Our Mission

Rural Health Collaborative was founded in 2010 to improve rural health and empower women in Akatsi, a small district in eastern Ghana. We began by training 20 women from 20 different villages to be Kekeli Women and now reach nearly 50 communities. Our mission statement is next.

Investing in women to foster healthier communities and create positive impact in rural Ghana

Ghana Team


Alnice Agbeko

Ghana Country Director
I am from Tefle, Ghana. I completed the Secretarial Course at the State Accountancy College in Akatsi in 1996. Formerly, I was a receptionist at a private company in Accra. I recently moved back to Akatsi, where my family lives, and joined the RHC team in November of 2016. I am hard working and organized and feel I can make a difference here with RHC. I recently learned how to ride a motorcycle to help better facilitate working with and monitoring the Kekeli programs!

David Sefe

David Sefe

Ghana Government & Community Relations Director
I am from Avenorpeme, Akatsi. I attended the University of Education, Winneba and received my Bachelors of Education in Social Studies. I currently hold the title of Educational Supervisor and preside over 9 schools in the Akatsi District. I am also the Outreach Missions Director for Bethel Clinic Compassion Foundation, a Ghanaian NGO in Akatsi. I have a strong passion for health promotion and empowering communities to prevent sickness and disease and I am inspired by my work with RHC. In my free time I enjoy watching football and touring other parts of Ghana to discover new things.


Georgina Lotsu

Ghana Monitoring Director
I am from Anlo Afiavenyigba, in the Keta District, south of Akatsi. I graduated from the School of Hygiene in Ho, and am the Chief Environmental Health Assistant of the Environmental Health and Sanitation Unit. My work includes general health promotion and education related to hygiene and sanitation, as well as latrine promotion. I am also an expert motorbike rider which is rare for women in Ghana. I have four children who are grown and I enjoy farming in my spare time. I also take pride in offering counsel and advice to my home community when called upon.


Comfort Sorkpor

Ghana Teaching Director
I am from Anloga, in the Southern Volta Region of Ghana. I have worked in the Akatsi South District doing Community Health Nursing for 32 years. I retired in 2015 and joined the RHC Ghana team as a nurse leader and educator for the Kekeli women. I enjoy working with RHC and the Kekeli women because I can see the program is helping to improve the lives of people around me. My vision and motivation has always been to touch my fellow man in a way that makes their stay on earth worthwhile.


Benedicta Afeavo

Ghana Communications Director
My name is Benedicta Yayra Afeavo. I am a 26 year old Ghanaian who completed Government Secretarial School with a certificate in Business Secretaryship and Management. I love to read and have fun.

USA Team


Dr. Brandy Holloman, DHEd, MS, CHES

Executive Director
I am honored to serve as the Executive Director of such a fantastic organization doing meaningful work in rural Ghana. What attracted me most to this role and opportunity was participating in an impactful mission in the “motherland.” Until recently, I had only dreamt of visiting Africa (I visited Egypt in 2022) and feeling connected to my “lost” heritage. I am excited to use my public health and leadership expertise to propel RHC to even greater heights. I am passionate about community-based work, rural community service, promoting health equity, and providing communities with the tools and resources to flourish. I have had an exciting professional career in various public health disciplines including adolescent health, sexual and reproductive health, and minority health. I am excited to engage in maternal and child health, health education, and training through the RHC initiatives. Adding global public health to the mix is a natural fit for me.

Get to know more about Dr. Holloman’s career: BRANDY BARNETT HOLLOMAN – Who’s Who of Professional Women

Jason Kroening-Roche

Jason Kroening-Roche, MD, MPH

Monitoring and Evaluation Director, Co-Founder
Reducing disparities is why the work of RHC inspires me: disparities between the wealthy and poor, the educated and less educated, those with opportunity and those without, and those with the chance to live healthy lives and those who don’t have that same chance. Too many people die of preventable disease. This has motivated me throughout my medical training at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, my public health studies at Harvard, and my residency at Oregon Health & Sciences University. I am currently a practicing physician in full spectrum family medicine at the OHSU Richmond Clinic in Southeast Portland. I am also a father who loves sports and travel.

