2018 Annual Report

Kupona “Hope” Ward for Women

Medicine for Humanity is undergoing a capital campaign to raise funds towards the creation of a space where women can heal in dignity: The Kupona “Hope” Ward for Women in Uganda


Meet Evarlyne, a 26-year old mother with a rectovaginal fistula that occurred during a difficult labor. Evarlyne came to the MFH/MUST fistula camp with her mother and her daughter, a strong support system, during this difficult time. Evarlyne opens up to tell us about the daily burdens and the immense psychosocial consequences of living with fistula.


Kellen is a 35 year-old woman who came to the MFH/MUST fistula camp needing repair for a severe perineal tear that occurred during childbirth. Like many of our patients, Kellen struggled with the physical and emotional burdens of her severe perineal tear, which resulted in her being incontinent to stool as well has experiencing pain during intercourse. She explains to us, through translator, how her personal life suffered.


Meet Diannah: a 29 year old mother of three, seeking treatment and repair for a severe vaginal tear that occurred during her most recent delivery, resulting in incontinence to stool. Not only does such an injury invoke painful physical consequences, but it can also result in serious emotional and social issues.


Miriam is a 52-year old refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, who fled to Uganda in a period of turmoil in her home country. Overcoming tremendous obstacles, Miriam safely made it to Uganda, and found a new home in a refugee camp. However, Miriam knew something was wrong when she felt her uterus protruding and bulging outside of her body, but was unable to access adequate health services for this issue.

Ellie Kanner — Board Member

Ellie Kanner has worked in the entertainment industry as a talent agent, casting director and director/producer.

She was responsible for casting the television pilots for FRIENDS, SEX AND THE CITY, DREW CAREY, along with many series and movies.

Dr. Musa Kayondo — Project Director & Lead Surgeon [Uganda]

Dr. Musa Kayondo is a Gynecologist and fistula surgeon at Mbarara University Teaching and Referral Hospital in Mbarara, Uganda. He is the Deputy Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology and head of the Fistula plus Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery Division at MUST/ MRRH. Since 2010, Dr. Kayondo has also been a full time Senior Lecturer of Obstetrics and Gynecology at MUST.

Susan Lagasse, Ph.D. — Board Member

Susan Lagasse, Ph.D. Is the daughter of Leo D. Lagasse, MD, the founder of Medicine for Humanity and Ann Lagasse. She is a clinical psychologist working in private practice in San Diego, California. She shares her parents’ passion for excellence in health care and commitment to issues of social justice.

Patricia Keeney Maischoss — Board Member

Patricia is the Founder of Malibu Colony Partners, an investment and management organization firm working with Activision, AT&T, BBDO & Lululemon. She was prior Managing Partner at Lucas Group with 20 years experience building executive boards and marketing teams at Advertising Agencies and received her BS from University of Utah. Also an Angel Investor in Female Founded start-ups and real estate development, she loves any project that champions diversity, inclusion and equal-pay.

Jeffrey R. Baker, J.D — Board Member

Jeffrey R. Baker is a professor at Pepperdine University School of Law where he directs the program of clinical education. His law practice, writing, and service focuses on empowering victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and on strengthening local nonprofits and international nongovernmental organizations devoted to human rights, economic development, and access to justice for vulnerable and marginalized communities.

Asha Randall — Board Member

Dr. Asha Randall is a California board certified Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. She also holds the National Diplomate of Oriental Medicine; Diplomate of American Association of Integrative Medicine and is a Certified Nutritional Consultant.

Shelley O’Connor — Executive DIrector

"Eleven years ago my daughter Callie was delivered via emergency cesarean section. During my pregnancy I was afforded the luxury of unparalleled prenatal care and I was under the supervision of an extremely competent doctor; however, due to unforeseen circumstances my delivery was obstructed. Both my life and the life of my unborn child were in danger."

Dr. Christopher Tarnay — President & Medical Director

Dr. Christopher Tarnay is a Urogynecologist and the Division Chief in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS) at UCLA. Since 2008, Dr. Tarnay has served as Medicine for Humanity’s Medical Director and lead surgeon in Uganda.