Children’s Place International Hero Award

Children’s Place International honors individuals who have demonstrated outstanding commitments to helping children overcome severe illness and poverty.

Individuals can be nonprofit team members, philanthropists, private sector leaders, or volunteers who have played a significant role in helping children.

Past Hero Award Recipients

Leslie McLeod CPI Hero Award

Leslie McLeod

Leslie McLeod is a Senior Vice President at Alliant Insurance Services. Leslie joined the CPI Board of Directors in March of 2011. She then assumed the role of Chair of the Board in 2013 – a role she served in until June 2023.

In her ten years of service, Leslie brought our Board to the next level. She brought professionalism, energy, fundraising, and a real passion for our mission. Leslie visited our program in Haiti, she threw events, she led the development of the Board, and she has always been very supportive of our staff.

Leslie is still serving on our Board and will continue to help advance our mission in important ways.

Dr Esther

Dr. Esther Majaliwa

Dr. Esther began her career as a pediatrician at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre in 2013. The Foundation for Cancer Care in Tanzania, through the financial support of Takeda Pharmaceuticals, provided resources for Dr. Esther’s training as a pediatric oncology fellow at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa. She also trained in pediatric palliative care. As a native Tanzanian and mother of three children, Dr. Esther can relate to parents when their children get a cancer diagnosis. Realizing that every child’s life is precious and worth fighting for, she feels uniquely qualified to give hope and support to families.

Edward F. Otto

Ted is a Principal at Ted Otto Group LLC. He joined the Children’s Place International Board in 2010. Over the next twelve years, he continued to lead with his heart, mind, and ethical approach to supporting some of the world’s most vulnerable children. Through his experience in serving in leadership and as a consultant to non-profits, he has deeply understood the unique role non-profits play in society. He has provided outstanding service to the Board and to the children and youth in our programs.

Loune ViaudLoune Viaud

For over three decades, Loune Viaud led Zanmi Lasante (Partners in Health, Haiti) – a partner of Children’s Place International – mostly recently as the former Executive Director. Under her leadership, Zanmi Lasante grew to become one of the largest and most impactful non-governmental healthcare providers in Haiti. Loune also founded the first women’s health clinic in Haiti, and she co-founded a home for orphaned and abandoned children after the 2010 earthquake, named Zanmi Beni. She has received the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, was named as Ms. Magazine’s Women of the Year, and has addressed the UN Security Council on the state of children and women in Haiti.  She is now the Founding Vice Chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity – Haiti and the Chief of Gender and Social Equity for Partners in Health globally.

Cathy KriegerCathy Krieger, LCSW, MA, MA, MBA

Over thirty years ago, Cathy Krieger, then the Director of Social Services for the Cabrini Green Legal Aid Clinic, knew she had to do something more to support children and families in Chicago devastated by the HIV / AIDS epidemic. Drawing on her expertise in social work and passion for community-led change, she founded Children’s Place Association in 1989 and its global subsidiary, Children’s Place International, in 2007. Children’s Place works alongside communities at home and abroad to address the health challenges and trauma associated with poverty and injustice so that all children can thrive. Under Cathy’s leadership, the organization has been a driving force for equity and has helped thousands of vulnerable kids attain a brighter future

Mina Halpern LozadaMina Halpern Lozada, MPH

Mina has been the Executive Director of Clínica de Familia La Romana since 2011, where she provides overall programmatic and administrative leadership. Previously, Mina was the program coordinator for Clínica de Familia’s adolescent clinic and the program to prevent HIV vertical transmission (2009-2011). From 2006 to 2008, Mina served as a Program Management Fellow with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Global AIDS Program in Guyana. Prior to 2006, Mina served in a few different positions in the areas of reproductive health and HIV in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States. Mina, originally from Washington State, received her Bachelor of Arts in Government from Wesleyan University, her Master of Public Health degree from the University of Washington, and a Certificate in Managing Healthcare Delivery from Harvard Business School.

Marc JulmisseMarc Julmisse

Marc Julmisse is the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) and the Deputy Chief Operating Officer (COO) at the Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais (HUM) in Haiti, a 300-bed facility. As the CNO, she is responsible for the Nursing services at HUM leading a team of 400 staff members As the Deputy COO she shares the responsibility for the clinical, financial, and operational leadership at HUM focusing on strategic planning hospital development and capacity building.

Jerome McDonaldJerome McDonald

Jerome McDonald has hosted Worldview, WBEZ’s global affairs program, since 1994. Currently, he is WBEZ’s Environmental Reporter.

F Chite AsirwaF. Chite Asirwa, MD

Dr. F. Chite Asirwa is a leader and pioneer in the treatment of cancer in children and adults in Kenya and Sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Asirwa is the Field Director of the Oncology and Hematology Program at AMPATH, Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine and Visiting Faculty at Moi University & Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital. AMPATH is a consortium of North American universities, led by Indiana University, collaborating with Kenya’s Moi University. AMPATH provides healthcare to hundreds of thousands of Kenyans. Under Dr. Asirwa’s leadership, the number of patients treated at AMPATH’s cancer clinic in Western Kenya has grown from 400 patients in 2011 to 10,000 patients in 2017. A hematologist and medical oncologist, Dr. Asirwa’s many contributions include providing direct clinical care to cancer patients, building Kenyan and, more generally, Sub-Saharan African capacity to address cancer through oncology education and training and leading and participating in numerous research studies. Through Children’s Place International’s Healthcare Partners for Access initiative, Dr. Asirwa and the AMPATH team are currently collaborating with a team from Takeda Pharmaceuticals to establish a program to address Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and Burkitt’s Lymphoma, a particularly aggressive form of pediatric cancer.