September 18, 2012

Milton and Fred Ochieng' have been selected to receive the Peace Corps' 2012 annual Director's Award at the Franklin H. Williams Award ceremony in Washington, D.C. on September 20.

The Ochieng' brothers are Vanderbilt University School of Medicine graduates and founders of the non-profit Lwala Community Alliance in Kenya, Africa. The Director's Award recognizes the brothers for their work with the Lwala Community Alliance.

Fred Ochieng', M.D., left, and Milton Ochieng', M.D., founded the Lwala Community Alliance to honor their father's dream of constructing a hospital in their rural village in the Nyanza Province of western Kenya. After losing their parents to HIV while attending college in the U.S., the brothers began work to provide primary health care for the Lwala community.

The alliance opened a community health care center in 2007 which has since expanded its health care services to include the province's first ambulance, the ongoing construction of a maternity wing and a small scale micro-enterprise. According to Fred Ochieng', M.D., more than 1,000 patients are currently on antiretrovirals and more than 100,000 total patient encounters have been registered (at more than 20,000 patient visits each year).

"Milton and I are honored and humbled for this wonderful recognition from the Peace Corps," said Fred Ochieng', M.D. "We hope that through this award, our story of perseverance and hope can reach more people and inspire them to give back to their communities.

The Peace Corps said in a letter to the Ochieng' brothers that the organization appreciates their successful efforts to engage Kenyan and U.S. communities in providing access to primary care and hoped the recognition would serve to allow the brothers to engage a new generation of returned Peace Corps volunteers and current undergraduates to give back to the global community.

Fred Ochieng', M.D. is currently a Medicine/Pediatrics resident at Vanderbilt and Milton Ochieng', M.D. is in a post-residency fellowship in gastroenterology at Brown University.

For more information about the Lwala Community Alliance, vist http://www.lwalacommunityalliance.org/