WHO WE ARE

WHO WE ARE

HOG Zanskar Medical Center
HOG Zanskar Medical Center
HOG Zanskar Medical Center

Mission Statement:

“Hands On Global serves disadvantaged, underserved and displaced people hand-to-hand and heart-to-heart by providing medical support.”

Working collaboratively with underserved and refugee communities, Hands on Global Inc, primarily provides basic healthcare. We believe access to good healthcare is a human right. Our current projects are in remote underserved areas and refugee camps.The conditions are challenging and bring our team face to face with unexpected and difficult challenges. We confer with the local community and existing NGO’s in the field for direction and collaboration. Our teams are persevering, flexible,  dedicated  and creative in problem solving.

We believe everyone can contribute and everyone can make a difference.

HOGI teams have come to understand that though our primary projects are focused on healthcare by providing medical camps, these projects involve a comprehensive approach for success. Our model of community collaboration can involve us in infrastructure, social services, people’s  empowerment, education, economic development as well as healthcare.

Working collaboratively with underserved and refugee communities, Hands on Global Inc, primarily provides basic healthcare. We believe access to good healthcare is a human right. Our current projects are in remote underserved areas and refugee camps.The conditions are challenging and bring our team face to face with unexpected and difficult challenges. We confer with the local community and existing NGO’s in the field for direction and collaboration. Our teams are persevering, flexible,  dedicated  and creative in problem solving.

We believe everyone can contribute and everyone can make a difference.

HOGI teams have come to understand that though our primary projects are focused on healthcare by providing medical camps, these projects involve a comprehensive approach for success. Our model of community collaboration can involve us in infrastructure, social services, people’s  empowerment, education, economic development as well as healthcare.

Board Members & Staff
Board Members & Staff
Valerie Hellermann, Executive Director
Valerie Hellermann
Executive Director

Working to build a stronger, healthier, equitable and peaceful global community has been a lifetime goal. Valerie spent over ten years as the Project Manager for the Tibetan Children’s Education Foundation, a Montana based non-profit. During her tenure, she initiated and managed nutrition, health, education, clean water and solar heating projects throughout project sites in India.  Valerie organized and led participatory service trips to implement and support these projects while engaging interested westerners.

As a former nurse, Valerie has turned her attention to projects addressing access to basic healthcare both nationally and internationally. At the request of H.H. the Dalai Lama and with Hands On Global Inc., Valerie organizes the yearly Zanskar Medical Camp working in collaboration with the Zanskar Health Committee in Northern India.

Leslie Gibbs
Board President

Leslie Gibbs is a Family and Emergency Nurse Practitioner with a background in trauma, primary/emergency/critical care, and refugee health. Leslie worked as Lead Nurse Practitioner in a very busy ER at Indiana University Hospital. She is now pursuing her doctoral studies at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Leslie speaks Spanish and is working on her Arabic, which has come in handy volunteering in humanitarian work on five continents including six trips with Hands On Global, and has a passion for refugee health in particular.

Valerie Hellermann, Executive Director
Valerie Hellermann
Executive Director

Working to build a stronger, healthier, equitable and peaceful global community has been a lifetime goal. Valerie spent over ten years as the Project Manager for the Tibetan Children’s Education Foundation, a Montana based non-profit. During her tenure, she initiated and managed nutrition, health, education, clean water and solar heating projects throughout project sites in India.  Valerie organized and led participatory service trips to implement and support these projects while engaging interested westerners.

As a former nurse, Valerie has turned her attention to projects addressing access to basic healthcare both nationally and internationally. At the request of H.H. the Dalai Lama and with Hands On Global Inc., Valerie organizes the yearly Zanskar Medical Camp working in collaboration with the Zanskar Health Committee in Northern India.

Leslie Gibbs
Board President

Leslie Gibbs is a Family and Emergency Nurse Practitioner with a background in trauma, primary/emergency/critical care, and refugee health. Leslie worked as Lead Nurse Practitioner in a very busy ER at Indiana University Hospital. She is now pursuing her doctoral studies at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Leslie speaks Spanish and is working on her Arabic, which has come in handy volunteering in humanitarian work on five continents including six trips with Hands On Global, and has a passion for refugee health in particular.

