Women's Global Cancer Alliance

Archive for November, 2018

November 9, 2018 by admin

NOV. 9, 2018—Canada’s Director General Pan-Africa and Ambassador to the Republic of Haiti Paula Caldwell St-Ogne has joined our council board of directors.   “WGCA has funded and built a clinic in Gonaives, Haiti and screened more than 2,000 women for cervical cancer,” said Founder Dr. Bob Hilgers. “Ambassador Caldwell spent part of her childhood in Port-au-Prince, where her father worked for Royal Bank of Canada, and has a deep understanding of the Haitian culture and compassion for Haitian people. She will be a tremendous resource for WGCA in our next 10 years of building relationships, serving more people and saving more lives.”   “As Canada’s Ambassador to the Republic of Haiti, one of my priorities is to continue engaging with the private sector to contribute to the sustainable and long-term development of Haiti,” Ambassador Caldwell said. “WGCA has achieved great success with its clinic in Gonaives and I look forward to this opportunity to improve health standards and impact cancer among the people of Haiti.”   Ambassador Caldwell began her mandate in Haiti in October 2014. In September 2017 she was also named Director General Pan-Africa, Global Affairs Canada.   Her career in Canadian public service began in 1989 and she held environmentally focused positions before becoming Director General of National Programs at Environment Canada.   In 2005, she joined International Trade Canada, serving as Senior Trade Commissioner at the Consulate General of Canada in São Paulo, Brazil, and then as Minister Counsellor at the Embassy of the Canada in Mexico City. From 2010 to 2014, she was Consul General of Canada in Dallas.   Ambassador Caldwell received a Master of Business Administration from the University of Cumbria, UK. She earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry/environment from Queens University, Ontario.

November 5, 2018Welcomed Additions by admin

NOVEMBER 5, 2018—WGCA is proud to welcome Hilda Alcindor and Jim Frey to our Council Board of Directors.   Haiti born and educated, Dean Hilda Alcindor’s career includes service in the United States Air Force and nearly 30 years as a registered nurse. She currently serves as dean of FSIL (Faculty of Nursing Science of the Episcopal School of Nursing of Haiti) School of Nursing, ranked as the top nursing school in Haiti by the Ministry of Public Health.   She graduated from the Ecole Nationale des Infirmieres (National School of Nursing) in Port-au Prince, Haiti, and received a BA in Health Services Administration from Union Institute in Miami, Florida. She holds a Certificate in Managing Quality Health Care Systems from Florida International University. Dean Alcindor also has certifications in Quality Assurance/Discharge Planning/ Utilization Review; Case Management; CPR; Advanced Cardiac Life Support; and as an Educator.   In 2014 Dean Hilda was inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, in Washington, DC; has been active in the Haitian-American Nurses Association; and is a member of the American Nurses Association and the Florida Nurses Association. She is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Creole.   Dean Hilda has been instrumental in mentoring and placing nursing staff in WGCA’s clinic in Gonaives, Haiti. Our former clinic director, Danta Bien-Aime, studied under Dean Hilda at FSIL and is now studying at Harvard University as a Fulbright Scholar.   Ohio native Jim Frey is Senior Vice President/Acquisitions and Development with Redwood Communities, a regional developer of single- and multi-family housing properties. His 33-year career in finance and real estate includes experience with land acquisition, construction, entitlement and banking and property management.   Jim earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Ohio State University. His early career includes working as an auditor for Deloitte & Touche. Jim’s community service includes seven years on the board of directors of the American Cancer Society.   Jim is well-known to WGCA through his fundraising by bike. He raised $80,000 by biking from Mackinac Island, Michigan to Rochester, New York, a gift that was instrumental in financing development of our clinic in Gonaives, Haiti. In 2017, Jim and his cycling partners in FivesXFive rode 1,700 miles from Minneapolis to New Orleans to raise money in support of WGCA.   To Jim, cancer is personal. He has lost his father, a sister and a brother-in-law to cancer. A brother and another sister are cancer survivors.   WGCA thanks Dean Hilda and Jim for their commitment to saving lives and impacting cancer through their work on our council board.

