International Health Partners seeks to improve health care for the people of Tanzania by integrating medical knowledge, techniques, and best practices within the East African culture. We employ and train local health care professionals and rely on the generosity of others to build resource efficient facilities without sacrificing the care for our patients.
Our organization has solely focused on improving healthcare in Tanzania for the past 21 years and currently helps to support the St. John's University School of Nursing in Dodoma and recently embarked on a new endeavor at Zuzu to build a full service hospital in an underserved area. This hospital will eventually serve as a training facility for professional development across East Africa.
IHP's model seeks to develop well-run facilities and provide the best care, at cost to our patients within the communities we serve. We welcome volunteers from all over the world who generously give their time to work with local people and make a meaningful difference in the world. We, and the children of Tanzania, appreciate your support.
Your Donations Make All The Difference Children Like These
Meet Our U.S. Board Members
Charles Powell, M.D
Dr. Powell began his career in medicine in 1993, attending medical school after a successful career as a symphony orchestra musician of nearly 20 years. While in training, he was immediately drawn to neonatal care and neonatal intensive care. After working as a community pediatrician several years, Dr. Powell began working and training in a high level neonatal intensive care unit near his home in the Kansas City area. Dr. Powell has now been working almost exclusively in neonatal care for more than 12 years.
The relationship with International Health Partners began in 2009 with a trip to the Nykato Health Center, the prior focus of the organization's activities in Tanzania. When the initial proposals were made for Children's Hospital, Zinga, Charles was an active participant in planning and direction for the project. While Dr. Powell continues to work in the United States, he and his wife (also a practicing pediatrician) plan to spend considerable time volunteering at Zinga in teaching and assisting with the operation of the hospital, as soon as the principal units are operational.
In addition to his position on the Tanzanian board for IHP-JEMA-TZ, Dr. Powell currently serves as Vice President of International Health Partners - JEMA - Tanzania and the President of International Health Partners US.
Marie Quanbeck, MSE
I grew up in Norway and at Marangu, Tanzania, where my parents were Norwegian missionaries. I was eleven when we arrived in Tanzania, ready for adventure. I loved Marangu on the slopes of Kilimanjaro: the people, the countryside, the beauty of Kibo, the view of the plains far below and the distant Pare Mountains, the woods and river with its rapids and waterfalls to explore.
The hard part about being an MK (Missionary Kid) is going away to boarding school. But lucky for me, there was Augustana School at Kiomboi in Central Tanzania, where some 70 kids grades 1–8 became family and forged friendships that are still strong decades later. The school physician? Dr. Denny Lofstrom.
I got my BA from Luther College, Decorah, IA, with an English major and a minor in secondary education, and my
MSE from Drake University, Des Moines, IA. I worked as a commercial artist and newsletter editor for Newton Manufacturing, a specialty advertising firm, and later I taught in the Newton Community Schools from 1987–1997. Then I worked as a technical writer with Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Des Moines from 1998 until my retirement in 2014.
When the call came to support the work of the Lofstroms and IHP, I felt privileged to do my part to give something back to the country that gave me such a happy, secure childhood. My husband Duane and I went on a church mission trip to work with Paula and Denny in 2008. It was truly a homecoming for me. Tanzania will always own a big piece of my heart.
Dennis Lofstrom, M.D.
Chief Operations Officer
Dennis Earl Lofstrom, M.D. (University of Minnesota), DTM & H (University of Liverpool), Diplomate, AAFP (American Academy of Family Practice, CAP (College of American Pathologists) Emeritus
Born in Mora, Minnesota 2-20-28
Grew up in Cambridge, Minnesota, served in the Army, WWII
Went 2 years to Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN and University of Minnesota 1 year.
University of Minnesota Medical School, 4 years, 1 year of internship, St. Mary’s Hospital, Duluth, MN.
3 years surgical residency (General, Orthopedic, and eye) Univ. of Minnesota.
4 years missionary doctor, Doctor in Charge Kiomboi Hospital, Tanzania, East Africa
3 years – NASA sponsored Research, Teaching Fellowship in Experimental Pathology.
Founding member, International Health Partners, U.S., Inc, Chief Operations Officer.
Paula Lofstrom R.N
Paula Lofstrom, R.N.
Raised in Kansas City, Missouri.
College in Maryville, MO and Waterloo and Cedar Falls, IA.
Worked in O.B. at Waverly, Iowa hospital.
Worked at the satellite medical clinic in Allison, Iowa
Worked at Associated Medical Arts in Waterloo, Iowa
Worked at Mid-America Kidney Stone in Kansas City, MO as office manager.
Married Dennis Lofstrom in 1993.
