Idalina Suzanne Afopa, APN

Idalina S. Afopa is a NYS licensed Family Nurse Practitioner, ANCC Board Certified with extensive experience in HIV, viral hepatitis, urgent care  and geriatrics.  Born in Dakar, she began her higher education at University of Aix-En Provence, graduating with a Masters in Law in 1993. She later completed a Bachelors and a Masters in Nursing at Pace University in Manhattan, New York.

She began her NP career with United health Care/Optum in Brooklyn NY caring for Geriatric patients. Thereafter, she worked at the NYU Langone Emergency Room before she joined the Bronx VA  Infectious Diseases Department.

She cared for patients with HIV and viral hepatitis B and C in the ID clinics. She was instrumental in expanding the Prep for HIV Prevention Program at the Bronx VA. She has practiced extensively in Telehealth for the VA VISN2 (New York/New Jersey) Clinical Contact Center.

She is an active member of the Cape Verdean American Medical Society and the American Association of French Speaking Health Professionals in New York. She is a multilingual native French speaker, fluent in English with a conversational Portuguese and Spanish.

Ana Novais, MS

Ana holds a Clinical Psychology degree from UCLN, Belgium, and is a graduate of the Northeastern Public Health Leadership Institute, University of Albany, NY and Leadership RI. Ana’s career in Public Health started in 1985 (Cape Verde) and includes 5 years in Portugal.

Ana currently serves as the Assistant Secretary for the RI Executive Office of Health and Human Services.

Ana’s career in the US includes working as a Clinical Psychologist addressing behavioral health and substance use disorders, as well as culturally competent counseling services at local community mental health centers in RI and MA.

Ana started at the RI Department of Health in 1998, as an Education and Outreach Coordinator, and later, as the Minority Health Coordinator, assuring the health needs of the BIPOC communities of RI were addressed. As the Executive Director, Ana led the department in the areas of Chronic Disease, Environmental Health, and Maternal and Child Health; and focused on developing and implementing the “Rhode Island Health Equity Framework” a plan of action for achieving health equity at the state and at local level through the “Health Equity Zones” initiative. In 2015 Ana was promoted to Deputy Director of Health.

Ana is deeply involved with RI diverse communities and is a board member of various national and state organizations.

Ana was born and raised in Cabo Verde, and her roots include Portugal (mother) and Angola (father). Fluent in Creole, Portuguese, French, Spanish and English, Ana is a proud mother of 4 adult children and grandmother to 5 beautiful young children, that loves spending time with family, friends, traveling, reading, photography and gardening.

Roberto Pineda, MD

Dr. Pineda completed his medical degree at the University of Minnesota Medical School and went on to complete his Residency in Ophthalmology at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School where he served as Chief Resident and Director of the Trauma Service for an additional year. Currently, he is The Thomas Y. and Clara W. Butler Chair in Ophthalmology and an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, serving as full-time faculty of the Cornea and Refractive Surgery Service at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. He has received both the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) Achievement and Senior Achievement Awards. He regularly participates in the Flying Eye Hospital Programs organized by ORBIS International since 1998. He has been involved in numerous other international programs such as the LifeLine Express in China as well as his research with the International Boston Keratoprosthesis program in Ethiopia and Sudan since 2007. He participates in SightLife’s surgical skill transfer programs for corneal transplantation. He currently sits on the Board of KeraLink International working to reduce corneal blindness through advancements in novel low resource technologies.

Valéria Semedo, MD

Dr. Semedo was born on December 7, 1981 in Santo Antão, Cape Verde. She lived in São Vicente until 1999 when she enrolled in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. After 6 years of study, she completed her medical degree and specialized in Internal Medicine at the Aveiro Hospital in Portugal, where she worked as a hospital assistant in internal medicine until 2013. Since 2013, she has returned to Cape Verde and is currently practicing at the Dr. Agostinho Neto University Hospital. She holds postgraduate degrees in Tuberculosis, Infectious Diseases, and Palliative Care.

She has also completed various courses in the field of autoimmune diseases and palliative care/pain, which are areas of interest for her. Since 2013, she has been involved in the implementation of palliative care and serves as the coordinator of the National Palliative Care Plan for the Ministry of Health, as well as the national focal point for Palliative Care since 2021.

She is the coordinator of the palliative care team at the Agostinho Neto Hospital and has contributed to the implementation of the palliative care team at the Batista de Sousa Hospital. She has organized several courses and training sessions in the field of palliative care for healthcare professionals and caregivers.

She is a member of the African Association for Palliative Care.

Valeria Semedo is a lecturer at the University of Cape Verde in the Nursing degree program and the Integrated Master's in Internal Medicine since its inception. She is a certified trainer by IEFP-Portugal. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Cape Verdean Medical Association for the term 2018-2021 and currently holds the position of secretary of the Board of Directors for the term 2021-2024. She also performs functions in the coordinating group for training in General and Family Medicine.

She also chairs the Disability Verification Commission of the National Social Security Institute (INPS).

Jason Sherer, MD, MPH

Dr. Sherer is originally from Lansing, MI. He completed his undergraduate education at Hampton University, where he was funded as a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Scholar. He continued his education at Boston University for Medical School and his internal medicine residency. He recently completed his general cardiology fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. During his time there, he participated in his first medical mission trip to Cape Verde with CVAMS and had a wonderful experience. Jason is currently practicing general cardiology at St. Francis Heart Center in Long Island New York. 

Nivia Vieira, MSc

Nivia is the Assistant Director of Healthcare Partnerships at Project Bread, a charity organization that connects people and communities in Massachusetts to reliable sources of food while advocating for policies that make food more accessible.