October 29, 2018Inspired By Sisterhood by admin

OCTOBER 29, 2018—Henrietta Lacks was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping and more. Henrietta’s cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can’t afford health insurance.   Award-winning science writer Rebecca Skloot’s book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew.   Reading about Henrietta Lacks and her unwitting contribution to medical science is an experience. But participating in a discussion about Henrietta’s story and its applications today was remarkable.   The Louisville Alumna Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta sorority invited WGCA to participate in its Art of Literacy Book Club Health Fair on Oct. 28. WGCA Founder Dr. Bob Hilgers shared the challenges of cancer prevention and care in low-resource countries as well as impoverished areas of the U.S.   Sharing WGCA’s story with an outstanding group of engaged, bright women gives us renewed energy to continue our work. Their concern for and interest in the well-being of women in low-resource countries as well as those in their own communities is inspiring.   Our thanks to the sisters of Delta Sigma Theta for the opportunity to participate with them in this important event.

October 27, 2018Once Is Not Enough by admin

OCT. 27, 2018: Make no mistake about it, these guys like to cycle. Riding 1,600 miles is fun for them, but they gave their epic 17-day pedal-fest from Minneapolis to New Orleans a purpose. They turned it into a fundraiser for WGCA. The FivexFives cyclists, led by Columbus, Ohio-based Jim Frey, are significant contributors to constructing and operating WGCA’s clinic in Haiti. All because they wanted to ride bikes and make a difference. In celebration of our 10th anniversary, WGCA is proud and humbled to recognize their tireless generosity and commitment to impacting cancer in low-resource countries. On behalf of the families we serve in Haiti, our clinic staff and our council board, thanks a million, Jim, Geoff, Dick and Roger!


October 26, 2018It’s WGCA10 Day! by admin

OCT. 26, 2018: WGCA is celebrating 10 years of impacting cancer and saving lives. On WGCA 10 Day today, we’re reflecting on the many individuals and organizations that have been part of our accomplishments. To you, we dedicate WGCA10 Day with our gratitude for your support of our mission. Here’s to 10 more years of helping more families in low-resource countries across the globe live healthy lives!

October 24, 2018How Do You Spend Your Weekends? by admin

OCT. 24, 2018: WGCA Founder Dr. Robert Hilgers spent last weekend in Neenah, Wisconsin talking about the prevalence of cervical cancer in low-resource countries. Hosted by First Presbyterian Church Neenah Dr. Bob spoke to older adults and the church’s Bergstrom Committee about the connection between cervical cancer and poverty.   How do you spend your weekends?

October 10, 2018A Legacy of Service by admin

OCT. 10, 2018: WGCA proudly announces the appointment of our founder Dr. Robert Hilgers as an honored member of the Haitian Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology (SHOG). Dr. Bob was selected for his work to prevent and treat pre-cancerous lesions of the cervix in Haiti and dedication to the progress of Haitian women. Congratulations, Dr. Bob!

October 10, 2018Saving Lives for 10 Years by admin

  October 10, 2018–In 2008 a collection of committed individuals and health organizations from around the world banded together with a single goal: to reduce instances of cervical cancer among women in low-resource countries. And, the Women’s Global Cancer Alliance was born and established its headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky. During the first 10 years, WGCA focused on impacting cancer in Haiti, where 90 percent of the population have no access to cancer treatment or screening services and thousands of women suffered needlessly from preventable cervical cancer. WGCA funded and constructed the only women’s cancer screening and treatment clinic in Gonaives, Haiti. The staff of local health care professionals has screened more than 2,000 women against cervical cancer, saving lives through early detection and treatment of a deadly disease. To help local families stay healthy and receive needed medical services, WGCA provided $95,000 to support a children’s hospital and clinic in Gonaives. Through our relationships with local government and community leaders, WGCA is expanding care and services to offer HPV testing and vaccinations to more people in Gonaives and surrounding communities. Thanks to the generosity of donors from around the world, WGCA is impacting cancer every day. To join us in saving lives, click here.

