Global Offsite Care is a group of Rotarians and supporters who are enthusiastic about spreading the benefits of telemedicine worldwide to provide high quality care to the underserved using affordable technology.
We recognize that as technology evolves, it becomes more and more practical to connect patients with medical specialists who are not nearby and in fact may be in a distant country. Remote consults from medical specialists to local doctors can save lives and bring practical solutions to medical problems faced by patients no matter where they happen to live.
- A US based 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Humanitarian and all-volunteer.
- Formed 5 years ago by a group of Rotarians who saw the opportunity to help prevent and cure disease by promoting Rotary club-sponsored telemedicine projects
- Works with Dr. James K. Gude to build an international network of doctors that provides continuing medical education and remote consults
- We have a board of directors with 11 members from 6 Rotary clubs
- We currently have 12 telemedicine projects in 11 countries –5 countries in Africa, 4 countries in Asia and 2 countries in the Caribbean
Global OffSite Care is a catalyst for increasing access to specialized healthcare for all, and providing technology platforms to doctors and clinics around the world through Rotary Club sponsored telemedicine projects.
In July 2012, President Gail Thomas of the Rotary Club of Sebastopol Sunrise announced an initiative to spread telemedicine using the approach that Dr. Gude, a local telemedicine pioneer, has used successfully in Northern California. Mikel Cook, International Chair for 2012-13, took on the challenge and has been joined by Rotarians from several other Rotary clubs to make telemedicine projects a success.
As more Rotary Clubs joined us in promoting telemedicine through Rotary club projects, we saw a need to establish an organization to coordinate the initiative that can provide continuity beyond the initial year and location.
What is Global OffSite Care?
Mikel Cook – President of Global Offsite Care and former Chair of the International Service Committee for the Rotary Club of Sebastopol Sunrise. Mikel loves telemedicine because as a computer consultant with thirty years’ experience he likes the combination of medical with new technical capabilities. It is a great way to blend two passions he has. Mikel has experience working in startups and also working with global firms to roll out computer programs worldwide. Mikel has been a Rotarian since the year 2000 and recently received District 5130 recognition for consistent contributions in international service.
Gail Thomas – Past President of the Rotary Club of Sebastopol Sunrise 2012-13, is Treasurer of the special local government district formed to support our local hospital, has been a Rotarian for many years. Her background includes having been Registrar at Duke University School of Medicine which gave her insight into how doctors train and who gets to be a licensed physician. She also served for several years as a senior official in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare as it was being transformed into two separate cabinet level departments. She was also a successful entrepreneur as a landscape designer.
Brian Bauer – Brian was a marketing and sales executive for a high tech company who traveled frequently on business. He ended that successful career and launched Resynergi, a company that makes equipment to recycle plastic by turning into diesel fuel. He spent some of his childhood in Sierra Leone and visits his family in the Philippines whenever he can. Brian has exciting ideas for how we can add elements such as solar panel technology to enable telemedicine in areas where reliable electricity is a challenge.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
In addition to the founders the following people make up our diverse board of directors:
Jeff Dunbar – CEO of the administrative arm of Dr. James K. Gude’s telemedicine company. Jeff has an in depth background in healthcare industry marketing and sales. He also works for In Touch Health, the premier telemedicine equipment company based in the United States. Jeff has expertise in telemedicine operations. Jeff’s family is involved in high level sports competition, especially running, swimming and soccer.
Dr. James K. Gude, Medical Director – Dr. Gude joined the board in 2013, but he has worked with Global OffSite Care and its Rotary club sponsored projects from the beginning. He is a distinguished physician with board certifications in Pulmonology, Critical Care, and Internal Medicine. He is on the faculty at the University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine. Dr. Gude co-lead the medical residence program in Sonoma County, California for over twenty five years, so he has many years experience teaching doctors.
Jon Putman – Jon joined the board in 2014 when he was telemedicine sales engineer. He had worked for In Touch Health and met Dr. Gude. When he heard about Global OffSite Care, he offered his expertise in setting up telemedicine equipment He also has deep connections with Haiti where he helped after the earthquake in 2010. He enjoys his volunteer work as founding president of the Rotary Club of Charlotte End of the Week.
Princess Dr. Frances Kemelagha – Princess Kemelagha is a distinguished doctor from Nigeria. She is a member of the Rotary club of Yenagoa. She has become the telemedicine ambassador in Africa representing Global OffSite Care . She is focused on expanding telemedicine practice throughout Africa and the world.
Jim Becker – Jim Becker is a member of the Rotary Club of Petaluma. He has been a Rotarian for over 20 years and is especially interested in international service. He is widely traveled and has visited Bangkok and Shanghai every year for several years. He has built up an extensive network of Rotarian contacts who are active in international service. Jim traveled to Kathmandu, Nepal in November 2015 to launch a telemedicine project at the Kathmandu Institute of Science and Technology School of Medicine. The country is still recovering from the April 2015 earthquake. Jim has extensive connections with Rotary in China and has helped lead the project in Shanghai which began in July 2017.
Jim Symons – Jim is an attorney and member of Rotary Club of Petaluma. He traveled with Dr. Gude, Mike Cook and Jim Becker to Shanghai in 2016 to explore setting up a telemedicine project in connection with a Gift of Life global grant project of the Rotary Club of Shanghai. Jim assisted with the Shanghai doctors exchange project in 2017 which involved Dr. Gude and medical profesionals and Rotarians visiting the Children’s Hospital of Fudan University in Shanghai and then four doctors from Shanghai visiting California to learn about how telemedicine is practiced here.
Xiaoling Zhang – Xiaoling is an active community member and joined the Rotary Club of Rancho Cotati in 2017.She has been working in accounting over 10 years. Xiaoling was born and raised in Hunan Province, China. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in music in China and worked as a music instructor before emigrating to the United States in 1996. In her spare time she enjoys music, traveling and yoga.
Stephen Powell – Steve is a member of the Rotary Club of Petaluma who is very interested in international service and in the telemedicine project. He has participated in hosting visitors from Shanghai and from Uganda in 2017 and helped with linking UCSF Benioff Hospital with Fudan Children’s Hospital in December, 2017.
Ferheen Abbasi – Ferheen is a premed student and a member of the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley. She is the Communications Director of Global OffSite Care and manages the social media pages and our newsletter.