Project Haiti Founders
Dr. Paul Severson & Patty Nelson
Project Haiti Board of Directors
Dr. Paul Severson (President)
Dr. Severson is Founder and President of Project Haiti. Since 1989, Dr. Severson has been instrumental in sending hundreds of volunteers from all walks of life, including medicine, dentistry, economic development and construction to Haiti. He has spearheaded a regional initiative to propagate minimally invasive surgery skills and techniques in Haiti, built a state-of-the-art surgery facility at Hospital Bienfaisance (Charity Hospital), and established tele-surgery links to the outside world for the ongoing education of Haitian surgeons. The Minnesota Medical Association has honored him with their Community Service Award for his contributions. Dr. Severson continues to lead the way as President of the Project Haiti board of directors and by organizing and leading medical teams to Pignon and Port au Prince, Haiti.
Dr. Henri Lanctin has practiced general Urology for over 25 years, currently in Watertown, SD. In November 2010, the year of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, he was introduced to the country when he accompanied Dr. Severson to Pignon. He was touched when he learned about the lack of urological care in the country and has become engaged in the training of Haitian urologists and the procurement of surgical equipment and supplies. In conjunction with IVUmed, he organizes workshops to train residents and urologists in general urology, vesico-vaginal fistula repair and male urethral reconstruction. He has participated in the formation of the Global Association for the Support of Haitian Urology (GASHU) and sits on the advisory board. He is currently involved in the development of a urology teaching center at Hopital St. Francois de Sales in Port-au-Prince where he is spearheading efforts to establish a stone treatment center. In February 2014 he was given an award by the Aesclepius Medical Society on Long Island, NY for his dedication to education in Haiti.
Dr. Frank Burks (Reconstructive Urologist)
Dr. Burks received his Bachelor of Arts degree (cum laude) from The University of Missouri-Columbia and medical degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine. He completed his internship and Urology residency at William Beaumont Hospital, with continued fellowship training in Trauma and Urologic Reconstructive Surgery at Detroit Receiving Hospital.
Dr. Burks provides expertise in the management of urologic trauma and complex urologic reconstruction including the surgical treatment of urethral stricture disease, erectile dysfunction and incontinence.
Dr. Burks has multiple peer-reviewed publications on voiding dysfunction, neuromodulation of the lower urinary tract and management of urethral stricture disease and urologic trauma. He is and active member of the American Urologic Association and Société Internationale d'Urologie and has travelled nationally and internationally to scientific meetings and as an expert in the field of urethral stricture disease and urologic trauma.
Ron Vitales has been a part of the Project Haiti team since 1996. He provides oversight to the functionality of the surgical suite, and coordinates the utilization of the numerous manufacturers and generations of minimally invasive surgical instruments. He describes his job as “taking care of the little things, so the big things can happen.” Highlights include the long-term relationships created with Haitian surgeons, being part of the surgical team that has successfully completed a series of advanced laparoscopic procedures that are the first ever in Haiti, and the many personal connections made with numerous students and families in the Pignon area. Ron has worked in the medical device industry for over 25 years and resides in the Indianapolis area with his wife Tracy and their three sons.
Michael Evans is the founder of Box Line Box, Inc., he brings his expertise in telecommunications, healthcare information technology, medical imaging systems, and integration to the stage. Michael has spent over 20 years dedicating himself to enhancing the world of medical education with technology. He is a pioneer in the development of the integrated operating room. He co-founded Infomedix Communications Corporation, which was acquired by Stryker Corporation (NYSE: SYK) in 1999 and is now the Stryker Communications Division. After working with Stryker for several years Mike founded Box Line Box, Inc. to continue pushing the boundaries of live surgery as it is applied to medical education. He is an expert in clinical telecommunications and telemedicine with experience in remote locations and disaster zones. He brought the first-ever live surgeries from a forward operating hospital in Afghanistan as well as the rural countryside of Haiti.
Patricia Lanctin works in a Urology Clinic as a Medical Assistant in Watertown, SD. Since 2011 she has been a valuable member of the Project Haiti team. In addition to serving as secretary to the Board, she has assisted with the planning and implementation of Urology workshops in Pignon. She has been on a number of these trips and has helped with organization of supplies, care of the delicate urological instrumentation and teaching Haitian nursing staff on the proper care of these instruments. On initial trips she was struck by the immense need of the Haitian people for quality medical care. The dedication of the Project Haiti team members who aspire to both help individual patients, and to improve the skills of Haitian Urologists has been an inspiration to her.
Jody Albers holds an bachelor's degree in accounting from St. Cloud State University. She has accounting experience in manufacturing, construction and the medical field and joined Project Haiti in 2011 as Treasurer. She lives in Central MN with her husband and two sons.
Project Haiti Colleagues