Global Public Health Linkages
"Saving Lives Affected by HIV in Rural Communities, One Child, One Family, One Community at a Time!"
Board of Directors
Dr. Angela Wakhweya Essamuah is the Founder of Global Public Health Linkages (GPHL) and served as its Executive Director from 2017 – 2020. She is a Global Public Health Advisor, having served as a leader, innovator, and technical officer in notable US-based non-profits working in multiple countries in the Global South. She has served as a public health leader at the State and County levels with a major health department and public school system in Maryland. She is a native of Uganda, fluent in Luganda and Lugisu, and a current resident and citizen of the United States. She has led numerous mission trips through her home church to her homeland Uganda and her adopted Ghana.
Dr. Angela founded Global Public Health Linkages as a ministry from her home church in Boston to a small group of people living with HIV in Butiru, Uganda in 1997. The ministry became the Precious Souls Ministry in 2006 as a global outreach initiative from her new home church in Annapolis, MD. Over 80 Americans have traveled over the last 13 years to Butiru, Uganda to serve. Dr. Angela registered GPHL as a 501(c)(3) non-profit with the IRS in 2017 serving, primarily Butiru, Uganda and hoping to expand to Ghana.
Dr. Angela trained as a physician, earning her MBChB degree from Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, and attained her Master’s degree in Health Planning and Financing from the University of London’s School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and School of Economics and Political Science. She has championed a community-driven approach to combatting extreme poverty that places children, women, and families at the center of any initiative, while holistically supporting their physical, mental, social, economic, and spiritual health, and investing in community structures, people and institutions around them.
She is married with three children and lives in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
Board Member - Secretary/Field Administration Lead
April Goss serves as the Secretary of Global Public Health Linkages (GPHL) and Field Administration Board Lead. She attended the University of Maryland Global Campus for studies towards a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She has been working in health plan administration and project management for over 17 years. She currently works as Director of Operations for one of the largest health plans in Maryland, managing four major departments.
As Coordinator/Administrator of the annual Perspectives of the World Christian Movement courses for local churches from 2009 through 2019, April gained interest in participating in international ministries. She traveled to Ghana and Southeast Asia in 2015 and 2017 through her home church. In 2018, she first learned of the GPHL ministry in Uganda and was immediately touched by the plight of families living with or made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS in Butiru, Uganda without access to basic needs such as lanterns, basins, blankets, mattresses, food, clean safe shelter or to primary health care.
April traveled to Butiru, Uganda for the first time in 2018 and she has never looked back since. The dedication of the volunteers who toil day in and day out under austere conditions impressed her the most and strengthened her resolve to personally contribute to their sustenance. The beauty of the country was evident as she stood atop a hillside after a home visit. The needs to assist the rural health care system with standard operating procedures and staff training are evident. April plans to return to Uganda when travel restrictions due to COVID-19 are lifted.
April lives in Pasadena, Maryland. She has two children, both married, and a granddaughter
Board Member - Treasurer/Field Finances and Operations Lead
Randall Zyvoloski serves as the Treasurer of Global Public Health Linkages (GPHL) and Field Finance and Operations Board Member Lead. He graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. He has been working in commercial heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) sales for over 20 years. He currently works for one of the largest HVAC manufacturers in the world, managing a sales team of 19 people across multiple markets in the United States.
In 2017, Randall learned about the ministry in Uganda that GPHL supports through his home church about families living in extreme poverty with poor housing and his heart was immediately pulled to help. Once he heard from those who had traveled before, heard firsthand accounts of the challenges that families there faced, and saw pictures and videos of their plight, as well as the physical, mental, social, spiritual, and emotional impact that GPHL’s support had on whole families, he felt called to be a part of this incredible ministry.
