr Khabiso Ramphoma joined the University of the Western Cape, Faculty of Dentistry as a Senior Lecturer and Specialist in Community Dentistry/Dental Public Health in 2021. She previously worked at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, School of Oral Health Sciences and University of KwaZulu Natal, School of Nursing and Public Health, Discipline of Public Health Medicine. Her research work contributes to the field of epidemiology, integration of oral health in general health, particularly maternal and child oral health initiatives through policy and health systems. She is a former committee member and representative for oral health workers in South Africa and Lesotho for Rural Doctors of South Africa (RuDASA). She is the Chairperson of the Public Health Association of South Africa (PHASA), Dental Public Health Special Interest Group. She also represents South Africa on the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) under the Oral Health Working Group whose purpose is to promote and integrate oral health, whenever appropriate, in all public health policies within the WFPHA and its member organizations.

Firdouza Waggie

University of the Western Cape

Kareemah Najaar

Cape Peninsula University of Technology CPUT

Associate Professor Kareemah Najaar has a PhD in Human Physiology and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Higher Education (T&L). She is the Basic Sciences Coordinator in the Emergency Medical Sciences Department, Faculty of Health & Wellness Sciences (HWS) at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) in Cape Town, South Africa and teaches Physiology, Anatomy and Pathology in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. She established the Human Anatomy and Physiology for Emergency Care (HAPEC) initiative mandated by the Health’s Professions Council of South Africa and is a recipient of CPUT’s Departmental, Faculty and Institutional Teaching Excellence Awards (2017-2019). Prof Najaar completed a postdoctoral research programme at the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) and subsequently held the position of Senior Research Scientist for 5 years. Her research niche is respiratory disease and 2 of her current projects focuses on identifying prognostic markers for inhalation injury in burns patients and for mortality susceptibility in COVID-19 patients with undiagnosed co-morbidities. Her outputs include international accredited journals publications, book chapter, local and international conference presentations, post-graduate supervision, and local and international established collaborations as well as being awarded the prestigious Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship for 2017 & 2019. She has served on both local and international conference committees and is currently a member of her Faculty’s Research Ethics, Teaching & Learning, and Senate Library Committee. She is the Project Leader of the community engagement project (launched in 2018) that supports Grade 12 pupils from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds with Life Science Revision, in preparation for their final exams. This is an interdepartmental collaboration within the Faculty of HWS and she recently established an inter-institutional collaboration with the department of Medical Bioscience at the University of the Western Cape. This project includes a feeding scheme as well as supports the country’s vision of the Sanitary Dignity Programme and provides feminine hygiene products to female students at every revision session. For her service to the community she was honored with the Faculty’s Prestigious Achievers Award (2021). In addition, she is a member of the South African Higher Education Community Engagement Forum (SAHECEF) and has extended her engagement onto online platforms as an author of The Conversation (African pilot).

Dirk Bester

Cape Peninsula University of Technology CPUT

Dr Bester holds a doctorate in Biomedical Technology which was obtained at CPUT in 2010. He has since remained with this institution in several different research roles and is now the Faculty Research Coordinator for the Faculty of Health and Wellness Sciences. Dr Bester has several research interests which include Cardiovascular research, Nutritional supplementation, Antioxidants, Oxidative Stress, Blood Transfusion, Research Development, Innovation and Research Ethics.


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