Welcome, Inna!
Villa International is delighted to welcome Inna Baranova (left with guest Elisaveta Petrova- Geretto) as our new Front Office/Program Manager. Inna began work on October 25 and is busy meeting guests, staff, and volunteers and learning her way around Villa.
Inna brings many gifts to Villa. Born and raised in Tajikistan, she has worked in Poland, Switzerland, and New York for several international non-profit organizations. Inna moved to Atlanta in 2008 with her son who is now a senior in high school. She most recently worked at G3 Global Services expediting visas and passports for US citizens and residents.

If you are visiting Villa, please stop by and introduce yourself to Inna in the front office. We are thrilled to have her join the Villa staff.
Viva Villa Update
Our fall fundraising campaign, Viva Villa!, is well underway, and we are grateful for your outpouring of support. Villa friends have contributed $35,400 toward our $40,000 goal for 2021. Thank you to those who have helped provide care for international health professionals by offering a warm and affordable “home away from home.”
There’s still time to donate! You may contribute through the Villa website or by mailing your contribution to the Villa office by the end of December. Help us meet our $40,000 goal and help Villa welcome the world.
Diwali Celebration!
On Friday evening, November 6, several Villa guests organized a celebration of Diwali for all residents and staff. Candles, lights, delicious food, and happy spirits abounded. Guests wore festive clothing and shared traditions from home. Of course, many photos were taken and shared! One of the wonderful things about Villa is the opportunity to learn about other cultures and share the joy of holidays around the globe. 
Meet the Humphrey Fellows Staying at Villa
The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program (read more) enhances leadership among international professionals who collaborate to address local and global challenges and foster change for our collective good. Each year, a number of the Humphrey Fellows connected to the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University begin their year in Atlanta at Villa International. This year, five have stayed with us since August, and most are spending a portion of their time engaged in Covid and Covid-related challenges that affect their specific areas of study. Here’s a glimpse of the talented and devoted people who are our guests.

Dr. Elisaveta Petrova- Geretto is passionate about her job as assistant professor at the Faculty of Public Health in Sofia. This position harmoniously combines her professional and personal aspirations for a fairer and more just society. Teaching is her small contribution to making the world a better place as she believes education is the single most powerful tool in bringing change. She researches medical ethics, patients’ safety, management and communications. Elisaveta has worked on projects in quality and patients’ safety, health literacy, and occupational health. She is also part-time expert at the Bulgarian Medical Association.
As a Hubert Humphrey Fellow, Elisaveta has three main priorities: to research more about communication as a key element of ethical public health and quality of healthcare; to enhance her skills as a teacher and motivator; and lastly to study approaches for prevention of burnout and improving well-being in healthcare establishments.
Dr. Nida Ali most recently worked with the World Health Organization's Polio Eradication Program. She has been in the field for five years at various administrative levels and travelled extensively in her home country of Pakistan. Nida has been heading the Islamabad Division for technical support on Polio Eradication. With a team of four doctors and twenty-five field assistants, she is striving hard every day to close the gaps in health systems that slow down the pace for interruption of virus transmission.
As a Hubert Humphrey Fellow, Nida strives to learn more about global health, disease surveillance, epidemiology, and control and elimination of infections. She sees herself promoting equity in healthcare in terms of larger investments and policies and bringing healthcare to every human’s doorstep.
Hanh Bui Thi Minh is a laboratory quality manager at National Standard Laboratory at Hanoi Medical University, Vietnam. Since 2015, she has worked in the public health field to determine the relationship between human health and the environment with the ambition of protecting the environment along with developing community healthcare. In the context of Covid–19, she and her lab team were charged with testing virus SARS CoV2, assisting CDCs at the provincial level with technique or setting up new laboratories to early detect the virus. They significantly contributed to Vietnam’s government in controlling the pandemic.
During her Hubert Humphrey Fellowship year, she intends to further her knowledge in laboratory management systems, strengthen her experiences in environmental health study, and broaden her networking for international collaboration in community healthcare.
Pavle Zelic holds a Master of Science in Pharmacy. He serves Serbia as a public health official, a certified diplomat, and an international expert and lecturer. He found his purpose in the position of manager for International Cooperation, European Integrations and Public Relations at the Medicines and Medical Devices Agency of Serbia which he has held for thirteen years.
He initiated, negotiated, and put into practice many agreements with national regulatory authorities worldwide: EU (Italy, France), Russian Federation, Canada and all Balkan countries. He is Serbia’s representative, but also an expert and elected official in WHO, many EU bodies, and the Council of Europe. Pavle is also an accomplished writer/scriptwriter. He has authored three fiction books, two graphic novels, and several movie scripts.

Pavle believes the Humphrey Fellowship will help enable him to become an even better communicator and project manager, whilst learning about new sciences like environmental health, and open a world of opportunities for personal and institutional ties with U.S. counterparts.
Dr. Novil Wijesekara is a medical doctor In Sri Lanka. He is a consultant attached to the Disaster Preparedness and Response Division, Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, working on all-hazard health system resilience. He functions as a visiting lecturer in disaster management for undergraduate and postgraduate medical curricula and a regional trainer for Hospital Preparedness in Emergencies (HOPE) for the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center. He has conducted several assessments on health emergency risk management for the World Health Organization. Novil founded the Community Tsunami Early Warning Center (now known as the Community Tsunami Education Center), Resilience Research, Training and Consulting, Resilience Foundation, and the International Journal of Community Resilience. In 2021, Novil was selected as a Community Engagement Exchange Program (CEE) Specialist and Thought Leader by the US Department of State and IREX.
During his time with his Hubert Humphrey Fellowship at Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health, Novil plans to examine the health system and community attributes that make them resilient in the wake of challenges such as disasters, emergencies, conflicts, and pandemics.
Pavle's Short Story Wins Prize

Pavle's short story “The Great Vaccinator” recently won Emory University’s Warren Westerberg Global Health and Arts Prize award, and a reading was held at Villa for residents, guests, and sponsors.