Staff

Kary Colón | Director of Programs
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Kary joined HHI as Director of Programs in 2016, bringing more than eleven years of experience in the design, planning, execution, and evaluation of community health programs, both at country level and on behalf of international organizations working in the Dominican Republic. For nearly five years, she managed Population Services International’s HIV/AIDS prevention projects for sex workers in the Dominican Republic. She later worked for over four years with John Snow, Inc (JSI), including as a Program Officer for AIDSTAR-One, a multi-sector effort supported by the President of the United States’ Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through USAID in the Dominican Republic. She has managed large scale technical assistance and monitoring and evaluation programs for both government and local and international institutions, and has extensive experience in the field and in overseeing staff at the institutional and provincial levels.

Kary earned a degree in Marketing from the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD), with a Multidisciplinary Diploma in HIV and Human Development. Her professional areas of expertise include social marketing, sexual work and human rights, strengthening of institutional capacities, and inter-institutional coordination at local and international levels.

Nassim Díaz | Director of Strategy & Innovation
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Nassim Díaz is an expert in strategic planning, project management, and evaluation, specializing in the areas of health and social security. He joined HHI in 2016 as Director of Strategy and Innovation, after more than 10 years of experience directing long-term health projects with international organizations. For five years, he directed the HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control project funded by the World Bank at the Presidential AIDS Council in the Dominican Republic, including leading the design and implementation of the National Strategic Plan to confront HIV/AIDS along with its monitoring and evaluation system. For more than seven years, he was the Technical Director of the Health Sector Reform Support Project in the Dominican Republic, where he directed the formulation, design, and implementation of two long-term external financing operations with the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. Nassim has also been a consultant to international organizations and public and private entities related to the social sectors in the fields of strategic planning and monitoring and evaluation systems.

Nassim earned his degree as an Industrial Engineer with Cum Laude honors from the Santo Domingo Technological Institute, and holds a Masters in Business Administration from the School of Business Administration in Barcelona, Spain and the University of Nottingham Trent in the United Kingdom. Nassim is driven by a deep interest in contributing to the development of his country's health systems to improve the quality of life of its people.

Catherine Balbuena | Sano y Feliz Project Assistant

Catherine began her working relationship with HHI in 2009, as a community health worker in Severet. In April 2015, she joined the program team as a Project Assistant for Sano y Feliz. She continues to pursue community health work in the Severet community where she lives, allowing her to help people with chronic illness.

She completed her secondary education at the Adonai Evangelical High School in the municipality of Montellano and has been trained in the management of patients with noncommunicable chronic diseases. Her work experience includes customer service, active participation in the 2010 census, the rewarding experience of teaching adults in the “Quisqueya Aprende Contigo” program, as well as secretarial work with the Central Electoral Board of Montellano.

Carlos Castillo | Community Health Worker Coordinator

Carlos has lived in Pancho Mateo since he was 10 year old. He was raised by his mother, who taught him a strong work ethic, and has been performing a variety of jobs in Puerto Plata and Montellano from a young age. In 2010, he was introduced to HHI and was given the opportunity to be trained as a community health worker. Three years later, he was selected to be the first Community Health Worker Coordinator, and since then he has demonstrated abilities in administration, leadership, attention to patients, and the monitoring and evaluation of his project. Carlos has studied computer science and tourism, and is currently studying for a Psychology Degree at the Universidad Tecnológica de Santo Domingo (UTESA). He also takes English classes in Montellano and computer courses at CEDUCOMP.

Carlos enjoys his work in Horizontes because it allows him to help local communities and also to develop his abilities as a professional. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball.

Elisa Ruben | Sano y Feliz Project Assistant

Elisa joined HHI as a community health worker in 2011, serving the community of Pancho Mateo. Since April 2015, she has also been working as a Project Assistant for the Sano y Feliz program. Within her work experience, she has had the opportunity to participate in the government's adult literacy program "Quisqueya Aprende Contigo," and as a caregiver in the Mustard Seed Special Children's Home. She has pursued several courses and additional training in areas such as English, CPR and First Aid, Child Care and Development, Public Speaking, Management of Patients with Noncommunicable Chronic Diseases, and HIV/AIDS Prevention. Elisa completed her secondary studies at the municipality of Montellano high school.

