Grand'Anse Health & Development Association
Bridging connections between Haiti and the world, GAHDA is a group of people with decades of experience dedicated to meeting the needs of some of Haiti’s most vulnerable families
Meet the needs of Grand’Anse individuals and families seeking healthcare and livelihood support not being met by existing services. Contribute to skills development of Haitian health professionals. Provide community education.
We aspire for a Grand’Anse where people and communities collaborate with service providers to meet their health and development needs.
We provide a wide range of health and development programs designed to complement existing services and fill gaps identified by GAHDA local staff. All programs are designed based on needs, availability of alternative sources for services, and determination of fit with our resources.
We work to build on existing strengths and relationships with local programs and services. We collaborate to honor and enhance the strengths of our local partners. We share our skills and tools to enhance local provider capacity.
Who We Are
Our executive director, Bette Gebrian, PhD, RN, MPH, has lived and raised her family in Jérémie, a remote town in southwest Haiti, over the past 30 years. Our board president, Judy Lewis, has worked with her continuously for those 30 years and has extensive experience developing international public health programs on several continents. The rest of us have many connections to the people of the region of Grand’Anse. Our board includes two prominent Haitian Americans and we work with a Haitian board.
We know the communities where we work and have developed relationships and trust with other organizations, the Haitian Ministry of Health, and people living in the area. This means we can accomplish our work efficiently, effectively, and humanely. We have selected a rural bridge as our logo to represent connecting people, cultures, skills, education and the present with the future.
We strongly believe that engaging in this work is beneficial not only for the recipients of the assistance — those who need a new roof, a medical procedure, or a meal — but is equally beneficial for the donor, be it a physician’s time, a nurse’s skill, a translator’s kind words, or a donation from afar.
Meet the USA Team
GAHDA USA: A registered 501c3 US nonprofit organization.
Judy Lewis is an emeritus professor at the University of Connecticut. She has worked on many public health programs and supervised student research to improve health care in Jérémie since 1987.
Judy has extensive research, training and program development experience in the United States and over 50 countries. She is committed to women’s health and improving breast cancer screening and treatment.
Carl Hart, an attorney, is a consultant in the healthcare industry, providing services for major U.S. pharmaceutical manufacturers. He has also created content in the health outcomes field across multiple platforms.
Carl has volunteered in Jérémie for almost fifteen years and is a key member of the founding team that created GAHDA. He has served on the board of a major provider of community health in the Grand’Anse. Carl shares his expertise in content, computer systems, web design, and fundraising for Haitian organizations.
Joan Sherman is a program, strategy, and evaluation consultant with over 25 years experience working across a wide range of sectors, including girls education, micro-finance, public health, community development, women's empowerment and gender equity, and philanthropy.
Joan worked for CARE International in Haiti and India. And, has worked for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Northwestern University and The Libra Foundation. For 12 years, she served on the Board of Directors for the Women’s Global Education Project. Joan has a BA from the University of Minnesota and a MA from George Washington University.
Bernadette Quessa Cantave
Bernadette Quessa Cantave is a business manager for Catholic Charities of Greater Boston. She is responsible for overseeing the operations of several sites in the greater Boston area.
Prior to joining Catholic Charities, Bernadette was senior accountant at Urban Edge Housing Corporation. She also served as accountant at the Children's Trust in Miami, FL. She has a BS degree with a concentration in accounting from the Univ. of Mass. Boston, and a certificate program in Non-Profit Management from Northeastern University, Boston.
She is very passionate about social justice work here in the U.S. and in Haiti. She and her husband Alix Cantave, a program officer of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), and her two children live in Boston.
Jill Schultz lives and works in South Dakota and has been a frequent volunteer in the Grand’Anse. She has been instrumental in the evolution of the breast cancer program. She has worked in the radiology field for over 35 years primarily in breast imaging and management.
Jill supports lifelong learning with multiple certifications and has a passion for improving the health of women by means of breast health awareness, education, navigation and early detection. She has served on several national and international committees and boards including the National Consortium of Breast Centers (NCBC) international committee.
Leslie G Desmangles
Leslie Gérald Desmangles, PhD, is a Haitian born anthropologist of religion who studies the religion and culture of Haiti. He has published widely on these subjects including an award winning book, The Faces of the Gods: Vodou and Roman Catholicism in Haiti.
