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Dengue Relief Foundation

P.O.Box 162515
Sacramento CA 95816


Board of Directors
David Alvarado-Copenhaver
Founder | CEO
Amanda Copenhaver
Executive Director
About Us
DRF Directors
Davin Copenhaver

David Copenhaver MD, MPH

David Copenhaver is the founder and CEO of the non-profit group Dengue Relief Foundation. In this role, he has developed several new initiatives with the DRF team including but not limited to educational and technology transfer programs. David has also helped organize surgical missions for reconstructive surgery in cooperation with Healing the Children. Moreover, he has worked directly with the past three Nicaraguan presidential administrations including the Ministry of Health of Nicaragua (MINSA) and the acting Ministers of Health of Nicaragua.

David obtained his BS and BA from UC Davis, and his MD and MPH from UCLA. He completed his internship at UCLA Hospital, his anesthesiology residency at Columbia University, and his pain fellowship at UC Davis. He is currently a Pain Medicine Specialist in Northern California.

Rajan Kulkarni

Rajan Kulkarni MD, PhD, MS

Rajan Kulkarni is Co-Director and Chief Technology Officer of the Dengue Relief Foundation. He has been working on several projects to incorporate low cost technologies for identification and tracking of dengue cases and associated risk factors in collaboration with MINSA, the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health. Several of these projects have been have recently been implemented in Bluefields and the results published in leading journals. He is also working on developing low-cost sensors for detecting proteins and electrolytes in human serum that can be deployed in remote locations. Current projects include creating a mobile phone application that can be utilized in conjunction with these sensors for quantifying this data and for low-cost transmission from the field to the hospital. He has additionally served as scientific mentor for several medical students who have conducted research in Nicaragua.

Rajan received his bachelors degrees in Chemistry and History from Stanford University, his MD from UCLA, and his PhD in Biochemistry from Caltech. He was also a Gates Scholar at Cambridge University and received an MPhil in Technology Policy from Judge Business School at Cambridge. His clinical training is in Internal Medicine and Dermatology, and his current laboratory research interests include melanoma. He remains interested in developing novel and inexpensive technologies for detecting viral infection in the bloodstream that can be implemented in Nicaragua and throughout Latin America and for developing technologies to assist with dermatologic diagnosis and treatment in remote areas.

Erika Copenhaver

Erika Copenhaver JD, LLM

Erika Copenhaver is fluent in Spanish and has been an acting board member of the Dengue Relief Foundation since 2005. In this capacity she has served as the DRF treasurer and the chief financial officer. Erika is also the primary coordinator for the DRF grant writing development group and is an attorney licensed in California. She is knowledgeable and experienced in contract law, estate planning, probate matters, trust litigation, and international transactional work. In addition to Estate Planning, Erika specializes in small business incorporation and licensing, and international transactional work.

In addition to her work at the DRF she serves as a board member of the YWCA Sonoma County. Erika is also a co-founder of a Santa Rosa BNI chapter, a member of the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Young Professionals Network, and a member of the National Association of Professional Women.

Amanda Copenhaver

Amanda Copenhaver, MPH

Amanda Copenhaver is fluent in Spanish and proficient in Italian. She has served as a board member of the Dengue Relief Foundation since 2005 and has played an integral role in private fundraising efforts and providing medical relief efforts for the underserved in Nicaragua. Amanda is the acting executive director of the DRF in addition to program leader of the DRF ambulance initiative.

Amanda is an MPH graduate from the University of California Los Angeles School of Public Health. She received her masters in the field of health care services and management. Amanda is well versed in various public health matters including: epidemiology, health care finance, health care strategy and health care marketing.
Prior to receiving her MPH, she worked as a marketing strategist and business developer for a national health care consulting firm in Southern California. She also worked for four years for the nationally acclaimed development group, Aegis Senior Living where she focused in the areas of marketing and site development for assisted living residences.

Amanda is a member of the Women's Healthcare Executive Group of the Bay Area and assists with teaching English as a second language to Latino children from the inner mission at the Valencia Foundation.

DRF Associate Directors

Aileen Chang, M.D.

Aileen Chang is an Associate Director of the Dengue Relief Foundation and program leader and developer for the DRF Tropical Medicine Fellowship in Nicaragua. She received her bachelors in Biochemistry at the University of California Santa Barbara and her MD from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She is trained in Internal Medicine.

During medical school, Aileen lived in Nicaragua for one year as a Doris Duke International Fellow mapping dengue risks factors with the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health in Bluefields on the Atlantic Coast and working with dengue management policy at the central Ministry of Health in the capital Managua. During this time, she also had the opportunity to work in the emergency room of the private Cesar Kühl Hospital and the pediatric infectious disease department at the public Velez Pais Hospital. She has great passion for her work in Nicaragua with the Dengue Relief Foundation as she continues with a career dedicated to medicine and public health.


Richard Raker, M.D.

Richard K Raker, MD is a consultant and advisor to the DRF board as well as integral thought leader and strategist for both the educational and technology transfer initiatives at the DRF. Richard received his BA degree from the University of Michigan in 1969 and stayed on in Ann Arbor to receive his Medical degree. After graduating medical school in 1973, he pursued a pediatric residency at NYU-Bellevue in NYC and the pursued a Neonatal Medicine fellowship at Babies Hospital at Columbia University in New York City. Afters two years working as a Neonatologist at Albert Einstein School of Medicine in NY he returned to Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in 1980 to begin a residency in Anesthesiology.

From 1982 until the present he has been an Associate Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology and member of the Department of Anesthesiology at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University and has practiced anesthesiology in many sub-specialties including Pediatrics. Richard is a member of several surgical mission teams providing vital surgical care to children and adults with congenital and traumatic deformities. He has traveled extensively in Central and South America and Asia. He also is a mentor of Columbia University Medical students who have worked in Nicaragua studying Dengue Fever. He resides in New York city.

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