Founding Members and Board of Directors

Debra Matityahu, MD: Executive Director, Co-founder

Dr. Debbie Matityahu holds a bachelor’s of science in electrical engineering from Cornell University and a doctor of medicine from University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She is currently a practicing obstetrician and gynecologist and former Chief of Service for The Permanente Medical Group at Kaiser Medical Center in Redwood City, California. She is the Chief Financial Officer of EPIX Orthopaedics and Anthem Orthopaedics. While traveling to Kenya in 2012, she saw a dire need for post-fistula services, so she co-founded Beyond Fistula in 2012 along with her then-13 year-old child, Ollie. She lives with her husband, Amir, and their two children, Ollie and Jake.

Amir Matityahu, MD: At-Large Board Member

Amir Matityahu was born in Israel and moved to Palo Alto, California in 1978 where he learned English as a second language and matriculated through Palo Alto High School. He received his bachelor of science degree in Kinesiology from the University of California, Los Angeles, (UCLA) in 1992 and graduated from the Hahnemann University Medical School in Philadelphia in 1997. He received his orthopaedic residency training from Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY. In 2002, he further trained in Orthopaedic Traumatology through a fellowship at the Adams R. Cowley Shock Trauma Center, a world-renowned trauma center.

In 2003, Dr. Amir Matityahu joined the staff at University of California – San Francisco/San Francisco General Hospital (UCSF/SFGH). He is presently the Director of Pelvis and Acetabular Trauma Reconstruction at SFGH and is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics at the UCSF. In addition, Dr. Matityahu is constantly developing innovative and minimally invasive surgical techniques to speed healing and return patients back to work and athletes back to the field more quickly.

Dr. Matityahu’s goal is to provide the highest quality of medical care available to all of his patients, promote, encourage, foster, and advance the art and science of orthopedic surgery. This includes state of the art treatment for complex orthopaedic injuries. The ability to offer state of the art surgical and medical treatment is maintained by active involvement in orthopaedic trauma research, teaching, and patient care. He values compassion, quality, integrity, teamwork, clinical research and education for both patients and other physicians. He has been on the Board of Directors of Beyond Fistula since its founding in 2012 and additionally plays an invaluable role as Secretary.

Hillary Mabeya, MD: Surgeon

After medical school, Dr. Mabeya first worked in West Pokot. It was here that he met so many women suffering with fistulas, and, with a heavy heart, had to turn them away with instructions to return when a visiting fistula surgeon from Nairobi made a yearly trip to the hospital. Dr. Mabeya knew that these women deserved quicker and better treatment to relieve them from their suffering, so he studied and earned his master’s degree in obstetrics and gynecology from Nairobi University. In 2002, he went on to study at Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, a premier center for fistula repair and training. In 2010 he met Dr. Debra Matityahu while both were volunteering for a ‘fistula camp’, providing corrective surgeries for free. The two discussed how vulnerable the fistula survivors were after surgery, and proposed a nonprofit to help them reintegrate into their communities post-surgery. Dr. Mabeya wanted to devote himself to fistula patients in need, so he and his wife Carole decided to build a fistula hospital in Eldoret, Kenya. In 2011, they completed construction and opened Gynocare Women’s and Fistula Hospital to serve the women he had been forced to turn away so many years before. Since then, Dr. Mabeya has performed over 5000 fistula surgeries. He now lives in Eldoret and continues to do the noble and necessary work of caring for women with fistulas. He lives with his wife and two youngest daughters; his eldest daughter recently graduated from university.

Jaqueline Hantgan: Chairman of the Board

Jacqueline holds a BA in Anthropology from Tulane University and a graduate degree in Anthropology and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. For many years, she was an elementary school teacher in California and New York City. She is happy to be on the board of Beyond Fistula and brings her expertise from leadership and outreach roles at Americans for Cures Foundation, The California Research and Cures Coalition, Americans for Cures, and The Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto, California. Her volunteer experience includes serving on the Board of the Women’s Alliance for Jewish Federation and the Kavod tzedakah collective. She and her husband, Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback, have three children.

Charlotte Matityahu: Treasurer

Ariela Zweiback: Board Secretary

Ariela Zweiback is a senior at the University Of Wisconsin-Madison studying Gender and Women’s Studies. She became involved with Beyond Fistula her junior year of high school when she traveled to Eldoret, Kenya with Dr. Deb Matityahu. Ever since, Ariela has been dedicated to fundraising for Beyond Fistula and educating her family and friends about the consequences of medical inequalities around the world. Ariela is extremely proud to be a part of the Beyond Fistula team and board as she has seen with her own eyes the impact Beyond Fistula has on hundreds of young girls and women. She hopes one day to also be a gynecologist like Dr. Mabeya and Dr. Matityahu to continue the work they have started.

