Our Boards

Click on names for a brief history/bio

Himalayan Health Center Board:

  • Founder & President: Ravinder Singh
  • VP & Secretary: Dr. Guy Nuki
  • Board Member: Dr. Sujata Tipnis
  • Board Member: Dr. Gary Niess

Himalayan Health Center Foundation Board:

  • President: Dvora Levkovich
  • Board Member: Tess B. Walvoord
  • Board Member: Gail Eaton
  • Board Member: Dr. Shawn Vanio
  • Board Member: Diane Lookman RN MSN

Founder & President: Ravinder Singh

A native of the Himalayas, Ravi was born and raised in Shimla in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. He has participated in and led bicycling, motorcycle and trekking expeditions throughout the Himalayas. He moved to the U.S. in the mid-1980s to pursue higher education and business interests. In 1992, he founded Himalayan Spirit Expeditions, combining his entrepreneurial spirit with his love for the Himalayas. It was on these expeditions to remote regions that he came to know of the healthcare deficiencies of the rural populations and, in 1996, founded the Himalayan Health Exchange. He has brought together a group of hardworking and dedicated staff who provide participants with a unique international health experience and a memorable adventure.

VP & Secretary: Dr. Guy Nuki

Dr. Nuki is the Regional Medical Director for BlueWater Emergency Partners, a private EM group based in Maine. After graduating from his Family Medicine Residency in Ventura CA he practiced both Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine for 6 years in rural WA. His clinical experience has been focused on emergency medicine since 2004 but has included outpatient primary care, high risk obstetrics and hospitalist medicine. While faculty at the Central Maine Medical Center’s Family Medicine Residency he helped to establish the educational program for the Himalayan Health Exchange and has led teams of medical students, residents and physicians in remote Himalayan regions of India and has lectured for the Global Health Education Consortium. Dr. Nuki was the founding director of the MaineGeneral Emergency Medicine Fellowship, has served as the Chair of the Workforce Section for the American College of Emergency Physicians and works as an Emergency Physician across Maine including work as the Chief Medical Officer for Calais Regional Hospital.

Board Member: Dr. Sujata Tipnis

Sujata Tipnis is a general pediatrician practicing in California at Palo Alto Medical Foundation. She has been interested and involved in international child health for several years and has spent time working in India, Gautemala, Botswana and Mexico. In addition to serving on the Board of HHC, she also serves on the board of the newly founded Global Health Research Foundation. She looks forward to working with HHC in striving to improve health outcomes for children in India and around the world.

Board Member: Dr. Gary Gross

Gary grew up on the East Coast and trained in California and Colorado in pediatrics and pediatric hematology-oncology. He was a migrant health care physician for a time and has retired from the Navy as a Captain. He is in pediatric practice in Southern California for eight months out of the year and on the staff at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla and Encinitas. Dr. Gross and his wife live in Leucadia. He loves sports, is an avid long distance hiker and backpacker, swims and works out regularly. In recent years he has been a medical volunteer on journeys to Honduras, Mexico and Thailand. Through trips to India with HHE and work with Global Healing, based in London, he has developed an interest and expertise in remote pediatric practice. A lot of his experience has been in mountain and tropical locales. He is a member of the Wilderness Medical Society.

