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 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.

Jorie Nilson – Medical Director of the Women’s Free Homeless Clinic

Jorie has been a Nurse Practitioner for the past 40 years. She obtained her BSRN from California State University, Fresno. Immediately after graduation in 1976, she entered an elite comprehensive Pediatric Nurse Practitioner certificate program. From 1978 to 1980, she practiced with the United States Peace Corps and with the United States Embassy in Bamako, Mali, and West Africa. Upon return to the U.S. in 1980, she earned her MSN with a Family Practice Nurse Practitioner Option in 1982. After that, she worked with the Teen Pregnancy Resource Center in Fresno serving high-risk teens ages 16 and under; the Birthing Center in Fresno, an out-of-hospital birthing facility; Central California Indian Health in Clovis, where she made health trips to the various Native American rural clinics; a weekly clinic in various locations in the San Joaquin Valley performing physical exams on the children of migrant farm workers; and briefly at Fresno Juvenile Hall.

In 1988, she moved from Fresno to Santa Barbara and worked as a Family Nurse Practitioner at UCSB Student Health until 2010. During summers, she also worked for Santa Barbara County in various clinics (Franklin, Carpinteria, Calle del Remedio), the Westside Neighborhood Clinic, and Santa Barbara Medical Foundation Clinic (now renamed Sansum Clinic).

After retiring in 2010, she took a year “off,” then began volunteering with Doctors Without Walls – Santa Barbara Street Medicine, primarily with the Women’s Free Homeless Clinic, but occasionally in both Pershing and Alameda Parks and on Street Rounds. A few years ago, she became the Medical Director of the Women’s Free Homeless Clinic. During retirement, she has also gone on medical missions to Malawi, Guatemala, and Honduras as well as travelled to Vietnam, Cambodia, and China with a group of medical people to study the various health care systems.

Dami Akande – Companion Care Coordinator

Dami will be starting her fourth year at UC Santa Barbara in Fall 2019, studying Psychological & Brain Sciences.  She has been volunteering with DWW since 2017 as a Companion Care Volunteer and served as DWW’s Communications Coordinator 2018-19.  She will be serving as DWW’s Companion Care Coordinator starting in June 2019.  After she graduates, Dami plans to pursue a Master’s in Public Health and hopes to conduct research examining health disparities in the U.S.

Ammar Campwala – Parks Co-Coordinator

Ammar is a fourth-year undergraduate student at UCSB majoring in Biology and Anthropology.  He has been a part of DWW since his freshman year of undergrad.  In that time, he has been a part of the Packs, Scribe, Companion Care, and Communications teams.  Ammar is excited to assume the role of Parks Co-Coordinator for the 2019-20 term.  His time with Doctors Without Walls has allowed him to have a better understanding of what it means to work with underserved populations; while, also allowing him to cultivate his passion for serving others.  He hopes to pursue a career in medicine and plans to apply to medical school after completing his undergraduate degree.  In his spare time, Ammar enjoys outdoor activities such as watersports, hiking, and camping.

Jeremy Dolphin – Lompoc Coordinator

Jeremy graduated from UCSB in 2019 with a BS degree in Biochemistry.  He joined DWW in the Fall of 2017, initially joining the Packs team and then cross-training as a Scribe in 2018.  In June of 2019 Jeremy assumed the role of Lompoc Clinic Coordinator.  Originally from San Diego, Jeremy is working towards acceptance into medical school, hoping to earn a medical degree and eventually practice in the San Diego area.  He enjoys snowboarding and reading the Game of Thrones books.

Mary Jo Etcheverry – WFHC Co-Coordinator

Mary Jo graduated from UCSB in June 2019 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences.  She is an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Mazer’s lab at UCSB where she studies the ecology and evolution of Nemophila menziezii.  Mary Jo joined Doctor’s Without Walls in 2017 as a Companion Care Volunteer and has continued as a WFHC Volunteer and Scribe.  The Women’s Free Homeless Clinic has a had a very positive impact on her and she is excited to continue in her expanded role as one of the WFHC’s Co-Coordinators during the 2019-20 cycle, allowing her to build an even greater bond with the lovely ladies and other DWW Volunteers.

