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2011 GOLDEN APPLE Honorees

Laura L. FitzPatrick, MD

Dr. FitzPatrick is an American anesthesiologist who currently serves as the in-country director for HVO's Master's of Science in Nurse Anesthesia program in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Dr. FitzPatrick moved to Ethiopia three years ago with her husband, a Foreign Service Construction Engineer assigned to the American Embassy in Ethiopia. Shortly after arriving in country, Dr. FitzPatrick began volunteering at Black Lion Hospital, the major teaching hospital for the country. There she identified the need for a widespread education program in anesthesia.

Ethiopia has approximately 400 nurse anesthetists and 14 anesthesiologists for a population of nearly 80 million people. The nurse anesthetists are often the sole anesthesia care providers and work under extremely difficult conditions. Retention of nurse anesthetists is a chronic problem. Prior to Dr. FitzPatrick's arrival in-country there had been a long-standing desire to advance the training of nurse anesthetists beyond the Bachelor of Science level, yet there were no resources in the country to make that possible. Dr. FitzPatrick, working with Diana Davidson, CRNA, Camp Hill, PA and Carol Warfield, MD, Boston, MA, paired the needs of the Ethiopian nurse anesthetist community with the resources of HVO. In January 2010 Addis Ababa University (AAU) approved a Master's of Science in Nurse Anesthesia curriculum and admitted its inaugural class of thirteen students in June 2010.

The initial class of thirteen students includes the five AAU Anesthesia School instructors, as well as other senior nurse anesthetists from around the country. The program is primarily a clinical program with students rotating through multiple government and private hospitals within Addis Ababa to ensure a broad case load. HVO volunteers from the US and UK, including nurse anesthetists, anesthesiologists, and anesthesiology residents, serve as clinical instructors. Through the continually rotating faculty the students have been introduced to Western techniques and a Western standard of care. The teaching has been extremely well received. As the initial class prepares to graduate there has been a marked improvement in their clinical skills. It is the intention that these students will return to their home institutions and in turn pass on the skills they have gained.

Dr. FitzPatrick is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and received her medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia. She completed her residency in anesthesiology at George Washington University and worked as an anesthesiologist at the Washington Hospital Center. She currently resides in Addis Ababa with her husband and five children.

C. Frits Hunsel, PT, LMBT

For more than ten years, Mr. Hunsel served as Program Director for HVO's Suriname Physical Therapy program. Recognizing the need for advanced training for local therapists, he conducted a site assessment, and helped establish a program which has now expanded into a masters program at Anton de Kom University. The program has expanded the quality of instruction and developed instructors who are able to assume responsibilities for a university level degree recognized within the university and community. The masters program which has developed will provide further clinicians and teachers, a remarkable achievement in a country with limited resources and academic personnel.

Mr. Hunsel has proved to be a tireless promoter of physical therapy and the opportunities available at the Anton de Kom University program. Not only has he enthusiastically recruited HVO volunteers for the program, but he has promoted activities and coordination of physical therapists in the mid-American region and South America through attendance and presentations at regional meetings of the World Congress of Physical Therapists. He continues to assist physical therapists in the Suriname Physiotherapy Association and is a key resource for volunteers traveling to the site

Mr. Hunsel is a graduate of the Amsterdam Academy of Physiotherapy and did graduate work at the Twentse Hogeschool in the Netherlands. Prior to his retirement, he worked as director of rehabilitation services at both Trumbull Memorial Hospital in Warren, Ohio and at Hunsel Physical Therapy, Inc. in Youngstown and Warren. He has served as the Membership Chair of the Ohio PT Association, a member of the Advisory Board for Youngstown State University's PT program and a board member of Ohio Physical Therapy Network. A co-founder of Access Physical Therapy Ltd., he currently is an owner of Access Massage & Wellness and a member of the medical team for the professional soccer team, the Raleigh Railhawks.

Michelle James, MD

Dr. James initiated a program in pediatric hand surgery in Managua, Nicaragua in 2009 and has served as site director since then, returning biannually to work with the surgeons and patients. Previously, the hospital was unable to manage the simplest of pediatric hand conditions. Dr. James has given her time, instruments, and invaluable education to surgeons and residents who are now traveling to various regions throughout Nicaragua and performing basic pediatric hand surgery. She has covered all aspects of education for the surgeons from giving lectures and teaching diagnostic skills to intraoperative techniques and providing specialized equipment. She has brought her experience and skills to the children of Nicaragua and is able to perform complex surgical procedures to complete the incredible improvement of quality of care available at the site.

