Meet the Team

Our team of professionals around the world


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Taraneh Shirazian, MD

President and Founder

Dr. Shirazian is a practicing gynecologic surgeon and an Associate Professor at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. She is also the Director of Global Women's Health at NYU Langone. Dr. Shirazian received her MD through the accelerated program at Brown University and completed her post-graduate residency at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. She is recognized as an international leader in global women’s health and is frequently called on by national media outlets to appear as an expert in this field. She is also an accomplished researcher focused on interventions designed to decrease maternal morbidity and mortality, and her work has been published in many prominent medical journals including the American Journal of Perinatology and ACOG Today.


Lisa Gilligan, MPH

Executive Director

Lisa received her MPH from Columbia University. Prior to working with Saving Mothers, she served as curriculum consultant to the Mount Sinai School of Public Health and as an advisor to the low-resource Ob/Gyn clinic there. Lisa brings analytical skills and a strategic focus to the organization and contributes to the development of Saving Mothers’ research protocols.

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Jessica Oliveira, DMS, MSPA-C

Guatemala Program Director

Dr. Oliveira is currently a Family Medicine Physician Assistant and faculty at FIU Herbert Wertheim's College of Medicine, working in a household-centered community health program addressing the social determinants of health to improve the well-being of underserved communities in Miami-Dade. Her specific interest has always been in community health development with a focus on household centered care, women’s health and health literacy. Dr. Oliveira has been an advocate for women and underserved communities globally and has worked abroad as a medical volunteer with Medical Mission Group, Basic Health International and Saving Mothers. She has served as the Director of Guatemala for Saving Mothers since 2008 and founded the Saving Mothers School of POWHER in 2014. Jessica is also the Medical Director and Co-founder of the Casa Materna San Juan La Laguna, a rural birthing center in the Western Highlands of Guatemala that provides free services for the local indigenous families.
She received her Doctorate in Medical Sciences at Lincoln Memorial University in 2019 and her Master of Science in Physician Assistant at Seton Hall University in 2007. Dr. Oliveira received her Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Sports Physiology at Florida International University in 2002, where she was also an athlete on their women’s soccer Division 1 NCAA team from 1999- 2001. She received her training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in NYC from 2009-2015.

Board of Directors

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Terrie Paladino, Chair

A graduate of NYU’s Stern School of Business, Terrie is the President and Co-Founder of the PHB Group, a marketing consultancy. She previously served as EVP & Chief Development Officer of the Publicis Groupe, a French multinational advertising & public relations company. Terrie also has extensive experience in the non-profit arena, having served as Chairman of the Global Nomads Group, President of the Bedford Hills Library, and President & Co-Founder of the civic group BH Live.



Contessa Brewer

An Emmy award-winning journalist, Contessa Brewer has been a news correspondent for CNBC since 2017. Prior to this she served as a frequent contributor to CBS News, CBSN, WNBC, NBC News and MSNBC, where she covered a wide range of topics including presidential elections, natural disasters and the Coronavirus pandemic. Brewer is a Remembrance Scholar and magna cum laude graduate of Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

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Teneisha Olivierre

Teneisha “Adwoa” Olivierre is a certified labor and postpartum doula and graduate of SUNY Downstate School of Public Health.  Adwoa provides services through her own practice, Oni’t Touch and through the NYC Citywide Doula Initiative, which services birthing people in underserved communities throughout NYC.  She is a strong birth advocate and focuses heavily on health inequities and maternal health among Black women.



Yasmin Vossoughian

Yasmin Vossoughian is the co-anchor of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe: First Look”. Additionally, she is an MSNBC correspondent and covers a variety of beats including entertainment and breaking news. Prior to joining MSNBC, she was a host and producer for The Daily Share on HLN and an entertainment program on AOL News. Earlier, Vossoughian served as a reporter for the local New York City cable news channel NY1. Her accomplishments include on-site coverage of Hurricane Sandy’s devastation and as one of the first reporting teams to broadcast from the severely hit borough of Staten Island. A graduate of Occidental College in Los Angeles with an Advanced Bachelor of Arts degree, Vossoughian skills include fluency in French and Farsi.


Jacques Moritz, MD

Dr. Moritz is a board certified OB/Gyn with more than 30 years of practice. He currently serves as the Medical Director of Tia, a boutique, members only gynecology and wellness clinic in New York City. Prior to that he was the Director of Gynecology at Mount Sinai West for 25 years. A renowned advocate for patient-centered women's care, Dr. Moritz lectures on new technologies in gynecological procedures and has been listed in New York Magazine's Top Doctors for the past five years.


Andrea Kutscher

Andrea is a graduate of Columbia University Business School and has spent most of her career in Latin American and U.S. financial and corporate markets. She is particularly interested in investing in women-owned and operated businesses and supporting medical initiatives serving this group. To this end, Andrea has been an active member of an angel investment group. She currently services Saving Mothers as Secretary of the Board.


Margaret Davino

Margaret is a partner in the New York City and Princeton offices of Fox Rothschild LLP and a member of the firm’s 75 attorney health law group. Former General Counsel to medical centers in New York and New Jersey, Margaret has experience in a broad spectrum of health care matters. She has been included in the list of “Super Lawyers” for Health Law in New York every year since 2007. Margaret formerly chaired the Health Law section of the New York State Bar Association and is a board member for the Health & Hospital Law section of the New Jersey Bar Association. She is also a Registered Nurse.

