The Inspiration

Kathy Minardi, Visionary

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The incredible woman above is Kevin Travia's grandmother, Kathy Minardi. During the holidays, she takes the train from Connecticut to small town, North Carolina, to visit. One time, she spoke about all the abandoned train cars she saw on the side of the rails and the opportunity to use them for good. It's important to give her full credit for the idea of Railcare Health, as she has been the inspiration behind the whole organization. And just like that Railcare Health was born with the goal of converting an abandoned train into a mobile healthcare clinic. We are starting out small with a more sustainable and mobile clinic that operates out of a shuttle bus, but the dream of increasing rural healthcare access is still at the heart of our mission. By working together with a network of doctors, medical students, and the local community, we hope to make a difference in the lives of many North Carolinians. 

Kevin Travia, Founder & Chairman of the Board

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Kevin Travia took the ideas and wisdom from his grandmother to create Railcare Health.  Together with an incredible team of volunteers, Railcare Health has become what it is today. Kevin has his dreams set on attending medical school to become a physician and continue serving those in rural, underserved communities as a physician. From removing seats out of a shuttle bus to forming the Board of Directors for the nonprofit, Kevin has seen Railcare Health grow from just an idea to an incredible community organization that helps those in need. Today, Kevin leads the Board of Directors as the Chairman and seeks out partnerships and community connections that best advance the mission statement of the organization. Kevin works directly with all leadership volunteers to ensure the best possible healthcare is being provided to those that deserve it: EVERYONE

Committee Chairs

Katherine Welch, Chief Executive Officer

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Katherine is a rising junior at UNC studying biology and psychology. She is excited to be taking on the role of CEO within Railcare! Her vision for the future includes expansion of Railcare's services to reach even more underserved communities in rural North Carolina. Outside of Railcare, she is involved in public health advocacy and research on social cognition in schizophrenia. Katherine has a passion for reaching underserved populations through healthcare and mental health services. 

Iris Brammer, Assistant Chief Executive & Clinic Operations Chair

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Iris Brammer is an undergraduate at UNC majoring in Sociolinguistics and minoring in Chemistry and Spanish for the Medical Professions. She hopes to obtain a Masters in Narrative Medicine prior to medical school. She is currently serving as the Assistant Chief Executive Officer and one of our Clinical Operations chair. Since beginning with Railcare, she has dedicated herself to the cause of rural healthcare and is excited to aid in the organization’s mission and future. Outside of Railcare Health, Iris is involved with cellular biology research and public health education. She has a strong passion for languages, speaking Chinese, Spanish, and English fluently and hopes to bring diversity and enhance healthcare access around the world as a future medical practitioner.

Marissa Millard, Chief Operations Officer

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 Railcare Health is built on the idea that different perspectives are key to making the dream work. The person responsible for making sure our operations aren't running wild is the same person that ensures this diverse thinking is at the forefront of any decision making. Marissa is a biology major with a heavy interest in public health that shows with her years of dedication to the YMCA Camp Weaver. She is involved with cutting edge research at various international universities and volunteers her time as a tutor for students that may be struggling in certain science classes. As the COO, Marissa will strengthen the core values we've built at Railcare Health and push us towards a prosperous future: shaping the healthcare landscape to one where everyone has access to the care they need. 

Farrah Ritter, Human Resources

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Farrah is our Human Resources Coordinator Committee Chair. She works with new volunteers and helps with staffing at Railcare Health. She ensures that all volunteers are adequately prepared to provide the best service possible at clinic days. Farrah is a sophomore at UNC and plans to continue working with underserved communities well after graduating from college. She joined Railcare because she is passionate about providing equal access to health care to everyone across North Carolina. 

Emma Marchese, Communications & Fundraising Chair

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Emma Marchese has been a critical cog in our wheel of success because we wouldn't be where we are without her. She has been an active part of Railcare Health since the beginning stages and has provided invaluable information and support to the board. She is the Communications Committee Chair for Railcare and has the job of contributing expertise to assist staff in establishing organizational marketing, branding, and communication plans.  She is responsible for developing various  marketing and communication channels as well as balancing public relations.  In addition to all of this, Emma is a full-time student  at UNC and actively pursues a Chemistry major. We are delighted that Emma is a member of our team and cannot wait to work more with her!

