Posted by Carrie Condran LaBriola on Jun 16, 2019
Dr. Lily Muldoon says “it’s never too late to sign up” for the Rotary service trip she’s leading to Kenya in November. So far, she’s recruited four members of the Rotary Club of San Francisco and four more from Rotary Clubs in Colorado. The group will be in Kenya on Worldwide AIDS Day, doing health screenings and HIV awareness training.
Lily’s journey to Kenya began after graduating from Pomona College, when she spent a year on a Fulbright Grant working for a small nonprofit organization on water and sanitation projects in eastern rural Kenya supported by Rotary. In 2007, she joined the Denver Tech Center Rotary Club in her hometown and worked on a grant that funded her work in Mombasa in cooperation with her Club and other Denver area Clubs, joining the Bahari Mombasa Rotary Club in 2008. She has been a Rotarian for 12 years and is a Paul Harris Fellow.
She then served for a year as director of fellowships for a nonprofit called ThinkImpact, leading trips for college and graduate students to Kenya, working in a community outside Mombasa on a variety of development initiatives. At the same time, she was working as an emergency medical technician in the East Bay, which led her to medical school at the University of California San Francisco. She took a leave of absence to get a master’s degree in public health at Harvard, then returned to UCSF and graduated with an MD in 2015. During this time, she began working for an organization called Organic Health Response, the first emergency medical system in the Lake Victoria area of Kenya. For the past five years, she has continued to work on the organization’s emergency ambulance boat, teaching community health workers to be first responders, and recently joined the board of directors.
Since 2015, Lily has been a resident in emergency medicine at UCSF and graduated on June 11 after a total of nine years of training. She will split her time between Kenya, where she will become executive director of Organic Health Response, and San Francisco, where she will work at San Francisco General Hospital, the city’s level one trauma center, and also at the Mission/Bernal branch of California Pacific Medical Center near her home in Glen Park, “so I’ll be taking care of my community, primarily homeless people.”
In 2014, Lily helped to start the Rotary Club of Mbita Mfangano Island in the Lake Victoria region and has been working with them to get a couple of Rotary grants in the area of maternity health. After joining the Rotary Club of San Francisco in 2018, she secured a grant from the San Francisco Rotary Foundation to improve the island’s radio station, which is used for health information dissemination and to promote the local language, which she says has been “slowly dying.”
In her “spare time,” Lily is a competitive soccer player in an adult San Francisco league and also competes in international triathlons (1.5-mile swim, 40-mile bike ride, 10-mile run), winning a triathlon in Saipan in March. Lily has no car and bikes everywhere. She has competed in Bay to Breakers for the past 10 years wearing her every-color running dress, even when she was living in Boston getting her masters. She has a pet fish “that lives in a bowl on my counter.” Her mother is a member of the Boulder Valley Rotary Club in Colorado.
“I believe that Rotary represents my own personal mission of service above self,” Lily says. “I have found incredible mentors who have guided me to better serve my community.” Anita Stangl is her mentor, and she is a member of the International Committee.
Anyone interested in joining the service mission to Kenya in November can contact Lily by email at, she says, because “The more the merrier!”