Miriam Cremer, MD MPH
Dr. Miriam Cremer is the President and Founder of BHI. As a medical student in 1997, Miriam completed a clinical rotation in rural El Salvador where she noted the high incidence of cervical cancer among rural women. This motivated her to develop outreach campaigns, and in 2007, she established Basic Health International.
Miriam has provided outstanding guidance and leadership to the organization and has solidified BHI as a leading voice in the fight to eradicate cervical cancer. In addition to her work at BHI, she is an Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine and a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist who has a Fellowship in Family Planning.
She has received multiple grants and awards for public health projects both nationally and internationally, including First Prize for Original Research from the Federation of Latin American Obstetrics and Gynecology (FLASOG) in 1999, Woman of the Year from the Western Center for Law and Poverty in 2005, and Women Making Global Impact in 2013.
Her specific research interests include cervical cancer screening with HPV DNA testing including self-collection, HPV vaccination dissemination, and new methods of cervical cancer pretreatment including non-gas-based ablative treatments.
She was a contributing author of the World Health Organization (WHO) Guidelines: Use of Cryotherapy for Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia, published in 2011, and is the Principal Investigator on several large trials that are funded by the National Cancer Institute, the Rising Tide Foundation, Gateway for Cancer research and other private donors. In partnership with the El Salvador Ministry of Health, she has been instrumental in helping change the Salvadoran national cervical cancer screening guidelines.
Dr. Cremer has been an invited speaker at many national and international conferences, including the African Regional Conference (2014), Eurogin (2015), Point of Care Technologies Conference – NIH (2015), and the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists (2016).
Mauricio Maza, MD MPH
Dr. Mauricio Maza is the Executive Director of Basic Health International. He received his Doctor of Medicine from the Universidad Dr. Jose Matías Delgado in El Salvador, and his Master of Public Health from Harvard University with a concentration in Health Care Management and Policy.
As a medical doctor, public health practitioner, and researcher, Dr. Maza’s focus is cervical cancer prevention in low-resource settings, specifically with the use of novel technologies and treatment paradigms. Dr. Maza is an advisor and co-investigator in NIH-funded research in El Salvador, Mexico, Peru, and Colombia.
Dr. Maza led a 3-phase demonstration project in El Salvador that screened over 25,000 women with careHPV®, an HPV-testing device developed specifically for use in low-resource areas.
In 2015 Dr. Maza was named as a Young Leader by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and in 2016 was chosen to be part of the International Agency for Research in Cancer of the World Health Organization (IARC) “50 for 50” initiative which goal was to identify 50 future leaders in cancer research from low- and middle-income countries. Dr. Maza is also a Fellow of the 15th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. He works closely with stakeholders in the decision/policy process to implement public health and policy changes.
Dr. Maza has presented program results and implementation strategies at international conferences and meetings held in Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Peru, India, China, and the United States. He believes in the need to advocate for more clinical research and evidence-based policies in the region.
Rachel Masch, MD MPH
Dr. Rachel Masch first joined Basic Health International on a medical delegation to El Salvador in 2005 and serves as its Chief Medical Officer.
Dr. Masch holds a medical degree from Brown University where she also studied International Relations. She completed both her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology and MPH from the Columbia University. Dr. Masch has always held an international focus and is proud to work with BHI in its mission to eradicate cervical cancer.
Catherine Platt joined the Basic Health International team in March 2014. She is a graduate of Boston University School of Management with a concentration in accounting. After a decade-long career as a CPA in high net worth taxation, Catherine made the move to non-profit work, pursuing a Master’s Degree in Evaluation & Program Planning at Duquesne University and serving as acting director of a charitable foundation. Catherine’s interest in finance and women-focused nonprofits led her to a leadership position at Basic Health International.
Kate joins the BHI team with an extensive background in developing relationships and outreach initiatives that generate growth and opportunity both locally and globally. She is especially excited to share the story of BHI’s mission and the life-saving impact of our research. Previous to this role, Kate was an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh and Director of the Elsie H. Hillman Archives. Her consulting background and passion for women’s health equity has resulted in a strong network of like-minded philanthropists and changemakers.
Eveline served as director of both Rising Tide Foundation and Rising Tide Foundation for Clinical Cancer Research until 2017. She is now the managing director of Epos One Group, a boutique advisory firm for nonprofits and startups.
She has held several leading positions in academia, non-profit management, and research administration, including director at Gateway for Cancer Research in Illinois, and technology transfer expert at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Montserrat Soler, PhD MPH
Montserrat Soler, Ph.D. MPH holds a doctorate degree in Anthropology from Rutgers University and a Master’s in Global Public Health from New York University.
She joined Basic Health International (BHI) in January 2017 as Project Coordinator and now serves as Research Consultant after obtaining a position as Project Scientist at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Soler has extensive experience leading mixed-methods research in Latin America, particularly Brazil and Mexico, and has a strong publication record in peer-reviewed journals. As Research Consultant for BHI, she collaborates in research design, grant writing, project coordination, and manuscript preparation. Dr. Soler is committed to improving the health of women and girls around the world as a key step in achieving global gender equality.