In 2019, Randall traveled to Uganda for the first time and was immediately struck by the beauty of the country and the amazing warmth that greeted their team wherever they went. He was able to visit extremely impoverished homes where he heard first hand of their plight and the basic needs they were requesting to lift them up and out of poverty and provide them with hope to not only improve their lives but that of their families and the community of Butiru as well. He was impressed by the resiliency and tenacity of the scrappy team of volunteers who helped visit and coordinate the health care of the most vulnerable in our world, who were not only fighting to survive and thrive with HIV but battling extreme poverty. It was truly a life-changing experience for him. His plans to return in 2020 were curtailed by the travel restrictions related to the COVID19 global pandemic, however, he plans to return in the future.
Randall is married with 4 children and resides in Severna Park, Maryland.
Board Member - Social Support Lead
Leanne Lane serves as the Social Support Board Lead for Global Public Health Linkages (GPHL). She is trained as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and served as a Child and Family Therapist for over 13 years in Virginia, Connecticut, and Wisconsin, prior to moving to Maryland to join her home church on staff. For the past 14 years, Leanne has served as the Director of the Care Network at her home church, helping members find hope and healing through their marital struggles, family relationships, financial barriers, mental health crises, elder care support, and grief from the death of a loved one. She coordinates the care of members by linking them to a variety of resources within the church, in the community, and to governmental social support programs through the Department of Health, Aging, or Social Services.
Leanne first learned of the ministry in Uganda through a presentation at her home church in 2006 and was immediately drawn to it by the focus on social support and network of volunteers who visited the homes of desperately poor and sick individuals. She has a passion for educating and supporting people as they seek better health for themselves and for their families. She had no fear of HIV because she knew and understood that it was not transmitted through touch and hugging, and was aware of the enormous stigma the individuals and families must be feeling.
She visited Uganda for the first time in 2007 and has never wavered in her love for not only Uganda for its beauty and people, but for the people, she visits year after year through the home visits that have become the hallmark of the ministry. She knows many individuals impacted by this ministry by name as well as the intrepid volunteers who walk miles through valleys and hills to reach the remotest parts of this earth. In 2018, she returned on her 10th mission trip and has been a tireless fundraiser for GPHL. Her hope and vision are that all those who receive any support through this ministry may come to see Jesus Christ as the giver of every good and perfect gift.
Leanne is married with two children, who are also married, and two grandchildren. She lives in Millersville, Maryland.
Baard Member - Fund-Raising and Medical Missions Lead
Rebecca Holland serves as Fundraising and Medical Missions Board Lead for Global Public Health Linkages (GPHL) and is a registered nurse with over 30 years of clinical experience in the care of patients in acute care settings, specializing in intensive care, post-anesthesia care, and HIV/AIDS care. She is also a certified fitness trainer who combines her knowledge of health with wellness initiatives to improve the quality of life and overall wellbeing of her clients.
She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Maryland, College Park. She has worked in hospitals in DC, VA, and MD for over 30 years, and currently works for a major hospital system in the Annapolis, Maryland area, providing critical care for a multitude of patients. She brings her clinical experience to bear within GPHL by understanding the medical equipment and supplies that the ministry needs and advocating for clinical personnel to visit Uganda and raising funds to improve the community health care support systems at the HIV Clinic and the Level IV Health Center that serve the people of Butiru.
Rebecca first heard of the need for a clinical provider to join a mission team to rural Uganda through her home church in 2007 and first visited Uganda that same year. She returned in 2015 and 2019 with her husband and a medical mission team that brought much needed medical equipment and supplies. Her passion for educating and supporting people on their wellness journey motivates her to support the vision of this ministry to improve the quality of families living with HIV and in extreme poverty. She supports the community approach, the care volunteers have for their cohort of families, and the tangible ways GPHL lifts families out of extreme poverty so that they become independent and self-sufficient, decreasing the need for outside support.
Becky is married with three children and lives in Annapolis, MD.
Board Member - Health Education and Community Marketing Lead
Dr. Martinique Free serves as the Health Education and Community Marketing Lead for Global Public Health Linkages (GPHL). She has a variety of professional and volunteer experiences in Public Health within community-based organizations as well as on the local and state levels conducting HIV incidence and surveillance. She is passionate about sexual health and HIV/AIDS prevention and has dedicated her career to increasing awareness among teenagers and young adults.