Jackson Mabon, Legal

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Jackson Mabon is our Legal Committee Chair. He is a Sophomore at Elon University studying History and Political Science. He is a Resident Advisor and enjoys mentoring first-year students. Jack is interested in pursuing law school after finishing his undergraduate education. With Railcare, Jack works to ensure that the organization is in compliance with all federal guidelines and handles our licensing documentation for volunteers. He is passionate about helping others navigate the healthcare system and bringing care to underserved patients.

Subcommittee Chairs

Shatera McNair, Public Relations & Fundraising Chair

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Shatera McNair is our Public Relations Subcommittee Chair. She is responsible for public outreach to the local communities we serve. Shatera uses a wide range of media and engagement in order to effectively broadcast the mission of Railcare Health. She connects with members in the communities we serve in prior to our clinic days to get the word out about our upcoming events. Shatera is a undergraduate at UNC that strives to work with disadvantaged populations through comprehensive reform strategies that aim to systematically reallocate resources and money to providing equitable services for the underserved. 

Brady Hanshaw, Clinic Operations Chair

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Brady Hanshaw is a second-year Robertson Scholar at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University. He is working towards a BS in Biology and a Certificate in Civic Engagement and Social Change. In the future, he hopes to obtain a MD/MPH, so he can practice as a physician that influences rural health policy. It is his dream to serve patients as a clinician while influencing the healthcare structure within West Virginia (his home state) and the nation. For now, with his time at UNC and Duke, he hopes to continue to expand his perspective and to learn more about the nation and world, so—one day—he can work to change it for the better through philanthropic leadership. Brady is serving as a Clinic Operations sub-committee member for Railcare Health. 

Clare Pyles, Clinical Operations Chair & Fundraising Chair

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Clare is a North Carolina native with a passion for medicine and social justice. At Railcare, Clare serves as one of the Clinic Operations Subcommittee Chairs working to plan site visits and ensures lasting relationships between Railcare and the communities we serve. As a student at UNC, Clare is pursing degrees in psychology and biology with the aim of becoming a Physician Assistant and continuing to work for healthcare equity in North Carolina.

Desiree Ofodile, Clinical Operations Chair

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Desiree Ofodile is currently a sophomore at UNC Chapel Hill majoring in Biology with minors in Neuroscience and Medical Anthropology. You can usually find her sneaking off to the Business School to do some much needed studying or singing her heart out with UNC’s Gospel Choir. In Railcare, She is member of the clinic operations subcommittee. Working with Railcare has been a dream of hers for so long: she is extremely passionate about serving underserved communities and using her skills to give back. She hopes to continue on with the great work Railcare has been doing and begin targeting areas that have gone unnoticed.

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Diagram of Railcare Health Leadership Positions

Above is a visual diagram that represents delegation of power between Committee Chairs (red circles) and Subcommittee Chairs (blue circles). This an inside scoop of how our organization operates!

Honorary Members

Aaron Largent

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Aaron served in the United States Army Reserve for twenty-one years. During his time in the US Army Reserve, he earned degrees in Aviation Technology and Business Management. Aaron worked for General Motors until the company was sold to Rolls-Royce North America. He continued his employment there, retiring from the company with 30 years of service. Upon retiring from Rolls-Royce North America, Aaron continued his career by forming Mueller Business Associates, LLC in 2008. Given his extensive experience with business relations and negotiating, he is able to offer valuable insight to the governance of Railcare Health. Aaron is an asset to Railcare Health and we greatly appreciate the time and effort he contributes to our organization. 

Cory DeWeese

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Cory is the director of client engagement at Alcone Marketing Company where he uses his 22 years of brand-development and marketing experience to advance the image of different world-wide companies. He has been generous enough to assist Railcare Health in the world of marketing and assist with our long-term marketing goals. He will contribute to and review the marketing plan to ensure progress toward annual goals as well as provide annual marketing budget recommendations. As an experienced marketing wiz, Cory will greatly increase our positive image to the community and help spread our story. We are blessed as an organization to have Cory’s unique touch and are very excited to hear about his ideas to make Railcare Health a patient-friendly nonprofit that all will trust. 

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Railcare Health

Yanceyville, North Carolina

(910) 258-4238

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