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About Us

Doctors

Our Vision:

Early detection of breast and cervical cancer saves lives.

Our Mission:

To decrease the individual and community burdens of breast and cervical cancer in Cali, Colombia, by mitigating the obstacles women face during their cancer journey.

Our History:

Partners for Cancer Care and Prevention, formerly known as United Hands for Health, was established in 2011 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Our organization began as a medical mission, and has served over 35,000 patients since its earliest days of operation. To read a report of our March 2013 program, please click here. To read about our current initiative, please read our executive summary [PDF].

In 2006, when he first returned to Cali, Colombia with 28 volunteers to provide medical services, Dr. Armando Sardi could not imagine the journey he would begin. From its humble beginnings, Dr. Sardi's six year- "Mission to Colombia" evolved into Partners for Cancer Care and Prevention, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is now making a sustainable impact on health access in Cali.

To-date, we have helped over 35,000 patients. Along with the Colombian branch of our organization - Fundacion Para la Prevencion y el Tratamiento de Cancer - and the continuous support of people like you, and private and public organizations, we look forward to serving thousands more.

Are you a foundation leader, corporate funder or individual donor interested in supporting improved care for women in Cali? Read our executive summary [PDf] to learn more about our Partners for Cancer Care and Prevention.

The work of PFCCAP would not be possible without the generous support of grant funders, regular donors and individual contributors. We would like to acknowledge the following groups for supporting PFCCAP in our work to-date: Supporting Groups


Partners for Cancer Care and Prevention is led by President Dr. Armando Sardi, Vice President Dr. John Singer, and Treasurer Carlos Garcia. Our executive board is made of leadership professionals in the fields of public health nursing, surgical oncology, evaluation, nutrition, and law, and mental and emotional health. Please click the links below to learn more about each of our executive board members and organization leaders.

The lack of basic resources in this public Hospital has been identified as a major barrier in the achievement of our goals. Although we have been able to change the lives of many more women through our service, we must still continue to look for the ideal partner to develop the pilot program in order to be able to replicate it in other contexts similar to the one found in this Latin American country.

Meanwhile, the Susan Komen grant provided for navigation continues to be of tremendous service to the Colombian women, since this part of the cancer treatment process has been determined as key in this context. Navigators make sure patients follow their treatment instructions as well as provide them with the emotional support they need.

Armando Sardi

Armando Sardi

Armando Sardi, M.D., is the founder and president of Partners for Cancer Care and Prevention. He serves as the director of The Institute for Cancer Care at Mercy and as the chief of the Institute's Surgical Oncology Division. Dr. Sardi is an internationally renowned surgeon and one of the foremost surgical oncologists in the United States using Intraperitoneal Hyperthermic Chemotherapy (HIPEC), an aggressive treatment for patients with late stage, complex cancer diagnosis in the abdominal region. Dr. Sardi is a National Cancer Institute Clinical Investigator and is committed to conducting vital research leading to breakthroughs in the aggressive management of complex cancers. He has authored more than 120 medical publications and is a frequent public speaker on various topics in surgical oncology on both a national and international platform. Dr. Sardi obtained his Medical Degree from Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia - S.A. and completed fellowship training in surgical oncology at Ohio State University Hospital.

Dr. Sardi is a Fellow of The American College of Surgeons and is board certified in general surgery. Dr. Sardi has served as the medical director for a yearly medical mission to Colombia, South America since 2006. As Dr. Sardi says, "Cancer has become a major cause of morbidity and mortality in my country. As a Colombian, I want to help improve early detection, access to care, and education concerning medical and social issues for women with breast and cervical cancer. We expect to make a real impact in the community as a whole."

Carlos Garcia

Carlos Garcia

Carlos F Garcia was born and raised in Cali, Colombia, and has lived in the United States for the past thirteen years. After studying Business Administration at the College of William and Mary Mason School of Business, Carlos moved to Baltimore to play soccer for the Baltimore Blast. After nine seasons with the team and after winning four national championships, he retired from professional soccer in March of 2012. Carlos has ascended to positions of leadership in both the business world and the Latino community. He currently serves as an Assistant Vice President of Commercial Originations for PNC Bank in Pittsburgh, PA and has provided years of support as a member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Latino Providers Network Board of Directors and other organizations during his tenure in Baltimore.

