For immediate release
HVO’s Executive Director Nancy Kelly to retire after 
more than three decades of leadership 
Contact: April Pinner, Director of Programs 
Phone: 202-296-0928 x 111

[Washington, DC. August 3, 2022] - Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) announced today that Executive Director Nancy Kelly will retire at the end of this year after leading the organization for over 36 years. Under her leadership, HVO has grown from placing fewer than 50 volunteers annually to sending over 450 highly qualified short-term volunteers to more than 90 project sites in 26 countries. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 HVO pivoted successfully to virtual training and currently has 32 virtual projects, as well as another 12 in the planning phase. In her honor, HVO is launching a fundraising campaign to celebrate her nearly four decades of exemplary leadership. 
While the organization’s reach has expanded over the years, Nancy’s commitment to HVO’s core mission has never wavered: to improve the availability of health care in resource-scarce countries through the education, training, and professional development of the health workforce. She has spent over three decades developing, implementing, and maintaining highly successful programs to fulfill this mission. She has remained a steadfast champion of the belief that skilled professionals, properly briefed and prepared, can be extremely effective in the field. 
Over time, in addition to virtual training, the HVO program model has expanded to include other approaches to support the mission and build on the work of short-term volunteers. HVO has developed a robust scholarship program for colleagues from project sites to attend conferences and training both in their home regions and internationally. To meet requests from partner institutions for more complex system-level projects, HVO created the Feinberg Fellowship, which supports the placement of longer-term volunteers who have specific scopes of practice. As HVO reopens projects, a new era of hybrid programming — e-learning activities alongside in-person volunteering — is beginning.  
HVO Board Chair Dr. Carla Smith remarked, “Nancy Kelly will truly be missed. Her vision and exemplary leadership created a solid foundation at HVO, and there are many exciting opportunities that lie ahead. HVO was founded on the concepts of sustainability, partnership, and equity. Nancy’s legacy is a strong, effective, and innovative organization that continues to embrace these principles more than 36 years after its founding. Here in the US, health professionals have abundant access to education and training, but such opportunities are not always readily available in the resource-scarce countries where HVO works. Nancy often says that education provides a gift that once given cannot be taken away. The strength of HVO’s partnerships is that the giving works both ways: volunteers time and again remark that they feel they received as much as they gave. This legacy of partnering to provide equitable access will continue as HVO’s core mission.” 

Nancy’s commitment to global health has been recognized with many honors. In 1998, she was inducted into Delta Omega (Alpha Chapter) Honorary Public Health Society in recognition of her role in the founding of HVO. In 2012, she was inducted as an Honorary Fellow of the International College of Dentists and awarded an honorary membership in the American Dental Association for her contributions to the advancement of dentistry in global health. And in 2021, she received the Deborah Harding Women of Achievement Award from the Women of Peace Corps Legacy. This award honors Peace Corps women whose contributions have made a significant difference in the lives of women and girls in the world. 

Since its founding, HVO has facilitated nearly 12,000 volunteer assignments and trained many thousands more health care professionals at project sites. HVO’s true impact, however, is in the improved health care provided to hundreds of thousands of patients. “It has been my honor to be involved with HVO over the years,” Nancy said. “I leave knowing the organization is on a solid foundation with an engaged board of directors, a dedicated staff, and an army of committed volunteers and donors. I look forward to seeing HVO’s continued impact in the future.” 

The board of directors has retained a search firm to conduct a national search. Nancy will remain in her position until a new executive director has been hired and will provide assistance to ensure a smooth transition. 
About Health Volunteers Overseas 
Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) is dedicated to improving the availability and quality of health care in resource-scarce countries through the training, mentorship, and education of local health professionals. Since 1986, HVO has relied on establishing equitable partnerships with hospitals, universities, medical institutes, and Ministries of Health to realize its mission. HVO’s programs utilize highly skilled health professionals as short- and long-term volunteers providing both in-person and virtual training. In addition HVO provides scholarships to on-site clinicians to attend international continuing education opportunities. HVO volunteers provide training on average to over 3,100 health professionals each year across 18+ specialties and 23+ countries. Around the world, HVO is transforming lives through education, working towards a world where all people have access to high-quality health care delivered by local health professionals.
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