Eliezer Lappots-Abreu | Executive Director [email protected]

Dr. Eliezer Lappots -Abreu is a former diplomat and well-known professional in the fields of human rights, immigration law, public policy, diplomacy, and community health. For the past 11 years he has led nonprofit and community-based organizations, public policies and international projects aimed at guaranteeing that vulnerable populations in developing countries have access to health services, education, employment, housing, and political participation. His career as a defender of human rights, access to public services, health, equity and social justice has touched more than 16 countries such as Venezuela, Brazil, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic , Burkina Faso, Ghana, Somalia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Peru, and India, among others. From working in embassies, consulates, ministries of foreign affairs as a diplomat and specialist in international relations, to leading efforts in defense of human rights and social justice for the benefit of marginalized populations, his passion in the field of international law and health community groups merged, dedicating themselves to implementing effective projects that foster social change, develop and empower vulnerable and marginalized populations, allowing them to participate in decision-making regarding their development as communities. Dr. Lappots-Abreu has played roles and capacities in international organizations such as the United Nations, UNICEF, FAO, UN Women, UNDP, OXFAM, Amnesty International and UNAIDS. He has pioneered projects related to inclusive policies for migrant populations, LGBTQ+ people, and people of color, as well as responses to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, ebola, malaria, dengue, cholera, diabetes, hypertension, development, international cooperation, sustainable housing, access to clean water, sovereignty, food, diplomatic efforts, and peacekeeping efforts in war zones, women's equality, natural resources, and more. Dr. Eliezer Lappots-Abreu holds a doctorate in Jurisprudence in International Law with a concentration in Human Rights from Harvard University, two master's degrees: one in Development and International Cooperation from the Ortega y Gasset Institute and a second from the University of Murcia in Resolution conflict and peacekeeping; a degree in International Relations with a concentration in International Cooperation and Diplomacy; as well as 35 professional majors from Stanford University, Columbia, Yale, Penn, the University of Geneva, SOAS University of London, the University of Copenhagen and other renowned institutions.

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.

Laura Massiel Castillo Gómez | Monitoring and Evaluation Manager

Laura Massiel Castillo Gómez began working with HHI in Spring 2019 as the Monitoring and Evaluation Manager. She has studied at Universidad Iberoamericana, INCAPRE, and UAPA. She previously worked at CEPROSH (Center for Promotion and Human Solidarity) as the Monitoring and Evaluation manager. Laura has always been passionate about helping those in need. Every day is an opportunity to learn something new and use the tools and gifts we have to improve the quality of life of others.

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.

Joaquín Batista | Logistics Assistant

Joaquín was born in the city of Santiago, Dominican Republic, and he has lived in the Montellano municipality all his life. From an early age, he has been involved in social and development groups of his community, such as youth clubs, the fire department, and churches. He is the co-founder of the Committee for Development of Montellano, in addition to being actively involved in the Town Council, Transportation Association, and Business Association. Since 2007 he has been a member of the Montellano Electoral Board, coordinating everything related to congressional, municipal, and presidential elections, along with his team.

Joaquín has worked for more than fifteen years in the area of transportation. Today, as the Logistics Assistant for HHI, he supports transportation, logistics coordination, and fixed asset and inventory management for the organization. He also worked for two years as personal security officer of a prosecutor in the city of Puerto Plata. Joaquín completed his primary and secondary academic studies at the Dominican Air Force High School in the city of Puerto Plata. He is in the process of studying law at the Universidad Dominicana O&M. As a member of the national school of elections, he has completed courses in political, legal, and electoral topics and conflict.

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.

Haley Burns | Administrative Director
[email protected]

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.


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