Medical Team

Dr. Andrei Rebarber

Andrei Rebarber, MD

Dr. Rebarber is a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist in private practice and an Associate Clinical Professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He received his MD from the State University of New York at Syracuse and did his post-graduate training at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York and the Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Rebarber is an accomplished researcher and a frequent contributor to the development of Saving Mothers’ research protocols.


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Poroshat Shekarloo, MD

Dr. Shekarloo is the founder of MAAHSA, an Obstetrician Gynecologist, and the Director of Global Health and Peer Review at Maimonides Medical Center (MMC) in Brooklyn. She has over ten years of experience working in women’s and adolescent health. Dr. Shekarloo began her career as a community activist and organizer on  issues such as domestic and sexual violence, substance abuse and their impact specifically on women of color and their communities. She developed the Global Health Program at MMC in 2018 and has organized surgical trips with her residents to Kenya and Guatemala in partnership with Saving Mothers. She has a passion for equitable access to maternal and adolescent health globally.


Sasha Hernandez, MD

Dr. Hernandez is currently in her Obstetrics and Gynecology residency training at New York University/Bellevue Hospital Center. She received her MD from Weill Cornell Medical College where she graduated with Honors in Research in Global Health. Dr. Hernandez has been most involved in the training of our traditional birth attendants in Guatemala and has led our community based research


Rachel Clarke, PhD, CHES

Dr. Clarke’s background is in public health, health disparities research, and quantitative and qualitative methodologies. She collaborates with faculty and staff to develop and monitor outcome metrics and analyze the impact of NeighborhoodHELP interventions on underserved individuals and families. Dr. Clarke has worked with senior faculty on health disparities research focused on mental health, substance use, and HIV among minority populations. Her research focus is community-based research geared towards addressing health disparities.


Charles Ascher-Walsh, MD

Dr. Walsh is the Director of Urogynecology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City and is a practicing surgeon there. He has extensive experience in Female Reproductive and Reconstructive Medicine and frequently accompanies our team to perform pro bono surgeries.


Noel Strong, MD

Dr. Strong is a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist who practices at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City and is an Assistant Professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She received her MD from the University of Illinois and did her post-graduate training at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. Dr. Strong frequently accompanies Saving Mothers on pro bono surgery trips and trains local health providers in limited-resource settings.


Nils Hennig, MD, MPH, PhD

Dr. Henning is the Director of the MPH Program at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Assistant Director of the Mount Sinai Global Health Center. He is an expert in infectious disease and has done extensive humanitarian work in underserved and war-torn regions around the world with Medicine Sans Frontieres.

Guatemala Team

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Concepcion Mendoza Sosof

School of POWHER Director


Concepcion has been working with Saving Mothers for 7 years. She leads the educational training for midwives at the School of POWHER. She works closely with the communities around Lago Atitlán in Guatemala to improve maternal health services and refer high-risk pregnant women to neighboring clinics.

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Maria Candelaria Lopez Culan

Assistant Educator


Maria helps with the training program at the School of POWHER. She is committed to improving prenatal care for Guatemalan women and making sure that they have safe deliveries.

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Concepcion Damian Chicajau



Concepcion is a senior nursing student and assists in all aspects of programming and education at the School of POWHER.

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Rosario Mendoza Sapalú

Clinical Educator


Rosario provides clinical training and oversight for the midwives who study at the School of POWHER. She has been working with Saving Mothers for 4 years.

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Juana Pospoy Chicajau

Clinical Educator


Juana trains midwives in conducting physical exams and doing home visits in Guatemala. She has worked with Saving Mothers for 4 years.

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Ana Maritza Lacan Petzey

Clinical Educator


Ana teaches midwives in various clinical skills as well as reproductive health and anatomy. She has worked with Saving Mothers for 4 years.

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Yeshika Mendoza de Paz

Clinical Educator


Yeshika assists with all aspects of training and education at the School of POWHER. She has been working with Saving Mothers for 4 years.

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Josefa Damian Coquix

Lead Clinical Educator


Josefa coordinates and provides clinical training for the midwives at the School of POWHER, teaching them to identify common risk factors and proactively refer women with warning signs to receive hospital care. She has worked with Saving Mothers for 4 years.





Kenya Team

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Augustine Kakuko

Program Director

Augustine Kakuko is a Community Health Worker and has worked with Saving Mothers for 9 years at Kapenguria District Hospital in Kenya. He has worked for over 25 years at various non-profit organizations in positions of transformational leadership, consultancy services, health promotion, and paralegal services. He has also served as a partner to the West Pokot county government on health interventions in collaboration with numerous development agencies. As the program director, he manages the on-ground logistics and operations for the Maternal Continuum of Care Program and a study on the preterm birth indicator test.

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Dorothy Pilakan

Head Nurse

Dorothy Pilakan is the head nurse who oversees our family planning project. She reaches out to women interested in long acting reversible contraception and counsels her patients on risks and benefits of each available form of contraception, and inserts the IUDs herself.

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Benjamin Saina

Financial Officer

Benjamin Saina is a certified public accountant and has been working with Saving Mothers since 2019. Key responsibilities include, but are not limited to: preparing financial reports and budget, staff payroll, overseeing audits, and ensuring organization compliance.

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Miriam Petakwang

TBA Consultant

Miriam Petakwang has worked for 34 years as a nurse in Kenya. She trains traditional birth attendants (TBAs) for the Saving Mothers TBA training program.