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By Kate McAuliff

The Mission: Restore Field Team is growing! This summer, we will be working with two brilliant Summer Fellows. One of them, Ava Attari, has only been in Tanzania for one week of her three-month stay – and already she is an integral part of our Field Team. Stay tuned to learn about our other Summer Fellow, who will arrive in a few days!

Ava hails from Sarasota, Florida. After finishing her BA in Anthropology from the University of Central Florida, she spent two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Madagascar. She’s now earning her MPA in Development Practice from Columbia University. We first met Ava a few months ago, where our need for talented summer Fellows and her need to fill a Summer Field Placement requirement coincided. After a few meetings, Ava began working in our NYC headquarters, and now she is finally in Tanzania!

Ava may be in the zone on her laptop next to me, but I interrupt her anyway to ask her why she chose Mission: Restore, she responds:

“I chose Mission: Restore because of it’s simple and sustainable goals to increase healthcare access and delivery by training local surgeons. This is unique in the fields of health and development where many times support is given without the ability to follow up or increase capacity long term before moving on.“

Ava will be leading the Telemedicine aspect of our work during her Fellowship. While Mission: Restore’s surgeon educators in the US have been able to consistently connect with local surgeons in Tanzania, Zanzibar, and Kenya – it’s time to find new platforms to enhance these consultations. With Ava’s research, testing, and collaboration with our partners in East Africa – we will be able to find new telemedicine technologies to increase the capacity of local surgeons through education.

Using education as a tool for empowerment is something Ava feels strongly about. She explains: “For my parents, education was the only thing they were able to carry with them to the US after leaving Iran during the revolution. My mother always told me that ‘education is something that can never be taken away from you’. I think telemedicine is the perfect platform to disseminate educational resources and encourage collaboration between local and international doctors.”

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