Who We Are
Co-Founder and Executive Director
Amanda Samman, MD, MPH, received a bachelor's degree in human biology from Stanford University, a Masters in Public Health from Columbia University and a Medical Degree from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She completed her surgical training at UCSF and her critical care fellowship at Oregon Health & Sciences University. Dr. Sammann also spent two years as the Medical Fellow and Medical Director at the Silicon Valley design firm, IDEO where she honed her design skills. Amanda has spent a lifetime trying to make things better. She’s built novel content for health websites, developed health and surgical training curriculum and worked on fixing dozens of health care systems challenges. She is also a life-long crafter who enjoys working with paper and fabric. She enjoys running, skiing, any activity that involves her husband and two sons, and taking care of patients. Dr. Sammann fell in love with surgery as a medical student at the ZSFG and has spent some of the most spectacular and rewarding days of her life at ZSFG.
Co-Founder and Researcher
Lara received her B.S. in neuroscience from UC San Diego, and her Masters in Public Health in Epidemiology and Health Policy from Columbia University. She most recently has experience with the design and implementation of quality improvement projects in primary care practices across New York, Missouri and Minnesota. She has also led research and implementation for school wellness programs at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, specifically in underserved communities in Brooklyn. Her commitment to improving mental health disparities in displaced and refugee populations led her to work both in the field with the UN Relief and Works Agency in Lebanon and at headquarters with the World Health Organization in Geneva. When she’s not traveling or thinking about healthcare, Lara is a personal trainer and spends her time designing fitness programs and coaching her clients. Yet one of her greatest accomplishments came as a college student contestant on “The Price is Right,” where she won a lifetime supply of patio and dining room furniture.
Susan Dix Lyons
Co-Founder and Design Director
Susan is a social entrepreneur and former journalist. She is the founder of Clinica Verde, a healthcare design organization started to create a global prototype of a new model of care for families living in poverty in Nicaragua. She served as a Lecturer and Fellow at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University (d.school), where she spent the year immersed in the study and application of design thinking. She also attended the Executive Program in Social Entrepreneurship at Stanford Graduate School of Business. She has a Master’s in Art History with a focus on Architectural History and is especially interested in space and the application of evidence-based design to improve health outcomes. In 2014, Susan was honored as an Unsung Hero of Compassion by the 14th Dalai Lama. She is a sometimes-contributor to the Perspective series of NPR/KQED, a media junkie, middling snowboarder, and a proud small-town Ohio girl who has lived in Bogota, Colombia, D.C., London, Chicago, and San Jose, Costa Rica – but loves no place more than the orbit of her husband and three kids.
Medical Student and Researcher
Patrick is a medical student in the UC Berkeley - UCSF Joint Medical Program, pursuing both an M.S. in Health and Medical Sciences and an M.D. He also has a B.A. in International Development Studies and Italian Studies from Brown University. After college, he designed recycling programs for Oakland public schools and researched HIV/AIDS treatment in rural Zambia with the Clinton Health Access Initiative. A strengthened interest in HIV/AIDS also led to biking down the coast of California with AIDS LifeCycle and three years as an HIV test counselor at the Berkeley Free Clinic. Outside of medical school, Patrick avoids studying by serving as a spin instructor, training for triathlons, and constantly seeking out ideas for a documentary film.