The St. Luke Ambassador Program is our way of spreading the word about the work going on in Haiti. Our ambassadors are trusted friends who have a real knowledge of the programs, our on-the-ground leadership and our mission. These ambassadors have been given the blessing of the St. Luke Administration to talk to other potential supporters, friends and donors. To this end, St. Luke has managed to do an enormous amount of work with no paid foreign or development staff. We want your donation to go directly to the Haitian people and to our Haitian programs, not to overhead, office space or development staff. For this reason, we rely on word of mouth, goodwill and friendship. The St. Luke Ambassadors Program is our effort to embrace what has always been a grassroots approach.
Tony Alessi is a neurologist and long-time, devoted friend of St. Luke’s. He says the following on his relationship with the foundation: “During difficult financial times it is important to develop a personal relationship with the charities you support. My family and I have found the St. Luke Foundation to be an outstanding partner that utilizes all of the donated funds for the intended purpose of helping the poor of Haiti.”
ALYSSA BALIAD CHAPITAL
Alyssa Baliad Chapital is a general surgeon and critical care physician who currently serves as the Section Head of Acute Care Surgery at Mayo Clinic, Phoenix. Through the Mayo Clinic’s Program in Underserved Global Health she was introduced to Haiti and Fr. Rick and has been committed to developing strategies to advance the health care training on-site at St. Luke’s. She has traveled to Haiti many times and is passionate about providing avenues for developing St. Luke’s into a premier education center for Port Au Prince!
Karen Buck is a New Orleans-based marketing communications consultant whose work focuses on nonprofits and schools. She first traveled to Haiti with a pilot friend in July, 2013, to deliver medical supplies for St. Luke Hospital. A practical idealist, she found the dedication, commitment and impact of St. Luke’s in-country staff to be humbling—and inspiring. Now she helps to support Foundation communications and fundraising efforts. She just ordered a Creole phrasebook from amazon.com.
Donna Camera is Fr. Rick’s sister and served as the Financial Services Volunteer for St. Luke. For many years, Donna was responsible for depositing mailed donations, as well as handling all of the thank you letters sent out on behalf of St. Luke. She works to educate and communicate the needs of Haiti in the US and has been involved with Fr. Rick’s work and the St. Luke Foundation since 2010.
Jim Corcoran visited us for the first time in November of 2010, right as the cholera epidemic reached Port au Prince. Jim was an enormous help as we began to organize our CTC in Tabarre,
and he has stayed an invaluable and trusted friend ever since. Jim comes to Haiti roughly every two months and is involved in a multitude of practical and life changing initiatives.
Terri Frechette-Brainerd is Fr. Rick’s sister. She works behind the scenes collecting clothing, donations, and working with hospitals to send much needed supplies and is currently serving as the Financial Services Volunteer and is helping integrate many of the tools St. Luke uses online. Her husband Bob’s employer, The Safety-Zone, sends pallets to Miami on a regular basis for shipment to Rick and his colleagues. She has made several trips to Haiti with her husband, children, relatives, and friends to provide help and support, but also to continue to educate and communicate the needs of Haiti in the US.
Stacey Helming has been involved with the work of the St. Luke Foundation since she was a small child, stuffing envelopes for informational mailings with her mother, Terri, to support her uncle, Fr. Rick. She now helps maintain this website, the social media sites, and other tools St. Luke uses, as well as sends out email updates. She’s been to Haiti a few times and is looking forward to spending much more time in Haiti supporting the St. Luke programs when she finishes graduate school.
Dan Hottinger is a medical student at the University of Minnesota and future anesthesiologist. He volunteered with St. Luke and NPFS in 2012-13. Previously he spent a year with Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos in Honduras in 08-09. “I’ve found the NPH/St. Luke organizations to be the ideal way to give back and try to make a small difference in our world. When you make that commitment, you find you always receive 10 times more than you give.”
Dani spent a year in Haiti volunteering for St. Luke’s and NPFS from July 2011 to July 2012. She helped to organize a central pharmacy for St. Luke’s medical programs and worked with local and international partners to get donations of medical supplies and pharmaceuticals. Her time in Haiti working with the phenomenal Haitian and American nurses inspired her to go back to school and she is now a graduate student at Seattle University in the Family Nurse Practitioner program.
Jennifer Lutz is a nurse at Mayo Clinic Arizona who has played a crucial role in the St. Luke nursing education program. In her own words, Jennifer says “I truly feel like I get just as much, if not more, out of the relationship I have built with St Luke’s and all the amazing individuals who work with and for the organization. I am continually in awe of the Haitian spirit, perseverance, and ability to find joy even under the most difficult circumstances. I am lucky to play a very small part in such a beautiful foundation.”
Michael Mazowiecki is a neurologist from western Pennsylvania. He has been to Haiti and the St. Luke programs on several trips. He is interested is spreading the message of St. Luke’s to friends, family and anyone who will listen. To this end, he has brought fellow doctors, nurses, physician assistants and his son to Haiti. He continues to be inspired by the Haitian people.
Dick McGlaughlin has been flying a small plane to Haiti for one week each month since the earthquake in January, 2010. He arrived at St. Luke’s during the cholera epidemic, where he was a great support to our relief efforts. “Mac” as he is known, was crucial in helping open a Gastroenterology lab with St. Luke Hospital Assistant Medical Director, Dr Colas. He also spends time with the Sisters of Charity and at St. Mary’s in Cite Soleil. Mac comments that “Great friends and great projects clear your head and open your heart. Most of the flights went well, too.”
Bhavesh Patel is a critical care educator who has been serving at St. Luke’s since 2011. Inspired by the spirit of the Haitians and St. Luke’s selfless service he keeps coming back for more.
Patty Rowland has been a friend of the St. Luke Programs since 2002, when her family started collecting medical supplies for Fr. Rick’s work in Haiti. Over the years, she has hosted several Haitians for medical testing, surgeries, English classes, college studies and also the EMT program attended by directors Nebez and Raphael. Currently, she is the secretary of the St. Luke Foundation for Haiti and helps with fundraising and donation collections, and makes frequent trips to Haiti. She lives in Clarks Summit, PA and works as a RCIS in the Cardiac Cath Lab at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.
DAVID “MUDCAT” SAUNDERS
David “Mudcat” Saunders has been to Haiti on several occasions and is a great and loyal friend to the St. Luke Programs. He is a political strategist and writer.
Florida native Jim Simcoke has been an enormous support to our St. Luke Programs,
working on various fundraising initiatives as well as helping to manage media requests.
Mary Wehde is a physical therapist and supervisor of therapy services in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. She has been to Haiti numerous times as a representative of Mayo Clinic’s Program in Underserved Global Health. She is driven to provide organized and sustainable education to her Haitian colleagues. She continues to be amazed by the spirit, drive and determination of the people of Haiti; she hopes that she can one day learn to have the hope and passion that she sees in so many of her Haitian friends.
Donny Zimmer is an Emergency Physician at Memorial Hospital in South Bend, IN. He lived in Leogane, Haiti in 2004-2005 and has been committed to improving health care in Haiti ever since. Along with his wife Crystal, Donny believes that the path toward a more peaceful and dignified future in Haiti and the US must include economic development, along with improvements in healthcare and education; and that these improvements cannot be achieved but through solidarity of action and humility of service.