Ten mission trips in the 1980s and 1990s to Guatemala
Over-wintered at McMurdo Station in Antarctica in 1998
Founding member of International Health Partners, U.S., Inc., serving as Secretary of the Board, Managing Director and Coordinator, fundraising in the U.S. six months a year, hosting teams in Tanzania, six months a year.
Grew up in Billings, Montana
BA at University of Montana
MBA at University of Iowa
US Army veteran
Sold building materials in Montana and Iowa for 19 years
Worked in manufacturing management at Maytag for 21 years
My wife Marie and I were among the 22 from our church who traveled to Nyakato in 2008 to help build a new clinic inspired by IHP. I was impressed with the land, the people, and the warm hospitality of Dr. Dennis and Paula Lofstrom. Their dedication to improving the quality of healthcare for the people of Tanzania is contagious. I am happy to be able to assist.
Shirley Newberry, Ph.D
Robert Newberry, Ph.D
Dr. Shirley Newberry, IHP Board Member 2016 – Present; Committee Member, Bricks for Babies Golf & Dinner Fundraiser, IHP – US, 2011 – Present; Medical Mission Participant, IHP – TZ, 2011; Professor Emerita - Nursing, Winona State University, 2017 - Present; Professor, Nursing Department, Winona State University, 1994 – 2017; Nursing Research, Gundersen Medical Center, 1978 - 2016; PhD in Nursing, Rush Medical University, Chicago, IL; Master’s in Nursing, Winona State University. Applicable expertise: Specialized areas of nursing include Intensive Care, Cardiac Care, Community Health and Nursing Research. Recreational interests: Spending time with family and friends, crocheting, traveling, camping, gardening and bicycling.
Dr. Robert Newberry, IHP Board Member 2016 – Present; Committee Member, Bricks for Babies Golf & Dinner Fundraiser, IHP – US, 2011 – Present; Medical Mission Participant, IHP – TZ, 2011; Professor Emerita - Marketing, Winona State University, 2017 - Present; Professor, Marketing Department, Winona State University, 1992 – 2017; PhD in Management Science, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee; MBA, University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. Applicable expertise: Managed over 20 fundraising events ranging from golf outings, dances, drawings, and social gatherings. Recreational interests: Spending time with family and friends, golfing, traveling, camping, hiking and bicycling.
Christine Petersen, M.D, MBA
Christine Petersen M.D., M.B.A. is a board-certified internist with a fellowship in oncology and over 30 years of management experience in Managed Care. Dr. Petersen’s experience spans all aspects of managed care business including key roles in due diligence teams for subsidiary purchase and parent company sale, legislative and regulatory agency testimony and compliance, and all components of medical management. She has held both operational and functional positions in regional and corporate settings including bottom-line accountability for medical groups and pharmacies (FHP, Inc.), national responsibility for utilization management (Prudential Health Care) and most recently, corporate responsibility as Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer for Sierra Health Services.
In addition to IHP-US, Dr. Petersen is a member of the Advisory Board of WBL, the Chief Operating Officer of VMSN, a 501(c)(3) Free Clinic in Southern Nevada, and an Advisory Board member of Healthscape Advisors. She is a past member of the American Association of Health Plans (AAHP) Leadership Council and Chief Medical Officer Committee and was Chairman of the AAHP Executive Leadership Program. She also served as committee chair for the Southern Nevada Medical Industry Coalition and Nevadans for Antibiotic Awareness, a CDC funded program. Other past board roles include serving as President of the University of Colorado Medical Alumni Board and as a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Southern Nevada.
She currently provides consulting services to multiple entities in health care and maintains an active role in her community and professional societies.
My name is Joyce Zemel and I have been a friend of Paula since we started kindergarten together back in what people call mid-century. I became a part of the IHP Family and member of the board 10 years ago. Paula invited me after we had reconnected at one of our many high school reunions. My work background for the 40 years I was on payroll was mostly involved as a customer service representative in the financial industry. I am a mother of three, grandmother of three, and I’m now awaiting my first great-grandchild.
I have tackled the job of being the keeper of the bank account transactions as a board member and treasurer for these past 10 years. I am now going to pass the baton to a younger more energetic and most likely more qualified enthusiastic and gracious young man. I will continue as a board member and be helpful in any way I can going forward.
Kyle Landau has been a member of the IHP board since 2012 and was first involved with IHP at Nyakato during the summer of 2011. During that summer at Nyakato, Kyle focused on the clinic's accounting and financial forecasting in order to validate the sustainability of the clinic based on the existing patient load and cost required to provide quality care. While Kyle has no formal (or informal) medical education, Kyle is married to an ENT and the son of a general surgeon and understands his contribution will come from his non-medical background.
