Amigos Hospitalito Atitlán (AHA) has a 11 member Board

Each member has traveled extensively in Guatemala and/or been committed to the health and social welfare of its people.  Some are medical professionals while others offer a variety of professional skills that help us achieve our mission.

Board members are volunteers who work from donated facilities in order to minimize administrative costs and maximize the value of every donation to Hospitalito Atitlán (HA).  AHA has no paid staff and its only expenditures are for legal and accounting assistance and bank transaction fees.

Andrew Smith, MD, Chair

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..

Michael Harvey, DrPH, Chair Elect

Michael is a professor of public health at Temple University in Philadelphia PA.  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.

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 and was chairman of AHA for 3 years, until 2014.

Zoe Barbati

Zoe is a Research Coordinator at the Mixed Methods Research Lab in the Department of Family Medicine at Penn Medicine. She grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs and began to spend her summers in Central America as a high school student. She first traveled to Guatemala as an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania as part of the Guatemala Health Initiative—a partnership between UPenn and Hospitalito Atitlán. She fell in love with Santiago Atitán, and just three weeks after graduating from Penn with a B.A. in Health & Societies, moved back to south shores of the lake to work as a fellow in HA’s development office for two years. During this time, Zoe came to know the Hospitalito extremely well and brings her recent experiences living and working in Santiago to the board. 

Robert Finnegan

Rob has a deep affection for Guatemala and made many trips there to visit his parents when they lived in Antigua. His daughter Veronica is Guatemalan — Tz’utujil by birth (from Chicacao). His affinity for the Hospitalito has been nurtured by his father Larry’s involvement on the K’aslimaal and Amigos boards. Rob is a generous Amigos donor. His rusty Spanish is from his teenage years in Santiago, Chile, which made a lasting impression on him and his understanding of third world poverty. He is a finance professional, who is currently in an entrepreneurial phase.  He spent 18 years as an executive at a large US bank, after which he consulted with a variety of large financial institutions in the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK (even one in Costa Rica).

Jacob Glanville PhD

Jake grew up in Guatemala with his brother and expatriate parents who owned the Posada de Santiago. His father David served as a K’aslimaal board member and has been a long-term supporter of the Hospitalito, as is Jake. Jake constructs immune medicines and is currently working on an antibody therapeutic for the coronavirus. He is co-founder and CEO of Distributed Bio (2012). His latest start up, Centivax, is a therapeutics company founded to treat and eradicate the “remaining pathogens of the 21st century.” He was honored with the Gates Foundation Grand Challenge “Ending the Pandemic Threat” for his broad-spectrum vaccine technology. The project’s history was captured for the Netflix docuseries Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak. NIH supports his work on broad-spectrum antivenom. MTEC and NMRC supported his work on broad-spectrum anti-bacterials for wound healing.

David Polacek

Dave is an entrepreneurial attorney with experience in real-estate acquisition. He is president of CJMA Financial Corporation and chief manager of Parkland Village in Faribault, Minnesota where his focus on bringing new housing stock to market with a focus on affordability, quality construction and design. In early 2022, he visited Hospitalito with surgeon Kevin Bjork and recognized that he was eager to help. In his spare time, Dave enjoys hiking, biking vintage cars and golf.

Bryan G. Sauer, MD

Bryan is an Associate Professor of Medicine in Gastroenterology at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA. He grew up in Oconomowoc, WI and attended medical school at the University of Wisconsin. Bryan has an interest in international medicine and has lead endoscopy efforts in India, Honduras, and Guatemala. Bryan first visited Guatemala as a medical student in 2002 during a medical rotation in Belize, returning in 2016 to visit the Hospitalito Atitlan in hopes of setting up an endoscopy program. This dream was realized in 2019 when donated endoscopy equipment was used to perform the first endoscopy procedures at Hospitalito. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife Betsy and three children.

Susan Spencer

Susan made her first trip to Guatemala in 1995 as an elementary school principal to take immersion Spanish classes to improve communication with students and parents in her community in California. Shortly thereafter, she built a vacation home in Santiago Atitlán and has become friends with the local and part-time community.  Susan received her BA from Humboldt State University, MA from Michigan State University, and holds various advanced teaching credentials, with a specialization in Special Education.   She retired from the position of school district superintendent in California to devote more time to Atitlán, art quilting, fly fishing in Montana, and my family and friends.  It continues to be a wonderful adventure.