Operation Medical Logo

Our Mission:

Operation Medical is an organization of volunteers made up of trained medical professionals and other individuals committed to promoting and providing high quality medical care and education to communities that do not have adequate access to medical care.

Our Vision:

Operation Medical's vision is to become recognized as a leading organization in Central Pennsylvania for supporting a strong and varied network of healthcare providers and other individuals dedicated to providing medical care and supplies to individuals for whom such care is problematic.

How We Are Different:

We do not have boundaries to the types of medical services we are willing to provide or places we will travel. Our emphasis is on the medical needs of the community, with the safety of our patients and our volunteers being our #1 priority. Our safety and quality protocols ensure our patients receive the best care possible. All trips are carefully coordinated with local hosts and their medical community in order to optimize the success of our visit and make certain our volunteers have a positive experience. We audit results and provide training for all of our partners.

Officers:

The following individuals have been named as officers:

Mukul Parikh, MD - President

Dr. Parikh has participated in 16 medical missions in countries such as Thailand, India, Ethiopia, Malawi, and the Philippines since 2001 and has organized and coordinated surgical missions to India in 2004, 2008, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. He believes strongly in the mission of Operation Medical’s mission of helping the underserved. Dr. Parikh has served as Chairman, Department of Anesthesia, at Pinnacle Health System from 2008 to 2015 and was Vice-Chair from 1999 to 2007. He is Director of Anesthesia at PinnacleHealth West Shore Hospital. Dr. Parikh served as President, Society of Diplomates of Harrisburg (for board-certified physicians) in 1997 and is currently President of Dauphin County Medical Society. He received the International Voluntary Service Award from Pennsylvania Medical Society in October 2014 and the Distinguished Community Service Award from the Asian Indian Americans of Central Pennsylvania in December 2013. He is very involved in community and philanthropic work, both at home and abroad. When he is not working, he enjoys golf, yoga and nature walks.

John Judson, MD - Vice President

Dr. Judson has traveled on 60+ medical mission trips in the past 45 years. He spent two full years in Haiti and has traveled to the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Poland. He is interested in working to serve the medically underserved and coming together with others to share ideas and resources. He feels that a group such as Operation Medical can do much more together than the sum of an individual's singular efforts. In his spare time, he enjoys aviation, hiking and participation in the Harrisburg Rotary Club.

Mary Jensik, CPA - Secretary-Treasurer

Mrs. Jensik is a Certified Public Accountant with over 25 years of experience in public and not-for-profit auditing and accounting. In addition, over the past 10 years she has been in private practice consulting with not-for-profits and small businesses. She has served on several boards of directors in the Harrisburg area and been involved in fundraising for many of these organizations. She has been involved in medical missions for four years and has participated in three medical missions with Operation Medical in India and Malawi. Mary is an avid traveler, where she practices her photography skills and is also an accomplished jewelry designer. She also enjoys biking with her husband and quilting.

Board Members:

Ken Arthur, MD

Dr. Arthur is a plastic surgeon practicing in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, for the past 25+ years. He became involved with surgical mission work five years ago and has participated in five trips including the Philippines and India since 2011. The opportunity to use his surgical training for those who would otherwise not receive care, along with the chance to experience the culture and people at each mission site are his motivating factors for participating in Operation Medical. Outside the operation room, he enjoys music and plays guitar and sings in a rock band.

Jewel Cooper

Jewel Cooper is the Director of Business Development for LeTort Trust and Boyer & Ritter, LLC.  Previously, she was a Senior Vice President with BB&T Bank responsible for business development in Dauphin and Cumberland Counties.  Prior to that position, she was a Retail Executive responsible for the branch network in the Capital Region.  She has over 30 years' experience in the financial services industry.

She currently serves on the boards of United Way of the Capital Region, Dixon University, CREDC and Operation Medical.  She is the immediate past chair of CREDC and a past chair of the United Way Campaign.  Jewel is an alumnus of Leadership Harrisburg and is a member of the Servant Leadership Society.  She is also a member of the Legacy Society of the YMCA.  She is also active in the Rotary Club of Harrisburg.

She and her husband reside in East Hanover Township.

Staci Cretu

Staci is the owner of Uncommon Works Marketing Group, with responsiblity for developing compelling marketing programs that generate results for her clennts.  Prior to starting her own company, Staci worked for Westfalia Technologies, overseeing the strategic business marketing initiatives as well as serving in staff positions for the U.S. Army.

