In less than a week Healing the Children Northeast will be sending a team to Punta Gorda, Belize to provide the children of the surrounding area with dental care.
Gregory J Keiser is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon who has practiced for over 20 years. He is also the team leader. For the past 15 years he has led cleft lip and palate trips and dental missions throughout South and Central America, Africa and Asia. Greg currently serves on the Board of Directors for Healing the Children Northeast and is the Director of HTCNE’s Medical Advisory Committee.
“These services are desperately needed around the world. It is my goal to establish rotating visits to several counties so as to provide ongoing care and to educate these populations about disease eradication and prevention. My inspiration to continue this journey all began after repairing a cleft lip on a 2 month old. Following which her mother said in a tearful Spanish, ’thank you for giving me a perfect baby back.’”
Rebecca Trimarchi of Carmel NY, will also be assisting with dental work. She has been working with HTCNE since 2007. Hooked on the mission behind HTCNE’s work, Rebecca hopes to join many trips in years to come.
“I think it is great what HTCNE does and stands for. I grew up in a small town and have had many people in my life that have helped to guide me along the way and become the person I am today. With each mission I hope that I can leave a lasting impression on at least one child that will help them in their journey through life.”
Lisa Rangel is a dentist form Morristown, NJ. She has joined Healing the Children in Cambodia in 2006 and Madagascar in 2007. While in dental school she organized free oral cancer screenings at a homeless shelter in West Philadelphia.
“There are too many children who do not have access to basic medical and dental care. As a citizen of this global community, I feel I should help in any way I can.”
Ray Lawrence is a dentist from Rocky Hill CT. He will be providing another ample set of hands to the on site dental work. He previously volunteers with APECA on a trip to Peru.
“I have traveled a fair amount, and I am always moved by the poverty and illness that is out there. I often wonder how we got so lucky to be born in a country with so much.”
Victoria Keiser will be joining her father, Greg Keiser as a member of the team this spring. She is training to become an EMT and will be attending Boston University in the fall.
“I went to Peru with HTC in 8th grade and Guatemala last year and my experiences there have changed my life. I am looking forward to continuing my education and becoming a doctor, and one day I plan to go on these mission trips as a doctor and maybe even lead one!"
Kristin Schrock, a dental hygienist from Northern Indiana is also a returning HTCNE volunteer. Her background in humanitarian mission work includes trips to Guatemala and Uganda.
Dana Buffin is the Executive Director of HTCNE. Along with her husband and 5 kids (3 bipedal and 2 furry canines) she lives and works in New Milford, CT. She is an ambitious humanitarian who explains her life’s work most eloquently in her own words.
“I see myself as a broker of humanitarianism; I know there are kids in need and I know there are folks who have the skills to help them. I like to bring them together. — I think our culture is one of the most generous of all. Nowhere else in the world is the spirit of volunteerism greater than in the United States. When our country gets such a bad rap, I think of the thousands of kids throughout the world whose lives our volunteers have touched. There are kids whose smiles are brighter, jumps are higher and sprints are faster because of our volunteers. I am proud to be a part of something so good.”
Haley Marks will be providing the trip with up to date blogging as well as multimedia accounts of the miraculous work being done on site. She is a recent graduate of the University of Delaware where she wrote a global awareness blog for the student newspaper.