Carlos came to Partners for Cancer Care and Prevention to support Dr. Sardi's vision of building the organization so that it might become an influential participant in the fight against cancer in his beloved home country. He continues to support the organization through its fundraising efforts, his service as the PFCCAP Treasurer, and through support of the organization's many dedicated volunteers.

David Abramson

David Abramson

Mr. Abramson is currently a Principal in SDA Ventures, LLC, a firm focused on assisting emerging growth and middle-market companies, primarily in the health & wellness and nutritional products markets. Mr. Abramson, in conjunction with SDA Ventures, LLC, is a Senior Advisor to Paine & Partners, LLC, a global private equity investment firm. Mr. Abramson is also currently a Senior Advisor to DSM Nutritional Products, a global leader in nutrition and nutrition innovation. From September 2006 to October 2011, Mr. Abramson served as President of Martek Biosciences Corporation. He joined Martek in 2003 to lead the Business Development department.

Prior to joining Martek, he was the Executive Vice President and General Counsel for U.S. Foodservice (1996 - 2003). In addition, Mr. Abramson was also the Executive Vice President for Legal Affairs at Ahold, U.S.A. (2000 - 2003). Mr. Abramson also served on the Board of Directors of U.S. Foodservice from 1994-2003. Prior to joining U.S. Foodservice, Mr. Abramson was the President of a corporate law firm based in Columbia, Maryland, Levan, Schimel, Belman & Abramson, P.A, which is now part of Miles & Stockbridge. Mr. Abramson specialized in corporate matters, mergers and acquisitions. He has also served on the board of numerous non-profit community organizations, including serving as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Howard County General Hospital- A Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine, from 1993 to 1995. Mr. Abramson became involved with Partners for Cancer Care and Prevention because of his deep concern for the devastating impact of cancer on society, particularly in developing countries, along with his great admiration and respect for Dr. Sardi.

David Eberhardt

David Eberhardt

David Eberhardt is a principal at Miles & Stockbridge P.C. in Baltimore, Maryland. Miles & Stockbridge P.C. is a leading law firm located within the mid-Atlantic region, which represents businesses of various sizes, from global companies to emerging businesses. David's practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, commercial law, general business counseling and other transactional matters. David co-leads the firm's Manufacturing & Distribution Industry Team, which uses the firm's deep, practical understanding of the business and legal issues companies in those industries face and solutions for managing those issues to build relationships in which the firm becomes the clients' trusted advisor. Prior to his current position, David served as executive vice president and general counsel of US Foods, one of America's premier foodservice distributors. There, he performed both the legal and risk management functions of the company and was a member of and advisor to the executive leadership team.

David's wife is a parish nurse and facilitates a cancer support group, which has given him a greater appreciation of both the widespread impact of cancer and the importance of efforts to improve early detection and treatment of cancer. This awareness makes the opportunity to support the PFCCAP mission as a board member meaningful to David. David's background as a business lawyer and counselor, and as a present or past member of the boards of a number of non-profit organizations, provides him with the skills to advise the board on governance and legal issues.

Deborah Trautman

Deborah Trautman

Deborah Trautman, PhD, RN, FAAN is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

Formerly the Executive Director of the Center for Health Policy and Healthcare Transformation at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Dr. Trautman has served in leadership positions at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. She also held a joint appointment at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.

Dr. Trautman received a BSN from West Virginia Wesleyan College, an MSN from the University of Pittsburgh, and a PhD in health policy from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

She has authored publications on health policy, intimate partner violence, pain management, clinical competency, change management, cardiopulmonary bypass, and consolidating emergency services.

Since joining AACN, Dr. Trautman has been appointed to a number of high profile boards and advisory groups, including the Department of Veterans Affairs‚?? Special Medical Advisory Group, which advises the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on matters related to healthcare delivery, research, education, and related areas. In addition, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation named her program director of the New Careers in Nursing project, the Gannett-operated Nurses.com invited her to serve on its national advisory board, and her colleagues with the Interprofessional Education Collaborative elected her to serve as the group‚??s Treasurer/Secretary.

