Deb O’Hara-Rusckowski, a critical care nurse with years of experience working on international healthcare missions, has been elected to the Board of Trustees of The Arnold P. Gold Foundation, based in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. Mrs. O’Hara-Rusckowski has spent most of her career working in healthcare and the private sector. She now applies her business and nursing expertise to advance the work of nonprofit and humanitarian organizations.
In addition to her nursing degree, Mrs. O’Hara-Rusckowski has an MBA and a Master’s in Theology, with a concentration in bioethics. She is a Delegate for the Order of Malta’s Mission at the United Nations, focused on human trafficking and the global refugee crisis, and is on the Board of Councillors for the Order of Malta, American Association.
“We are thrilled that Deb is joining our mission to keep healthcare human and bringing her deep experience in business, nursing, and humanitarian relief efforts to the Gold Foundation,” said Richard C. Sheerr, Chairman of the Foundation’s Board. “Her insights into the nursing profession, coupled with her longtime business experience, will be particularly valuable as we continue to expand our reach into that important sector.”
Mrs. O’Hara-Rusckowski is actively involved in healthcare mission trips to Haiti and the Philippines. She has been going to Haiti for the past 12 years on nursing educational missions and continues to work to improve healthcare in Haiti. She also spent several weeks working in post-earthquake Haiti and on the USNS Comfort Ship for Project HOPE.
Her previous mission work includes trips to the Dominican Republic and Bosnia, where she was on a Crisis Intervention Team for the National Organization for Victim’s Assistance (NOVA), working with women and girls who survived rape camps. She also helped start-up Pure in Heart, a 501(c)(3) young adult group in the United States, Haiti, Kenya, Ireland and the UK.
In addition to the Order of Malta, Mrs. O’Hara-Rusckowski is a board member of RAD-AID International, the World Youth Alliance, and the National Catholic Bioethics Center. She previously chaired the Jerome Lejeune Foundation, and sat on the Board of Directors for Boston’s Healthcare for the Homeless Program. She also spent four years on the Board of the American Heart Association where she served as Chair of Public Advocacy. She worked on the Joint Committee on Health Care at the State House in Boston, and is a member of the Federal Disaster Medical Team, deployed to New York on 9/11/01.
A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Mrs. O’Hara-Rusckowski earned her BSN and MBA from Northeastern University and her Master’s in Theology from Boston College. She and her husband split their time between Andover, Massachusetts, and New York City.