Who We Are
Creating pathways to sustainable health infrastructures for those living in nations where opportunities are lacking. This will be realized through professional guidance and by funding the education and training of medical professionals and by purchasing essential medical equipment.
Sierra Leone is still struggling to recuperate from the devastating effects of its 11-year civil war (1991 to 2002), which destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure, including its healthcare system. Most hospitals and clinics fell to ruin and many medical professionals were forced to flee, which has resulted in a chronic shortage of trained doctors, nurses and ancillary personnel.
In March of 2014, Sierra Leone was scourged by the largest Ebola outbreak to date. Over 4,000 citizens succumbed to the disease. Today, access to healthcare, specifically with regards to surgical services, is in a vulnerable state, and without a systematic approach to increase the number of medical professionals, this impoverished nation will continue to lag behind other developing countries in sub-Saharan.
Our vision is a sustainable health infrastructure model created “for the people by the people of Sierra Leone.”
We hope that, by providing a mechanism for medical professionals in developing nations to attain essential professional training, Surg+Restore can be instrumental in building health care systems where nations are no longer dependent on visiting medical teams to deliver vital medical services within their country.
Meet The Team
R. Scott Brown MD, MPH
Dr. Brown is board certified in both anesthesiology and interventional pain medicine and he holds a Masters Degree in International Public health. He is a veteran of over 25 international medical missions in 5 continents. Dr. Brown is an assistant professor of anesthesiology at Oregon Health Sciences University and was the former medical director of OAG Interventional Pain Consultants. Dr. Brown is president and founder of Surg+Restore and is on the board of directors of ReSurge/Africa and the chairman of the physicians division of the Oregon Public Health Association. A native of north central Montana, he developed his desire to work with the underprivileged and marginalized, witnessing the plight of Native Americans in his hometown and the surrounding reservation lands. He is also the band leader and music director of the Afro-Latin Blues group, Ojos Feos and the acoustic latin band, Flor de Cana. Many of his compositions are in reference to social injustice in Africa and Latin America. He speaks Spanish, Russian and Sierra Leone Krio.
Mireille Lafont, MPH
Mireille was awarded her Master of Public Health with a focus in health disparities from Oregon Health and Science University in 2012 and received a Bachelors of Science from Portland State University. Ms. Lafont’s interest in global health derives from the belief that we are inextricably linked and that improving health, health equity and alleviating human suffering is a shared responsibility that benefits all human beings. Her past experience in international health includes program development with a global health agency focusing on water supply and sanitation in Les Anglais, Haiti. Ms. Lafont also serves on the Board of Directors for Oregon Public Health Association (OPHA) and is an active member of their policy committee. As OPHA’s Board of Directors policy representative, she raises awareness of the gaps and barriers in healthcare, education and economic opportunity for communities of color and advocates for polices and programs that promote equity.
Alicia Johnson, CPA
Alicia is a certified public accountant practicing in the Portland area and serves clients across the Northwest. In her practice she focuses on taxation, small business development, and non-profit reporting. Before steering into the world of public accounting, Alicia worked with the humanitarian non-profit Mercy Corps, and later the Pacific Northwest College of Art. In addition to working as an accountant, Alicia teaches yoga at several studios within the Portland area.
Abdul Fofanah, MSW
Born in Sierra Leone, Abdul is a community organizer and social change agent. He is passionate about uplifting human capacity across educational, socioeconomic and cultural divides. He has worked in various non-profits and governmental organizations providing culturally responsive support in building capacity for underserved communities to thrive through collective impact, self-empowerment and Advocacy. He currently works as a mental health clinician for Cascadia Behavioral Health in Portland Oregon.
African Community Outreach
Aminata R. Sei (Mimi) is a Sierra Leonean-born aspiring writer, and activist who resides in Portland with her husband and three teenagers. She is currently Vice President of the Catlin Gabel School Parent/Faculty Association and sits as member of the school’s Board Inclusion and Diversity Committee. A graduate of the Anderson Schools of Management of the University of New Mexico. Mimi lived in China for four years, and was president of the Parent/School Partnership at the Dalian American International School. She is passionate about Inclusion and Equity efforts, especially at educational institutions and is vested in creating safe and welcome spaces for all to learn and grow as a community. She is currently working on a compilation of short stories that will chronicle her lived experiences, from Africa, America and Asia.
Giving back to her native Sierra Leone is also a keen interest. Ever present in her mind is the significant disparity in standards of living between global north and south countries, and she is committed to bridging these gaps. She is an avid reader, a lover of music and all things African, a wine enthusiast, and is always happy to speak in her native Temne, and Krio. She also manages Chinese…at least enough to not get lost in Beijing!
Master of Clinical Psychology
Born and raised in Mérida, Yucatán, México, Lizzet is a Psychologist that holds a Master Degree in Clinical Psychology for Children and Adolescence since 2012. She’s a licensed psychotherapist in México working in Private Practice and was Director of Psicología, Investigación y Desarrollo Comunitario A.C. (where she still works now as Secretary) from 2012 to 2018, in which she worked with groups of indigenous mayan women of Yucatan communities. She’s also the Secretary of Asociación Yucateca de Psicoterapia Humanista A.C. (AYUPSIH). She developed her desire to work with the underprivileged, while she was studying psychology and made community service in diverse marginalized communities in Yucatán. Also she believes that as humans we need to make contributions to our pairs in need as much as we can, so we can all live in a better place. She speaks Spanish and English.
Melissa Bobadilla, JD
Melissa’s practice focuses on tort litigation. She helps injured people that are involved in all types of accidents—from small to catastrophic. She enjoys merging her prior work and life experiences with her legal practice.
Before going to law school, she obtained a Masters Degree in Spanish from the University of Oregon. At the University of Oregon she taught first year Spanish. Melissa received her undergraduate degree in Spanish and Political Science from Pacific Lutheran University.
Before becoming a lawyer, Melissa worked for Bank of America for nine years and also worked in a variety of other trades including field labor work, restaurants, retail, and as a teacher.
Melissa is fluently bilingual in Spanish—reads, speaks, and writes. She enjoys spending time outdoors and bicycling with her husband. Melissa and her family enjoy exploring Oregon’s outdoor beauty. Melissa and her husband embark on a physical challenge every year to keep themselves mentally and physically fit—like biking century rides, running, and hiking around Bend and the Gorge.
She is a member of the Oregon State Bar, the American Association for Justice (AAJ), Multnomah and Washington County Bar Associations. She is active in the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association and is Guardian and Board member. Melissa is admitted to practice in Oregon.
Amber Zupancic -Albin, JD, BSN, RN
Amber Zupancic-Albin, JD, BSN, RN started her career as a registered nurse in the critical care and cardiac units in a major hospital setting. Fascinated by the intersection of medicine and the law, Amber obtained her law degree in 2008. She is now a health care attorney and represents physicians and health care providers in medical/legal matters. Amber has her own law practice, Zupancic Albin Law, P.C., based out of Lake Oswego, OR.