With over 16 years' experience in integrated marketing communications,  Staci has led successful strategic marketing programs with dynamic teams in a variety of industries and organizations during her career. Staci holds a Bachelor's degree from Pennsylvania State University and a Master's degree from Eastern Michigan University.  She serves in various volunteer positions with the Lukemia and Lymphoma Society Summer Solstice Gala, and West Shroe Young professionals.

 

J. Bret DeLone, MD

Bret DeLone, MD, is a board certified general surgeon with the Kunkel Surgical Group – Spirit Physicians Services, Inc. and is Chief of Surgery and a Medical Executive Committee member at Holy Spirit Hospital. As well, he is also an appointed member of the Pennsylvania Board of Medicine. His physician leadership includes past service as Holy Spirit Hospital Medical Staff President, as a member of the Holy Spirit PHO Board of Directors, and Chairman of the Primesource PHO Board. He is an active staff member of PinnacleHealth Hospitals and Grandview Surgery Center, and Associate Professor of Surgical Education at Hershey Medical Center. Dr. DeLone has long been a spokesperson and advocate on physician and patient issues. He co-hosts “Medical Matters,” a news radio program on WHP 580. As well, he often appears as a guest on discussion format television and radio programs, speaks at civic meetings and community events, and has provided health related testimony before the legislature. Dr. Delone resides in Camp Hill with his wife, Dr. Carrie DeLone.

Carol Donahue, RN

Ms. Donahue is a registered nurse whose expertise is in the operation room. She has been involved in eight medical missions to the Philippines, Thailand and India during the past 17 years. She has worked tirelessly coordinating and packing necessary operating room supplies needed for the surgical camps and, during the missions, functioning as the circulating nurse for all operating rooms. Additionally, she has participated in the education of local nursing staff during surgical mission camps. She enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family.

Rise' Enoch

Ms. Enoch is a consultant with a not-for-profit organization and has been working with medical mission efforts for two years. In 2014, Ms. Enoch participated in her first trip abroad to Valsad, India. She feels a sense of giving back when working with others less fortunate. She has contributed many hours of her skills and energies to ready trips for missions.

 

George Grode

George Grode has been active in the health care and insurance fields professionally and as a volunteer in Pennsylvania for over thirty years.  He served in the Administration of Governor Dick Thornburgh as Assistant Secretary for Policy and Planning and as State Insurance Commissioner.  He served Pennsylvania Blue Sheld and its successor organization Highmark in numerous capacities retiring as Executive Vice President for Government Business and Corporate Affairs.  George has been an active volunteer with a dozen health, education and human service organizations including terms as Board Chairman for Pinnacle Health System, American Red Cross of the Susquehanna Valley, United Way of the Capital Region and Drug Free PA.  He lives in Wormleysburg, Pennsylvania with his wife Brigid.

Rachel Jones

Rachel Jones is a Physician Recruiter for PinnacleHealth and recruits physicians and non physician providers with a particular focus on inpatient services.  She serves as a liason between candidates and clinical and administrative leadership, manages job advertising for both internal and extenal job boards, assists with the overall marketing campaign and event coordination and assists with onboarding and retention.  In addition, Rachel's volunteer activities include Membership Chair, Board of the Human Resource Professionals of Central Pennsylvania; Spring Fundraising Chairl, Junior League of Harrisburg; Volunteer Chair, Gala Committee Suits to Careers; Website Committee Chair,Mid Atlantic Physician Recruiter Alliance.  

Meera Modi

Mrs. Modi is a corporate attorney at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, where she represents both corporate clients and nonprofit entities. She has dedicated over 20 years of volunteer service to a variety of charitable organizations. She joined the board because she believes in Operation Medical's mission of providing access to high quality medical care, which is something that many of us take for granted. In addition to serving on the board of Operation Medical, Meera is a member of the board of directors of Tres Bonne Annee, the Development Committee for the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts and is a member of the Leadership Team of the Junior League of Harrisburg. In 2015, Meera was selected as one of Central Penn Business Journal's "40 Under 40" award recipients.

Edward Nielsen

Edward Nielsen has served as the Pennsylvania Chiropractic Association's (PCA) Executive Vice President since 2010, and describes his role at PCA as multi-faceted.  He functions as advocate, strategist, organizer, provocateur, writer, and also as a professional colleague to staff, leadership and members.

