Medicine for Humanity 28th Annual Fundraiser


It's official - our event is hotter than a jalapeno pepper! Unfortunately, all tickets are sold out, but we're keeping a standby list in case some spots open up. If you want in, send us an email at And if you can't attend, you can still be a hero in our eyes by donating to our cause. It's like wearing a cape, but less itchy. We are grateful to our wonderful village.

Healing women. Training doctors. Changing lives. Together.

Join us in celebrating all that we have achieved together. Share an evening envisioning the limitless possibilities for our future impact.

Event Location

Rafi Lounge
22741 Pacific Coast Hwy.
Malibu, CA 90265
Get Directions »

May 20, 2023
6:00pm – 10:00pm PDT

Food, drinks + dancing
$250 per ticket, $450 per couple
Limited tickets available
VIP seating + Sponsorships available

Additional Information:
Coastal Chic Attire.
Outdoor Event.
Adults only, please.
Valet parking available-$10/vehicle.

Contact: Shelley O’Connor / 310-489-2197

Not able to attend but still want to support us?

Even if you can't be with us in person, you can still warm our hearts with your generous donation. Your support goes a long way in empowering change and making a lasting impact.

Event Sponsorship Opportunities

We are committed to healing women, training doctors, and changing lives. Together, we can create a sustainable impact on the future of women’s health in East Africa.

To become a sponsor, contact Shelley O'Connor at / 310-489-2197.

  • One VIP ocean-view cabana includes tickets for ten
  • Premier listing on all event signage + materials
  • Partner recognition on website + social media platforms
  • Verbal recognition from stage during event program
  • Ten limited-edition Medicine for Humanity sweatshirts

  • VIP seating includes tickets for six
  • Prominent listing on all event signage + materials
  • Partner recognition on website + social media platforms
  • Six limited-edition Medicine for Humanity sweatshirts

  • Four event tickets
  • Listing on all event signage + materials
  • Recognition on website + social media platforms
  • Four limited-edition Medicine for Humanity sweatshirts

  • Two event tickets
  • Listing on all event signage + materials
  • Recognition on website + social media platforms

Preview Paradise: Luxury Vacation Homes Up for Silent Auction

Looking for a way to indulge your wanderlust while also making a meaningful impact? Our silent auction has got you covered. Escape to beautiful destinations with our selection of stunning properties, from luxurious desert villas to cozy mountain cabins. And the best part? Every bid you make will help support Medicine for Humanity's Urogynecology Fellowship, improving women's healthcare worldwide.

Beach Paradise

Punta Mita, Mexico
4-night stay
4 bds/5 ba
Generously donated by: Glenn & Kathy Feig

View Property

Desert Dream

Rancho Mirage, CA
5-night stay
4bd/ 3ba

View Property

Mountain Retreat

Mammoth Lakes, CA
5-night stay
Generously donated by: Larry Hess & Janet Semple-Hess

Ski/Snowboard Retreat

Park City, Utah
3 bd/ 2ba
Generously donated by: Jodie & Rob O'Connor

View Property

Our mission

Medicine for Humanity is a medical care and teaching organization dedicated to restoring dignity, hope, and quality of life to women suffering from obstetric fistula. We believe that every woman should have the opportunity to be healed from the devastating effects of childbirth injuries. We provide surgical care and build specialty training programs for the next generation of doctors in East Africa.

Our Future — Our Heroes

Medicine for Humanity’s Urogynecology Fellowship Program seeks to train East African Obstetrician Gynecologists and future leaders in the field of women’s health. Our goal is to expand access to quality healthcare and improve capacity by creating a sustainable model of education and training to drive real change so that more women suffering from obstetric fistula can be healed.

Recipient physicians are taught leadership skills and training to become the next thought leaders and to develop and nurture others to further this cause. Successful leadership requires technical proficiency, compassion, professional conduct, self-assessment and self-improvement, ethical and moral decision making, trust from one’s community, and a vision for improvement with integrity.

Fundraiser Committee

It takes a village!

