Friends of the Children of Haiti | Coconut Creek, FL
“The Haitians have learned a lot about health care from us. We have learned a lot about life.”
Dick and Barb co-founded FOTCOH in 1992 after decades of traveling to Haiti to help provide medical support, starting in the 1970s. They felt moved to work in Haiti because it is a country in which it can seem as though change will never come. Dick and Barb wanted to help provide a source of stability, medical care, and hope for the Haitian people. They worked alongside passionate supporters, medical experts, and Haitian community members to do just that. In 2000, they oversaw the creation of the FOTCOH clinic to house the organization’s medical program and living quarters for volunteers. They continue to be actively involved with the organization.
Dick and Barb have been honored with several awards for their community activism and philanthropy. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet presented the couple with their Generosity of Joseph Award (2010), and Peoria Notre Dame High School recognized them together as Distinguished Alumnus of the Year (2005). Dick has been awarded with the Christine Zak-Edmonds Volunteer Advocacy Award 2004 from the Children’s Hospital of Illinois as well as the The Pere Marquette Award from the Catholic Diocese of Peoria. Dick majored in Business Administration at Marquette University in Milwaukee, then transferred to Bradley University where he earned his degree. Barb majored in Education at Illinois State University and holds an MA in education from Bradley University.
Dick and Barb enjoy spending time with their four children, Michelle, Melissa, Matthew, and Martin, as well as their twelve grandchildren and plenty of great-grandchildren. They also honor the memories of their loved ones who have passed away, their foster son Bill as well as one of their precious grandchildren.
Primary Care Physician, Graham Health Services | Canton, IL
“FOTCOH is special in that we have provided ongoing care to the Haitian people for nearly three decades and will continue to provide health and hope to the Haitian people we serve.”
Dr. Renick is an MD who is board-certified in family medicine. He became involved with FOTCOH when his mom Judy, a Registered Nurse, joined the organization on a medical trip to Haiti in the ‘90s. She brought back photos and stories that inspired Dr. Renick to join in this work someday. During his residency training, he again heard about FOTCOH when two doctors who had volunteered with the organization gave a presentation during one of his classes. He seized the opportunity to join one of the doctors on a trip in 2007. Since then, Dr. Renick has joined several FOTCOH trips to Haiti to help with clinics and was even joined by his dad for one of the WASH clinics. He has been honored with the Outstanding Teaching and Service Award for Community Based Faculty from the University of Illinois College of Medicine (2013). Outside of work, Dr. Renick relaxes with his wife Kara, a physical therapist with Graham Health Services, and their three children, Ella, Dylan, and Declan.
Senior Corporate Counsel, OSF Healthcare System | Peoria, IL
“FOTCOH is a deeply passionate organization that puts everything it has into serving the people of Haiti, some of the poorest on Earth. I view my role as helping FOTCOH to do God’s work abroad.”
A lawyer specializing in healthcare law, Michael is uniquely positioned to help FOTCOH with its international healthcare work. He learned about the organization through his in-laws, who have been longtime supporters of the organization’s work. In his professional life, he has been recognized as an Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Star (2014). Michael holds a JD from Saint Louis University School of Law with a Health Law Certification and a specialization in health law mergers and acquisitions. He also earned a BBA from Texas A&M University with a Certificate in International Business. Outside of the office, Michael enjoys spending time with his wife Heidi and their two children, Everett and Jessica.
Chartered Financial Analyst, Falcons Ledge Partners, Inc. | Landrum, SC
“Working with FOTCOH in retirement has been a perfect way to share some of life’s blessings. The organization is totally committed to raising the quality of life of the Haitian people served.”
Brian worked for nearly four decades in the pension industry, consulting with domestic and multinational clients on issues such as investment governance, asset allocation, and investment structure design and implementation. He formed Falcons Ledge Partners in 2008 after retiring from his role as Investment Director with Watson Wyatt. Brian finds meaning in his board service with FOTCOH as well as through his volunteer work with the Prisma Health System Cancer Institute. He is also involved with a number of Greenville, SC-based nonprofits providing financial education and affordable loans to the city’s underserved population. Brian holds a BA in English from Wesleyan University and an MS in Business Policy from Columbia University. He has a daughter, Kathleen, with his late wife of 39 years, Regina, who passed away in 2012. Kathleen lives in Austin, TX with her husband, Coogan. She is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and a two-time Olympic swimmer.
Advanced Practice Nurse, OSF Children’s Hospital of Illinois | Peoria, IL
“It has been so rewarding to see how FOTCOH has evolved to meet the demands of our Haitian people!”