Ollie Matityahu: Co-founder

Ollie co-founded Beyond Fistula in 2012 after family travels to the area taught them about the problem of obstetric fistulas. Ollie was moved by the visit and felt pulled to help these women. A lover of science, they began studying in college in the fall of 2018. They are proud of how much the organization has grown since its inception, and hope that it will continue to expand and help more women. Ollie hopes to continue serving those in need in new and creative ways.

Kenya Based Staff

Carole Mabeya: Program Manager

Carole Mabeya first became curious about obstetric fistulas in 2000 when her husband, Dr. Hillary Mabeya, was traveling around Kenya to fix fistulas for free in ‘fistula camps’. Knowing of the immense unmet needs of fistula patients, the two eventually moved to Eldoret, Kenya, and built Gynocare Women’s and Fistula Hospital. There, Carole began to understand who these fistula survivors were. She spent hours talking with the women in the ward and began to wonder how she could help them using her a background in education and master’s degree in counseling. In 2010, Carole met Dr. Debbie Matityahu, who was doing a fistula camp with Carole’s husband at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital. The two women began discussing how they could help the fistula survivors return to school, and, in 2012, Beyond Fistula was born. Carole has been involved in helping the program grow from the first three girls to over 500 that have been helped since 2012. In addition to raising her own three girls and working tirelessly for the Beyond Fistula women, Carole is simultaneously pursuing her PhD in counseling. It brings her great joy to know that she has been a part of helping these young women stand on their own and move on with their lives, stating, “it’s obvious that without our help these girls would continue to live in poverty and despair.”

Linner Too: Assistant Program Manager

While doing an internship in counseling and social work at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, Kenya in 2012, Linner met Debbie Matityahu, an American doctor traveling the world with her family. Linner offered to translate for Dr. Matityahu as she volunteered her medical services to help the fistula patients. It was through this encounter and the friendship that developed that Linner was introduced to the world of obstetric fistulas. She found herself deeply touched by the stories of these women, and searched for ways to help. After she graduated from her internship, Dr. Matityahu introduced her to Dr. and Mrs. Mabeya of the Gynocare Women’s and Fistula Hospital. Linner chose to do her post-internship at the center, developed a friendship with Mrs. Mabeya, and shortly after began working with the first three women in the budding Beyond Fistula program. She worked as a counselor and assisted the young women’s adjustments back to their homes. In September of 2012 Linner officially joined Beyond Fistula as the assistant program manager. Today it brings her great happiness to help these young women obtain the life skills that will enable them to stand on their own. She is passionate about helping the women reintegrate into their communities, enhance their self esteem, and achieve their goals. Aside from working for Beyond Fistula, Linner just welcomed her second child into the world!

Sharon Muya: Assistant

Sharon joined Beyond Fistula in early 2017 as a part-time assistant, eager to help women in need. Since then, she has been involved in organizing the program and guiding women through their new lives post-fistula. Sharon attended Eldoret Technical Training Institute for a certificate in community health and development. She is grateful for the opportunity to give back while simultaneously learning and gaining experience in a humanitarian field. Sharon is now pursuing a Bachelors Degree in social work while working with us. 

Irene Ototo: Social Worker, Business Module Workshop Co-teacher

Irene earned her degree in social work in 2012, and immediately entered the field of fistula recovery. She is deeply invested in the healing of fistula survivors, and works in service to them with great passion. At Beyond Fistula, she co-teaches the business module workshop to equip survivors with the fiscal skills to support themselves. She also provides her social work expertise to help each woman map a path to health. Irene is truly grateful for this opportunity to touch lives and fight back against fistulas.

Miriam Nyangasi: House Matron

Miriam is a native of Vihiga County, Kenya and a mother of three teenagers – one boy and two girls. She completed her primary education before marrying and bearing her children. A fistula survivor herself, she was first introduced to Beyond Fistula as a participant in the business training module and farming program. There, she discovered a passion for helping women recovering from fistula, and, upon completing the program, was chosen to join the Beyond Fistula team as a house matron. Miriam is a compassionate and professional member of the team and wants to see all fistula survivors succeed.

