Amigos Hospitalito Atitlán (“Amigos”) is a US nonprofit corporation formed to provide financial, material and human resources backing to subsidized healthcare services in rural Guatemala. Its focus was on Guatemalan charitable organizations that had strong roots in their local communities and could leverage Amigos support with a broad base of donors and volunteers.
Amigos has fulfilled this mission through its commitment to Hospitalito Atitlán. It has awarded the hospital two grants, providing:
- Money underwriting subsidies for medical treatment.
- Funds for the construction of the new hospital building, completed in 2011.
It not only offers financial support, but also organizational, technical and marketing assistance that enhances Hospitalito Atitlán’s work. Amigos also processes all US donations.
The Amigos Board of Directors includes:
|Leslie J. Yerman||Chair|
|Lyn Dickey||Vice Chair|
|Kenneth L. Bachenberg, MD|
|Robert Meyer, MD|
|Michael Paling, MD|
|Andrew Smith, MD|
Leslie J. Yerman, Chair
Leslie made her first trip to Guatemala in 2011 for a photography workshop. While in Santiago Atitlán, she met Lyn Dickey and Mike Harvey at a Hospitalito fundraiser and offered to volunteer. Since then, she has provided HA with pro bono communications services including re-launches of the Hospitalito website, media releases and editing and counsel on newsletters and other marketing and development materials. Leslie is a multifaceted consultant with extensive experience in the nonprofit, private and public sectors in communications, management/administration, special events and fundraising strategies. She is a HA maternal/child sponsor. Leslie is also a photographer.
Lyn Dickey, Vice Chair
Lyn drove to Guatemala in 1980 and dreamed of returning someday to live on the shores of Lake Atitlán. She continued to travel to Mexico and Central America, while raising a family, running a natural foods business, founding a recycling center and being an artist/photographer. In 2001, she built a solar-powered home near Santiago Atitlán, fulfilling a life-long dream. Lyn has been instrumental throughout the history of the Hospitalito. She was Founder and Treasurer of Comité K’aslimaal (2003 – 2006), which spearheaded the hospital’s re-opening after the Guatemalan civil war. From 2006-2011, Lyn was treasurer of Asociación K’aslimaal – Hospitalito Atitlán, the hospital Board, when she became its secretary. Today, she serves as the Hospitalito’s development officer.
Lisa Gatti, Secretary
Lisa has been involved with Hospitalito Atitlán since 2008 when she spent time in Santiago Atitlán as a University of Pennsylvania graduate student. She has spent several long periods living and working in the community. This included one year as a Fulbright Fellow, during which she acted as the Hospitalito’s development manager. Lisa has also worked in Mexico, Thailand, Kenya and Tanzania. She has BSN and MSN (health leadership) degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and has completed several fellowships with its Center of Health Disparities and the Department of Global Health. Lisa is currently supervising several maternal child health program through Jefferson County Public Health in Golden, CO. She is a HA maternal/child sponsor.
Larry Finnegan, Treasurer
Larry has served as AHA Treasurer for three years. He lived in Santiago, Chile in the 1980s while working with the United Nations and, more recently, in Guatemala where he was active in several local charities including Hospitalito Atitlán. Larry worked for the US Census Bureau for 20 years, leaving in 1995 to start his own landscaping and nursery business. He has been involved with the Hospitalito since 2005, right after the Hurricane Stan mudslides. He was on the board of Asociación K’aslimaal before becoming an AHA Board member. He and his wife live in Virginia.
Kenneth L. Bachenberg, MD
Ken is Chief Medical Officer and Patient Safety Officer at PeaceHealth at the St Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham, WA. Previously, Ken was PeaceHealth’s Medical Director of Perioperative Surgical Services. Prior to joining PeaceHealth, he was an anesthesiologist at Bellingham Anesthesia Associates for 23 years. Since 2007, Ken has made regular missions to Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala; medical and with the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Since 2009, he has participated in surgical team and anesthesia training in Managua, Nicaragua with Health Volunteers Overseas. A graduate of Creighton University (Omaha, NE), he was Chief Anesthesia Resident and Critical Care Fellow at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Michael Harvey, DrPH
Michael is an assistant professor of public health at San José State University. He lived in Santiago Atitlán for a year while serving as the Hospitalito’s development manager. During that time, he oversaw a diverse portfolio of public health and sustainability projects including annual fundraising drives, grant applications and community public health initiatives. Mike has a Masters in Public Health from the University of Pennsylvania, where he took part in the Guatemalan Health Initiative — a longstanding partnership between Penn and the hospital — as well as a Doctor of Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a HA maternal/child sponsor.
Robert Meyer, MD
Rob is a practicing pediatrician at the Windsor Street Health Center of the Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge, MA, and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, Rob first visited Guatemala in 2006 for a week of Spanish immersion. Since then, he has served as a volunteer physician at Hospitalito Atitlán for two to four weeks each year. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, he completed his pediatric residency and chief residency at Boston’s Mass General Hospital. He is a monthly HA donor.
Michael Paling, MD
Michael is a retired physician, who spent 35 years practicing diagnostic radiology in Oregon and Virginia. He has since been a medical volunteer in Africa, Asia and Guatemala. He first volunteered at the Hospitalito in 2017. He has worked with staff physicians and x-ray technicians, providing training that has helped them improve their diagnostic accuracy using a recently donated 4D ultrasound machine. Michael attended medical school at Oxford University. He did residences in both Internal Medicine and Radiology in the UK where he was born, and a Fellowship at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He splits his time living in both North Carolina and Washington.
Andrew Smith, MD
Andy is the Director of Obstetrics at Lawrence Family Medicine Residency (LFMR) in Lawrence, MA. A long-time supporter of the Hospitalito, Andy lived with his wife and daughter in Santiago Atitlán for 18 months starting in 2011 while he was a medical volunteer. He has made regular volunteer visits since then. Andy also coordinates resident visits to Hospitalito Atitlan as one of the LFMR Global Health Rotations. In addition to international health, his interests include inpatient medicine, surgical and high-risk obstetrics, and point-of-care teaching. A graduate of the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College, he is also an associate professor at Tufts University School of Medicine.