Dr. Trautman is a 2007/2008 Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow who worked for the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, then Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Henry Valeri

Hank Valeri

Henry Valeri has an extensive background in project and program management. After serving as an Infantry Rifle Platoon Leader, "Enrico" joined the Department of the Army as a civilian. After performing in a wide range of management positions at the Army Electronics Command, he was assigned to the position of Program Chief for a joint service multinational weapons program before moving to Maryland to assume a new position as Director of Program Management for the Army Chemical and Biological Defense Command. After retiring from federal service, he remains active as a management consultant, primarily in the areas of cost and economic analysis and project management. Enrico has a bachelor's degree in Geology from Rutgers University and an MBA from the New York University School of Business Administration.

Enrico and his wife Barbara greatly admire and respect the efforts of Dr. Sardi and his team on behalf of the women of Colombia. A personal cancer experience gave them greater insight into the urgent need for the assistance offered and envisioned by the Partnership and resulted in their active participation in its work. They look forward to helping the team achieve its objectives.

John Singer

John Singer

Dr. John Singer is a co-founder of Partners for Cancer Care and Prevention, and has been involved in the organization and its surgical services in Cali, Colombia since its inception. In his career leading up to his present leadership of PFCCAP, John served as the head of the surgery residency program at Saint Agnes Hospital for nearly 30 years. He is an accomplished writer and editor of a national academic surgery journal, and an experienced leader of his peers with a 6-year tenure as the Maryland governor reporting to the American College of Surgeons.

When asked why he is so tireless in his dedication to PFCCAP, Dr. Singer states, "I feel that it is very important for the more fortunate to give back? to leave the planet better than we found it." John is an outstanding example of this.

Leonard Condon

Leonard Condon

Leonard Condon is a native of Boston, MA, and President of LWC Trade Consulting LLC. He provides advice on international trade, specializing in agricultural matters. For more than three decades, he was a U.S. Government official, serving at both the U.S. Department of Agriculture and, during the latter half of his public career, at the White House Office of the U.S. Trade Representative where he was a lead U.S. agricultural trade negotiator.

Leonard came to Partners for Cancer Care and Prevention because of his admiration for Colombia and its people and his commitment to deepening the U.S.-Colombia relationship. Having participated in the 2011 and 2012 PFCCAP Missions to Colombia, he continues to support the organization since he "?has witnessed first-hand the incredible impact PFCCAP is having in improving health care and building people-to people relationships."

Maria Jacobs

Dr. Maria Jacobs

Maria C.E. Jacobs, M.D., leads the Radiation Oncology team at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland. She places top priority on quality patient care, medical excellence and helping her patients get the best possible radiation therapy treatment. Dr. Jacobs brings passion, enthusiasm and a heart for caring to her patients. In her role as Director of Radiation Oncology at Mercy, Dr. Jacobs oversees all radiation therapy and radiotherapy services for the hospital. Dr. Jacobs beams with pride when she talks about the advances that have been made in radiation technology, treatment plans and research. But like most top rated doctors, Dr. Jacobs believes treating the patient means more than treating the disease. It‚??s about caring for the person‚?¶that unique, one-of-a-kind individual who has family and friends, hopes and dreams ‚?¶ and a life beyond cancer.

Mark Freeman

Mark Freeman

Mark Freeman is a senior organizational development and behavioral consultant, primarily working in the academic, hospitality, and healthcare industry. His work in the area of performance improvement includes change management, fund raising consulting, organizational training and development for management, business development, and executive leadership coaching. As an executive coach he has extensive experience with a wide variety of corporate and not for profit clients. Mark designs custom curricula for leadership programs. Mark was the former Director of Counseling and Psychological Services at Rollins College. As the director, he conducted all of the clinical supervision and served as a counselor for the college for over two decades. He holds two licenses, one in mental health counseling and the other in marriage and family therapy from the State of Florida. He is a nationally certified counselor and approved clinical supervisor. He has a Ph.D. in counselor education and supervision from the University of Central Florida and a Masters degree in counseling from Stetson University as well as his Bachelors degree from Rollins College. Mark was hired away from his counseling responsibilities by the senior leadership team at Rollins to design and conduct leadership development programs and coping with change management for the entire campus based upon his extensive work with various departments on campus. Mark's research interests are in the area of organizational excellence, change management, personal and professional development for leaders, executive coaching and team building. He is trained in conflict mediation and offers a myriad of seminars and workshops designed to enhance organizational development change management, and performance excellence. Mark primarily works at the senior leadership and middle management level of the organizations he serves.