In conjunction with her employer, Shriners Hospital for Children, she sponsored a 5-week observership for one of the Nicaraguan surgeons so that he could observe pediatric orthopaedic hand surgery and develop expertise in this sub-specialty. During his observership, he and Dr. James attended the annual Pediatric Hand Study Group meeting in Atlanta, GA. and Dr. James has agreed to sponsor his attendance at future meetings.

Dr. James received her medical degree from the University of California San Diego, served as an intern and resident in orthopaedic surgery at UCSF, and completed a hand fellowship at the Indiana Hand Center. She currently serves as Chief of Orthopaedic Surgery at Shriners Hospital for Children in Northern California and Chief of Pediatric Orthopaedics in the Department of Orthopaedics at the University of California at Davis Health System. Dr. James is a member of American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Society for Surgery of the Hand, Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, American Orthopaedic Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society.

C. Neil Kay, BDS, MS

Dr. Neil Kay has been a dedicated leader in bringing the highest level of orthodontic training to Vietnam over the past 17 years. His service spans the course of basic didactic training in growth and development, along with simple orthodontics, to the highest level courses and clinical training in comprehensive and complex treatment, including the orthodontic components of cleft palate treatment and complex orthognathic surgical cases. With Dr. Kay's leadership example and his ongoing successful relationships with the Vietnamese orthodontic programs, orthodontic treatment is now readily available in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. There is now an effort within the Vietnamese orthodontic community to create an official society that can provide continuing education and successfully trained faculty within the dental schools. Over the past 17 years, Dr. Kay has made over 30 trips to Vietnam and has served as HVO's program director for the sites from 1997-2003 and again from 2006 - 2010. His program is the first within the HVO oral health programs to close because the Vietnamese orthodontic program is now self-sustaining with Vietnamese leaders and faculty.

In addition to his service as a volunteer, Dr. Kay has been a member of HVO's Oral Health Steering Committee, and served as Chair 2004-2006, while he concurrently served on the ADA Committee for International Programs and Development.

A recipient of the Presidential Call to Service Award in 2006, which recognizes over 4,000 hours of voluntary service, Dr. Kay has been a member of HVO since 1994 and is a member of the American Dental Association, the American Association of Orthodontists, and the Aurora Dental Society.

A graduate of the University of London and Guys Hospital Dental School, Dr. Kay received his MS in Orthodontics from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has been in private practice in orthodontics in Montgomery, Illinois since 1992.

Dr. Kay is presently working with Hanoi Medical University to initiate a program using blended learning with modular e-learning based in the US on the current orthodontic post graduate programs. Dr. Kay would lead the clinical teaching and supervision in Hanoi.

Dr. Neil Kay has been a dedicated leader in bringing the highest level of orthodontic training to Vietnam over the past 17 years. His service spans the course of basic didactic training in growth and development, along with simple orthodontics, to the highest level courses and clinical training in comprehensive and complex treatment, including the orthodontic components of cleft palate treatment and complex orthognathic surgical cases. With Dr. Kay's leadership example and his ongoing successful relationships with the Vietnamese orthodontic programs, orthodontic treatment is now readily available in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. There is now an effort within the Vietnamese orthodontic community to create an official society that can provide continuing education and successfully trained faculty within the dental schools. Over the past 17 years, Dr. Kay has made over 30 trips to Vietnam and has served as HVO's program director for the sites from 1997-2003 and again from 2006 - 2010. His program is the first within the HVO oral health programs to close because the Vietnamese orthodontic program is now self-sustaining with Vietnamese leaders and faculty. Click here to read an article in the ADA News about this program.

Isador Lieberman, MD, MBA, FRSC(C)

Dr. Lieberman has been instrumental in the conception and design for the Uganda Spine Mission, which provides spine care to patients in Mulago, Uganda and educates spine health care providers. Over the past five years, Dr. Lieberman has taken as his responsibility fundraising and organization of the Spine Mission. He has provided didactic and clinical teaching to the residents, medical students, and nurses and this training has greatly improved spinal care in the region.