October 4, 2018Last Week in Haiti by admin

OCTOBER 1, 2018—Last week our clinic in Gonaives saw seven women from Leogane. They invested $6 to $8 USD each for a 6-hour one-way ride in a cramped second-hand school bus with no air-conditioning or security protection. Women also travel to our clinic from Port Au Prince and other neighboring towns after being referred by local health care providers.

March 21, 2016Rotary Club of Louisville, Member Spotlight: Robert D. Hilgers by admin

DrBobRobert D. Hilgers, MD, MA, CAE

Dr. Hilgers is President and CEO of the Women’s Global Cancer Alliance (WGCA). The WGCA works to advance women’s health, addressing particularly those in need of cancer care in developing countries. 80% of cancers in women occur in developing countries where only 5% of resources are available for care.

Dr Hilgers is a board certified Gynecologic Oncologist and Professor Emeritus at the University of Louisville School of Medicine.

He has been in leadership positions most of his life serving close to 30 years in various posts including Professor of Gynecologic Oncology, Division Chief and Department Chairman. He trained in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and in Gynecologic Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He served as the first formally trained gyn oncologist at the University of New Mexico where he founded the Division of Gynecologic Oncology. He subsequently became an examiner of candidates aspiring to become certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology in both Obstetrics and Obstetrics as well as in Gynecologic Oncology.

He is a founding member and first president of the Memorial Gynecologic Oncology Society and served as president of the Western Gynecologic Oncology Society. He is a founding member of the International Gynecologic Cancer Society where he served as secretary/treasurer and then as its first executive director. In 2003 he was designated as one of the World Oncology Leaders by the American Society of Clinical Oncology. He is past president of the Metro Louisville American Cancer Society. Currently, he serves on the Humanitarian Committees of the American Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology and of the Greater Louisville Medical Society.

He is a member of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology, Society of Pelvic Surgeons, American Society of Association Executives, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, American Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology as well as the International Society for the Study of Trophoblastic Disease and the International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research. Previous memberships include the Society of Gynecological Surgeons and European Society of Gynecologic Oncology. He has served as consultant on editorial boards of several peer reviewed medical journals, the author of 120 publications and has cared for thousands of women with cancer of the cervix.

In 2005 he founded the Kentucky Cervical Cancer Coalition to raise awareness of our need to eliminate cancer of the cervix in Kentucky women through early vaccination and regular Pap Smear screening. He serves on the state Cervical Cancer Medical Advisory Committee and the Kentucky Medical Association Cancer Committee.

In 2008 he founded the Women’s Global Cancer Alliance to draw attention to women without access to treatment in developing countries.

In 2009 he went to Zambia to study their Cervical Cancer Prevention Program, noted to be one of the best in the world addressing cervical cancer in a developing country.

In June 2015 he opened the first full time cervical cancer screening and prevention clinic in Gonaives, Haiti, serving 90%  of the impoverished community at no charge.

His past achievements include being named Honorary Consultant, Charing Cross Hospital and Westminster School of Medicine in London, England; Honorary Professor at Sun Yet-Sen University of Medical Science in Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China; and Honorary Member of the Argentina Association of Gynecologic Oncology, Buenos Aires. He has lectured in Florence, Fukuoka, Seoul, Guangzhou, London, Buenos Aires, Bangkok, and Port au Prince. He has also been an observer of health care in Tibet, Nepal and Cambodia.

His career is further distinguished by being named one of Best Doctors of America, Best Doctors for Women, America’s Top Oncologists and is cited in the International Who’s Who of Professionals as well in the International Directory of Distinguished leadership.

In 2015, he received the Akin Humanitarian Award from the United Nations KY and became a graduate of the Rotary Leadership Institute.

A lifelong student, Dr. Hilgers holds a master’s degree in Health Care Management and is a Certified Association Executive. He is an avid photographer and continues to witness the best of Haiti through his photos.


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