About Us

Alison Palumbo PharmD, MPH, BCOP: President, Founder

Alison Palumbo is the founder and president of Banyan Tree Clinics. Alison currently works as a clinical oncology pharmacist and has been on several medical missions to resource-scarce countries. After several of these trips, she began to question the value of such a short-term investment and realized the need for long-term, sustainable solutions to health problems abroad. After volunteering in a children's hospital in Siem Reap, Cambodia, she fell in love with the country and the people there. She witnessed firsthand the health needs of this country which had been ravaged by genocide just decades earlier. It was during her first visit to Cambodia that she developed a mission to give back to Cambodians in a way that did not just last a week, but a lifetime. With this mission in mind, and armed with a background in public health, she assembled a team of passionate and dedicated members who form what is now Banyan Tree Clinics. She is excited to see what this group will accomplish to bring about a healthier Cambodia.

Sara Alturky, Vice President and Director of Communications

Sara Alturky is the Vice President and Director of Communications for Banyan Tree Clinic. She graduated from Portland State University with a Bachelor in Science and is currently working toward her goal of being a physician. She has worked in multiple clinics across Oregon and is involved in many volunteer organizations. During her undergrad, she was the president of many different clubs such as the Arab-Persian Student Organization and the Pre-Med Club, and was very involved with her student body. She is extremely passionate about serving different communities and working with diverse populations.

Nim Uth, Director of Fundraising

Nim Uth is the Secretary-elect and Director of Fundraising for Banyan Tree Clinics. She graduated from Oregon State University and has always had a drive towards medicine and helping her community. During her undergrad, she was the President of the Cambodian Student Association for two years and has demonstrated her leadership by organizing campus and community events and fundraisers to promote Khmer culture while integrating health-related issues. Nim has also served in a non-profit medical clinic and the Multiple Sclerosis Clinic in Corvallis, Oregon to provide direct services to lead healthy, productive lives. She has drawn on these experiences to help serve her well in guiding advocacy efforts in her communities. Now she would like to utilize her skills and knowledge to support the health needs of the people in Cambodia with Banyan Tree Clinics.

Connie Shipley, Director of Special Projects

Connie Shipley is a native Oregonian, with a strong love of traveling and making a difference. She knows how important health is for people to have successful, fulfilling lives, and looks forward to assisting Banyan Tree Clinics to make a difference in the lives of many people. After a career in selling highway safety products in the five states of the PNW and British Columbia, she recreated herself as a personal historian and active volunteer. In 1979 she was on the founding board of the Columbia Basin Basketry Guild, an organization that has encouraged the appreciation of basket weaving. In 2007, she worked with her husband to create the ROSES field trip program for the Royal Rosarian Foundation and chaired four auctions to raise funds for it and other foundation programs. Over 14,000 students are getting field trips annually through this program. In 2010, she was on the founding board of the Golden Leaf Education Foundation and chaired the initial five auctions that resulted in four schools being built in Cambodia. The organization now has six schools thriving in Cambodia. She is also involved in the East Portland Chamber of Commerce, the East Portland Action Plan, and the Trinity Episcopal Labirynth Guild.

Rosemary Gonzales, Director of Training and Development & Communications Officer

Rosemary Gonzales graduated Purdue University Global with a Bachelors in Health Science. She has over 14 years of healthcare experience in healthcare management, long term care and emergency care services. She has been honored to fill teaching roles within healthcare for emergency medical technicians, paramedics, CNA’s, and medical scribes. Along with program and educational curriculum development, she has worked with regional and state agencies to bring health education to healthcare employees. Her passion lies in working with people and ensuring that whatever circumstance life brings them, they will have a competent and compassionate healthcare or public health worker available to meet their needs. She is currently pursuing my masters degree in public health at Purdue University Global.

Rosemary and her spose spent the last 5 years sharing our home and heart with foster youth ranging from birth to 13 years old. From fostering 26 children in the last few years, her family has grown through 3 beautiful adoptions. Working with biological families alongside social services has been a true gift too. It has been worth the heartache of parting with a child to see them reunited with a family that worked so hard to get them back.

Reuben Mitchell, Treasurer

A native of Trinidad & Tobago and now residing in Miami FL with his wife and 2 sons, Reuben Mitchell is a Senior Accountant for a Private Equity Firm with over $3B Assets under Management. Reuben has over 20+ years experience in the customer service, accounting and finance fields having worked in the automotive, hospitality, retail and finance industries. Reuben is a volunteer with the Boy Scouts Association where he holds active leadership roles in both the cub and troop dens. He works alongside his 2 sons with United Way in Miami as well as other NGO's around the area. During his spare time, he loves to be outdoors with his family, riding, going to the beach and enjoying different cuisines around Florida and Georgia. Reuben holds a Bs in Finance from Devry University, MBA from University of London Business & Finance School and a MS in Accounting & Finance.

Natalie Traughber, Treasurer

Natalie Traughber is the treasurer of Banyan Tree Clinics. She currently works as a controller and has twenty years of experience in the accounting industry. Natalie was determined to find a way to make a positive impact through accounting, and found that she could do so by handling the finances at Banyan Tree Clinics, believing that you can serve others no matter what your walk in life. She is excited to be a part of the efforts to help bring health equality to communities in rural Cambodia.

