Here’s how DAHEI is working to reduce educational and health care inequities in Dominica and the Eastern Caribbean.
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Dr. Ann-Marie La Ronde-Richard Ph.D was born and raised on the beautiful island of Dominica in the Eastern Caribbean. Like many Dominicans, Dr. La Ronde-Richard migrated from her native island to the U.S to further her education. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from Suffolk University in Boston and then completed her Doctorate in Pathology at Boston University School of Medicine.
Having fulfilled her educational and career aspirations, Dr. La Ronde-Richard took the next step to fulfill a long-standing desire to create a path for a better life for those who are less fortunate in her native island, Dominica. This prompted the creation of ‘the Dominican Health and Education Initiative, in partnership with her cousin, Farrah La Ronde-Hutchison. Together, they strive to fulfill a common vision of reducing health and educational insufficiencies and improving the quality of life for individuals, families and communities in their homeland.
Dr. La Ronde-Richard currently works as Patient Engagement Lead in the Internal Medicine Research Unit at Pfizer in Massachusetts, a role that allows her to serve as a bridge between scientists and patients, ensuring that scientists who are developing innovative therapies for disease can better understand the unmet needs of diverse patient populations and develop therapies that will deliver clinically meaningful outcomes for patients and their families all around the world.
Dr Fontaine is a native of the Caribbean Island, Dominica. In 1999 she graduated from Ross University Medical School. She continued her education in Medicine at the University of West Virginia in Morgantown where she completed her residency in Internal Medicine in 2002 and fellowship in Hematology/Oncology in 2005. Dr. Fontaine joined New Mexico Cancer Center in January 2006. She practices at the main site in Albuquerque and satellite clinic in Gallup, NM. Her curiosity in the relationship of genetics and cancer lead her to specialized training at the City of Hope in 2010, earning a certificate in Cancer Genetics.
She has a keen interest in the business of medicine and hence earned a physician executive MBA from the University of Tennessee in 2012. In January 2017 she was appointed as Chief Medical Officer allowing her among other duties to work on the development of clinical pathways in the management of cancer.
For the last 6 years she has been voted by her peers as the top Hematologist/Oncologist in Albuquerque published in TopDOCS by Albuquerque the Magazine. She became a member of the board of DAHEI in 2019 and is excited to serve in assisting her beloved Dominica.
Dr. Nicole LaRonde spent her early formative years in Dominica, the Nature Island of the Caribbean, where she graduated as valedictorian of her Convent High School class. She learned to love science from reading her father’s extensive science magazine collection and moved to the US to attend Rivier College in Nashua, NH, (now Rivier University) where she majored in Chemistry, with a minor in Biology, and graduated magna cum laude.
She moved to Baltimore to attend the Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology (BCMB) program at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. LaRonde found her love for structural biology as a senior in college. She then moved to the National Cancer Institute Macromolecular Crystallography Laboratory where she pursued a deep interest in ribosome biogenesis and solved the first structures of the atypical RIO kinases, earning the FEBS Journal Research Prize for Young Scientists in 2005. She is now Associate Professor at University of Maryland in College Park, MD, where she has also mentored post-doctoral fellows, graduate, undergraduate, and high school students in research. Dr. LaRonde understands, first-hand, the struggles of underrepresented minority (URM) scientists in today’s science culture and is strongly committed to the cause of increasing URM representation in science and bringing science to underserved populations.
Our Shared Vision
The vision of DAHEI is to reduce health and education inequities in the Eastern Caribbean Islands by improving the quality of life for individuals and families through:
- Enhancing technology and training in medical facilities.
- Improving literacy by providing support for higher education.
- Providing quality training and resources to educational institutions.