Denise Cucurny, President and Co-Founder, is the trip coordinator and international liaison for Women for World Health. She is an anthropologist whose background includes biological, cultural and medical anthropology. Denise has worked with numerous volunteer medical organizations in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America. From 1999- 2006 she was Director of Operations for Plasticos Foundation, a volunteer group of plastic/reconstructive surgeons who travel to developing nations performing free surgeries on children with birth defects or other traumatic injuries. She currently serves as Director of Trip Development for Plasticos Foundation and has made invaluable international contacts through her tenure with them. Denise is also working with the Himalayan Health Exchange in an effort to improve the health options to remote peoples in the Himalayan region of India. Denise’s research focus is on merging traditional and occidental medicine to improve patient care in developing nations. Toward this goal, she has been working with Edgar Rodas, former Minister of Health for Ecuador. She has been on multiple missions with Dr. Rodas’ foundation, Cinterandes in their mobile O.R. traveling to remote areas of Ecuador performing free surgeries on people in need and interviewing traditional healers in these regions.
As a Professor of Anthropology Denise has lived and taught all over the world. She has been coordinating medical missions and anthropological field schools since 1994. She has a special talent for seeking out and developing strong relationships with those we work with around the world, regardless of their cultural or socioeconomic backgrounds. She is the liaison between the host country, Women for World Health, medical teams, patients, family members and local community leaders. Denise continues her work with Tibetan refugees in northern India, shamans in the Amazon, traditional healers in the Andes and occidental medical practitioners in the third world as well as the U.S. and Europe. “The medical needs in the third world are critical and diverse. I want to offer a variety of medical options to improve the lives of individuals in poor nations. To give someone hope is the best gift I can offer.”