Who We Are.

Co-founders, Margaret Salmon, MD, MPH, and Christian Salmon, DSc, employ human-centered design methodology to first identify global healthcare deficits. They then mobilize a multidisciplinary team, working with local populations, to brainstorm ideas on local manufacture of prototypes to design inexpensive solutions using indigenous products. They follow up this work with observational study, validation and randomized control trials, publishing results in peer-reviewed journals. 

With this approach, they have pioneered innovative products, techniques, and services to improve the local provision of healthcare to those living in great poverty and conflict.  Global health entrepreneurs collaborating with communities to generate creative healthcare solutions for communities in need.

For more about Chris link here


Board of Directors

Margaret Salmon, MD MPH
Founder/President and Director InnovationsCZ

Dr. Salmon spent 15 years as an entrepreneur before joining the medical community. She is a graduate of University of Washington Medical School and completed her Emergency Medicine residency at University of California San Francisco. She has a Master of Public Health from Harvard, with a focus on humanitarianism (specializing in humanitarian aid at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative).

She now specializes in the health needs of populations caught in conflict. With extensive experience in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia, Dr. Salmon publishes widely on bringing low-cost technology solutions to immediate health-care problems. She is also the principal investigator of the Gates Foundation's Grand Challenges Exploration Program, Round 11, that addressed improving the lives of women who are small farmers. She is a recent recipient of the EMS Seed Award from the University of Toronto.

Christian Salmon, D,Sc, EIT
Founder/Vice President and Co Director InnovationsCZ

He has worked in leadership and entrepreneurial roles for three decades. He is an Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering at Western New England University. For the past eight years, Christian has concentrated his research efforts and field projects in the area of global health.

He holds a Bachelor's of Science in Civil Engineering, and a Master and Doctorate of Science in Engineering Management from George Washington University, with a concentration in Risk and Emergency Management. He is the founding director of the Center for Global Health Engineering at Western New England University, with a mission of lowering barriers to care at the frontiers of global health by enabling local health-care providers with access to sustainable and pragmatic methods, technologies and materials. Curriculum Vitae.

Julia Zeulia, MPH
Sectary and Project Manager InnovationsCZ

Julia Zeuli’s career has prioritized working with marginalized communities, having led strategic planning and program development initiatives throughout Latin America and the United States. Using participatory action research principles, she partners with local communities to collaboratively identify and address their needs. During her 20-year career she has facilitated intersectoral efforts with community-based organizations, school districts, government agencies, and community coalitions to implement community-based initiatives. Julia joined Innovations CZ in 2018 to manage the Education initiative. She has a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley.

Stefano Paloletti, MBA
Treasure and Director of Product Management for Security Analytics, Sumo Logic

Stefano has over 15 years’ experience in product managing enterprise software solutions at leading Silicon Valley companies and currently leads Product Management for Sumo Logic's Security portfolio. His experience includes developing and launching innovative products offerings and expanding revenues for existing ones at both fast-growing startups and large enterprise vendors. For the past 10 years, he has managed product lines at Symantec, Forcepoint and ThinAir. Stefano holds a double major in Math/Computer Science and Quantitative Economics from UC San Diego along with an MBA from UC Berkeley, Haas School of Business.

In his spare time, Stefano likes to travel, volunteer and spend time doing outdoor sports including surfing, skiing, and mountain biking.

Mike Rust, PHD
Memeber at Large and Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering Western New England University

Michael J. Rust received his Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OHand currently holds the position of Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Western New England University. He teaches undergraduate courses in bioinstrumentation, physiology, lab-on-a-chip, and global health. Dr. Rust has published numerous papers in professional conferences and technical journals, and he is a co-inventor on two US patents. Dr. Rust’s work has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), American Society for Quality (ASQ), Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN), and the Jenzabar Foundation. His research interests involve the development of point-of-care medical technologies, including bioinstrumentation for use in low-resource settings. Dr. Rust’s expertise includes Guatemalan healthcare, and he has taken over 80 students to the country through course-based field experiences. He is also the co-founder and Chief Technical Officer at New England Breath Technologies, which is developing a non-invasive breathalyzer for monitoring diabetes.

Clint Trout
MA, MPH, DrPH - member at large
Senior HIV/AIDS Advisor - Expert HIV prevention consultant

Clint Trout is a multilingual international public health senior manager, academic and activist with expertise in key populations, HIV prevention, monitoring and evaluation, research, human rights and gender issues in Africa and Latin America. Clint Trout serves as HIV/AIDS Technical Advisor at Heartland Alliance International. Clint has worked in HIV/AIDS with key populations at risk for HIV for over 20 years in the United States and over 40 countries in Africa, Latin America, and Europe. He holds a Master's of Public Health Degree from Harvard University and a Doctor's of Public Health from Boston University. The focus of Clint's professional and academic career is the provision of comprehensive services for key populations taking into account their physical and mental health needs as well as their human rights. In addition to the United States, Clint has lived and worked in Argentina, Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, France, Haiti, Mali and Mexico. In addition to his native English, Clint is fluent in French, Spanish and Portuguese.

