Volunteer Leaders and Interns
Dr. Laura Polito, MD – Medical Director of Street Medicine Teams
Dr. Laura Polito, M.D. is the Medical Director of the Street Medicine Teams for Doctors Without Walls. She has worked with Doctors Without Walls for the last year at the Pershing Park Clinic, leading a team on street rounds, and at the Isla Vista Clinic.
Dr. Polito is Board Certified in Family Medicine and practices at Sansum Clinic in Santa Barbara. She did her undergraduate work at Santa Clara University, in Santa Clara, CA, and attended Medical School at Creighton University, in Omaha, NE. Dr. Polito completed her Family Medicine Residency at Offutt Air Force Base/University of Nebraska Medical Center. After residency, Dr. Polito spent four years at Vandenberg Air Force Base, serving as Medical Director of the Family Medicine Clinic. Currently, Dr Polito also sits on the Board of the Santa Barbara County Medical Society.
Dr. Polito’s true passion lies in humanitarian medicine, providing needed care to the most vulnerable and underserved population in a community. While in the Air Force, she was fortunate enough to serve on several humanitarian medical missions to Central and South America, providing medical care and health education to vulnerable communities.
Since coming to Santa Barbara, Dr. Polito has continued to pursue medical humanitarian work, flying to Baja, Mexico, with a local Santa Barbara organization to provide care to underserved populations still recovering from Hurricane Jimena.
Jennifer Ferraez – Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Jennifer Ferraez is a founding member of Doctors Without Walls. She is a clinical social worker currently working for the County department of Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health assigned to homeless outreach as a “day job”. She also has mental health hours at St. Brigid’s Fellowship, a grassroots homeless drop in center in Isla Vista. She devotes as much time as possible to working with Doctors Without Walls as lead social worker and training others in the skill of street outreach. Working with the homeless is a life passion for her. It is her belief that healing happens within the context of community—and community happens when people begin to speak the same language of compassion.
JoAnna Bourain – Programs Coordinator
JoAnna is the 2015-2016 Programs Coordinator for Doctors Without Walls. Previously, she served as the Women’s Free Homeless Clinic Coordinator from 2014-2015. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University. Her hobbies include martial arts, yoga, and reading biographies.
Doug Martin – Companion Care Coordinator
Doug Martin – Doug is a recent graduate in Biology from the College of Creative Studies at UCSB who began volunteering with DWW two years ago based on his advisor’s recommendation. It wasn’t long before he was hooked. The face-to-face patient interaction with such colorful characters has taught him quite a bit about the world and endowed him with newfound appreciation for the little things in life many people take for granted. He hopes to carry these lessons with him as he applies to medical school in the coming year.
Nicole Pham – Companion Care Coordinator
Nicole Pham – Nicole is a Companion Care volunteer and enjoys the opportunity to befriend individuals, gain their trust, and advocate for them when it comes to receiving appropriate and good quality medical care. She hopes to continue to work with other under-served communities around the world throughout her career.
Ellen Self – Volunteer Coordinator
Ellen Self – Ellen is a 6th generation Santa Barbara local and recent graduate from UCSB. Her interest in the under-served population began at a young age through service with her family and on mission trips. She began volunteering for DWW-SBSM two years ago, scribing and taking vitals in the park clinics, instantly feeling a sense of peace sitting on the ground listening to stories of patient’s lives. She has aspirations of attending physician assistant school in the near future and enjoys traveling, hiking with her dog Millie, camping, exercising, cooking and eating in her spare time.
Jaycelin Pillay – MITE Coordinator
Jaycelin Pillay – Jaycelin (Jay) is currently a senior at UCSB, pursuing a double major in Economics and Statistical Science. The Underserved Medicine Seminar led by Doctors Without Wall’s Medical Director, Jason Prystowky, played a major role in his decision to join the street medicine team. With a background in coding and data analytics, Jay found his niche on the MITE (Monitoring Information Technology Evaluation) team. Jay extracts useful data and compiles comprehensive reports for the board of directors and enjoys serving our community with his unique skills and abilities.
Leah Vergel de Dios – WFHC Coordinator
Leah is a recent UCSB Environmental Studies graduate. She began volunteering with DWW-SBSM two years ago as a volunteer in the WFHC, and loved it so much that she eventually also started scribing in the parks. She is interested in pursuing a career in public health and policy. Outside of DWW, she likes to run, edit papers, and go to the dog beach.