Dr. Free earned her Ph.D. in Health Education at Southern Illinois University (SIUC) and her MPH in Communicable Diseases and Behavioral Health Science from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Dr. Free is a Professorial Lecturer at American University in the Department of Health Studies where she teaches and mentors undergraduate and graduate students in global public health issues of concern in the United States and internationally. Dr. Free’s other areas of interest include health disparities, maternal health issues among women of color, reproductive justice and women’s health among populations of color, health equity and justice, and understanding cultural relevance and appropriation as it relates to health promotion and disease prevention.
Dr. Free first learned of this initiative to work with individuals and families living with HIV and in extreme poverty in rural Uganda in early 2017. By the time Summer 2018 rolled around, Martinique was stepping on Ugandan soil for the first time, fell in love with “her people,” and plans to go back whenever COVID19 travel restrictions and her schedule opens up. She knows and understands that the impact of HIV/AIDS does not only affect individuals and families in the United States, but globally as well, and will continue to impact ALL of us, along with COVID19, for years to come. She seeks to do her part in educating populations, especially the youth, about preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, so that there are no new HIV infections in an AIDS-free world, where marginalized populations see tangible improvements in their quality of life. She firmly believes that GPHL has contributed to community stabilization in Butiru and that an increase in resources will expand this “bottom-up” stabilization to neighboring villages, the rest of Uganda, and other countries in the Global South.
Dr. Martinique is married with two children and lives in Laurel, Maryland.
Board Member - Program Data Lead
Denise Bannerman-Wood serves as the Program Data Board Lead for Global Public Health Linkages (GPHL). She has worked in disease surveillance and epidemiology for over 30 years. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Health Care Administration from Sojourner Douglas College in Baltimore, MD, and pursued graduate studies in African-American studies from Morgan State University. She began her career by joining the military as a medical service specialist (MEDIC), after which she joined Johns Hopkins as a Laboratory Technician coordinating the recruitment and retention of research clients. Thereafter she joined the Veterans Administration to manage a health services study. Before retirement, she worked for the Maryland Department of Health’s AIDS Administration and Infectious Disease and Environmental Administration for 17 years as a health record reviewer and regional surveillance coordinator.
Denise first heard in detail about GPHL’s work in Uganda in the Spring of 2020 at a Fundraiser Luncheon. She was immediately impressed by the numbers of people being helped tangibly by GPHL to lift them out of extreme poverty, to assist them with their HIV-related health care needs, and the focus on program data and evaluation, a rare focus of many programs. She immediately committed to helping in any way she could and joined the Board in the Fall of 2020.
Denise has never been to Uganda or Ghana, nor traveled to Africa but she looks forward to the day that she will first set foot on African soil. Her plans to travel in 2020 were curtailed, like many, by the COVID19 global pandemic. However, the pictures and videos she has witnessed of the work being done by GPHL in Uganda not only humble her but give her joy that so many living in extreme poverty and with HIV are being helped at such a great time of need.
Denise Bannerman-Wood currently lives in Baltimore, MD.
Nana Addo serves as Web Master for Global Public Health Linkages (GPHL). She is a graduate student at The George Washington University, set to graduate with her MPH in Global Health Program Design, Monitoring, and Evaluation in 2022. Nana graduated with her BA in International Affairs, with a concentration in Global Public Health 2019. Her family comes from Ghana, which she has visited many times. She is passionate about the mission of Global Public Health Linkages and has great compassion for the people in the Global South impacted by HIV/AIDS and other preventable infectious diseases. She is passionate about the impact of health education and behavioral change on the health of individuals, families, and populations.
She has not yet visited Uganda but hopes to, as soon as COVID19 travel restrictions ease and after graduation. She encourages all young people to get involved in tangible ways with global public health since they are the future and can significantly impact health outcomes through prevention.
Nana lives in Washington, DC.