Board Member: Dr. Gary Niess

Dr. Niess did his undergraduate work at Dartmouth College where he first learned to love the outdoors. He received his medical degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and did his internal medicine and cardiology at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Currently he is Physician Executive for the Novant Heart & Vascular Institute for the Greater Charlotte Market and Director of the Cardiac Cath Lab at Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center outside of Charlotte, NC. Dr. Niess got his first dose of HHE when his daughter Meredith, a student at UNC Medical School, invited him to come with her on her trip to Spiti. Besides his work with HHE he has experience in international healthcare as prior Chief of Cardiovascular Services for Emirates Palomar in the United Arab Emirates as well as in the Caribbean with cardiovascular services for the BVI. His long term interest is in advancing international healthcare opportunities for those who find healthcare hard to obtain. Dr. Niess did his undergraduate work at Dartmouth College where he first learned to love the outdoors. He received his medical degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and did his internal medicine and cardiology at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Currently he is Chief of Cardiology and Director of the Cardiac Cath Lab at Presbyterian Hospital outside of Charlotte, NC. He is Chief of Staff Elect of Presbyterian Hospital Matthews. Dr. Niess got his first dose of HHE when his daughter Meredith, a student at UNC Medical School, invited him to come with her on her trip to Spiti. He has prior exposure to international healthcare as Chief of Cardiovascular Services for Emirates Polamar, a group who worked with the Harvard Hospitals to upgrade the national healthcare system for the United Arab Emirates military. His long term interest is in advancing international healthcare opportunities for those who find healthcare hard to obtain. Dr. Niess did his undergraduate work at Dartmouth College where he first learned to love the outdoors. He received his medical degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and did his internal medicine and cardiology at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Currently he is Chief of Cardiology and Director of the Cardiac Cath Lab at Presbyterian Hospital outside of Charlotte, NC. He is Chief of Staff Elect of Presbyterian Hospital Matthews. Dr. Niess got his first dose of HHE when his daughter Meredith, a student at UNC Medical School, invited him to come with her on her trip to Spiti. He has prior exposure to international healthcare as Chief of Cardiovascular Services for Emirates Polamar, a group who worked with the Harvard Hospitals to upgrade the national healthcare system for the United Arab Emirates military. His long term interest is in advancing international healthcare opportunities for those who find healthcare hard to obtain.

President: Dvora Levkovich

Dvora Levkovich, born and raised in Israel, moved to the United States after her two years of military service where she served as a Drill Sargent training new male cadets. A trekking trip to the Himalayas in 1999 inspired her to search for an organization that would provide her with the opportunity to return to the Himalayas and use her networking ability to assist the people of that region who are in dire need. She found her calling and became a Humanitarian and a Philanthropist. She helped established HHCF in 2000 and has served on the charity’s board since that time. Dvora also volunteers each year as a non-medical assistant and joins HHC medical teams in their work at various remote villages of the Himalayas.


While at home in Chicago, she is an entrepreneur and proprietor of DDiamante Limited, the wholesale diamond and jewelry design company which she founded in 1998. She cherishes the fact that her professional life provides her with the freedom and ability to take time off to travel and be a part of the change she hopes and prays to see in the world.

VP& Secretary: William Norton

Dr. William Norton graduated from University of Georgia in 1971 with a doctorate degree in educational psychology. He has written five books on Marriage Counseling and Marriage Evaluation. Dr. Norton has traveled extensively and had been active in anthropological research work on Australian and American Aborigines for the University of California/Berkeley. He has been an active participant in many medical and dental camps with many non-profit organizations and has traveled with Himalayan Health on ten expeditions since 1996.

Board Member: Tess B. Walvoord

Tess B. Walvoord is a graduate of Northwestern University where she received her Bachelor of Science in Speech. She brings a wealth of knowledge to the Foundation board from her experience working for various media companies in New York and Boston where she ran conferences and events for the music, consumer and governmental technology industries. Tess fell in love with India on her first trip and is dedicated to raising the quality of life for the people she met through her work in the region. When she is not working to spread the message of quality healthcare as a human right, she can be found working in her garden with her 4 children at her home in Pennsylvania.

Board Member: Gail Eaton

Gail Eaton is an accomplished non-profit marketer with over 30 years of experience in advancing major institutions including New England Conservatory of Music, The Children's Museum of Boston, Egleston Children's Hospital in Atlanta, Zoo Atlanta, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Carnival Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, and the Palm Beach Zoo. In addition to service on the HHC Board, she serves on the boards of the Marshall Foundation and the Palm Beach Cultural Attractions Association. She is committed to being of assistance to Ravinder Singh in his nobel efforts to serve the people of his homeland.

Board Member: Dr. Shawn Vanio

Shawn Vainio MD is a graduate of SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and completed his residency at the University of Utah in Family Medicine. He is currently a Board Certified Family Practitioner practicing in Bethel, Alaska. He has participated in twelve HHE expeditions and has practiced in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Utah and Antarctica.

Board Member: Diane Lookman RN MSN

20 years nursing divided between Intensive Care Nursing and Home Health Care in the US of A 25 years working with my partner and husband manufacturing truck parts. Presently retired with an active lifestyle volunteering for charitable work.