Board of Directors

Lynn Bassini, MA, OTR, CHT


Originally from Guatemala City, Lynn graduated from University of Pennsylvania in 1977 with a BS in Occupational Therapy and in 1982 a Masters in Biomechanics and Ergonomics from New York University. She has been a hand therapist since the foundation of the American Society of Hand Therapists in 1977. From 1979 to 1982 she was a therapist and chief at Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn, New York. Since 1981 Lynn has been in private practice. She passed the first certification in hand therapy offered in 1991 and later became an item writer for the Hand Certification Exam.

She has presented at many conferences and published several research papers co-authored with hand surgeon. In 1998 she became the recipient of the Vargas Award and traveled with Dr. Alan Freeland to Venezuela. In 2001 she was asked to serve a three year term in the Board of Directors for the AAHS and in 2004 organized and led the Vargas mission to Guatemala. Lynn was awarded the 2006 Paul Brand Award and the American Association for Hand Surgery Humanitarian Award in 2016.

Sharon Andruskiwec, PT, CHT

Ms. Andruskiwec has she has practiced as an Orthopedic Physical Therapist for over 30 years. She has been certified as a Hand Therapist since 1999. Presently she is responsible for providing hand and upper extremity therapy as well as development and supervision of the hand programs for Orthopedic Specialty Group in Fairfield Connecticut. Sharon was the AAHS 2004 Vargas Award recipient which brought her to Guatemala on the teaching and medical mission that resulted in the establishment of GHHF. She is active in American Society of Hand Therapists, American Association for Hand Surgery, and on the board of the Orthopedic Specialty Group Education Foundation.

Allan Freeland, MD

Dr. Freeland is distinguished clinician and professor emeritus at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He has been a clinician/teacher of the year, past President, and accompanying physician for the Vargas Award to Venezuela of the American Association for Hand Surgery. Other credits include the International Fellowship Program and Best Surgeons in America (Hand Surgery). He has authored many articles, chapters, and books on hand surgery topics. Dr. Freeland has participated in the training of many hand surgeons in the United States and around the world.

Patel Mukund, MD

Dr. Patel is Board Certified in Orthopedic Surgery and Hand Surgery and is an Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, Attending, Chief of Hand Surgery Service at University Hospital of Downstate Medical Center at Long Island College Hospital, in Brooklyn and Richmond University Medical Center in Staten Island, New York.Dr. Patel has authored many articles on the subject of Hand Surgery and has written a chapter in Green’s Operative Hand Surgery. He has led medical missions to India and was an accompanying physician on the Vargas 2004 trip to Guatemala. He is a member of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and American Association for Hand Surgery. Dr. Patel is a Diplomat of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Miguel Pirela-Cruz, MD

Dr. Pirela-Cruz is currently the Chairman and Professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at The Paul L. Foster School of Medicine /Texas Tech University in El Paso, Texas. He is also a President of the Thomas Jefferson Hand Club, Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Pirela-Cruz is also a member of many professional organizations including the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, American Association for Hand Surgery, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and ASHT. He has received research and educational grants, published many articles, and has been involved in community service around the world. He is a talented artist and musician. Dr. Pirela-Cruz was the co-leader and accompanying physician on the Vargas 2004 mission.

Warren Schubert, MD, FACS

Dr. Schubert has been practicing plastic surgery in the Twin Cities since 1991. Currently he is working as a staff physician at most hospitals in the East Metro area. Dr. Schubert is active in the University of Minnesota Plastic Surgery Residency Program and Chair of the Department of Plastic & Hand Surgery at Regions Hospital. He is also on the Board of Trustees for the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons, AO International, and the Society for Peripheral Nerve. His areas of interest include maxillofacial surgery, aesthetic surgery, and hand surgery. Voted a “Top Doctor” by Minneapolis/St.Paul Magazine.

Mona B. Lipson, MPA,

Development Director

Mona co-founded the Guatemala Healing Hands Foundation in 2004 and continues to lead volunteer groups to Guatemala today. Mona is currently the Director of Strategic Advancement and Corporate Citizenship for Voss Foundation and was previously Director of Corporate Partnerships for the Girl Scouts of the USA, responsible for managing national Girl Scout partnerships with corporations like Dove, Google, and MetLife Foundation. Previously, Mona led the development department at TheatreworksUSA, the nation’s largest serving nonprofit theatre company for young audiences. Mona holds a Masters of Administration in Nonprofit Management from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at NYU and a Bachelor of Science from Boston University.