Meet the Team

Student Ministry from the Beginning

Medical Campus Outreach came to be after a spiritual revival on the campus of the Medical College of Georgia. A leader from the group of Christians at that campus came to Philadelphia to visit Esperanza Health Center. He asked if he could bring some medical students to North Philadelphia during a measles outbreak to help vaccinate kids who weren’t getting all the shots available to them. The year was 1991, and this initiative became the very first Summer Medical Institute in 1992. A few years later, several families from the MCO group in Georgia moved here to start MCO Philadelphia, and at this time, asked Tenth Presbyterian Church and Esperanza Health Center for oversight. Other MCO chapters popped up in other cities around the country. Eventually, SMI began a summer ministry opportunity in Texas as well.

Administrative Staff

Laura Layer, M.D.

MCO Philly Director

Laura Layer grew up in a Christian home in Sanford, Florida.  Her father was the county superintendent of schools and her mother was an algebra teacher.  She became a believer in college after experiencing true Christian community there through the ministries of Fellowship of Christian Athletes and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.  She has degrees from Duke University, Vanderbilt University Medical School, and Westminster Theological Seminary (Masters of Missiology).  Laura completed her residency in pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She is functional in Spanish and has served as a staff pediatrician at Esperanza Health Center for over 30 years, still seeing patients there approximately one day a week.

Dr. Layer has been a regular attender and then member of Tenth Presbyterian Church beginning in 1989.  Because Laura was led to Christ under the auspices of two campus ministries, she sees their vital role in Kingdom work. Campus ministry, particularly healthcare ministry, is uniquely important here as Philadelphia has the most healthcare campuses, per capita, of any major U.S. city.

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Woody Chipman


Woody grew up in Memphis, TN, and earned both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC. Woody is MCO’s part-time administrator and helps with planning and scheduling events as well as maintaining our website, Facebook page, and communications. He and his wife live in the Tacony neighborhood of Northeast Philadelphia with their six kids. When not working or spending time with the family, he enjoys refereeing local youth and adult amateur soccer or watching the beautiful game on TV.

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Joe German

Finance Director

Joe is originally from Washington state and obtained a BA from Western Washington University. He has lived in the Philadelphia area for more than 25 years and is a retired insurance executive who subsequently worked at several Christian ministries, including Esperanza Health Center as Finance Director. He has done the accounting and finance functions at Medical Campus Outreach since 2010. Joe has been a member of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Center City since 1987. He likes to SCUBA dive, make wine and bicycle, and splits his time between Philadelphia and Seattle.

Holly Favino

SMI Director

Holly Favino is Hispanic, bilingual and has served as SMI program director in North Philly since 2012. She loves working in public health in Latino communities, which she has done since 2005. She holds a B.A. from Wheaton College, including a certificate of study in community development, and an M.A. in journalism from New York University. She has 5 grown children and attends Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia with her husband.

MCO Advisory Board Members

Dr. Katy Meilleur

Assistant Clinical Investigator

Dr. John Esterhai

Physician (retired)

Dr. Nasrat Ghattas


Jeff Linton

Senior Software Engineer

Dr. Dan Hussar

Professor of Pharmacy (Retired)

Dr. M.

International Worker

Dr. Rich Shoemaker

Emergency Medicine

Volunteer Staff

Dr. Kofi Atsina and Dr. Hilina Kassa

Dr. Charlene Brock

Drs. Dan and Charlene Chen

Dr. Randall Drain

Caryn Messenger

Dr. Rich Shoemaker

Dr. Nathan Sneller

Drs. Josh and Susie Uy

Other MCO Groups and Campus Fellowships

Medical Christian Fellowship – Nashville

Athens, GA
Boston, MA

Columbia, SC
Greenville, SC

Macon, GA
Orlando, FL

Savannah, GA