WHO WE ARE
The dedicated volunteers of the Dreaming & Working Together team from the USA travel to Peru annually to provide expert professional medical care. The team includes individuals with a range of medical specialties whose technical proficiency and commitment to patient care makes a lifelong difference in individual lives.
Our team members include:
HERNANDO R. GARCIA
Founder & President
The dream of Hernando Garcia, back in 2005, was to help people in his native nation of Peru. He began simply and by himself, collecting recyclables and using the money he redeemed to bring to Lima to help purchase fans and air conditioners for medical facilities. From there, the concept of Dreaming & Working Together grew. A consumer service analyst in Hartford Hospital's health information management department, and hospital employee for more than 20 years, he has nurtured the organization from formation into an effective, life-changing and annual medical mission. Enlisting the participation of physicians and medical professionals with whom he worked, the growing team traveled with him annually to Peru, performing needed surgeries and providing medical devices to those who would otherwise be unable to afford such care. His genuine passion, commitment and enthusiasm over the years has brought relief and impacted individual lives and entire communities. In 2008, he was honored by Identidad Latina, an Hispanic newspaper edited in Hartford and distributed throughout Connecticut, for his contributions and dedication.
Dr. Andrew Wakefield
Neurosurgeon, Hartford Hospital
Dr. Andrew Wakefield is a neurosurgeon with Hartford Hospital in Hartford, CT who joined Dreaming & Working Together (D&WT) in 2006. His presence has enabled D&WT to expand its’ services and open doors we never thought were possible. In addition to his surgical skills, he has also donated thousands of dollars of surgical instrumentation that he no longer utilizes in his current practice to D&WT. Dr. Wakefield received his medical degree from University of Connecticut School of Medicine and has been in practice for more than twenty years.
Algis Maciunas, CPO
Certified Prosthetist/Orthotist, Hanger Clinic
Al. Maciunas joined Dreaming & Working Together in 2008. Utilizing measurements provided from Peru, components are collected here in the US, assembled and then fabricated into custom prostheses in Peru. In 2008, the first ten amputees were provided prostheses by Dreaming and Working Together.
Al is a Certified Prosthetist/Orthotist and Clinic Manager for Hanger Clinic in Wethersfield, CT. He graduated the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Bioengineering and then went to New York University Prosthetic /Orthotic Graduate center. He received his American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics in 1983. Al is a Lower Extremity specialist for Hanger Clinic and serves as a member of the Hartford Healthcare Rehabilitation Prosthetic Clinic. He was the 2011 recipient of the Hanger Excellence Award for Clinical Leadership and is a Fellow of the American Academy of O & P.
Karen Brecher has been with Dreaming & Working Together since 2007. She is a rehabilitative technician who, with her knowledge, created a system to better rehabilitate our patients. As Director of Rehabilitative Services at Hartford Hospital, Brecher, who holds a master’s degree in gerontology, is a physical therapist who enjoys treating patients on the hospital’s acute rehabilitation and orthopedics units and in the Emergency Department. A graduate of Quinnipiac University, Karen was a member of the first physical therapy graduating class. She earned her master’s degree at St. Joseph College, and has worked as a clinical instructor in the physical therapy programs at Quinnipiac University, University of Hartford and Boston University, among others. She has served as director of the Trauma Outpatient Clinic, and as administrative director of the Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine.
Patricia Black joined the Dreaming & Working Together Team in 2007. A physical therapist, she received her undergraduate degree from Boston University in physical therapy, and went on to earn her masters in orthopedics from Quinnipiac University. She has played a major role in the rehabilitation efforts for patients who received a new prosthesis, providing the rehabilitation necessary to learn how to walk again. She has advanced training in Manual lymph drainage, and Ergonomics, is a member of the Mulligan Concept Teaching Association, and has assisted teaching internationally.
Paul Armstrong received B.S. in Exercise Physiology from the University of Connecticut in 1992. He graduated from the Newington Certificate Program in 1996, and completed his Prosthetic Residency in Connecticut. Currently the Practice Manager for the Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics Office in Vernon, CT and the Manager of the Market Fabrication Facility in Newington, CT and Methuen, MA. Paul is an instructor in the University of Hartford’s Master of Science in Prosthetics and Orthotics program, for Transtibial Prosthetics, and is a member of the IPOCare team, specializing in Immediate Post-operative Prosthetic patient care.
Dr. Subramani Seetharama
Medical Director, Hartford Hospital Rehabilitation Network
Dr. Subramani Seetharama is a rehabilitation physician from Hartford Hospital who joined D&WT in 2007. He brought extensive education, new techniques and current protocols to create a rehabilitative program dedicated to those patients who obtained their surgery by D&WT. Dr. Seetharama attended Armed Forces Medical College in India, interned at Ohio Valley Medical Center, and had his residency at St. Francis Medical Center in Pennsylvania. He is an instructor in Emergency Medicine at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.