Stephanie Cadman

Steph Cadman, MSN, FNP

Fundraising Director
I am fortunate enough to have worked for eight years as a nurse in varied settings and countries, with all age groups and backgrounds. While the majority of my nursing experience has been spent in the ER, becoming involved in the RHC is one of the foundational reasons I became an RN. I love the long term engagement, energy and motivation vital to working with, and for, the women of Ghana. The work we do led me to further my education and I recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and am so happy to now call Portland home and work as an Nurse Practitioner in pediatric primary care!

Olivia Kroening-Roche

Olivia Kroening-Roche, CNM, WHNP-BC

Program Director, Co-Founder
I first traveled to Ghana in 2007, soon after finishing my training as a nurse. After spending time in the Volta Region and learning about the work women were doing as community health promoters, along with Jason I began to dream up Rural Health Collaborative. I returned to school to earn my Masters in Nursing as a Midwife. I currently work at OHSU, caring for pregnant people and training the next generation of nurse midwives. In 2019, I became a mother to Sebastian. I love working as a midwife and being a mother, though both leave me tired. I see my work as a midwife in the US and my role in RHC as deeply related. I believe women and pregnant people deserve information about their own bodies and how to create a healthier life for themselves and their families.

Jess Schulz

Jess Schulz, RN, BSN

Communications Director
After receiving my Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from Point Loma, I traveled to several countries in Africa. This trip helped me to envision a life of using my knowledge and resources to educate and support the poor and underserved, wherever that may be. I received the opportunity to be a part of RHC when it was formed in 2010, and I have enjoyed being part of a group dedicated to the education of women in Akatsi. I believe education is the foundation of empowerment and change, and I am proud to be a part of something that supports these same values. I am currently working in the inpatient setting as a nurse in Portland, Oregon.

Board of Directors


Sarah Hamill

Sarah is an attorney practicing in San Diego, California. She earned her J.D. degree from Pepperdine University School of Law and a B.A. in International Development with a minor in Psychology from PLNU. Sarah has spent time in Ghana, Rwanda, and Uganda working on various legal and economic development initiatives. She partners with Pepperdine Law’s Community Justice Clinic to assist in providing RHC legal services as needs arise. She loves hiking, paddle boarding, and ice cream.

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Melissa Tucker

Vice Chair
Melissa is the Minister of Congregational Care, Children, & Youth at Normal Heights United Methodist and also the Founder of Tierra Spiritual Care.  She has served as pastor in various settings – church, hospice, and university – and her work revolves around a passion for teaching, compassionate ministry, spiritual direction, mediating cross-cultural relationships and experiences, and organizational theory.  She has masters degrees in theology and nonprofit leadership and was ordained as an elder in the Church of the Nazarene in 2016 (though she has rescinded her ordination for reasons of conscience).  She considers San Diego the perfect city, funk music the best accompaniment to any mood, and popcorn the answer to every problem.

Nana Aboagye

Nana Aboagye

Nana is a Ghanaian who has had the privilege of living in South Africa for six years and the United States for 11 years. While not a medical professional himself, his maternal grandmother was a lifelong midwife who oversaw thousands of births with Ghanaian women in her lifetime. Joining RHC has been a way to honor her legacy.

Nana is currently an investment analyst with T. Rowe Price in Baltimore with a focus on retirement and life-cycle research. He was previously employed by Air Liquide, the largest medical oxygen producer in the world. In this role, he modeled the health impact of COVID in the Americas and, collaborating with researchers from the University of Washington, built a statistical model to predict the excess demand in oxygen for ventilators at the height of the pandemic. He has a B.Sc. in Statistics and Actuarial Science from KNUST in Ghana and a Ph.D. in Operations Research & Financial Engineering from Princeton University. He loves watching football and believes Lionel Messi is the undisputed G.O.A.T.