Board Member, Tama Adelman
Tama Adelman
Policy & Ethics Manager

Tama, a retired RN, yoga teacher and health educator, has extensive experience setting up Urgent Care Centers. She brings her expertise of “good practice” and holds us all to WHO standards. She oversees the projects budgets, recruiting and works closely with Valerie to set up all logistics for the trips.

Tama spends her retirement time travelling the world, always with an eye for volunteering both home and abroad.

Dick Weaver
Secretary

Dick Weaver is a retired minister of the United Church of Christ (a progressive church) who lives in Helena, Montana, with his spouse, Cathy Barker, also retired clergy. In addition to serving in churches, he has been a camp manager, a senior-residence bus driver, and a massage practitioner. Being retired has made it easier for him to get involved in things he cares about, and the work of Hands On Global is definitely at the top of the list.

Dick found out about HOG while accompanying group members to the Water Protector camps at Standing Rock, and has since traveled with them to Samos, Greece and Zanskar, India. The immediacy and intimacy of the work of Hands On Global is part of what appeals to him, and the hand-to-hand, heart-to-heart sense of mission fits very well with his sense of responding to the world.

Board Member, Tama Adelman
Tama Adelman
Policy & Ethics Manager

Tama, a retired RN, yoga teacher and health educator, has extensive experience setting up Urgent Care Centers. She brings her expertise of “good practice” and holds us all to WHO standards. She oversees the projects budgets, recruiting and works closely with Valerie to set up all logistics for the trips.

Tama spends her retirement time travelling the world, always with an eye for volunteering both home and abroad.

Dick Weaver
Secretary

Dick Weaver is a retired minister of the United Church of Christ (a progressive church) who lives in Helena, Montana, with his spouse, Cathy Barker, also retired clergy. In addition to serving in churches, he has been a camp manager, a senior-residence bus driver, and a massage practitioner. Being retired has made it easier for him to get involved in things he cares about, and the work of Hands On Global is definitely at the top of the list.

Dick found out about HOG while accompanying group members to the Water Protector camps at Standing Rock, and has since traveled with them to Samos, Greece and Zanskar, India. The immediacy and intimacy of the work of Hands On Global is part of what appeals to him, and the hand-to-hand, heart-to-heart sense of mission fits very well with his sense of responding to the world.

Georgia Milan
Board Member

Georgia Milan is a Family Medicine Doctor who lives in Pocatello ID. She has worked with Hands on Global for a number of years making two trips to Refugee Camps in Greece and one to Zanskar. She is currently the Medical Director of the Pocatello Free Clinic (the longest opened free clinic in the U.S.) and medical consultant for Aid For Friends, the homeless shelter in Pocatello.

Georgia has an International Diploma in Humanitarian Aid from the University of Geneva and Fordham University. She also works with the Montana Migrant Council and has worked in numerous countries in Latin America, South America, India, Tibet and Nepal. She is a holistic medicine practitioner and very much appreciates her relationship with Valerie Hellerman and Hands on Global.

Belinda Escanio
Board Member

Belinda Escanio is a Family Physician currently practicing geriatrics in Newport News, Virginia. She has a special interest working for underserved communities and was Lead Physician at a federally qualified health center in Washington state for several years.

Belinda is trained in opioid addiction management and also has experience as an urgent care physician. Of particular interest to Belinda is serving the the underserved communities around the world. Her global health interests have taken her on medical trips to Kenya, Nicaragua, Thailand, and Zanskar/India.

Georgia Milan
Board Member

Georgia Milan is a Family Medicine Doctor who lives in Pocatello ID. She has worked with Hands on Global for a number of years making two trips to Refugee Camps in Greece and one to Zanskar. She is currently the Medical Director of the Pocatello Free Clinic (the longest opened free clinic in the U.S.) and medical consultant for Aid For Friends, the homeless shelter in Pocatello.

Georgia has an International Diploma in Humanitarian Aid from the University of Geneva and Fordham University. She also works with the Montana Migrant Council and has worked in numerous countries in Latin America, South America, India, Tibet and Nepal. She is a holistic medicine practitioner and very much appreciates her relationship with Valerie Hellerman and Hands on Global.

Belinda Escanio
Board Member

Belinda Escanio is a Family Physician currently practicing geriatrics in Newport News, Virginia. She has a special interest working for underserved communities and was Lead Physician at a federally qualified health center in Washington state for several years.