Ann & Leo Lagasse, MD

Executive Team:
Christopher Tarnay, MD – President
Shelley O’Connor – Executive Director

Social Media:
Molly Marler – Photographer

2023 Event Committee:
Melanie Angel
Leslie Button
LanAnh Do Tarnay
Felicia Faden
Lili Foster
Meghan Herndon
Nancy Herndon
Lori Keeffe
Amy Kijner
Molly Marler

Board of Directors:
Christopher Tarnay, MD
Jeff Baker, JD
LanAnh Do Tarnay, MD
Musa Kayondo, MD
Susan Lagasse, Ph.D
Lisa Nicholas, MD
Aviva Regev, MD

Emeritus Board Members:
Stewart Fisher
Ellie Kanner
Patricia Maischoss
John Miley, MD
Jodie O’Connor
Asha Randall, DAOM
R. Bradfield Yates, PhD

Thank you to our generous sponsors!

Urogynecology Leadership Fellowship Fundraiser

Urogynecology Leadership Fellowship Fundraiser

Worlds Apart. Standing Together.

Medicine for Humanity is committed to healing women and training doctors.




Left to Raise

With your help, we intend to raise $25,000 to create a Urogynecology Leadership Fellowship to provide a full year of specialized training to a Ugandan physician in the field of
Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery.

  • This program will give rise to a future leader in the field of women’s health.
  • It will build capacity within the Ugandan health care system to care for its most vulnerable members- women and mothers.

Please give what you can.

Current Third Year Residents at Mbarara University of Science & Technology (MUST)

Your donations will allow a physician to become a specialist in the field of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery.

Our Work

We are healing women and training doctors.

Medicine for Humanity is a medical care and teaching organization that has been restoring dignity, hope and quality of life to women for over 25 years.

  • Fistula surgery and recovery care
  • Center for Gynecologic and Fistula Care
  • Patient education seminars
  • On-site surgical training program
  • Medical education for resident doctors, nurses, and medical students
  • Urogynecology Leadership Fellowship

We believe ensuring the health of mothers leads to a healthy community.

Women in Uganda cope with challenged access to healthcare, particularly basic obstetrical services. As a result, nearly 2,000 women each year develop obstetric fistula, a devastating injury to the birth canal causing urinary incontinence. It is estimated that 200,000 Ugandan women suffer from this condition. Our current goal is to reduce the societal burden of fistula in this part of the world. We are healing women by providing life-altering surgical care. Our surgical programs, staffed by volunteer doctors and nurses, provide surgery, transportation, food, housing, medical support, and postoperative care at no cost to our patients.

Our Local Champion: Dr. Musa Kayondo

"A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."

Dr. Musa Kayondo serves as Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology and head of the Fistula plus Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS) Division at Mbarara University of Science & Technology (MUST).

As a young resident doctor in 2009, Dr. Kayondo was the first graduate of Medicine for Humanity’s collaborative FPMRS program at MUST. Currently, Dr. Kayondo, in his role as Chair, leads the Obstetrics and Gynecology residency program and serves as Head of our newly developed clinical Urogynecology Leadership Fellowship.

Dr. Kayondo is dedicated to maintaining the integrity of Medicine for Humanity’s established fistula training programs year-round. His commitment to the women we heal and the doctors we train is the reason that our work in Uganda is so successful.

Our Fistula Care Center

Medicine for Humanity’s recurring presence has served to transform Mbarara into a true center of excellence in the care of obstetrical fistula.

Medicine for Humanity collaborates with the Obstetrics and Gynecology residency program at Mbarara University Teaching Hospital with our local champion physician, Dr. Musa Kayondo. We created a training track for our high-volume fistula program, which allows Ugandan Ob/Gyn residents the opportunity to participate in at least three surgical programs. We are creating life-long impact by training doctors.

More On Our Fistula Care Center

Our Urogynecology Leadership Fellowship: Dr. Paul Kato

Medicine for Humanity is creating an annual Urogynecology Leadership Fellowship Program to train a Ugandan Obstetrician Gynecologist and future leader in the field of women’s health.

Specialty training of a physician in Urogynecology will contribute to women’s health and empowerment in Uganda and East Africa. This will be a powerful investment in professionals who can increase access to health care throughout the nation.

More On Our Urogynecology Leadership Fellow

Center for Gynecologic & Fistula Care

Center for Gynecologic & Fistula Care

You made this happen! You created a place where women and mothers can commune, recover, and heal with dignity.