Nerys Benfield
MD, MPH, MS - member at large

Nerys Benfield MD MPH is an Associate Professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine / Montefiore Medical Center in New York. She is the Director of Family Planning and the Fellowship in Family Planning within the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women’s Health. She also directs the Global Women’s Health and Social ObGyn Program. Dr. Benfield completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Fellowship in Family Planning at the University of California, San Francisco. She received her Master’s Degree in Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Benfield’s research interestsfocus on increasing contraceptive knowledge and access, and clinical and research training both domestically and internationally.

Our Team

Rene Badili Zaidi
Country Director Democratic Republic of Congo

Rene Badili Zaidi is a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo and has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Management from ISC. He is currently a medical at the University of Goma. He has worked for Heal Africa as a medical and the WASH program as a community educator to prevent endemic diseases. In 2013 he joined InnovationsCZ as the in-country Director and Research Assistant. He has played in instrumental role in the following projects: Ultrasound Regional Guided Anesthesia, Improving Lives of Women and Small Farmers, and Commercial Ultrasound Gel Alternative, and is currently working on the upcoming Park Medic Rangers Training Program. He is also currently a board member of “ESVECO asbl’’ a local Congolese Christian Association.

Bernice A.K.A. Jordan

Bernice aka Jordan Harris has just started her intern position at InnovationsCZ as of August of 2019. She joined the team to grow her interest in the non-profit sector and social entrepreurism. Bernice is interested in the concept of a startup and is interested in owning her own business in the future. Currenlty in her second year at Laney College, Bernice is studying Business Administration to earn her Advanced Associates (AA) degree and then transfer to a 4 year University.

Marcus Paoletti

Marcus is a graduating senior at UC Berkeley pursuing a degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology. He is acutely interested in emergency medicine and has a background in prehospital care. Marcus has spent past year doing ALS transports as an EMT. He is a disaster service worker and a field training officer of the Berkeley Medical Reserves Corps, an organization centered around prehospital preparedness in the case of a mass casualty incident.

Board of Advisors

Luc Malemo
MD. Democratic Republic of Congo

Luc Malemo graduated as a in 2011 in Uganda and returned to the Democratic Republic of Congo where he worked as chief surgeon and then hospital director before taking his current position of Director of Training programs. He currently working on a Masters/PhD in in Experimental Surgery under the Jean-Martin Laberge Fellowship in Global Pediatric Surgery at McGill University. His research interests are focused on improving access to surgery with a focus on children born with congenital anomalies. His goal is to train the next generation of Congolese surgeons by leading a surgical residency program in Goma to train more surgeons and improve the access of the millions of Congolese people to safe surgery.

Stewart Lunanga

Stewart Lunanga was born in Democratic Republic of Congo. Raised with seven brothers and sisters, in the midst of civil war and natural disaster including the eruption of Mt. Nyiragongo in the city of Goma, Stewart was inspired by his communities resilience. He Co-founded CAMME Democratic Republic of Congo (Centre d'Appui des Mineurs Marginalises et Exploites), a youth-focused local NGO providing education, entrepreneurial training, vocational education programs, social services, and recreational opportunities, which today has helped more than 3,000 children. In 2013, CAMME created Youth Inspirations Academy, an English/ French bilingual preschool and primary school that today enrolls more than 200 kids. In 2017, STEWART was selected as a Mandela Fellow to train in Leadership at the University of San Diego CA. as well as an Obama Foundation Leader trained in Leadership in Johannesburg at African Leadership Academy.

Pascal Bashombana
Goma DRC - Filmmaker

Bio (to be provided)

Christine Lunanga
Nairobe Kenya - Founder CAMME DRC

Bio (to be provided)

Mundenga Mutendi Muller
MD. Democratic Republic of Congo

Bio (to be provided)

Suhas Sreevan

Bio (to be provided)

Our Partners​

Partnering is the essence of our work

Collaborating with local communities and local medical staff is the essence of Innovations CZ’s work. In vulnerable communities afflicted by conflict and corruption, the supply of essential medical supplies and technology is often cut off or drastically reduced.  We work with communities and their dedicated health-care providers to determine their needs and develop locally produced products and technology that do not rely on a global supply chain. 

HEAL Africa

Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo

Tikur Anbessa Hospital

Addis Abada, Ethiopia

To obtain indigenous supplies, we walk the markets, looking for resources that can be developed into products that can be developed by local communities. One example: We worked with the local community to develop the use of the cassava root as the base for an ultrasound gel, which has been validated as equal resolution to imported commercial gel. Our mixture is being used by hospitals, medical schools and Medecins Sans Frontieres in DRC, Niger, Kenya and Malawi. We are proud to partner with several hospitals in Africa and will be developing additional collaborations. 

Our Funders

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