US-Based Staff and Volunteers

Jake Matityahu: Videographer, Volunteer Coordinator, Research Assistant

Jake Matityahu was born in Manhattan, New York, in 2001. He is currently a Senior at University of California, Irvine. Jake is deeply involved with Beyond Fistula and is incredibly proud to have the opportunity to work side by side with such amazing and gifted people to help the women in Kenya through the program. Jake is proud of how much the program has grown and hopes to continue bettering these women’s lives for as long as he possibly can. Back in California, Jake loves playing any sport he can, especially soccer, tennis, and volleyball. Jake is also very passionate about many things, including writing song lyrics, cooking, martial arts, and learning. Since Jake loves helping other people, he plans on becoming a doctor after he graduates from college.

Abbe Holle: Social Media

My name is Abbe Holle
I was born in Cedar Rapids Iowa and grew up in Aurora Colorado. I studied Behavioral Science and Speech Communications in college, but ended up getting certified as a personal fitness coach, yoga instrutor and indoor cycle instructor. I love to dance, hike, and mountain bike. A fun fact about me is that I’ve hiked all of Colorados 14,000’ peaks, which is 54!
I am a former Denver Bronco Cheerleader and Denver Nuggets Dancer. In my spare time I teach Pure Barre, an indoor fitness class utilizing the ballet barre and take my 3 dogs on many walks and park play dates.
I am currently working as a Playworks Site Specialist for two local elementary schools in Aurora as a recess coach. I am a self proclaimed movie buff and my favorite food is pizza!

My 5 word billboard saying is “adventure, because time doesn’t wait!”
I am very honored to be working with Beyond Fistula and this fanatic team. Thank you all for doing what you do.

Maya Ben Tov: Social Media

I was born and raised in San Mateo California. I recently graduated from UC Davis where I studied Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior. More recently I have been applying to medical school with hopes of pursuing my dream of being a physician. Outside of academics, I love to dance, cook yummy meals, and spend time with loved ones. I am honored to volunteer with the incredible team at Beyond Fistula to further our mission! 

Parker Smith: Digital Outreach Coordinator and Volunteer

I was born in Nottingham and later raised in Shreveport, Louisiana, enjoying the best of both places. After completing my biology degree at UCI, I was honored to be recognized as a Beckman Scholar, highlighting my dedication to research. Outside of my academic life, I love surfing, tennis, and soccer. My desire to make a real impact drew me to Beyond Fistula in 2023, where I volunteered and deeply connected with the program’s mission. Looking to the future, I’m setting my sights on pursuing a medical degree, with a particular focus on emergency medicine.

Sue Wilson: Assistant Director, Program Development

Dr. Susan Wilson was raised in New Jersey before graduating from Cornell University with a Bachelors of Science in Biology with a distinction in research. She worked as an Emerging Infectious Diseases Fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA for 2 years before completing her medical degree at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, her Obstetrics and Gynecology residency at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, MA, and a Fellowship in Family Planning at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. During her residency in 2011, she worked with Dr. Hillary Mabeya in Kenya learning about and assisting in corrective fistula surgeries. The striking physical and psychological health of the women affected by fistula was never forgotten by Susan. Upon meeting Dr. Debbie Matityahu and learning about Beyond Fistula, she knew that this is how she wanted to help address these marginalized women’s health needs. She is currently practicing at the University of California, Davis in Sacramento.

Sara Tobias: Social Media Manager

Sara Tobias grew up in Tenafly, New Jersey, and is a senior at the University of Maryland, where she is majoring in communications. Sara went to Kenya in the summer of 2018 to help document the fistula survivors’ stories, and overall to meet and get to know the amazing women who have survived unspeakable tragedies. She currently heightens awareness of the survivors for Beyond Fistula, writing and posting their stories on multiple forms of social media and donation websites in order to raise funds for them. Sara is proud to be a part of our nonprofit and is passionate about the work she is doing.

Ashton Smith: Marketing

Ashton is a native of Cupertino, California with an Industrial Design and Marketing background. A life-long friend of the Matityahu family, he was an important figure in first establishing Beyond Fistula’s presence. He continues to volunteer with Beyond Fistula while working in product design and engineering. His passion is professional mountain biking, skiing, and anything outdoors. Ashton is always excited for trips to Kenya where our girls find his knack for cooking and sewing highly entertaining. 

Nell Maynard: Marketing Communications Writer

Nell Maynard is a native Coloradan who graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 2014, where she studied biochemistry and was a competitive horseback rider. Her interest in fistulas and global health began when she read Abraham Verghese’s Cutting for Stone and Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s Half the Sky. While working as a medical scribe, she was introduced to Dr. Debbie Matityahu and jumped at the opportunity to work for Beyond Fistula. She is a songwriter living in Nashville, Tennessee, and is pleased to be a part of the Beyond Fistula team, as humanitarianism and women’s health are issues close to her heart.