As for his involvement with PFCCAP Mark states: Cancer care for women can be treated very effectively in first world countries. It is unconscionable that our United States prevention and treatment of cancer is not available worldwide. PFCCAP has proven that prevention, care, and treatment can be realized in Colombia. Women no longer need to suffer and have less healthy longevity when the elimination of treatable cancer can be realized. My mother suffered from cancer and I want the same great treatment she received to be available across the world. Therefore I serve willingly and passionately on our Board of Directors.

Sheldon Kramer

Sheldon Kramer has been Certified Public Accountant for over 40 years. After serving in the Army for two years at Fort Holabird in Baltimore, he decided to remain in Maryland, where he has spent his entire career. After working for a Fortune 500 company, he started his own accounting firm in Columbia in 1972, where he and his employees serviced a wide range of clients. He sold his practice in 2013 but continued working as a solo practitioner. Until recently he was the treasurer for a member of the Maryland House of Delegates.

Sheldon served as a member of the Howard County General Hospital Board of Trustees for several years, and until recently was also a member of the hospital?s Finance Committee. He is a member of the MACPA and AICPA, and he holds a Bachelor?s Degree in Accounting as well as a Master?s Degree in Taxation.

Sheldon currently resides in Columbia with his wife Elaine and lives near his four grandchildren, two daughters, and their spouses.

Teresa P. Diaz-Montes

Teresa Diaz-Montes

Teresa P. Diaz-Montes, M.D., MPH, FACOG, is a gynecologic oncologist and currently serves as the Associate Director of The Lya Segall Ovarian Cancer Institute. She also is a noted expert and gynecologic oncologist with the Gynecologic Oncology Center at Mercy, a leading Center in Baltimore for the treatment of cancers of the female reproductive tract. Dr. Teresa Diaz-Montes provides diagnosis and treatment for gynecologic cancers. She has a master in Public Health from the Bloomberg School of Public Health. She has worked within her field to improve quality of care as well as access to women diagnosed with gynecologic cancers in Latin America and the Caribbean region..

Mavalynne Orozco-Urdaneta - Board Member and Executive Director

Mavalynne Urdaneta

Mavalynne Orozco-Urdaneta is a native of Colombia, South America who became inspired to apply her business and marketing background to support non-profit organizations.

To her current role as Executive Director of Partners for Cancer Care and Prevention, Mavalynne brings more than twenty years of experience in service to Colombia's most marginalized communities. Her Masters in Marriage & Family Therapy allowed her to deepen her knowledge of health system dynamics, and equipped her to support clients and families through counseling and systemic therapeutic approaches. Mavalynne also attended the College of Executive Coaching and is a certified personal and executive coach. In addition to her work with Partners for Cancer Care and prevention, she also worked at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland as a cancer support associate. Mavalynne's extensive training and experience has enabled her to act as a skilled advocate as well as a program leader. Her knowledge of health disparities stems from ground-level engagement with women with breast and cervical cancer, from the time of diagnosis through their deaths.

Of her work, she says "If I want to change something, I work on it, so I can be part of the solution!" Mavalynne is grateful to support women in their struggles for survival as the Executive Director of Partners for Cancer Care and Prevention, and eager to support the organization's development into the future.

Antonia Piedrahita - Director of Social Media

Antonia Piedrahita

Antonia Piedrahita is a native from Colombia, South America, who is currently a high school student at The Park School of Baltimore. Since she moved to the U.S, she's been involved with the Latino community in Baltimore, being a volunteer at Esperanza Center, a "comprehensive immigrant resource center", and a part of her school's latino outreach club. She believes in giving back to her community and her country, Colombia, and sees her involvement with the PFCCAP organization as a way of raising awareness about cancer and helping the country's underprivileged population receive proper treatment.

Jennifer Francis-Our Star Volunteer!

Jennifer Francis

Jennifer is not only the Director of Operations of Surgical Oncology at Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore, MD; but she also finds the time to be PFCCAP's Star Volunteer!!! She works directly with the President of PFCCAP, Dr. Armando Sardi, and assists with the administrative duties of PFCCAP. She maintains the database, sends all the letters of gratitude, creates and distributes the newsletters and assists the organization in the yearly golf event. PFCCAP is so lucky to have her!