We are fundamentally changing health care in rural Ecuador. We provide quality, sustainable medical services today in our two hospitals/clinics, while training family physicians to become the rural health care leaders of tomorrow. Through the Andean Health Institute, we conduct research, measure our impact, seek to influence policy, and share the lessons we’ve learned with the global health community.

Pioneered by Dr. Gaus


Dr. David Gaus is the founder of AHD and has served as its Chief Executive Officer since 1994.

David grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and attended Notre Dame where he received an accounting degree in 1984. After a soul-searching conversation with then University President, Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, David traveled to Ecuador where he spent two years volunteering at an orphanage. There he witnessed the marginalization of a population of mostly women and children who lacked access to even basic health services.

Click here to learn about Long Road from Quito, the inspiring book about Dr. Gaus’s journey.

View Dr. Gaus’s Full Bio

Championed by Fr. Hesburgh


Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh (1917-2015) is the Founding Chair of Andean Health & Development. As the longest standing President of the University of Notre Dame, Fr. Ted was a mentor to many, including Dr. David Gaus whom he encouraged to pursue a life dedicated to the people of rural Ecuador.

Fr. Hesburgh remained involved with Andean Health & Development until his death in 2015. His humanitarian legacy lives on through Hesburgh Hospital in rural Ecuador.

Fr. Hesburgh’s inspiring career and his role on the civil rights commission is highlighted in the documentary Hesburgh, which is available for purchase and on streaming. The Hesburgh family designated Andean Health as the recipient of the film’s proceeds.

Operated and Sustained by Ecuadorians


Andean Health & Development’s healthcare system is staffed with 100% local Ecuadorians, and 75% of its employees are women.

We work with and for the communities we serve. We do not operate a parallel system to the public one; instead we believe that working within the existing system is the only way to transform it.

Learn More

Supported by you

We raise funds to bring Hesburgh Hospital and our residency programs to full operation and financial self-sufficiency and to cover indigent care until surpluses are high enough to cover our poorest patients. We are also investing funds raised in the U.S. into the “Andean Health Institute,” which is housing research and sharing lessons learned with the greater global health community.

Join us in our mission to change the world, one region at a time.


Advisory Board & Management


Our Advisory Board is composed of business, academic, and scientific leaders across U.S. and Ecuador.


View Advisory Board & Management

AHD Financial Information