Professionally, Kyle manages a team of portfolio managers at a private credit fund in San Francisco. Kyle lives in Oakland, CA with his wife, Barcleigh, and two kids, Chapman and Harper. With a demanding full-time job, two kids, a wife in residency, and the need to sleep, Kyle looks forward to one day returning to having a hobby or two but for now, really enjoys learning how to be a better dad and husband.
Janice Overmyer, RN
Janice (Jan) is a retired RN from Oak Harbor, Ohio. She worked in critical care nursing for 35 years and as a school nurse for 15 years. She is a Red Cross volunteer and teaches community CPR and Babysitter courses. She is a volunteer at the county nursing home in Oak Harbor and is Chairperson for the local Holiday Bureau that assists needy families at Christmas time.
Jan volunteered at The Children’s Hospital in Zinga in 2017 and 2019. She worked in the outpatient clinic, assisting the doctors with exams and procedures. She taught CPR classes to the staff on both visits. Also, she taught Basic EKG interpretation to the staff.
She has been married to Ron Overmyer for 49 years. She is the mother of 2 grown children and has 4 grandchildren. She enjoys reading, sewing, camping and bicycling.
Ron Overmyer, M.Ed.
Ron Overmyer has been involved with IHP since 2004. He met Denny, Paula, and Mary Ellen through a mutual friend, Karl Gingrich. He has assisted with the development of several IHP business plans for hospital projects. He and his wife volunteered at the Zinga hospital in 2017 and 2019. He has assisted with numerous networking connections and presentations in Ohio. Ron has been on 10 volunteer assignments in the African countries of Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, and Mozambique including the two visits to Zinga. The assignments were through agricultural business development grants sponsored by the U.S. State Department and through the CNFA Farmer-to-Farmer program.
He lives in Oak Harbor, Ohio. He has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in agricultural education from Ohio State University. He worked for Ohio State University Extension for 37 years serving as a county 4-H youth agent, a county agricultural agent, and a regional agri-business development agent. He either is serving or has served on numerous for-profit and non-profit boards. He has been married to Janice Overmyer for 49 years. He is the father of 2 grown children and has 4 grandchildren.
Matthew West joined the Board of Directors in 2017 after a trip to Zinga in 2016. After attending Central College in Iowa, Matt moved to Kansas City and began a career in Document Management and Imaging. In 1998 he joined a small printing company in the KC Metro area as a customer service representative. After 17 years with the company rising to Director of Operations for the KC and St, Louis operations surviving through three corporate takeovers, corporate downsizing allowed him the opportunity to make more of a positive difference in the lives of others.
In 2017, he and his friend founded USA Senior Healthcare Solutions to help senior citizens navigate and understand Medicare and Healthcare options. He is as happy now as he's ever been.
Mary Pace, M. Ed.
My name is Mary Pace and I live in Independence, Missouri. This has been my home for my whole life. I started my work career at Kansas City Life Insurance leaving there in 1995 as a Medical Claims Examiner. At that time, I decided it was time to experience college. I graduated in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Early Childhood. I taught elementary for 6 years in Lexington and 5 years in Grain Valley, Missouri. At the end of 2010, I decided it was time to make a change and became certified in Special Education for Mild to Moderate Disabilities. I currently work at Maple Valley School for the Severely Disabled and have a Master's degree in Education.
My first time traveling Tanzania was to Nyakato in 2009 along with David West and a group of 18 people from the church where we both attended. I became hooked the minute I got off the plane and have gone back every year possible since that day. I have volunteered at Nyakato for 5 years and Zinga 6 years. In the beginning, I helped Paula take care of everyday things, computer work and construction. Three years ago we found that because of my professional experience, I was allowed to perform therapies for the children in Zinga. I provide physical, occupational and language therapy in the clinic. I was just elected to the board in October 2019,
David has been a board member since April of 2011. He first spent time in Tanzania from 2004 to 2006 on the Iramba Plateau learning basic Swahili assisting Mary Kitundu and the Lofstroms at Iambi Hospital by overseeing the construction team of 20 Tanzanian nationals, not realizing at the time how his life was forever changed for the better by the experience. He continued to stay involved upon his return to the U.S., assisting as he was able, and has been able to return six times so far. He spent most of the past decade doing social work, managing employment services programs for people with disabilities, and still holds a national certification as an employment supports professional. In 2018 he was awarded a Foreign Languages and Area Studies Fellowship attending the African Flagship Languages Initiative program at the University of Florida where he received a certificate for Intermediate Swahili.
David was fortunate enough to spend a year over 2018-2019 in Tanzania again. As well as helping at the Children's Hospital in Zinga, he also attended the University of Dar es Salaam learning more advanced Swahili, tutored students with their English, attended classes on good governance and sustainable development, and played keyboard, percussion, and drums in the University Fusion Band. He received his degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Missouri and is currently for the Missouri Department of Social Services in the Children's Division.