Belinda is trained in opioid addiction management and also has experience as an urgent care physician. Of particular interest to Belinda is serving the the underserved communities around the world. Her global health interests have taken her on medical trips to Kenya, Nicaragua, Thailand, and Zanskar/India.

Lily Shroeder
Board Member

My name is Lily Schroeder. I currently work as a traveling emergency department RN. I also do international volunteer work, using my nursing skills in a variety of capacities.

I love hiking, fishing, cooking and scuba diving. I hate single use plastic. I’m dedicated to Hands on Global and the work being done through them.

Kim Schleicher
Board Member

Kim Schleicher is yoga teacher and tour leader from Helena, Montana. She has a BS in Forest Biology and worked as a Wilderness Guard before beginning her travels for the Feathered Pipe Foundation. For 36 years Kim has led tours to beautiful, wild and sacred places around the world. Her favorite tours include yoga and she embraces the idea of Yogabeyonda: a practice of loving kindness and mindfulness, both on and off the mat.

Lily Shroeder
Board Member

My name is Lily Schroeder. I currently work as a traveling emergency department RN. I also do international volunteer work, using my nursing skills in a variety of capacities.

I love hiking, fishing, cooking and scuba diving. I hate single use plastic. I’m dedicated to Hands on Global and the work being done through them.

Kim Schleicher
Board Member

Kim Schleicher is yoga teacher and tour leader from Helena, Montana. She has a BS in Forest Biology and worked as a Wilderness Guard before beginning her travels for the Feathered Pipe Foundation. For 36 years Kim has led tours to beautiful, wild and sacred places around the world. Her favorite tours include yoga and she embraces the idea of Yogabeyonda: a practice of loving kindness and mindfulness, both on and off the mat.

Geshe Yonten
Buddhist Monk & Senior Member of the Zanskar Health Committee

Geshe la is deeply involved with the preservation, modernization, education and medical needs of the Zanskar community. He is the primary advisor to Hands On Global Inc. It was Geshe la who initially brought our attention to the medical needs of the community and introduced us to the Dalai Lama.

Lucia Janovicova

Lucia is from Slovakia and is currently in a post-graduate program in Public Health and Infectious Diseases at St. Elizabeth University in Bratislava, Slovakia. Lucia has dedicated her career to children’s health, working in a small rural hospital in South Sudan, then on to Kenya, India, and the Greek islands of Lesvos and Samos.

I met the HOG team on Lesvos and quickly saw that we share the same professional and humanitarian values – offering compassionate caring to each and every human being. Since then, I have been honored to become a team member in Zanskar and Samos.

Mel Koontz
Referral  Coordinator

Mel Koontz is currently a 2nd grade teacher, cross-country coach, and yoga instructor in Valdez, Alaska. Mel believes in protecting and sustaining cultures around the world. Mel is passionate about the Tibetan Buddhist culture and admires their focus on kindness and equality for all beings.  Being a part of Hands on Global Zanskar Project allows her to work with this humble and gracious population.

Lobzang Wangtak
Zanskar Logistic Coordinator & Chief Translator

Lobzang is our “boots on the ground.” College educated, Lobsang is a native to Padum and well versed in Buddhist culture and philosophy. He coordinates the translators and the complicated logistics of delivery of medical supplies, village outreach, patient advocacy and local activities of the medical team.

Karen Cooper
Massage & Bodywork Therapist

Karen is a certified holistic massage therapist, balancing body, mind & spirit in a practice that integrates multiple therapeutic strategies.  She combines her passion for others with her profession by volunteering for Hands on Global medical missions.  Over the past three years she has volunteered her services in refugee camps on Lesvos and Samos, Greece and in a Tibetan refugee hospital in Zanskar, India.  She enjoys an active Montana lifestyle travelling, hiking, trekking in Nepal and participating in local sprint triathlons.

Barbara Schwartz

Barbara Schwartz
Social Media & Webmaster

Barbara has been a graphic designer, photographer and webmaster for most of her career. She graduated with a BS in Japanese and then earned her MSFS (Masters of Science in the Foreign Service) from Georgetown University. Being part of Hands on Global allows Barbara to combine both of her passions: International Relations and Design as she travels with the group and manages the HOG social media outreach and website.