Board Members

Kirk Baxter -  Board President

Kirk Baxter brings to the community 35 years of volunteer and professional leadership experience, particularly in the fields of healthcare reform and civil rights activism.  Kirk is the Founder of Phoenix Body Positive, now known as the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS.  Since that time, Kirk has served as a development consultant for a number of local charities, including Equality Arizona and Aunt Rita's Foundation.  Kirk also co-chaired the return of AIDS Walk to Phoenix, Arizona.  Of all these efforts, Kirk is most excited about his role with HEAL International!


Prof. Bertram Jacobs, Ph.D. - Co-Founder & Board Member

Prof. Jacobs is Director of the School of Life Sciences and Professor of Virology at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University. The main interest of Prof. Jacobs’ lab is poxvirus:host interactions, in particular evasion of the innate immune interferon defenses by poxviruses. Disabling of the innate immune evasion genes in vaccinia virus has allowed the generation of highly attenuated, replication competent strains of vaccinia virus as potential third generation smallpox vaccines, as improved vaccine vectors, as well as potential oncolytic viruses. A vaccine generated in the Jacobs lab I scheduled to go into Phase I Clinical Trials in 2016.

Prof. Jacobs received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley and did post-doctoral research at the University of California, Santa Barbara, before taking a faculty position at Arizona State University. Prof. Jacobs has been a member of the NIH Virology Study Section, and has served on numerous biodefense-related study sections. He has been an active collaborator with Russian scientists at VECTOR, home of the Russian smallpox repository. Prof. Jacobs serves as Chair of the Arizona State University Institutional Biosafety Committee.

Professor Jacobs’ teaching interests include HIV prevention education to lay audiences. In this regard, Prof. Jacobs teaches a highly regarded interdisciplinary HIV class at ASU and spends several weeks each year in Africa teaching HIV prevention. Prof. Jacobs serves on the Board of Directors of two non-profit organizations dealing with public health, Aunt Rita’s Foundation and HEAL International.


Damien Salamone, Ph.D. - Co-Founder & Board Member

Dr. Salamone has worked toward improved quality of life and health outcomes for children living in Tanzania and Arizona since 2005. 
Dr. Salamone holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and a Ph.D in Molecular & Cellular Biology from The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University.

Dr. Salamone is committed that all children have access to the love and healing that they need. 


Prof. Flavio Marsiglia, Ph.D. - Board Member

Flavio Francisco Marsiglia, Ph.D. is the Distinguished Foundation Professor of Cultural Diversity and Health at the Arizona State University (ASU) School of Social Work.

Prof. Marsiglia is the director of the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center (SIRC), a national exploratory research center of excellence funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He has published extensively on the findings of his ethnic culture and health outcomes research. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare and has received many awards including the Community, Culture and Prevention Science Award granted by the Society for Prevention Research.


Amanda Stadel  - Board Member

Amanda Stadel serves on the Board of Directors for HEAL International and leads HEAL's sex-trafficking prevention, empowerment, and outreach education efforts.  Ms. Stadel has provided cross-cultural sexual health and empowerment education since 2011 for people from every socio-economic status in the United States, and she spent half a year training to serve as a community health outreach educator and facilitator in Tanzania, East Africa, where she worked in 2013.

Ms. Stadel received her bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Behavior Change from Arizona State University. 

She is committed to learning and expanding her work with sex-trafficked youth and to the end of sex-trafficking. 


Ali Kossack - Board Member

From the time Ali was a small child, helping others in a loving, compassionate way was part of her genetic makeup. This was a foreshadowing that she would spend her life ensuring people have the love and support they deserve.

While her credentials are impressive, her work and volunteerism have been the paths that make her work rich, loving and sought after. Even while raising two children and battling an intensely painful neuro-muscular disease since age 27, she found time to volunteer with end-stage AIDS patients, providing an angelic comfort for the last days of many. She also found time to volunteer at high schools around the state, where she counseled students who were dealing with the death of parents, and other teen issues that often immobilzed them. Ali was honored with the Martin Luther King Award from the City of Tempe because of her unwavering commitment to countless students. She continued her unconditional support of these young adults as she cared for her own family and gracefully lived with the debilitating pain of the disease, dystonia, provided the care and guidance they needed to cope with their challenges. She makes a difference with every life she touches.

Ali has been in the counseling and mental health field since 1980, helping people in the public and private sectors. She has the unique ability to connect with people immediately, building their confidence and providing the gateway for them to live the life they desire. Her eclectic framework provides an abilty to draw from many theories and modalities that allow her to tailor the treatment for what works best for each client individually.


Polycarp Mtega - HEAL Tanzania Board Member


Waziri Rashidi Njau - HEAL Tanzania Board Member


Hanifa Jumanne - HEAL Tanzania Board Member