Molly Ward, Director of Community Outreach Services

Molly graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and a Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences from Iowa State University. Between undergrad and graduate school, she spent two years living in Battambang, Cambodia as a Peace Corps Community Health Education Extension Volunteer. It was during this experience that Cambodia found a permanent place in her heart. After graduate school, she moved back to Cambodia and acted as Project Coordinator for a World Bank maternal, infant, and young child and nutrition project. Her research interests include maternal and child health and nutrition. She is excited to join the Banyan Tree Clinics team and continue working with the amazing people and communities in Cambodia!

Taylor Kessinger, Director of Communications

Taylor Kessinger is a dedicated communications professional, specializing in public relations and advertising, with a passion for making a positive impact. Currently serving as the Director of Communications for Banyan Tree Clinics, Taylor's journey towards a career in communications and her love for helping others began at the age of thirteen when she participated in medical brigades in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Though limited in her capabilities at such a young age, this experience ignited a deep desire to make a difference. Since then, Taylor's commitment to helping people has expanded to a global scale, influencing her approach to communication and advocacy work. Having witnessed firsthand the healthcare challenges faced by underserved communities in Honduras, Taylor's involvement with the medical brigades has greatly influenced her professional growth as a communications specialist. Through her experiences, Taylor developed a profound understanding of the importance of effective communication in addressing healthcare disparities and promoting access to quality care. These experiences have contributed to her ability to tackle obstacles head-on, finding innovative solutions in her role as the Director of Communications.

Lauren Soles, Internship Director

Lauren Soles is a Clinical Account Executive for Navitus Health Solutions based in Dallas, TX. She earned a Doctorate of Pharmacy from Florida A&M University and a Master of Public Health from Purdue Global University. Her work as a community pharmacist at the inception of her career speaks to her passion for serving others. Lauren values advocating for her community and for those who have been historically marginalized. She has volunteered as a pharmacist with International Volunteer HQ and planned and participated in local health clinics. Lauren dreams of organizing her own medical missions trips and providing a space for Black healthcare professionals to diversify volunteerism. She is a native of Metro Atlanta and a member of the Rho Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Cordy Plymale, Interim Secretary

Cordy Plymale is a sophomore at the University of Washington pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Public Health-Global Health. Currently the Secretary and a Non-Profit Business Management Intern, Cordy is excited to expand on her leadership, communication, and organizational skills in the public health realm. Her years of experience with community service has ignited immense empathy as well as a desire to make a difference and help others. From food banks, to being a mentor for children with disabilities as they learn to play soccer, to being Vice President of Key Club, Cordy has diverse experiences with helping people in need. This combined with her concern for issues surrounding healthcare accessibility throughout the globe, is what attracted her to Banyan Tree Clinics. The non-profit recognizes the importance of rural areas being equipped with proper healthcare resources as well as the vital role that individuals play in improving healthcare systems. Cordy’s passion for public health, community service experience, and desire to help others will allow her to make a difference in her role as Secretary.

Ryann Phillips, Interim Director of Fundraising

Ryann Phillips is the Interim Head of Fundraising at Banyan Tree Clinics. Ryann is currently a sophomore studying Finance at the University of Washington. She has always been driven towards helping others and bettering communities. Ryann has past experience as the President of Key Club at Hockinson High School where she coordinated community service events and encouraged club members to fulfill community service projects. This experience helped drive Ryann to ensure that as she enters a career in Finance her work allows her to make a positive impact on those around her. Banyan Tree Clinics has given her the opportunity to merge her passion for helping people and her pursuit of Finance in her current role as she works to achieve the mission of Banyan Tree Clinics. Ryann is excited to make progress in our fundraising goals and to make a positive impact in the rural communities of Cambodia.

Sina Ngin, In-country Interpreter

My name is Sina Ngin: I am an English interpreter and also a teacher. I live in Pursat province, Cambodia. My hobbies: I like adventure travelling and making friends. I like study history and geography also I like to make people smile and laugh. I also like making and enjoy with what I am doing. I also like challenging sometimes but not always lol. I like watching movies especially documentary and comedy. If you want to know more about me come and make friend with me lol.

Hach Sokha, Cambodia Liaison

My name is Sokha Hach and I was born on August 1st 1995 in Srae Sdok Village, Pursat Province. I obtained a certificate in Management from the Institute of Management and Development.

I currently work as a volunteer at an NGO called Star Cambodia, where, as the Secretary, whenever there are any problems with land or roads in the surrounding areas, the village head will request our NGO to prepare any necessary documents to provide to the Provincial Head. Following this, the Provincial Head will then reimburse fees back to the village head and any surrounding communities that were involved.

I also work as a volunteer at the Srae Sdok Community Hospital, where I have many responsibilities, such as attending meetings regarding our Obstetrics and Pediatrics Department, and often will go into the community to encourage people to visit the Community Health Center.

Additionally, as a volunteer at the Srae Sdok Commune, when the district plans on doing any work with our Commune, I will join them to carry out their intended tasks such as giving out donations to the poor and disabled.

Now, working as the Cambodian Liaison with Banyan Tree Clinics, my role is to go into the Koh Broteal school and Srae Sdok Hospital to collect and relay information between the Srae Sdok community and Banyan Tree Clinics. My other roles will include:

  1. Organizing community events, such as educational events for families at Koh Broteal School.
  2. Identify key community members in the Srae Sdok community who are willing to participate in projects with Banyan Tree Clinics.
  3. Communicate monthly with the Banyan Tree Clinics board in the United States about activities, strengths, and weaknesses of the position and ideas on how to improve communication and connection with the community.
  4. Travel to purchase and deliver supplies for Banyan Tree Clinics activities.

My first project will involve assessing our recent diabetes and hypertension initiative at the Srae Sdok Community Hospital and determine the need for supplies or other education strategies.