Stefanny Gonzalez – Packs Coordinator

Stefanny has been with DWW since 2017, initially serving as a general volunteer at the Women’s Free Homeless Clinic.  DWW is excited to have Stefanny serve as the Pack Coordinator for the 2019-20 cycle.  Originally from Harbor City, CA (South Bay of Los Angeles), she graduated from UCSB in 2015 with a degree in Pharmacology.  Stefanny currently works with individuals with severe mental illness and helps them manage medical and psychiatric needs.  Her career goal involves entering the medical field and continuing to work with underserved populations.

Katrina Guzzardi – Communications Coordinator

Katrina grew up in Santa Barbara and returned after graduating from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in Psychology.  She has been a Scribe with Doctors Without Walls for over two years and is currently serving as the Communications Coordinator for the 2019-20 cycle.  Katrina also works as a Scribe in the Cottage Hospital Emergency Department.  After college, she first worked at the Public Defender’s Office where her compassion for indigent populations began.  Although she did not originally plan on pursuing a career in medicine, she found her passion in it.  She plans to become a Physician Assistant and work either in orthopedics or emergency medicine.

Jamie Lenihan – Companion Care Assistant Coordinator

Jamie is a fourth-year Biological Sciences major at UCSB.  She joined DWW in the Fall of 2017 and has since volunteered on the Packs team, as a Scribe and has also served on the Communications team.  Jamie also continues to participate in the leadership of UCSB’s Street Health Outreach.  She loves being able to go out and interact with the community DWW serves in the context of their own environment and has found the people she’s met and stories she’s been told to be incredibly humbling and impactful on her own life.  Serving as an Assistant Coordinator on our Companion Care leadership team, Jamie looks forward to leading street rounds and having many more of these experiences in the upcoming year.

Sean Scheiner – Data Coordinator

Sean graduated from UCSB in 2019 with a degree in Biopsychology and has been with Doctors Without Walls for over two years working in the parks as a Scribe and EMT.  He will be serving as DWW’s Data Coordinator for the 2019-20 cycle.  Volunteering with Doctors Without Walls has given him the opportunity to explore the field of medicine and develop his passion for providing care to the underserved.  He currently works as a Medical Scribe in the Cottage Hospital Emergency Department and is hoping to join the armed services as a clinician later down the road and work with the impoverished on a global scale.  In his free time, Sean enjoys surfing, hiking, practicing yoga or spending time with his friends and family.  He couldn’t be more excited to work more closely with all the amazing people involved in Doctors Without Walls.

Nicolette Slender – WFHC Co-Coordinator

Nicolette has recently graduated from UCSB after majoring in Biochemistry and minoring in Professional Writing, with an emphasis in Science Communication.  She has been volunteering with Doctors Without Walls for the past two years, working as a Volunteer for the Women’s Free Homeless Clinic, as well as for Companion Care.  She will be serving as a Co-Coordinator for the WFHC for the 2019-20 cycle.  Her work as a Public Health intern in Thailand in combination with her experiences at Doctors Without Walls have inspired her to pursue graduate degrees in Public Health and Medicine.  She plans to attend Physician Assistant (PA) school and one-day work in obstetrics and gynecology.

Chris Stathis – Parks Co-Coordinator

Chris graduated from UCSB in 2018 with a degree in Microbiology and has been volunteering with DWW-SBSM for 3 years.  He started volunteering as a Scribe, followed by a role on the Communications Team.  Chris served as a Parks Co-Coordinator in 2018/19 and is serving the organization in this role again for 2019/20.  He was inspired to join DWW after witnessing the struggle that his homeless neighbors went through in his hometown of San Diego.  Chris is currently working as an Ophthalmic Technician for a medical practice that specializes in retinal diseases.  He hopes to use the skills he has attained at DWW to pursue a career as a doctor working in whichever medical field he falls in love with.

Serina Williams – Volunteer Coordinator

Serina graduated from UCSB with a degree in Biopsychology in 2017.  She has been volunteering with DWW since November 2017 as a Packs Volunteer.  She served as the Packs/Logistics Coordinator for the 2018/19 cycle and will be taking on the role of Volunteer Coordinator for the coming year.  Serina is also a Medical Scribe at Cottage ER and a Laboratory Technician in a neuroscience lab at UCSB.  During her free time, she enjoys playing board games, hanging out with her cat, and listening to the latest true crime podcast.