Dr. Poornima Chandra
Dr. Chandra grew up in Atlanta where she developed a love of onion rings and a good milk shake. As a child of immigrant parents, she has an understanding of the unique situation that parents and children of that community face. From Atlanta, Dr. Chandra went on the the University of Southern California where she graduated cum laude in History with a minor in Biology and Bioethics.
Dr. Chandra completed medical school at the The George Washington University and pediatric residency training at Miami Children’s Hospital. She became Board certified in 2001. Her training in Miami and later work experience in California gave her a working knowledge of Spanish. After returning to the East Coast, Dr. Chandra married and practiced at the Annapolis Naval Base. In the last ten years, she relocated to Northern Virginia. She has two children, which provided practical hands-on training. She has worked in a variety settings from the Alexandria Health Department to a private pediatric practice. With Neighborhood Health, Dr. Chandra is excited to continue to learn, serve and grow with the kids of the local community.
Dr. Martha (Marti) Welman
Dr. Martha Welman is a Board certified pediatrician with over 20 years practice experience. Graduating in 1987 from the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, Dr. Welman then completed her residency in pediatrics at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. From 1992-1999, she was Director of Pediatrics at Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Care, Washington, D.C., a community-based center offering primary care services to low income families with a large Hispanic population. While at Mary’s Center, she also served as Medical Director. Dr. Welman has experience as a clinical preceptor and instructor for pediatric students, residents and fellows from many different programs. While at Mary’s Center, she was the lead pediatrician for the Healthy Tomorrows Project, focusing on Hispanic Teens in Washington, DC; and active in other DC initiatives such as the lead poisoning prevention program; and the early intervention program to train primary care providers in caring for children with disabilities.
Dr. Welman joined Neighborhood Health in 2000 when she became the Arlandria Health Center’s first pediatrician. In this role Dr. Welman has initiated multiple programs, including an asthma health initiative for children; an early literacy program for children 6 months to 5 years; a health insurance initiative for eligible children; and an obesity prevention program funded through the American Academy of Pediatrics CATCH program.
Dr. Welman is of Hispanic origin, fully bilingual and proudly acknowledges she was raised in an immigrant family similar to those she now serves.
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Dr. Pilar Tam
Dr. Tam earned her medical degree at Cayetano Heredia University, Lima, Peru, in 1987. She completed her Pediatrics Residency at the Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit, Michigan, 1992. Dr. Tam was a Fellow in Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Boston University School of Medicine and Boston City Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts (1992-94). From 1995 to 2005, Dr. Tam was Attending Pediatrician at the National Child Health Institute (Instituto de Salud del Niño) in Lima, Peru. Both in the United States and in Peru, Dr. Tam has served thousands of clients of diverse cultural backgrounds with quality outpatient and inpatient care. She has participated in the training of medical students, interns and residents and has actively participated in the design and implementation of policies and research initiatives aimed to enhance the quality and impact of pediatric care.
Dr. Tam is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a member of the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA). She is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics both in Pediatrics and in Pediatric Infectious Diseases.
Dr. Cheryl Focht
Dr. Focht comes to us after working for 18 years as a community based Pediatrician in an immigrant rich area in downtown DC. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Irvine and moved to the east coast to attend Hahnemann University School of Medicine (which is now merged with Drexel University) in Philadelphia, PA.
After completing her Pediatric residency here in DC at Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC) she was chosen to be one of the first fellows in a two-year Community Health Fellowship. The fellowship involved working closely with the DC Latino community on various health issues, primarily the issue of oral health which included developing an oral health program at Mary’s Center and advocacy work with the American Academy of Pediatrics at their Federal Affairs office here in DC. Concurrently, she studied at the George Washington School of Public Health, attaining her Master's in Public Health degree. After completion of her fellowship she stayed on to teach within the GW School of Public Health about Community Oriented Primary Care. She has travelled to South Africa, Guatemala and Israel to work with public health workers in those areas and speaks Spanish fluently.
Throughout her education and work as a clinic based Pediatrician Dr. Focht has been very committed to community outreach. She has taught CPR within the community, been a strong community advocate on oral health issues and the co-founder of an AAP early childhood reading program. In addition, she has enjoyed precepting undergraduate, graduate MPH, nursing, physician assistant and medical students as well as pediatric residents.