Meghan McClain Garcia was born in West Virginia and grew up moving every few years nationally and internationally with her family. Her early travels internationally inspired her interest in development and healthcare, leading her to study International Relations at the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a minor in chemistry and certificate in Spanish. She went on to obtain her Master’s of Public Health in Epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
It was during her MPH studies in 2012 that she connected with GRACE Cares by way of volunteering with Project Hearts in the Dominican Republic to complete her master’s practicum. She helped design and implement their Community Health Leader (CHL) program that has been ongoing to the present day. After returning from the DR, she remained in contact with GRACE Cares and has served many roles in the organization both previously on the Board and as an employee working to strategically plan, coordinate and develop partner projects, write grants and lend her health expertise. Meghan also went on to become a Family Nurse Practitioner, graduating from Yale University’s FNP program in 2017. She completed a Family Nurse Practitioner Residency at Community Health Center, Inc (CHC) providing primary care in the safety net health setting. She is currently completing a Fellowship with CHC’s Center for Key Populations integrating substance use treatment, HIV care, and care for other “key populations” into primary care. Meghan is passionate about GRACE Cares’s unique model supporting local heroes around the world to promote development projects at the grassroots level.
Dr. Zoe Kopp is originally from Tarrytown, New York. She has lived and worked throughout the United States, Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. She received her PhD in Health Behavior from Union Institute and University in 2007 and her Master of Public Health in epidemiology and evaluation from Tulane University in 1987. In 1981 she founded North Florida Women’s Health and Counseling in Tallahassee, Florida, and was guest Lecturer at Florida State University. During 1987-1989 she was Clinical Services Officer for International Planned Parenthood Federation and led that organization’s development of clinical guidelines for reproductive health and quality of care initiatives. As Deputy Director for Primary Health Care for CARE International (1990 -1992) she guided health education programming and expanded HIV prevention activities in Asia and Africa. Dr. Kopp, as a consultant to the US Agency for International Development (USAID) programs, authored several texts on Women’s Health/Urology and helped to establish the continuing education department for the Indian Medical Association. Zoe is retired from Pfizer, where she was Senior Director of Outcomes Research, leading international research teams and studies from 1996 until 2012. She and her husband currently reside in Vermont.
Sergio Hurtarte joins the GRACE Cares Board from Guatemala, where he is CEO and Investment Manager of Soporte Global and MK Innovations. Sergio received his degree as a Public Accountant and Auditor with a minor in tax law from Universidad Francisco Marroquin. He has served in financial oversight positions with Shell Oil, the Kellogg Company, and Procter & Gamble, developing new business models, providing strategic guidance and support, financial forecasting, and analyzing financial data for organizational growth.
Daryl Caggiano joins the GRACE Cares Board from Boston, Massachusetts, where she is pursuing a Master’s in Nonprofit Management from Northeastern University. She has spent the last decade working and volunteering for international NGOs that support global health care, low-caste women in Nepal, and educational opportunities for marginalized girls in South Asia. In her nonprofit work, Daryl has served in various capacities, including board member, secretary, communications director, and copywriter. She is passionate about empowering disadvantaged individuals and communities to realize their aspirations and helping GRACE Cares fulfill its mission to act as a catalyst for development.
Rita Bacho is originally from the Upper West Region, Wa, Ghana. She lived, schooled and worked in Ghana for over 27 years. She earned a Doctor of Medicine (MD) from the University for Development Studies in Ghana. She earned a Master of Public Health (MPH) from the University of New England. She is also a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). She worked at Tamale Teaching Hospital for 3 years as a General Practitioner. She worked in various departments at Tamale Teaching Hospital including pediatrics and public health.
Rita is very passionate about helping poor and marginalized communities access health resources as well as better resources to improve their overall quality of life. Her passion for helping people access better health and quality of life informed her decision to embark on several community health outreach programs including hypertension, diabetes, tobacco, Guinea worm, obesity, HIV/AIDS and malaria control programs in Ghana and in Tennessee (USA).
Rita moved to Clarksville, TN, USA in 2015, where she decided to pursue a career in Public Health. Rita is currently a Project Coordinator at Providence Health and Services, Portland OR. Her passion for serving diverse populations in health and wellness, especially underserved and marginalized populations aligns with GRACE Cares’ mission, inspiring her to become a part of the many positive changes that GRACE Cares is making across the globe.
Philippe Elghouayel is an experienced managing director with a demonstrated history of working in the food production industry. Skilled in international project management, Intercultural communication, sustainable development, corporate social responsibility, and capacity development. Strong business development professional with a Diplome Sciences Politiques focused in Political Science – International Economy from Institut d’Etudes politiques de Paris.
Kasey Ochiltree joins the GRACE Cares Board from Boston, Massachusetts, where she is currently the Program Specialist for the Humanitarian Team at Oxfam America. Kasey graduated with her MA in International Peace Studies from the University for Peace in Costa Rica and her BA in Intercultural Studies with minors in Missions and Islamic Studies from Houghton College in Houghton, NY. Her growing area of focus with Oxfam is around Gender Justice and Transformative Leadership for Women’s Rights. Kasey enjoys soccer, photography, and exploring the world. She is very excited for this opportunity to be a part of the GRACE Cares community.
Dean Gallea is a co-founding board member of GRACE Cares. A test engineer with Consumer Reports since 1974, Dean has provided mentorship, technical expertise and capacity building to GRACE Cares projects for over a decade. Dean continues to lead annual service tours in the Dominican Republic with Project Hearts. He is passionate about the transformative effect of technology, arts, health and education for GRACE Cares community partners..
Danielle Huffaker is a social scientist, community development practitioner, and communications professional. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology from UC Berkeley and a master’s degree from the Centre for Development and Environment at the University of Oslo, where her thesis research focused on what the Cosmovision of the Maya people of Guatemala can offer a transformative enactment of climate change adaptation. She has eight years of involvement in grassroots development projects in Indigenous communities in Guatemala, having lived in Guatemala from 2013-2017. She now lives at the Monastic Academy for the Preservation of Life on Earth (MAPLE), a training center for developing leaders able to confront global existential crises with wisdom, love, and power. She is excited to lead the board of GRACE Cares because she finds inspiration in the passionate service of local heroes serving their communities all around the world.