Taking action for the less fortunate.

In 1995, while on safari in Kenya, Dr. Leo Lagasse, a gynecologic oncologist, and his wife Ann, herself a nurse, were deeply moved by the plight and suffering of local women who lacked access to proper health care. Upon their return to Malibu, Dr. Lagasse called upon his UCLA colleagues and organized a group of volunteer physicians to return to Africa where Medicine for Humanity was conceived.

For 20 years, the Lagasses led volunteer teams of highly trained, dedicated UCLA physicians and nurses all over the world from the Philippines, South Africa, Mongolia, Nepal, Mexico, Malawi, Uzbekistan, Poland, Croatia, Costa Rica, Panama, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Niger, Eritrea, Kenya, Cameroon, and Tanzania. Focusing on the care of women with gynecologic cancers, performing life sparing surgery, creating programs for the early detection of cervix cancer, and assisting communities with educational outreach have been the hallmarks of Medicine for Humanity for the last two decades.

“We know helping to improve women’s health creates healthier families, communities and countries."

— Dr. Leo Lagasse, MFH Founder

More on Dr. Lagasse

In 2009, the Lagasses invited Dr. Christopher Tarnay, a Urogynecologist from UCLA, to accompany them to Mbarara, Uganda. Recognizing the skill and effort of his Ugandan counterparts coupled with the absolute abject poverty and need of these most deserving of patients, Dr. Tarnay was “hooked.”  The Lagasses’ recognized Dr. Tarnay’s passion, newfound commitment and a new chapter of MFH unfolded.  

Dr. Tarnay now serves as Medicine for Humanity's President and Medical Director.

With a focus on treating obstetric fistula and other childbirth injuries, Dr. Tarnay directs our annual two-week fistula surgical program at Mbarara University of Science and Technology, a teaching hospital in Southwest Uganda.

More on what we do now

The Lagasses created a “long arm of Malibu,” which has reached and extended itself across the globe. 

We continue to sustain this outreach with hopes of greater transformational impact on the healthcare profession and ultimately the health and wellness of women and mothers worldwide.