Heather Poynter-Lausch, MA

My passion for building long-term relationships with communities to tackle systemic injustices stems from over 13 years of experience in development work. It has taken me from economic development work in rural China and Haiti, to women’s empowerment in the United Arab Emirates, to breaking the cycle of poverty with Lakota on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and with refugees in my hometown of San Diego. I served as Executive Director of RHC for over 3 years and am thrilled to continue on as a member of the Board, working alongside Ghanian community members to reduce health disparities and increase women’s empowerment in Akatsi, Ghana. I currently live in Fort Collins, CO with my spouse and 3 kids!


Sean Poole

Sean is an international development professional with over a decade of experience creating and managing community development and conflict mitigation programming. He is the Director of Programs and Strategic Initiatives at charity: water, an organization dedicated to providing clean and safe drinking water to people living in developing countries. Formerly, he worked as Director of International Programs at Invisible Children. Currently living on the central coast of California, Sean has extensive experience living, traveling and working in Africa.

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Amanda Schweitzer

Amanda is a humanitarian response professional with over a decade of experience living and working in emergency settings, particularly in conflict and post-conflict countries. Based in Portland, OR, she is currently Technical Advisor for Emergency Response and Humanitarian Capacity Strengthening for a global international NGO; deploying to support emergency response activities globally. Amanda earned a BA in Sociology and Environmental Studies from Boston College and MA in Global Finance, Trade and Economic Integration with concentrations in Humanitarian Aid and Human Rights from University of Denver, Josef Korbel School of International Studies.

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Freeman Gobah

Freeman is currently the Global Managing Director of Programs at Pencils of Promise and the Lead Country Director. Under his leadership Pencils of Promise has initiated and built over 190 school projects and trained and supported over 1,000 public school teachers educating over 53,000 learners in the Volta, Oti and Eastern regions of Ghana. In 2017, he was awarded the DREAM MAKERS AWARD by the Global Investment Community for revolutionizing social programs and reforms to positively impact the welfare of Africans. Prior to joining Pencils of Promise, he worked on several community led projects in the areas of HIV/AIDS counseling, Nutrition and Care and Support for Vulnerable Children, Health Education in the Volta and Eastern Regions of Ghana.

Freeman holds a Master of Science degree in Social Medicine and Health management from the Tongji Medical College and a Chinese Proficiency certificate from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology, all in Wuhan, China. He also earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. He is a proud alumnus of Presbyterian Boys Secondary School, Legon and Keta Secondary School.


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Furnace Fps

Video and Web Partner
Furnace Fps is a video production studio based out of Chicago, IL that focuses on documentary, commercial filmmaking and branded content. Furnace Fps was founded by long-time RHC supporter Sergio Salgado, who traveled to Ghana with us in 2017 to shoot footage of our work. You can watch a short promotional video shot during this trip here. A short documentary series is also in the works. Sergio has also supported RHC through the design and maintenance of our website since our founding. Simply put, we would not be the organization we are today without this partnership over the years.

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Point Loma Nazarene University

Education Partner
The Point Loma Nazarene University School of Nursing has partnered with us intermittently since 2016. Each spring pre-pandemic, they sent a team of nursing students and professors to Akatsi to learn about global health and participate in it. As part of these trips they meet with the Kekeli Women and participate in an exchange of sorts. The students and faculty provide education to the Kekeli Women, most recently teaching them to use automated blood pressure cuffs to screen for hypertension in their communities. And the Kekeli Women provide education to the students about what rural health promotion is like in Ghana. The partnership has been incredibly rewarding for both sides over the years.

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Medic Mobile

Mobile Technology Partner
Medic Mobile is a nonprofit organization on a mission to improve health in the hardest-to-reach communities. They build world-class, open-source software that supports health workers like the Kekeli Women in delivering equitable care that reaches everyone. This aligns perfectly with what we do. We partnered with Medic Mobile from 2017 to 2019, using their smartphone technology as part of our antenatal monitoring program, which allows the Kekeli Women to track pregnant women and encourage them to deliver in healthcare facilities with skilled birth attendants. The partnership has been on pause due to challenges related to the COVID pandemic.