Haley Burns | Administrative Director
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Haley began working with HHI in 2012, bringing with her experience working in operational and administrative roles. She coordinates HHI’s U.S.-based administrative needs, including communications, Medical Service Trip logistics, and financial operations. Haley has enjoyed seeing the growth of HHI over the years and being able to join with them in their mission. She and her husband live in Connecticut with their daughter and a small flock of chickens.

Marc Evens Nicoleau | World Diabetes Foundation Program Assistant

Marc, better known as Ribe, is of Haitian nationality and has lived for three years in the community of Pancho Mateo. He joined HHI in 2011 as a community health worker, where he also made available his skills as a translator. He has volunteer experience as a regional coordinator of the Peace Corps "Escojo Mi Vida" project, as a clinical assistant for Partners for Rural Health, and as a clinical translator for Big Dream. He is currently a Program Assistant for the World Diabetes Foundation project, where he has been able to learn more about how things are done and at the same time give his opinion regarding community issues. Ribe loves to do his job, because he is helping his community to have a different point of view regarding chronic diseases.

Ribe's dream is to be a doctor, and working with HHI has been a great help for his knowledge and how to treat people in the medical field. His goals are to be able to have the capacity and experience to help develop personal development programs in his community and other communities around the Dominican Republic and Haiti, where he can show young people a way to use their time positively and achieve short- and long-term goals.

Dra. María Teresa Pou | Clinical Programs Coordinator

Dra. Pou is a family physician who has worked with HHI since 2015, when she began as a part-time doctor providing follow-up consultations to patients in the Chronic Care Program. Since 2016, she has served as the Coordinator of the Clinical Programs, which includes the organization of the Primary Care Clinics program and the Community Health Workers program. She appreciates HHI’s value and respect for its employees and the human quality with which they treat patients and their families. In her work, what she enjoys most are home visits, since it allows her the opportunity to understand the particular situations of her patients.

Dra. Pou graduated from the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM) in Santo Domingo. She holds a Diploma in Nutrition from the Open University for Adults (UAPA) and English studies from Westminster College in London, England. She is a very warm person, who believes that every day gives us a new opportunity to be better people and continue to learn life lessons. She enjoys outdoor activities such as going to the beach and the countryside.

Marinelli Gutierrez, Logistics Coordinator
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Marinelli is the HHI Logistics Coordinator. She graduated from Pontifica Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra in the Dominican Republic with a degree in Executive Secretary. She has experience includes work as an Accounting Administrative Assistant in both lawyers’ and general offices. Those most in need, especially children, compel her to serve most. Her hobbies include watching cultural TV programs and listening to romantic music.

Sheila Calderón | World Diabetes Foundation Project Coordinator
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Sheila has over 15 years of experience working in the health sector of non-profit organizations. She joined HHI in September 2015, after many years working at the Center for Promotion and Human Solidarity (CEPROSH) in Puerto Plata. In her role as Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at CEPROSH, Sheila was responsible for coordinating health projects, eco-tourism and community projects, and research, as well as validation of educational materials, implementation of focus groups for educational strategies, health surveys, and educational campaigns. She also led the development of consultancies for the creation of community businesses. Her program experience, as well as her abilities and skills to act as a liaison between the organization and governmental institutions, have been important to HHI’s growth in programming, inter-institutional relations, and strengthening with key actors of the health system.

Sheila earned her degree in Social Work from the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo, and a Post-Graduate Degree in Social Work at Valle Verde Community College, in El Paso Texas. Her training and experience have enabled her to work in the management of health promotion and prevention projects, with emphasis on vulnerable populations. Sheila enjoys life while performing her work with a demonstrated passion for the empowerment of communities and their residents.

Willy Destin | Clinical Programs Assistant

Willy was born in Montellano, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, the son of Haitian parents who migrated to Santo Domingo in search of a better life. He is a professional apprentice who has shown great interest every day in acquiring and learning new skills to help his community, people around him, and his own development in a positive way. Willy first joined HHI as an interpreter and community health worker in the community of Pancho Mateo. In 2012, he was hired as the Clinical Programs Assistant in the Referral Program. In this role, he supports patients with scarce resources who require specialist medical care.

Willy is a high school graduate and has taken courses in Health Promotion, English, Customer Service, Computers and Repair, and is in the process of returning to university to study Systems Engineering. His main interests are health (especially in communities of scarce resources), technology, finance, languages (interpretation and medical translation), while his hobbies include chess, reading, and self-development. He faithfully believes in proactivity and that faith and being constant in his passions will achieve great changes.