Our People

Who we are

Meet the people behind your placement

Founder
&Director

Dave Brown

Dave’s passion for combining responsible travel with useful work began at 18, when he spent a year volunteering in South Africa.

After graduating from the University of Southampton with a degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics, he began a career in the volunteer and travel sector that has involved working for extended periods throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Between 2002 and 2004, Dave spearheaded a flagship program in Ghana for a major gap year volunteer organisation, later progressing to Operations Director at one of the UK’s leading ethical adventure travel companies.

Based in Newcastle, Dave continues to play a leading role in all Gap Medics programmes. In particular, he negotiates all of our hospital partnership agreements, trains our Programme Managers, and monitors the quality of our service.

Operations
Director:Africa

Baptista Filipatali

Baptista (or ‘Baps’ as he is affectionately known) has worked for Gap Medics since the beginning. Currently in charge of our Tanzanian programmes—Iringa, Morogoro and Kilimanjaro—Baptista is somewhat of a multi-tasking pro.

When he’s not meeting new students, he is managing programme partnerships, training staff, and making sure in-country operations are running like clockwork. Always smiling, Baptista is hugely respected in the hospitals and has overseen thousands of student placements.

When he is not at work, he enjoys hitting the shops, watching football and following politics. He also likes getting to know new people and exploring new destinations.

You will see Baptista around on your placement as he regularly visits the Gap Medics houses. He is always happy to help with any problems you may have.

P.A
to
the
Director

Rachel Plummer

Dave leads Gap Medics... Rachel makes it happen! She is the go-to person for all our department leaders, ensuring Dave's vision and commitment to quality remain at the heart of all our operations.

Rachel is also head of our global human resources, project manager for the development of our fantastic online portal for students and the everything-fixer around our Head Office in the north of England. That's as well as her more traditional P.A. role documenting meetings, organising Dave's diary, travel and involvement in our overseas programmes, and - just occasionally - even making a great coffee!

Much of Rachel's chat revolves around her overgrown kitten, Louis. To understand this passion, you really have to see the number of photos on her iPhone...

SENIOR
Operations
Manager

Samantha Bennet

For our Senior Operations Manager Sam, no two days are the same… and that’s the way she likes it!

Sam spends majority of her time in the field establishing hospital partnerships, launching new programs and training staff.

When she is not traveling the world, Sam is keeping an eye out for her next diving spot (the Great Barrier Reef in Australia is her current favourite). You can also find her hanging out with her French Bulldog, Lanta.

Country Teams

Team Pula

Our team in Pula is ready and raring to provide you with a one-of-a-kind placement experience! From making sure you get to the house safely to teaching you some handy Croatian lingo, they will have you immersed in Mediterranean life in no time! They are also an enthusiastic and friendly bunch so be sure to have a chat with them if you have any questions or need any support during your placement.

Team Warsaw

Ready to teach you everything you need to know about the vibrant Polish capital is Team Warsaw! Led by chirpy Programme Manager Agata Szostek, the team will show you how to cook traditional Polish food, accompany you to the hospital on the first day and give you advice on where to grab the best hot chocolate. Also, as Warsaw is chock-a-block full of fun things to do, the team is always on hand to help you organise your next adventure!

Team La Romana

Whether you’re joining us in one of our Dominican partner hospitals or at a pop-up community health clinic, you couldn’t be in better hands. Our La Romana Programme Manager, Chantal Gahongayire, and her fabulous team are dedicated to making your experience magical. Whether they’re helping you get to and from your hospital placement or touch up on your Spanish, you’re sure to have an amazing time learning all about your future health profession and life in the Dominican Republic!

Student Experience Team

TEAM
LEADER

Tom Barlow

Tom leads our student experience team to make sure your placement is as interesting and inspiring as possible. He prepares students going to La Romana and he’ll deliver your tailored consultation and guide you on your journey right up until departure. He also has daily contact with all of our overseas programme managers as well as keeping a close eye on all our programmes to make sure your experience is a success.

Tom's a big football fan and can usually be found racing across the pitch. He likes listening to music and having a beer – though you might catch him boogying on the dance floor after too many!

Warsaw

Amber Lea

Amber helps students prepare for our Warsaw placements. She’ll give you a friendly welcome call and can answer any questions you might have about your experience. Amber also arranges for you to receive feedback from your programme mentors.

You’ll most likely to find Amber cruising around in her white Vauxhall – she’s just passed her driving test! When she’s not on the roads, Amber likes eating out at restaurants and going for drinks with her friends.

Pula

Georgia Boddy

Georgia supports students adventuring to Croatia and is readily available to help with your inquiries. Georgia will welcome you onto your placement and arrange your personalised consultation. She also coordinates with your programme mentor to organise your reference.

Georgia loves getting out in the sunshine and travelling to exciting places. She is also passionate about photography and loves taking snaps wherever she goes, including the occasional selfie!

Santo
Domingo

Rachael Henry

Rachael's at the helm of your trip to Santo Domingo and will make sure your experience runs smoothly. She’ll guide you on your journey right up until departure, then will continue to have daily contact with your overseas program manager.

At the weekend, you’ll find Rachael either at the beach or hitting the shops – she’s very good at spending money (just ask accounts!). Rachael’s also a brilliant illustrator and loves working out – combat class is her favourite!

Friendly Faces From Behind The Scenes