The Dominican Health and Education Initiative is a charitable non-profit 501©3 organization. The purpose of the organization is to elevate the health and education standards on the island of Dominica through enhancing technology and training in medical facilities as well as providing the educational resources needed to ensure that every child has the opportunity to obtain an education. The organization strives to create a model sustainable society in Dominica with an enhanced quality of life and improved literacy throughout the island.

There is an urgent need on the island for medical intervention, in particular, medical equipment and supplies. The Dominican Health and Education Initiative seeks to bring together the Dominican diaspora and friends from all around the world to join us in acquiring life- saving medical equipment that will enable early screening and diagnosis of disease and delivery of quality treatment that could greatly improve outcomes for individuals and families on the island.

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About Dominica

Dominica’s location is 15 degrees North latitude and 61 degrees West longitude. The island sits midway along the Eastern Caribbean archipelago, just a few miles from Martinique to the south and Guadeloupe to the north. Its official name is the Commonwealth of Dominica, which is mostly referenced in official communiqués and to distinguish the island from its northerly Caribbean sister, the Dominican Republic. Known as “The Nature Island,” Dominica’s tropical rain forests cover two thirds of the island, and are home to 1,200 plant species. The Morne Trois Pitons National Park was the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in the eastern Caribbean.

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The DAHEI Board


Founder: Dr. Ann-Marie La Ronde-Richard Ph.D

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 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 Cambridge, 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.

Medical Director: Annette C. Fontaine MD. MBA

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.

Business Advisor: Farrah La Ronde-Hutchison

Farrah La Ronde-Hutchison was born and raised on the Nature Isle of the Caribbean, Dominica. Known for its culture, biodiversity and large centenarian population, Dominica instilled in Farrah a respect for nature, the environment and the power of healthy living. Farrah completed her degree in Environmental Science with specializations in Biology and Chemistry. After much success in her industry, Farrah found a growing need of wellness education. This was her inspiration to create Gaia’s Essence.

With over 12 years experience of running her successful business, she has been featured in Natural Awakening Magazine and was included in the top mompreneurs on Long Island by Newsday.


Established 2014

We have come such a long way and we never forget where we came from. Here are some fun pictures from our launch meeting.

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We invite our friends and supporters from all around the world to join us in our mission to bring quality health services to individuals and families in need and provide quality training and educational resources to ensure our children get the best education for future success.