Patricia O’Neill, PHD

Board Member

Originally from Buffalo, New York, Patricia obtained her Bachelor’s degree in European History from the University of Pennsylvania and her Ph.D. in Chinese History from the University of Washington. In the late 1970s, she moved across the world to study Chinese in Taiwan (Republic of China) at the Stanford Language Institute, and while there, serendipitously met a Dutch surgeon, Marinus “Dick” Koning, at Taroko Gorge Hot Springs on Christmas Eve. Thus began a 40+ year partnership of traveling the world, broadening their horizons, and joining other global community members to make the world a better place, one grain of salt at a time.

Their journey led them to Central Oregon, where Dick immersed himself in his general surgical practice, while Patricia taught history at Central Oregon Community College and at Oregon State University-Cascades Campus, while also actively promoting global awareness at the college level through professional organizations such as the World History Association and Semester at Sea.

After 30+ years, as their three children were launched into adulthood, Patricia and Dick entered the “3rd“ half of their lives where they could apply their combined years of skills and expertise with their passion for international non-profit causes. Together with Dick’s twin brother, Jan, they created the ReachAnother Foundation to act as a catalyst to establish a network of pediatric neurosurgical Centers of Excellence dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and aftercare of children born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus in Ethiopia.

What are spina bifida and hydrocephalus?

Spina bifida and hydrocephalus are neural tube defects (NTDs), which are birth defects that affect a baby’s spine, spinal cord, or brain.

Normally, a fetus’ neural tube develops into their brain, spinal cord, and spinal column, but if a mother does not have sufficient folic acid in her diet during pregnancy the neural tube does not fully form or close completely.

Spina bifida, “open back,” occurs when the spine has failed to close properly during the first month of pregnancy. Surgery is needed to close the defect immediately after birth to prevent infection and preserve the existing function in the spinal nerves. Approximately 90% of babies born with spina bifida are also impacted by hydrocephalus, “water on the brain.”

Babies born with hydrocephalus suffer a fluid build up in their brain, which causes an enlarged head and, if untreated, will cause brain damage and death. Treatment of hydrocephalus consists of implanting a shunt to drain the excess fluid. When treated in a timely fashion, the overwhelming majority of these babies can go on to lead healthy lives.

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“It was incredible to be able to volunteer in the hospital as a medical student and watch as the life of a child with hydrocephalus was forever changed. But it also gave me the chance to realize that giving a life to one child also means helping that child's mother, father, family and loved ones. It provides the community with hope to know that someone cares and is willing to help.”

Lacey Menkin MD

Orlando, Florida Medical Student

We are committed to

Expanding pediatric neurosurgery capacity to save more lives

Expanding pediatric neurosurgery capacity to save more lives

Expanding pediatric neurosurgery capacity to save more lives

John Moseley, PHD

Board Member

John received his BS, MS and PhD degrees in Physics from Georgia Institute of Technology, and has received multiple awards for his research there, at SRI, and at UO. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the AAAs, is listed in Who's Who in Frontier Science and Technology, in America, and in the World. He has participated at the National and International level in numerous scientific and educational committees and activities. At the local level, he has participated in a number of research, economic development, and arts related initiatives.

Dr. Moseley retired in 2006. He and his wife, Susan, live in Eugene, OR.
John has participated in visits to Ethiopia as a volunteer member of the ReachAnother Foundation team 2015 and 2017.

"My wife Susan and I first became interested in the work in Ethiopia through our friendship with Dick and Patricia. After attending a fund-raising dinner in Bend in 2012, my wife we hosted one in Eugene, and became increasingly involved, so when I was asked to join the Board in 2014 I was more than happy to do so. Participating with the team in Ethiopia in 2015 helped me to realize the effectiveness and potential of this effort, and I have appreciated the opportunity to help ever since."

We’re in it for the babies. For the families.
For Ethiopia. For the world.
We are dedicated to this work, our human family and to one another.
We are united to transform.
We are a catalyst for change.