Leslie is Professor of Religious Studies and International Studies Emeritus at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.
Mary Anne Fenton
Mary Anne Fenton MD, FACP is a practicing medical oncologist for over 20 years with a speciality in Breast Cancer treatment and survivorship.
Dr Fenton is the Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Clinical Director of the Breast Medical Oncology Program and the Director of Quality Outcomes, Lifespan Cancer Institute (LCI).
Dr Fenton has leadership roles in fellow, resident and student training and clinical trials research.
Emeritus Board Members
Marie Ketly Seide
Marie Ketly Seide is a registered nurse, breast cancer survivor and the founder of Marie Louise Cancer Foundation. For the past 12 years, she has been working as a breast cancer navigator. She is responsible for coordinating all aspects of the breast cancer program at Marie Louise Cancer Foundation.
Marie facilitates weekly breast cancer conferences and coordinates multiple disciplines to provide comprehensive care for the breast cancer patient. She acts as the contact for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients, directs patients and family members to appropriate departments and resources, and schedules, educates, coordinates, and facilitates patient care. Because of her background she is capable of being culturally-sensitive to the beliefs of Haitians in a compassionate and understanding way.
Billy is the principal of a healthcare related consulting firm focused on data analytics and strategic planning.
During a visit as a volunteer to Haiti, Billy became quickly enamored with her people and culture. He and his company have since supported numerous initiatives to improve healthcare delivery in Haiti.
Moreover, Billy and his wife Claudia sponsored a young Haitian man’s dream to move to the U.S., where he lived with the Barrs and their sons while pursuing high school and secondary degrees. Today this young man is a college graduate, working to pay the opportunity forward and to help his fellow Haitians. Billy and Claudia live at the New Jersey Shore.
Katherine Kaplan MPH
Callie Kaplan has led public health programs, research projects and advocacy initiatives both internationally and domestically, with a specific focus on marginalized youth, sexual and reproductive health justice and gender-based violence (GBV) over the past 10 years.
Callie has a strong background in mixed-methods research and evaluation and is a strong advocate for participatory methodologies and transparent, ethical research. She worked in Haiti as program coordinator from 2007-2009 and as a consultant in 2011.
Meet the Haiti Team
GAHDA partners with Association Grand’Anse Santé et Développement, an organization founded and registered in Haiti as a private voluntary organization (PVO). Antoine Edwin Magloire is the president of this Haitian-based initiative.
A. Edwin Magloire
A. Edwin Magloire, a native of Jérémie, is a local businessman. He donated the building used as the headquarters of the Association.
Edwin has given his time, resources and expertise in constructing the building and rehabilitation of the first floor for used by the Association for seminars, specialty clinics and other activities. He is the owner of Place Charmant guest houses.
Vice President and Executive Director of Program Activities
Bette Gebrian is a public health nurse and medical anthropologist who has lived and worked in the Grand’Anse since 1987. She is faculty in the Department of Community Medicine in the University of Connecticut and a retired faculty member of the School of Nursing.
Bette has published articles documenting her collaborative work in areas of disaster, heath impact, breast feeding and maternal and newborn health. She has presented at national and international conferences and drawn volunteers from tradesmen to surgeons to the region.
Myrna Eustache MD
Myrna Eustache, a daughter of Jérémie, is a physician with clinical and management expertise. She held leadership positions at Albert Schweitzer Hospital, was a national leader in breastfeeding and pediatrics and advisor to United Nations Agencies including UNICEF, PAHO and UNDP.
Myrna was the Executive Director of Project Zero SIDA (POZ) a program for support of people living with HIV and AIDS. She is instrumental in drawing in support for the Breast Cancer program through her many contacts in Port-au-Prince.
Robert Bijou was born in Jérémie. He began his professional career in education and as pharmaceutical representative for two major German Companies in Haiti: Boehringer Ingelheim and Bayer Leverkusen.
Robert immigrated to the US and earned a degree in administration and clinical respiratory therapy. He worked as a consultant for 23 years. Upon retiring, he chose to move back to his native town to volunteer his time and experience in support of GAHDA specialty seminars and service clinics.
Louis Bourdeau is a native of Jérémie and has worked for many years as a community organizer.
Louis is a valuable volunteer during clinical services and community outreach and has worked in GAHDA projects including hurricane relief and recovery and field research with other organizations.