The Vassar Haiti Project staffs the Medical Clinic in Haiti under the auspices of the Medical Advisory Board. The Medical Advisory Board is a group of health professionals seeking to provide guidance in all aspects of clinic operation in Fiervil, Haiti. The Board consists of members from the Poughkeepsie and larger Hudson Valley community including doctors, nurses, and other specialists in the healthcare field. Some of the areas in which the Medical Advisory Board serves the Fiervil clinic are medication management, infrastructure development and improvement, health education, fundraising, and much more. Vassar Haiti Project truly appreciates the invaluable time and effort the members of the Medical Advisory Board put into improving the lives of patients so far from Poughkeepsie.
Daniel Z. Aronzon
"I'm a lucky guy. I was fortunate to be able to put myself through college and medical school, marry my college sweetheart and become a Daddy to three brilliant, beautiful and extremely successful daughters.
"I've had three great careers, the first teaching Pediatrics at NYU, the second practicing pediatrics in Poughkeepsie helping families raise their kids and the third as CEO of Vassar Brothers Medical Center, building needed services and firmly establishing the medical center as a regional referral center. All three give testament to the adage "that if you do something you love you'll never work a day in your life".
"My involvement with multiple community organizations working with extremely dedicated people all focused on improving the quality of life in the Hudson Valley was and is another labor of love.
"But working with the Vassar Haiti Project has been extra special. Not only has the project accomplished amazing things for the people of Chermaitre Haiti but even more importantly it has nurtured, trained and minted the world's future leaders in global citizenship.
"So you see I'm one lucky guy."
The Vassar Haiti Project has been a big part of the last 16 years of Nancy's life. From its inception, she was a dedicated behind the scenes supporter, enthusiastically cheering on the art sales, and watching the project grow. It was when the medical clinic changed from an idea into a plan and then finally into an actual on the ground operational clinic, that she jumped at the opportunity to be more involved. Nancy's background as President & Owner of a medical billing company and regularly working in Healthcare meshes perfectly with working with local doctors on governance for the medical clinic.
"I feel privileged to have served on the Medical Advisory Board since its inception in 2014 and am excited to see where the vision of the new and future student leadership takes us all."
As a long time resident of Dutchess County Nancy has been active on numerous local Boards & she is an enthusiastic supporter of many Community Organizations in the area.
Dr. David Cho is a practicing internist in Hyde Park who heard the clarion call by Dr. Danny Aronzon to join the newly formed Vassar Haiti Medical Advisory Board. Made up of physicians, nurses, community leaders and students, the Medical Advisory Board established the first medical clinic in Chermaitre in 2013 to treat everything from ringworm and parasites, to critically ill patients and pregnant mothers. Dr. Cho's role has been to order medical supplies and equipment to be delivered to the clinic on a regular basis. When he is not practicing medicine, Dr. Cho can be found strumming his guitar, and belting out pop songs to an audience that is not ready for his type of music.
Salvatore M. Buffa
Dr. Buffa is a gastroenterologist and partner at Premier Medical Group and has been in Dutchess County for the past 21 years. He is currently the Chairman of the GI Division at Vassar Brothers Medical Center and the Vice President of the Medical Staff at that institution. Dr. Buffa has been very involved in the community with his 3 children and serves as a board member of the non for profit charity Premier Cares Foundation. He joined the MAB of the VHP several years ago after admiring their mission as well as the passion of the founders, Lila and Andrew Meade.
Diane Cicatello, M.D. is a board certified Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician practicing at CareMount Medical Group in Poughkeepsie, NY. When not busy at work or caring for her own children she is focused on giving with a passion for active community service. As a sustaining member of the Junior League of Poughkeepsie she has enjoyed serving our women and children locally since 1996. Diane served as a board member of many community organizations, including Abilities First, The Children's Services Council and The Board of Mental Hygeine, all focused on the health and well being of the children in our area over her 20 years in Dutchess County. She currently sits on the board of Mill Street Loft/Spark Media and The Mid Hudson Children's Museum. Diane has always thought about giving globally and was excited to learn about Vassar Haiti Project's efforts. Intrigued by the idea of helping people outside her immediate community she offers her enthusiasm and knowledge of pediatric medicine to help promote an improved quality of life for the children and families of Chermaitre.
Ingrid Dodard Brown, M.D., F.A.A.P. is a Board certified pediatrician with Caremount Medical Group, and has resided in the Hudson Valley for the past 15 years. Ingrid's parents left Haiti 52 years ago,
"and though I've never been to Haiti, I feel a connection to the land and its people because that's where my roots are from. There is a saying in creole, 'Tout est possible a celui qui croit', meaning, everything is possible for he who believes! Through the Vassar Haiti Project, I feel as though I can give back to my community and help in a unique way."
Ingrid is married to the "most handsome and talented husband, Daryl" and is the busy mother of 3-year old twin daughters.
Dr. Ethan Gundeck is a cardiologist with the Heart Center in Fishkill and Poughkeepsie. This is his third year serving on the Medical Advisory Board for the Vassar Haiti project. He is thrilled to be working with such a talented, dedicated and hard working group for such an important cause. When he is not working he enjoys hiking, spending time with his family, and playing guitar with Dr. Cho.
Kimberly Heller is an OB/GYN physician specializing in complicated pregnancies. She is interested in efforts to improve the safety of pregnancy and childbirth for women all over the world. She has been on the Medical Advisory Board for 3 years and went to Haiti with VHP in early 2017. She is an avid bicyclist and hiker and enjoys music and the arts.
Dr. Dan Katz is a Poughkeepsie-based urologist specializing in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery. He has been in practice now for more than 20 years. Dan hales from Youngstown, Ohio and still believes the Cleveland Browns will someday win the Superbowl. He joined the Medical Advisory Board in 2011 and has traveled to Haiti twice to work with VHP's stellar local team, and our partners in Haiti, Dr. Gueslin Jossainville, and Pere Andre Wildane. A few years ago Dan authored a grant proposal for Henry Schein Corporation which helped garner many thousands of dollars of medical supplies for our medical clinic. By being a part of VHP's partnership with the people of Chermaitre, Dan believes he has received much more than he has given, and he is honored to be a part of this esteemed organization. Dan has also volunteered with Vassar Temple, studies piano and enjoys playing golf in his spare time.
Student Co-President, Class of 2018
Health Initiative Director, Class of 2019
"As a pre-med student, I was immediately drawn to join the Health Initiative. After hearing about the medical clinic for almost two years, going to Haiti, seeing it in person and meeting the incredible clinic staff was inspiring. It felt like something that I did not know that I was missing in my experience with VHP, had finally clicked into place. This upcoming academic year, I am honored and excited to be the newest Director of the Health Initiative and a member of VHP’s Medical Advisory Board. Through these roles, I look forward to continuing to improve the medical care available to Chermaitre and its surrounding area."