President and Chair of the Board
Hamlin Fistula USA
Sarah Ames is a partner in the Chicago office of the national law firm Quarles & Brady LLP. Raised in Heidelberg, Germany, and attended the University of Hamburg Law School in Germany and earned an M.A. degree in German literature and a J.D. from the University of Alabama. For over 17 years she has been advising international companies on doing business in the U.S., in particular with regard to corporate, commercial, employment and business immigration matters. She frequently travels to Europe to give talks on various U.S. legal matters.
Sarah has traveled extensively around the world. As an avid marathon runner, she seeks out scenic and extreme marathons, and she is the first woman to run a marathon on all seven continents five times. She has also completed the World Marathon Challenge which includes running seven marathons, on seven continents, in seven days to raise funds for Hamlin Fistula. In addition to supporting a number of civic and cultural organizations, Sarah is an Athlete Ambassador for World Sport Chicago, a program that matches Olympians, Paralympians, and other athletes with Chicago elementary schools to encourage children to participate in sports and deliver positive messages about goal setting, perseverance, and team work. She also is active in the Heidelberg Club International, an organization that aims to further international relations with the city of Heidelberg.
During one of her many trips to Africa, Sarah was introduced to Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia through a friend. She was touched by the stories of the women who suffer from fistula and the selfless dedication of Dr. Hamlin and the staff, and she decided to get involved. Given Ethiopia is known for its world class runners, she hopes to combine her love for running with raising awareness and funds for Hamlin Fistula USA.
Joe Kinahan, B.Eng, ACWP
Board Director and Acting Executive Director
Hamlin Fistula USA
Joe Kinahan holds a degree in electronic engineering from the University of Limerick, Ireland and enjoyed a twenty-year career in technology in the Silicon Valley in Northern California. He also followed a passion of his and enjoyed a five-year career in wine-related enterprises.
In 2007-2008 Joe first became involved in work in Africa after becoming a consultant to the founder of the ‘Damietta Initiative’, a Pan-African, community based, inter-faith grass roots peace initiative.
Joe was introduced to Hamlin Fistula Hospital Ethiopia in early 2013 while visiting family in Addis Ababa. He was moved by the dedication of Dr. Catherine Hamlin and all of the staff at the hospital, and his heart was captured by the renewed sense of joy and dignity in the patients as they braved surgery to repair childbirth injuries.
Since taking a position on the board of HFUSA in December 2013, Joe continues to be inspired not only with the first-class treatment and Hamlin’s signature holistic care approach, but also by Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia’s prevention activities. Joe believes that the work of Hamlin midwives in partnership with the Ethiopian Health Ministry rural clinics is a key element in preventing childbirth injuries and ensuring all women in Ethiopia have the opportunity for safe childbirth.
Joe considers himself a citizen of the world. He has traveled the globe extensively, is an avid sailor, and a certified Sommelier.
Christina Conners, AIF®
Hamlin Fistula USA
Ms. Conners serves as an Executive for Greenway Family Office, a shared family office providing families with highly-personalized and comprehensive financial management, asset preservation, governance and legacy planning services through a shared family office structure. Dedicated to strengthening the health, wealth and mission of the family, GFO partners collaborate with a family’s existing service providers – including accountants, attorneys, bankers and investment managers – to provide objective and integrated guidance on family and wealth management issues. Within the firm, Ms. Conners assists in investment strategy development for Greenway family clients, each distinguished with their own Investment Policy Statement. As an Accredited Investment Fiduciary® Ms. Conners is trained to help clients mitigate legal and practical investment scrutiny by advising in practices that cover pertinent legislation and best practices.
Katie Bagley, R.N., B.S.N
Secretary and Board Director
Hamlin Fistula USA
Katie Bagley is a registered nurse and holds a bachelor’s of science in nursing degree from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska and a BA in integral studies from St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California. She is a seventh generation Californian with experience working in a postpartum and newborn nursery, and in medical-surgical oncology. Katie also has more than 25 years with in-home hospice work, as part of an interdisciplinary team.
Katie traveled to Ethiopia in 2009 where she was introduced to the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Christ, a small community of nuns in Addis Ababa who operate special projects for mothers and their children. Since that time, Katie has been raising funds to provide classes in small business practice and microloans for mothers at the Sisters’ Women’s Empowerment Center, and vocational training for some of the older children who are not able to attend university. Through this work, Katie became familiar with the Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa and has since become a tireless supporter of the hospital in the U.S.
Katie is honored to offer her time and talents as secretary of the board to raise awareness and funding for the work of Hamlin Fistula Hospital, the regional care centers, and the Hamlin College of Midwives: “Hamlin Fistula’s long history of outstanding treatment and prevention of childbirth injuries in Ethiopia ensures that they will be able to contribute significantly to the health and safety of mothers. This aligns perfectly with my deeply held passion to serve; this is the same passion that motivated me to become a nurse. I look forward to contributing in any way that I can.”
Katie currently lives in San Francisco, CA where she is a private nurse and enjoys gardening, hiking, travel, and spending time with family and friends.
Hamlin Fistula USA
Steve Sockolov is a retired director of marketing and engineering from Analog Devices, Inc., a major semiconductor company. He is most proud of developing young engineers and providing opportunities for women engineers. The percentage of women electrical engineers in the United States is about 12 percent; the groups he managed consistently had two times that many.
Steve is honored to assist HFUSA to achieve its goal of eradicating childbirth injuries in Ethiopia. He has always had a passion for community-building. In college, Steve supported the Special Olympics, and while deployed in Viet Nam, Steve provided supplies and volunteered at an orphanage. These early experiences left a profound impact on his sense of social responsibility.
Throughout his career, Steve contributed a significant amount of time and resources to causes including environmental protection and conservation, global health, and anti-drunk driving campaigns. He has been a loyal supporter of and volunteer for Hamlin Fistula USA for several years. Now that he is retired, he is excited to contribute more of his time and expertise to HFUSA.
L. Lewis Wall, M.D. OB/GYN, D.Phil., M.Bioeth
Hamlin Fistula USA
Lewis Wall, MD, DPhil is the Selina Okin Kim Conner Professor in Arts and Sciences for Medical Anthropology and Professor of Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis. He is also Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology in the School of Medicine at Washington University. A former Rhodes Scholar and Fulbright-Hayes Fellow, he has carried out anthropological field research on traditional African medical systems in northern Nigeria and is the author of Hausa Medicine: Illness and Well-being in a West African Culture (Duke University Press, 1988). Dr. Wall is also the author (with Drs. Peggy Norton and John O.L. Delancey) of the textbook Practical Urogynecology (Williams and Wilkins, 1994) as well as over 100 scientific articles, reviews, and book chapters. He holds a master’s degree in bioethics from the Centre for Human Bioethics and Monash University in Australia and served for a time as the Chair of the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Ethics Committee. One of the country’s first fellowship-trained urogynecologists, Dr. Wall is board-certified in the sub-specialty of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery.
Since first meeting Dr. Catherine Hamlin in 1995, Dr. Wall has been active in the field of obstetric fistula as a patient advocate, fund-raiser, and surgeon. In 2005 he was named national “Continence Care Champion” by the National Association for Continence. In 2012 he was named the James F. Hornback Ethical Humanist of the Year by the St. Louis Ethical Society for his work on behalf of fistula sufferers in Africa. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to teach and carry out research in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the College of Health Sciences, Mekelle University in northern Ethiopia in 2014. He is married to Helen Wall. They have two sons and live in St. Louis, MO.
(All photos courtesy of each director)