Cheyenne Rogers – WFHC Coordinator
I graduated from Oregon State University in 2015, with a B.S. in Nutrition. I am currently working as a Medical Assistant at a small general practice in Santa Barbara, while taking the necessary steps to prepare applications for Nurse Practitioner programs. I am pursuing a career that will allow me to fulfill my passion for mental health along with my desire to provide for the basic health needs of individuals. I love to be active and outdoors, and I love being with people.
Daniel Boctor – Park Clinic Coordinator
Growing up in Cairo, Egypt until the age of 18 showed me how much we have to offer, even in the absence of medical degrees. My passion for medicine drives me to be exposed to as many different people as I can, in hopes of offering them opportunities to better their lives. I strongly believe that healthcare providers have the power to ensure the sustainability of humanity. My ability to communicate in four languages reinforces this passion. I am a fourth year student at UCSB in the College of Creative Studies, majoring in Biology. I am heavily involved in retinal cell biology research on campus, and I aspire to one day become as good a clinician as those who volunteer for Doctors Without Walls
Josh Wahba – Intern
Joshua Wahba is a recent Graduate from UCSB who started volunteering with DWW over two years ago as a medical scribe. He enjoys learning patients stories and providing them with quality care. He is spearheading a new internship titled Donor Relations which involves setting up and maintaining the database for the DWW donors. He eventually would like to go on to medical school and work with underserved populations. In his spare time he rock climbs and writes music.
Bradley Mora – Park Clinic Coordinator
DWW offers me an opportunity for service through education. The DWW organization is dedicated to our community and in the process educates both the community and the volunteers by practicing evidence based medicine. I’m forever grateful for my chance to work with this group of outstanding medical professionals and have been deeply touched by our positive impact on the community at large here in Santa Barbara.
Pierre Kobierski – Communications Coordinator
Pierre developed an interest in underserved healthcare during the Doctors without Walls Underserved Medicine Seminar, which he took during his second year at UCSB. He felt compelled to get involved and, soon after, joined DWW, scribing in the park clinics and interning on the Communications team. As an undergraduate, he also led Street Health Outreach, a UCSB nonprofit dedicated to supporting Isla Vista’s houseless community, and worked as a scribe in the Cottage ER. In 2016, he completed a B.S. in Microbiology at UCSB. Pierre applied for the role of Communications Coordinator because he wished to advocate for the underserved as well as promote the mission of DWW in Santa Barbara and beyond. He hopes to soon attend medical school and become an emergency physician with the ultimate goal of joining the global humanitarian effort. His greatest joys include reading, writing, travelling, and jazz.
Matt Sumethasorn – Street Teams / Special Missions Coordinator
Matt Sumethasorn is a graduate student at UCSB. He is interested in finding the genetic and environmental factors that influence ethanol related behaviors in fruit flies. Matt joined Doctors Without Walls as a way to foster personal growth while at the same time fostering growth in our own community. He quickly found Street Teams to be his favorite branch of DWW, allowing a more personal interplay with both providers and patients alike. Matt hopes to to bridge the gap between our patients and our organization, so that we can provide better care to those who need it.
Javier Valencia – Packs and Logistics Coordinator
I grew up in Santa Barbara, so I was exposed to seeing the underserved community at the parks even before joining DWW-SBSM. I graduated UCSB in 2013 with a bachelor of science in Chemistry. I first learned about DWW-SBSM from two of my co-workers, who were part of this organization and encouraged me to join since I wanted to gain clinical experience and learn about street medicine. I began volunteering in Alameda park as a scribe before taking an interest in the packs and wanting to learn more about the medications we dispense to our patients. My goal is to attend medical school and work in the ER one day. In my free time I enjoy playing soccer, going on long distance runs around SB, walking my dog, and spending time with my family and friends.
Claire Berchiolli – Patient Advocate
Claire is a graduate of Westmont College with a degree in Chemistry and Biology, currently pursuing her path to medical school. Claire started volunteering at the Women’s Clinic a year ago after spending a year living in Italy, noticing the need for clinicians in the underserved emigrant population. In addition to her role at the Women’s Clinic, Claire works in the Emergency Room at Cottage Hospital as a scribe. When she is not working Claire enjoys traveling, reading books, learning new skills, and exploring Santa Barbara. Claire is currently planning her wedding overseas which will be in the Fall.