SAMS Family Foundation Inc. was founded by members of the Adams family who immigrated to the United States from Liberia in the early eighties. Husband and wife, Z'Sherman and Kate Adams, and three of their daughters currently make up the Foundation's Board of Directors. This founding group has a wealth of knowledge in medicine, public health, education, and childhood development. The Adams family seeks to use this broad base of knowledge for the betterment of those far less fortunate and invest in the systematic development of environments that can produce and sustain healthy, happy, and empowered youth and children. 

Kate Adams, BSN, RN

Vice Chair

Kate Adams has 40 Years of clinical healthcare experience and extensive expertise in the training of nurses, nursing assistants and home health aides. She served as charge-nurse at the J. F. Kennedy Medical Center and nurse-instructor at the Tubman National Institute of Medical Arts (TNIMA) in Monrovia, Liberia. She also served as Program Coordinator for the Adams family-owned Nursing Assistant School (First Step Training Center/Accelerated School of Nursing Assistant) in Minneapolis, Minnesota for over a decade.

Z'Sherman Adams Jr., MD


Dr. Z’Sherman Adams, Jr. is currently the Dean of A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine, University of Liberia, with 40 years of experience in medical education and research. Prior to his appointment, he served as Associate Professor of Physiology and Pre-clinical Coordinator at the medical college since 2008.  He did postgraduate studies in cardiology and cardiovascular physiology in Turin, Italy. From 1979 to 1986, he served as assistant professor of human physiology at the Medical School of the University of Liberia, and also taught Human Anatomy and Physiology to nursing and physician assistant students at the Tubman National Institute of Medical Arts (TNIMA). He and his wife, Kate Adams, successfully operated a family-owned private medical clinical in Monrovia prior to the war. They also owned and operated a Nursing Assistant School in Minneapolis, Minnesota from 2004 – 2014. From 1986 to 2008, he taught human biological courses at institutions in Chicago, Illinois and Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

Peeso Adams Mathies, BA


Peeso Adams Mathies, is a Family Advocate who has supported families towards self-sufficiency in the Minneapolis area through education, resource access, and personal empowerment for over 20 years. Her continued work in nonprofit and community resource development has propelled her to expand on a global level.  She is currently a Family Advocate at Parents In Community Action, a position she has held for 15 years, through which she collaborates and network with agencies in the service area to provide much needed comprehensive resources and services to families. She has also worked with a community-based agency, Sabathani Community Center,  as a Family Education Facilitator providing home and school-base support to families in the Minneapolis School District. Her work has recently expanded to supporting individuals with developmental disabilities through Hammer Inc.  Peeso is a graduate of Metropolitan State University where she attained her bachelors in Advocacy and Global Education. 

Ltn. Nehkonti Adams, MD


Dr. Nekonti Adams received her Doctorate of Medicine from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia and was promoted to Lieutenant, Medical Corps of the U.S. Navy, in 2008. She completed Internal Medicine Residency and Infectious Diseases Fellowship training at Naval Medical Center, San Diego, California. In August 2013 she transferred to Naval Medical Research Unit, No. 3 (NAMRU-3), where she served as Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Ghana Detachment in Accra, Ghana. Dr. Adams has been active in medical education by providing clinical mentorship to interns and residents and served as co-team leader for the FY15 Military Tropical Medicine Field Course in Techiman, Ghana. As an energetic “new” researcher, she managed 10 research projects after assuming position of OIC at Ghana Detachment and has several pending publications. She most recently served as a biomedical diplomat and advisor to the US Ambassador in Ghana, appointed to lead US Embassy’s Ebola Interagency Team.

Kussy Mackenzie, MSc

Treasurer/Executive Director

Kusaynyonon (Kussy) Mackenzie is a public health professional with 15 years of administrative experience which has been applied to international development in Liberia and various U.S. healthcare settings inclusive of hospital administration, healthcare education, and academia. She is currently an Evaluation Specialist at University of California, San Diego’s Center for Community Health. She led a countywide farm-to-school nutrition education initiative, which reached 50,000+ elementary school students within San Diego County. She leads evaluation for two Racial Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) projects administered by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. She served as a Research Assistant for the Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program (DHAPP) researching point of care devices and assisting with country led response to HIV/AIDS in foreign militaries. Kussy is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh where she attained her Masters of Science in Global Health and Public Policy.