Dr. Lieberman is a fellowship-trained Orthopaedic and Spinal Surgeon who was recruited to the Texas Back Institute in 2010. Prior to that he practiced at the Cleveland Clinic. He is board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, and holds specialist certification from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He completed medical school and residency at the University of Toronto. He completed spine surgery and trauma surgery fellowships at the Toronto Hospital in Canada and at Queen's Medical Center in Nottingham, England. He held a full time academic appointment at the University of Toronto and was on the academic staff of the Toronto Hospital up to his 1997 recruitment to the Cleveland Clinic. In 2002 he obtained his Masters degree in Business Administration from Cleveland State University. Shortly after this he was appointed to the faculty of the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine at the rank of Professor of Surgery. In 2007 he transitioned his practice and administrative duties to Cleveland Clinic Florida where he was appointed Chairman of the Spine Department. Most recently he was recruited to the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano where he is the director of the scoliosis and spine tumor programs.

Dr. Lieberman specializes in the surgical treatment of spinal disorders. His clinical interests include: minimally invasive/endoscopic spinal surgery, adolescent and adult scoliosis, deformity reconstruction, cervical and lumbar degenerative disorders including herniated discs and stenosis, spinal tumors, infections and trauma. Dr. Lieberman's research interests include: clinical outcomes in spinal surgery, biomechanics of spinal implants, robotics for spinal surgery and disc replacement technologies. He has conceived and developed a number of spinal surgery instruments and implants and has seventeen issued and twelve pending U.S. patents. Dr. Lieberman is recognized nationally and internationally for his contributions to minimally invasive/endoscopic spinal surgery and for his contributions to the treatment of osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures. He has over seventy peer-reviewed publications and over 50 book chapters to his credit. He has presented over 150 invited lectures at universities, hospitals, national meetings and international meetings.

In addition to his institution related responsibilities Dr. Lieberman was chairman of the "Multidisciplinary Patient Care Committee" and served as vice chairman of the "Operative Coding Committee" for the North American Spine Society. He served on the Global Outreach Committee of the Scoliosis Research Society and also sits on the Adult Spine Evaluation Subcommittee for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He continues to serve on the scientific advisory board for a variety of prominent medical device manufacturers and start up spine companies. In 2005 he founded the implant development company Merlot OrthopediX.

Fredric V. Price, MD

Dr. Fredric Price is a gynecologic oncologist who treats women with gynecologic cancers. As Vice-Chair and then Chairman of the International Network of the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists, Dr. Price led efforts to provide gynecologic oncology to women in developing countries, and established a program to send US gynecologic oncologists to Honduras, where such specialized care was unavailable. He established a partnership with HVO to help maintain the Honduran program, and began recruiting oncologists throughout the United States to serve as visiting specialists in Honduras. Training Honduran residents and physicians through lectures, surgery, hospital teaching rounds, and interdisciplinary tumor conferences raises the standard of care available to women in Honduras. His dedication to helping female cancer patients in Honduras and in future HVO sites makes him a role model for physicians committed to improving health care in developing countries.

A graduate of Yale University and University of Louisville School of Medicine, Dr. Price did his residency at Magee-Womens Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and completed his clinical fellowship at Yale. Dr. Price is in private practice in Pittsburgh, PA.

Vidya Swaminathan, PhD

Dr. Vidya Swaminathan served as a Pfizer Global Health Fellow with the School of Health Sciences, Department of Pharmacy at Makerere University and the affiliated Mulago National Referral and Teaching Hospital in Uganda. Her six months of service truly made a sustainable difference in pharmacy education and training in Uganda.

During her six month fellowship, Dr. Swaminathan taught students, mentored junior faculty in developing research skills and projects, reviewed the academic and training curriculum, and made recommendations for improving its quality and making it more responsive to public health needs in Uganda. Shea worked with the Dean and faculty to define and prioritize the Department's capacity goals for strengthening its academics, building sustainable research, and expanding its response to public health needs. Dr. Swaminathan found and made the department aware of resources-in particular, resources available locally with a view to sustainability-for addressing its capacity-building and strengthening goals; these comprised open access health information sources, fellowships and grants available through existing capacity-building projects in the country and region, and opportunities for strategically leveraging academic, training and internship programs to address the critical shortage of trained workers in key areas impacting public health. She reached out to the National Drug Authority of Uganda and the local pharmaceutical industry to identify areas of collaboration with the University on educational, training, and research programs aimed at improving the overall quality of pharmaceutical healthcare services delivered to the community.

A graduate of Purdue University's School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dr. Swaminathan works at Pfizer in Research and Development.