(Photo: Konbit Sante volunteers Nan Nickerson, left, and Nicole Wolf at a fundraiser for Unite de Lutte pour la Sante Health Center.)
Nancy Nickerson’s volunteerism at Konbit Sante is a reflection of her many skills and talents that include nursing, teaching, fundraising, and supply management. She and her husband, former Konbit Sante executive director Nate Nickerson, have been devoted to the organization since the beginning.
A native of Medford, Mass., Nan (as she is fondly known) was exposed to the healthcare industry at an early age: Her father worked at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, starting out as an accountant and finishing as chief financial officer. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing, and is a nurse practitioner with a clinical focus on internal medicine and certifications in adult and geriatric care.
Nan’s love of Haiti dates back to 1981, when she spent time in the country as a volunteer nurse. When Nate became involved with Konbit Sante, first on a volunteer basis and then as its first executive director, she jumped in with both feet to help.
“I never lost interest in or attraction to Haiti and its culture, so it seemed a natural step to start volunteering with Konbit Sante,” she said.
Nan has traveled to Cap-Haitien numerous times as a volunteer for Konbit Sante, most notably at Justinien University Hospital, where she helped to develop educational resources for the internal medicine service and provided educational support for the school of nursing.
These days, her volunteerism is focused in Maine, where she helps organize supplies at Konbit Sante’s warehouse, assists in the sale of Haitian metal art, and participates in numerous fundraising campaigns. Whenever there is a task to be tackled, Nan is ready and willing to take it on.
Nate retired from the executive director’s post in 2020, but both he and Nan continue to serve Konbit Sante on a volunteer basis.
“I continue to support Konbit Sante because of its compelling mission and the thoughtful, respectful and comprehensive approach the organization has taken to engaging with our brothers and sisters in need in Haiti,” Nan said.