Nielsen describes his success and that of PCA as two-fold and embodied in the two pictures on his wall. The first is Harrisburg's Rockville Bridge, which is the longest stone masonry arch railroad viaduct in the world, to which he relates helping PCA to build strong and lasting bridges with members, non-member doctors of chiropractic, health providers, and key decision-makers such as the General Assembly.  The second picture is a one-of-a-kind photo of Muhammad Ali at his Deer Lake training camp in preparation for his 1977 match with Ernie Shavers, which reminds Ed of the hard work he does with PCA in continuously advocating and training-up for the good fight, whether in Pennsylvania's capitol building, with Governors' administrations, health insurers, an often ill-informed media, and any and all comers.

Nielsen has two grown daughters, who he describes as the center of his universe.  He is a long-time private pilot with an instrument rating, an avid USTA tennis player, bicyclist, and hiker.  Ed's faborite quote to live by is,"This world is what YOU make it.  It all starts with what you make of yourself." Fred Claus, 2007"

Peter Ostrowski

Peter Ostrowski is a career real estate professional working in the commercial real estate financing field for almost 40 years.  Peter has been workting with M&T bank over the last 15 years where he serves as Vice President and Sr. Relationship Manager.  Prior to coming to central PA in 2002, Peter spent the majority of his career in Philadelphia, where he embarked upon his profession after receiving his MSA from Drexel University.  In his role at M&T he provides commercial real estate financing to the area's leading commercial real estate developers and investors.  M&T encourages its employees to give back to the communities they live and work in.  Accordingly, Peter also serves on several boards including The Salvation Army, Rotary, CBMC, Republican Committeemen, past Board Member of the Carlisle Family YMCA, First Night and the Carlisle Planning Commission.  Of particular personal interest,  Peter serves at the Salvation Army soup kitchen where he leads a weekly bible study for the less fortunate, and is also active in his local church.  Peter resides in Carlisle with his wife of 35 years, Susan, and has two adult daughters, Eve and Maeve.  In his spare time you may catch Peter riding on his Road King, working on his boat or just relaxing watching tennis.

KD Patel

Mr. Patel is co-founder of Hersha Hospitality Management, LP. He has served on the board of numerous organizations, including the American Red Cross, United Way of the Capital Region, Penn State University, and Asian Indian Americans of Central Pennsylvania. He joined Operation Medical's board after traveling overseas on three separate medical mission trips and witnessing first-hand the scope of the mission's impact to those in need. He's proud to support Operation Medical's vision, as the organization's values are aligned with his own personal beliefs. In his spare time, he enjoys golfing, traveling and spending time with his family.

Advisory Board Members:

Banker Henson, DO

Dr. Henson is a general surgeon and is the founder and a board member of World Camp Inc., a NGO working in Malawi, Africa. He put through the original paperwork to found the organization while he was still in college. He has successfully led more than 200 volunteers through the World Camp program, taking the time to show each one the ups and downs of working in Africa, while looking out for the well-being of all. In addition to his work in Malawi, he has worked in South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, India, and Honduras and completed a bike trip through most of eastern Africa. He is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of North Carolina and recently completed his surgical residency in Harrisburg, PA.

Kiran Patel

Mr. Patel has over 30 years of experience in hospitality/lodging development. He currently serves as Chief Investment Officer for the Hersha Group, managing the company's complex development and financing activities. He has been a principal with the Hersha Group since 1993. In 1992, Mr. Patel founded Kunj Inc., a strategic consulting company focusing on structuring commercial transactions, development strategies and real estate development. Mr. Patel has served, and continues to serve, as a board member for various community service organizations. These affiliations include The Foundation for Enhancing Communities, Asian American Indians of Central Pennsylvania, Penn State Harrisburg, India Heritage Research Foundation and Harrisburg Regional Chamber of Commerce. Philanthropy and helping the underprivileged are some of his passions, as is spending time with his two grandchildren. Over the past five years, he has coordinated and traveled on multiple international medical missions and looks forward to participating in many more with Operation Medical.

Staff:

Michele Gaiski, Executive Director

Ms. Gaiski joined Operations Medical in May 2016. Her professional career has been in serving nonprofit healthcare organizations. Michele’s expertise is in association management, having worked for the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) for 14 years, where she served as executive director of several state medical specialty societies, Dauphin County Medical Society, and as PAMED’s director of county medical society products and services. Prior to that, she served for over 20 years with PinnacleHealth System in development and public relations, corporate relations, and planning and marketing. Michele received her degree in Business Administration at Penn State University and is a resident of Lower Paxton Township. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling and cooking.