BOARD OF directors

PRESIDENT | Semerit Strachan, MD


Semerit Strachan, MD, is a student and faculty member at the Cultural Wellness Center in South Minneapolis, MN. She has been the Director of Medicine at the Center since its beginning in 1996. She particularly helps community members reconcile parts of themselves that have previously been exiled from their sense of self. She is masterful at understanding and teaching the symbolic language of the Body through its symptoms of disease and discomfort, leading people to inquire “what is my body really trying to tell me?”

Dr. Strachan recently retired from the Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Program at the University of Minnesota, where she had been on faculty since 2000.  She previously worked with the Indian Health Service in North and South Dakota, and in International Health with Save the Children (US) Federation. Prior to that, she worked at Columbia University Medical Center first as a General Pediatrician, then as the pediatrician in charge of the Pediatric Sickle Cell Clinic. Her expertise lies in creating a space for the human spirit in the medical encounter, in using culture as a resource in health and healing, and in teaching young people from infancy onward how to access inner resources to change their physiology or disease process. 

Dr. Strachan holds a BA from Wesleyan University in Middletown CT; an MD from Mt Sinai School of Medicine of City University of New York; and an MPH from Columbia University. She received her pediatric training from Boston City Hospital; did a Fellowship in Ambulatory Pediatrics and in Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at Columbia University, and a Fellowship in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Strachan was the recipient of a Bush Medical Fellow Award in 1994.

Dr. Semerit is a writer, poet and artist. She is a Certified Intentional Creativity Coach and has trained as a Feminine Power Coach and Facilitator. She is a native of Haiti and makes her home in Minneapolis, MN, with her husband of 33 years, Donald Strachan. Their adult daughter, Ariele, lives and works in Minneapolis

VICE – PRESIDENT | Pierre J.A. Denizé, Jr


Pierre Denizé- Founder and CEO of ABC Educate Me.
Pierre Denizé was born in Mt Vernon, graduated from Mount Saint Michael’s Academy after earning a
scholarship to attend the school. Pierre continued his college education at Rochester Institute of
Mr. Pierre Denizé moved to Georgia and worked as an accountant for a fortune 500 company called
Communications International and he was promoted as comptroller after only 2 years.
Following his work at Communications International Mr. Denizé was awarded the 1996 Olympic project
at the Georgia Dome. Pierre received awards for this project work by NBC, Lucent Technologies, and
ACOG. For the next 3 years, Pierre worked on numerous other projects such as responsible for cabling
all the Dekalb County School System, the Atlanta Public Schools, Nations Bank (now Bank of America),
First Union, the Federal Center in Ga.
Currently Mr. Pierre Denizé is a partner at Martech Systems, LLC, a computer support, and services
company. The company has the refreshing view that the main idea behind helping everyone is doing it
right the first time! The focus of their services is to serve everyone in need of help with their computer
system without all the stress. One of Mr. Denizé’s favorite quotes is “With God, all things are Possible.”
Because technology plays increasingly a significant role in health education, Mr. Denizé’s extensive
background in computer and technology will be a great asset to the organization

SECRETARY | Pascale D Auguste, RN, BSN


Pascale D Auguste, RN, BSN is a registered nurse with over 20 years of experience in health administration and over 15 years of experience in public health.  Ms. Auguste has worked extensively with the Haitian community and also with the African American and the Caribbean American communities of Broward and Miami Dade County providing community outreach, health education and support.

Pascale is well respected in the community and has partnered with numerous community health organizations in an effort to assist the community to achieve better health outcomes.

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about our board members

BOARD MEMBER | Dr. Elizabeth Philippe


Dr. Elizabeth Philippe is a Family Medicine physician and the Associate Graduate Medical Education Director of Community Health of South Florida Inc.’s Teaching Health Center.  Dr. Philippe got hooked on helping people in underserved communities after graduating from the State University Medical School of Haiti in 1984. She discovered this passion when she was completing a one-year requirement in a disadvantaged area in Haiti. To further her goals, she pursued her studies at Yale University where she obtained a master’s degree in public health in 1986.

After working for a short period of time at the New York State Department of Health, Dr. Philippe returned to Haiti in 1987 to work as the Medical Director in the Albert Schweitzer Hospital’s Community Health Department.  In 1990, she served as the National Coordinator for the Haitian Ministry of Public Health’s Maternal and Child Health Program. Soon after, she joined the World Health Organization/Pan American Health Organization and was actively involved with its national immunization program.  In 1995, Dr. Philippe returned to the United States and enrolled at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine as a fellow in a National Institute on Drug Abuse-sponsored program in epidemiology and prevention of substance abuse.

A board-certified family medicine practitioner, Dr. Philippe completed her residency training in 2002 and then worked as an attending physician and preceptor at Jackson Memorial Hospital. In 2005, she joined CHI as an attending physician and for the past four years has been involved in the leadership of the Brodes Hartley Jr teaching health center. She is fluent in English, French and creole with a proficiency in Spanish.