Dr. Gabriel Conzuelo received his Doctor of Medicine Degree from Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Mexico and obtained his Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh. Gabriel’s main interest relies on how to improve conditions that affect women’s health outcomes; he has worked on projects related to cervical cancer, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and birth control. Dr. Conzuelo’s research focuses on study design and methods in epidemiology.
Zoë Bergman joined the Basic Health International team in 2019 and currently serves as the Administrative and Program Associate. Zoë is a graduate of Kenyon College where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with a minor in Arabic and a concentration in Asian & Middle East Studies. As part of her education, Zoë traveled to both India and Jordan developing a focus on gender, global health, refugee needs, and migration. While in India she interned with New Light, an NGO in the red light district of Kolkata, where she was given the opportunity to contribute to their women’s health programs and economic empowerment initiatives. After studying abroad in Jordan, the spring of her junior year, Zoë accepted a reproductive health internship position to extend her stay in Amman throughout the summer. Through her internship with Jordan Health Aid Society International, she completed an examination project focused on finding the barriers to providing Syrian refugee child brides with adequate reproductive health care in the Zaatari refugee camp. Zoë’s dedication and passion for women’s health led her to Basic Health International.
Karla Alfaro, MD MPH
Karla Alfaro, MD MPH has been working with Basic Health International since 2010 and currently serves as Medical Director. Dr. Alfaro received her medical degree from Universidad Dr. Jose Matías Delgado in El Salvador and MPH from Universidad Evangelica de El Salvador.
Dr. Alfaro oversees the day-to-day operations of a multi-site clinical trial for BHI in El Salvador, Peru, and Colombia testing innovative cervical precancer treatments. She is a key group member responsible for coordinating the partnership between BHI and the Ministry of Health of El Salvador to implement a national cervical cancer screening program.
Dr. Alfaro’s research and implementation experience include organizing VIA training delegations for healthcare workers, leading studies exploring provider screening and treatment acceptability. She has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals as part of the BHI team and actively presents work in international meetings and conferences. Dr. Alfaro’s experience also includes work with the International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC). She is committed to improving women’s health in Latin America and making the eradication of cervical cancer a reality.
Elizabeth Torres, MD
Elizabeth Torres, MD, is a licensed gynecologist and serves as Training and Clinical Director at Basic Health International (BHI), San Salvador, El Salvador.
Dr. Torres has led training workshops for the Ministry of Health and social security physicians centered on cervical cancer screening methods, including visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) and the use of the EVA System (MobileODT, Tel AVIV, Israel), a handheld imaging device for diagnostic purposes.
She has also collaborated in various research projects in the Paracentral region of El Salvador lead by the Ministry of Health in partnership with BHI, including the Cervical Cancer Prevention in El Salvador (CAPE) program, and acceptability of self-sampling and human papillomavirus testing among non-attenders of cervical cancer screening programs.
Dr. Torres has also worked with APROCSAL, a collaborative of health promoters in El Salvador, to provide colposcopy diagnosis and treatment for cervical pre-cancer lesions for female inmates in local facilities.
Dr. Leticia Lopez received her MD and MPH from Universidad Salvadoreña Alberto Masferrer de El Salvador, and a Master in Epidemiology from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua y el Centro de Investigación y Estudios en Salud.
Dr. Lopez worked with the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) in El Salvador and its cooperative agreements with Tephinet and Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, where she held the position of coordinator of influenza projects. She worked with PAHO in the same position, continuing the influenza projects in El Salvador. Dr. Lopez joined Basic Health International in 2015 as coordinator of the NIH-funded project High-Resolution Micro endoscopy for the Detection of Cervical Dysplasia in El Salvador, in collaboration with Rice University and MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Carmen E. Avalos, MD
Dr. Avalos is the research coordinator for the UH3 project. She obtained her MD, at the Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala. Carmen works on projects aimed at improving the quality of life of vulnerable populations – particularly people in LMIC’s who are HIV positive. She has managed a transdisciplinary team studying the engagement and retention of multiple diagnosed people living with HIV/AIDS in medical, mental health, substance abuse, and social services. Dr. Avalos is a key staff member in evaluating and leading oversight and technical assistance for nine demonstration sites across the U.S.
Rene Novoa studied Computer Science at Universidad Tecnológica de El Salvador. He has always worked in institutions that are geared towards social needs and helping communities.
In 2011, Rene worked for the General Directorate of Statistics and Census (DIGESTYC) with projects for FOMILENIO. These projects support the communities in the northern areas of El Salvador. He has acquired experience in the area of statistics and social awareness.
In 2014, he was part of the first National Health Survey that was implemented by the National Institute of Health (INS), together with the Ministry of Health (MINSAL) where he worked closely with people that live in low-resource communities.
In 2016, he joined Basic Health International in order to facilitate the projects he implemented in the REDCAP data collection system. His goal is to help implement new technologies for Basic Health International that can be adopted for global use.
Sofia is a marketing graduate of Escuela de Comunicaciones Monica Herrera, where she specialized in planning. She’s worked in the advertising, social media, and digital planning space for several years, but found her passion for social service projects were unfulfilled. Motivated by helping those in need from her home country of El Salvador, Sofia joined Basic Health International in 2018 and works extensively to document and promote BHI’s work in communities. Sofia has become an expert photographer and promoter of El Salvadoran women’s health.