A Board-Certified Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist and Licensed Advanced Practice Nurse in the field of pediatric neurosurgery, Jenna was introduced to FOTCOH when she began working at OSF Children’s Hospital of Illinois in 2008. She met doctors who traveled often and took medical residents as part of their international rotation experience. Jenna’s interest led her to participate in a trip to Haiti with FOTCOH in 2013 – and since that time, she has participated in twelve trips, serving as a team leader for seven of them. She is also a part-time clinical faculty member in the nursing program at Illinois State University. She holds a Master’s Degree in Nursing. Her past accomplishments include being recognized as a Peoria Area 40 Under 40 Award Winner (2018), OSF Nursing Excellence Award Winner for Empowerment (2012), and Illinois State University Bone Scholar Recipient (2008). She uses her expertise to help FOTCOH coordinate the medical, surgical, and kitchen supplies necessary for clinics and procure the needed supplies from our warehouse or various donors or suppliers. In her spare time, Jenna enjoys traveling with her younger sister Erin, a kindergarten teacher.
Sole Member (Retired), Ernie Aud, LLC | Landrum, SC
“My objective in retirement is to pay it forward, and FOTCOH is the ideal organization to achieve that goal.”
Ernie brings to FOTCOH’s board significant experience in growing a client service business as well as a penchant for developing people into self-assured, equipped leaders. Ernie retired in 2013 from his company, Ernie Aud LLC, a private practice focusing on tax controversy management and intangible property migration. Prior to that, Ernie spent nearly two decades serving as a Partner at Ernst & Young in Chicago and New York City. In that role, he regularly advised Fortune 500 clients and worked in practice areas such as transfer pricing, tax effective supply chain, and international tax. For his long-standing track record of success, Ernie has earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from Ernst & Young and was also ranked as a Leading International Tax Adviser for many years. Ernie holds a JD from the Indiana University School of Law. He was admitted to the Indiana bar (currently inactive) and earned his CPA credential in New York, Indiana, and Illinois. Ernie and his late wife Melinda have four children and four grandchildren.
Academic Hospitalist, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria (UICOMP) | Peoria, IL
“I’ve volunteered with a variety of domestic and international nonprofits over the years. Having traveled with FOTCOH on four medical trips to Haiti, I’ve seen firsthand the good that the organization does.”
Dr. Bamberger works as an academic hospitalist at UICOMP, where he treats patients at OSF St. Francis Medical Center and the Children’s Hospital of Illinois. He completed his residency in Combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics at UICOMP, further completing a chief resident year and a medical simulation fellowship. He earned his MD at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago. Motivated by his years in homeless outreach as an AmeriCorps volunteer, he concurrently earned his Master’s in Public Health at UIC with a concentration in Health Policy & Administration. He has a BS in Honors Biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Bamberger has served as the National President of the Catholic Medical Association – Student Section and subsequently was the founding National President of the Catholic Medical Association – Resident Section. He has received the ACP Outstanding Resident Award, the Granville A. Bennett Award for Excellence in Medical Education (UIC Chicago), and the President’s Volunteer Service Award. Dr. Bamberger is also an Eagle Scout, has served as OSF House Staff President, and been inducted into the Delta Omega Public Health Honorary Society and Gold Humanism Honor Society. Dr. Bamberger has been on four trips to Haiti with FOTCOH since first becoming involved in spring 2017. He is a proud uncle of 8.
Family Nurse Practitioner, Take Care Health | San Antonio, TX
“It is an honor to introduce others to the work we do in Haiti and to be associated with all of the volunteers who make a difference.”
Julie is a Family Nurse Practitioner with a Masters Degree from the University of Illinois Chicago as well as a BS in Nursing from Bradley University. In 2010, she went to Haiti to assist with medical efforts in an ER and orphanage after the earthquake. She felt moved to continue to be involved with healthcare efforts in Haiti and participated in her first FOTCOH trip in 2014. Since then, she has joined for five subsequent trips. Julie’s experience includes more than a decade working in university healthcare as well as recent experience working at Urgent Care centers. Her work and travels have led her to unique experiences; while living in San Antonio in 2008, she helped care for 500 women and children who were removed from a polygamist sect in El Dorado, TX. Julie has received an “Angel Award” for her work helping with patient evacuation during Hurricane Ike, which ravaged the Houston and Galveston areas. She set up medical clinics in gyms so providers could care for people who were displaced. While living in Singapore, Julie was honored to work as locum tenens at the US Embassy. She has also volunteered with two different NGOs in Cambodia, both assisting with health in school age children. She and her husband Mark just celebrated their fortieth anniversary. They have three children and six grandchildren.
Art Director, RK Stratman, Inc. | Wentzville, MO
“My Mom and Dad set strong examples of love, caring, and service. They also showed a strong passion for the Haitian people. That grew my desire to join FOTCOH in an official capacity.”