During our annual surgical program, the women and mothers seeking fistula repair have had to recover from surgery in tents, sheds, and other temporary shelters. Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital was overwhelmed with patients and limited space.

In 2018, to increase capacity and support our vision, we created the Center for Gynecologic & Fistula Care. It is a 50-bed care facility with an on-site procedure room, doctors’ offices, nursing station, and conference room to support medical education.

This year-round surgical ward ensures that our patients will NEVER again have to convalesce on the floor while healing from surgery.

Watch How We Built Hope

With the support of our donors, Medicine for Humanity completed construction of a new ward in 2018.

Dr. Musa Kayondo & Dr. Christopher Tarnay celebrate the new Center for Gynecologic & Fistula Care

For questions, please contact Shelley O’Connor at 310-489-2197 or

What is fistula?

Fistula is the most heartbreaking condition you’ve never heard of.

An obstetric fistula is a birth injury to a mother caused by a prolonged, obstructed labor. It most commonly occurs among women who live in developing countries, who give birth without adequate access to Caesarean section.

A fistula is a passage or hole between two organs in the body.

An obstetric fistula is a passage between a woman’s vagina and her bladder and/or rectum. This abnormal communication develops at the end of pregnancy when labor is obstructed and lasts many hours or days.  The pressure of the baby’s head against the mother’s pelvis cuts off blood supply to the surrounding tissues in the birth canal.

Two million women suffer from fistula worldwide.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that in Uganda alone there are over 200,000 women enduring life with fistula. For every woman that gets treatment over 50 women go without.

Donate Now

Lack of timely medical intervention, including extremely limited access to emergency Caesarean sections, forces women to endure life-threatening labor.

The consequences of the hours or days of obstructed labor are tragic:

  • the baby often dies in utero from prolonged lack of oxygen
  • the mother is left with severe physical injuries: obstetric fistula, causing uncontrollable, chronic incontinence that leads to extreme social stigmatization.
  • These women are often abandoned by husbands and outcast from society and work.
  • They suffer kidney disorders, skin infections, severe depression, neurological problems like foot drop and even death if left untreated

Obstetric fistulas are entirely preventable and correctable.

Obstetric fistula occurs most often among impoverished girls and women, especially those living in regions without adequate medical services.   Affecting the most powerless members of society, obstetric fistula touches issues related to reproductive health and rights, gender equality, poverty and adolescent reproductive health.

Our Roots

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.


Medicine for Humanity is healing women and training doctors.

We believe every woman should have the opportunity to be healed from the devastating effects of childbirth injuries.

See What Hope Looks Like »

Healing Women.

There is a shocking shortage of medical services in the developing world, and facilities primarily dedicated to fistula repair are a rarity.

Medicine for Humanity is restoring hope and dignity to women and mothers in Uganda by making access to care possible.

  • Fistula surgery and recovery care
  • Center for Gynecologic and Fistula Care
  • Patient education seminars

Our Fistula Care Center

Training Doctors.

There exists a tremendous gap between the number of women who need care and the number of skilled healthcare workers who can provide it.

Medicine for Humanity is dedicated to eliminating health disparities and changing that paradigm.  We are working to address inequity by creating capacity and building a future by training a new generation of Ugandan doctors and nurses.

  • On-site surgical training program
  • Medical education lecture series provided on-site and remotely for resident doctors, nurses and medical students 
  • Urogynecology Leadership Fellowship

Meet Our Current Fellow

What We've Done


Fistula & reparative surgeries performed


Doctors and advocates trained


C-sections Performed

Watch how Medicine for Humanity is changing lives.

Our Partners

"If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." - African Proverb

View Our Partners

“This problem is not a decided fate.”

- Abby, 46 years old

Donate Today

Who We Are

Who We Are

Medicine for Humanity was founded on the principle that ensuring the health of mothers leads to healthy communities. Our organization strives to improve the health of women and mothers in underserved populations around the world.

Our donors and medical volunteers make it possible to provide surgery, transportation, housing, food, medical support, and postoperative care for every woman needing fistula repair.

Our academic partners are David Geffen’s School of Medicine and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Health and our international partner is Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) in Mbarara, Uganda.

Our Team

Our Board

Our Advisory Board

“I tell other women there is hope. Hope of being better.”

- Christine, 21. MFH 2016 Camp

Donate Today