Experienced in the Disaster and Humanitarian Crisis Field
HELP’s founder, Randy Roberson, was mentored for 8 years by Dr. Larry Ward, the former White House Ambassador to the Hungry World (Regan administration), founder of Food for the Hungry and former VP/Overseas Director of World Vision. Roberson learned disaster logistics while heading relief operations in India, Bangladesh, Albania (Kosovo War), Colombia,Turkey, Mozambique, South Africa, El Salvador and Thailand. Roberson is now also an internationally sought after consultant in disaster management and preparedness with client governments from the United States to Parliament in Cape Town South Africa.
HELP Board Member Dr. Alan Michels is the Medical Programs Coordinator for HELP.
Michels has been a key designer and developer of telemedicine systems since working as a biomedical engineer with Dr. Richard Miles at the University of Nebraska Medical Center back in 1990. Michels went on to become an Internist and Pediatrician.
Both Michels and Roberson are members of the American Telemedicine Association. They have been recognized as technology and implementation leaders in international Telemedicine including most recently receiving the Award of Excellence from the Society for New Communications Research in Boston (see http://telehelp.org/2007/12/11/help-wins-2007-award-of-excellence-in-new... ).
Roberson’s initial training was in how to go in immediately following a disaster event and perform a needs analysis, making note of what areas of need were going unmet by other relief organizations and emergency crews.
Another crucial step was to establish relations with government customs and political officials and ground transportation entities. He also networks with local organizations through whom most of HELP’s relief efforts have been implemented.
HELP's focus is to work with existing organizations as much as possible to make our relief efforts more sustainable. This enables them to better keep the project ongoing long after HELP has left the disaster area. It also enables us to offer a “Hand Up rather than a Hand Out” which is a key HELP objective.
In this fashion HELP discovered its principle relief focus (noting the repeated needs) to be organization and operation of mobile medical clinics and water purification projects.