Marty’s parents, Barb and Dick Hammond, started the journey toward founding FOTCOH when Marty was young. Growing up while watching his parents work so passionately to provide healthcare in Haiti, he has grown up with a passion for service. As Art Director for a major manufacturer of motorcycle apparel and accessories, Marty has helped advise FOTCOH with graphic design and marketing efforts. He has also assisted the organization with a solar panel project, clinic electrical maintenance, and fundraising, as well as serving as a medical and WASH team volunteer. Marty holds an MBA from Lindenwood University and a BFA from Truman State University. He spends his off-hours with his wife Jamie and their children, Abby and Evan.
Philanthropy Director, Cancer Services Prisma Health | Piedmont, SC
“My favorite thing about FOTCOH is how the organization has changed the lives of thousands of Haitians throughout its nearly 30-year history.”
Jim is a seasoned major gift officer and fundraising executive who has brought his expertise to both local and national organizations. He has directed or assisted in raising more than $200 million over the past thirty years for organizations including the American Red Cross, United Way, National Arthritis Foundation, High Museum of Art, Prisma Health Cancer Institute, and of course, FOTCOH. Jim has received volunteer awards from the American Red Cross as well as being honored as National Employee of the Year for the National Arthritis Foundation and being included in the Member Hall of Fame at the Dragon Boat Upstate Festival. He holds a BA from the University of Toledo and is a CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive). Jim’s family life includes his wife Jamie, their children Jadyn and Josie, and their rescue dog, Jeffery.
Emeritus Professor of Surgery, University of Illinois College of Medicine | Landrum, SC
“Serving on the Board of Directors for Friends of the Children of Haiti has been a very rewarding association and truly a blessing.”
Dr. Lukas is a surgeon and former Delta Force member who became involved with FOTCOH when his wife Sharon, a nurse, heard about FOTCOH’s clinic in Haiti and felt moved to help. Dr. Lukas has now been involved for nearly two decades and has made over forty trips to Haiti with the organization. He initially joined the trips as a general medicine provider and in 2004, he started a surgical program which has now completed more than 1,500 surgical cases. Dr. Lukas previously spent 7 years serving on active duty with the Delta Force – U.S. Army Elite Special Operations Unit. During his time at the University of Illinois, he has received five Golden Apple Awards and received the Faculty of the Year award on two separate occasions. He holds an MD with honors from the University of Florida College of Medicine and a Bachelor of Science with high honors from Michigan State University. Dr. Lukas and Sharon find joy in spending time with their two wonderful children and three grandchildren.
COO (Retired), OSF Saint Francis Medical Center | Peoria, IL
“Because Haiti is the most impoverished country in our hemisphere, I have been so moved by the great need for the most basic healthcare services. Volunteering for FOTCOH is a way to have an impact and give back to the poorest of the poor on earth.”
An accomplished healthcare executive, Susan heard about FOTCOH through colleagues who volunteered with the organization. During the 2010 earthquake, she was asked to help get a team to Haiti as well as raise funds for supplies. Susan rose to the challenge and has been hooked on FOTCOH ever since! She has served as a past president of the board as well as joining a FOTCOH clinic as an RN and helping with grantwriting. In her professional life, Susan has served as Executive Vice President and COO with OSF Saint Francis Medical Center as well as Interim President of OSF Children’s Hospital. She has received the YWCA Women in Leadership Award, the Chuck Schofield Volunteerism Award, and the Catholic Charities of Diocese of Peoria Volunteerism Award. Susan holds a Master of Science in Nursing/Nursing Administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a BS in Nursing from Loyola University. She is Board Certified in Healthcare Administration through the American College of Healthcare Executives. Outside of work, Susan enjoys life with her husband Kenneth as well as their five adult children and four grandchildren.
Partner (Retired), Jones Day | Sandy Springs, GA
“FOTCOH was attractive to me once I understood its history, important mission, and capabilities. It is very much a ‘ground up’ organization and feels very entrepreneurial with many possibilities.”
John recently retired from his role as Partner in the Atlanta office of Jones Day, a leading international corporate law firm. His expertise includes mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital investments, and financing transactions. John has frequently led legal teams in completing complex multi-billion-dollar business transactions. During his career, he served on a number of legal boards and panels as well as speaking as an instructor at seminars and authoring legal articles and commentaries. John became connected with FOTCOH through his neighbor (board member Brian Hersey). He holds a JD with distinction from Duke University School of Law, where he was actively involved with the Duke Law Journal, as well as a BA in Political Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo. John also serves on the board of directors of a successful private healthcare technology company. His wife Kathy is a retired hospital pharmacist. They have three children, Jason, Kevin, and Julie, as well as two grandchildren.