Board of Directors
JAIME YRASTORZA, D.M.D. – Founder/President-Emeritus
Dr. Jaime Yrastorza left his native Philippines after graduation from high school to begin his collegiate studies at the University of Minnesota where he earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Then, he obtained a doctorate degree in dental medicine from Washington University and specialty training in oral-maxillofacial surgery from Georgetown University. He maintained a private practice in Wheat Ridge, Colorado for 35 years before retiring in 1995.He was a frequent lecturer and author of scientific publications, a diplomate of the American Board of Oral-maxillofacial Surgery and a Clinical Associate Professor of the University of Colorado School of Dentistry. For 3 years immediately before and after retirement, he served as a United Nations Development Programme consultant in oral-maxillofacial surgery for the Philippines, helping to organize and develop a qualifying training program in his specialty at the St. Porres Charity Hospital of Manila. On a personal note, Jaime remains active in his community as a Rotarian.
STEPHEN KREBS, M.D. – President
Steve is a Colorado native having graduated from Wheat Ridge High and Colorado State University before attending medical school in Norfolk, Virginia. After residency he has worked at Wheat Ridge Internal Medicine. The first UI mission for Steve was 2010. After also serving on the 2011 Project Taghoy Steve went on to be on-island head of mission for 2013 and 2014. Dr Krebs took a brief sabbatical to care for his wife Ellen from 2014 until rejoining the UI board in 2020. In addition to medicine Steve enjoys distance running, railroad & military history, travel, and grandchildren. Steve has 3 adult daughters Courtney, M Nicole, and Hayley and as of 2022. For 2022 Steve was reappointed to the position of UI President & Head of Mission
GREG ARFSTEN, M.D. Past President/Pediatrician
I’ve had the honor being selected to the role of President of UI. I’m excited to participate and help lead this exceptional mission. I’m a pediatrician with 26 years of clinical experience. I have participated with both local and international volunteer medical missions. I was fortunate to be on the 2017 and 2018 UI teams. I have been struck by the excellent care that UI doctors, nurses, and outreach staff provide the children that we have the opportunity to impact. My predecessors, Dr. Yrastorza, the founder of UI, Dr. Steve Krebs, and Dr. Jerry Capoot have set the bar high. They have developed relationships that allow us to continue to serve these lovely children in the Philippines. I hope to continue to foster relationships here and abroad that provide growth and success of UI’s mission and purpose.
GERALD CAPOOT, M.D. Past President/Mission Coordinator
I was born, raised and educated in the Chicago area, including medical school and an otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat) residency at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago. My two years in the U.S. Navy included being the medical officer on a guided missile cruiser. After doing my internship at the old Denver General Hospital and a general surgery residency at the old Colorado General Hospital, I knew I would eventually return to Denver. After having been in private practice in otolaryngology for 45 years in Denver, Highlands Ranch and Littleton, , I am now retired. My first surgical mission with Uplift Internationale was in February, 2011. I was so impressed by the quality of the work done by Uplift Internationale that I accepted an invitation to be on their Board of Directors
ELLIOT DUBOYS, MD, FACS – Past President/Lead Surgeon
Dr. Duboys is an outstanding UI Mission Team member who has been providing mending care to Uplift’s patients since 2001. He conquers the most intricate cases with ease and expertise. Dr. Duboys is in private practice in Long Island, New York where his greatest satisfaction is seeing the happiness his work brings to his patients.
Dr. Duboys is also an Associate Professor of Plastic Surgery at Stony Brook University Medical Center and Nassau University Medical Center where he has assisted in the training of over 70 plastic surgeons sharing his knowledge, experience, and philosophy. In 1984 he started the Cleft Lip and Craniofacial team at Stony Brook University where he chaired the team for 22 years.
Whether they have undergone a procedure to correct a major defect, needed reconstructive surgery after cancer or trauma, or cosmetic surgery, Dr. Duboys has been able to help his patients improve their physical appearance and live a more prosperous and meaningful life. Dr. Duboys’ dedication to his patients and willingness to indulge in rare cases has given him the well-earned reputation as one of the most respected plastic surgeons in the field. He takes time to understand what each patient is seeking, what they expect, and the outcome they hope to achieve.
EDITH PASION, RN – VP of Missions, Taghoy Committee
Edith Pasion was born and raised in the Philippines. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila. Right after, she immigrated to Kansas City, Missouri, married, and thereafter moved to Colorado. Her husband, Wilbert, and Edith, in thirty years of marriage, have had two children, Eric and Jessica.
Edith just retired from working at the Intensive Care Unit of Saint Joseph Hospital as a Staff Nurse and Clinical Scholar since moving to Colorado. She obtained her Master of Science in Nursing Leadership in the Health Care System at Regis University. Edith has assumed leadership positions in several Filipino-American and Asian Pacific organizations in the Metro Denver area; is a past president of the Philippine American Society of Colorado (PASCO); past Co-Chair of the Aurora Asian Pacific Community Partnership; and a founding president of the Philippine Nurses Association of Colorado.
Her involvement with Uplift Internationale started when she was president of PASCO, assisting with providing cultural presentations during fundraising events and promoting Uplift Internationale among the membership of the Filipino-American and Asian Pacific organizations. Prior to being a Board Member, Edith was part of the Circle of Advisors and a medical mission volunteer. “Providing excellent care to the poor children of the rural Philippines is what UI believes and delivers!”
JAMES NIQUETTE, Finance Committee/Treasurer
Born in Garden City, Kansas, Jim grew up in Colorado, served in US Navy, graduated from CU Boulder, and worked in Accounting for many years. Jim’s family includes his wife Bonnie, now Betty, and two children who reside in the Denver area. Jim’s association with Uplift Internationale began about 2002 when he assumed the role of Treasurer as replacing Patricia Yrastorza in that role. He participated in two UI missions to the Kalibo and Tacloban areas as an outreach member. In my role the treasurer process has evolved to incorporate the services of an outside accounting and CPA firm.
My other volunteer activities include work at the Habitat for Humanity Restore, the Denver Asset Building Coalition, and as a tutor for the Whiz Kids group.
“Just remember that these children can now smile, talk louder and walk faster because of our focused mending care.”
JAMIE BELL – Outreach Lead
Jamie comes from an administrative background at Children’s Hospital of Colorado. Jamie was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate. As such, Jamie has the empathy and experience to providing resources and support to cleft patients and their families.
Jamie has overcome many of the same challenges UI’s patients face and has the opportunity to empathize with them unlike others within her mission duties. Jamie also plays a vital role to UI as an avid fundraiser guru, always sharing new ideas and assisting in every single aspect of raising funds. “I am honored to be a part of this board.”
ERIN TROUT, R.N. – Board Member/OR nurse
…more about Erin, to come…
Circle of Advisors & Previous BOD members
BRETT PEARCE – Biomedical
I have been on four mission trips with Uplift, serving as the Bio Tech for the team. In the other segments of my life, I have been president of our Home Owners Association for 4 years. I am currently the vice-president of the board for the Thunder Hills Country Club being on that board for 7 years. Previously, I served on the board for the YMCA/YWCA and was a driver on the volunteer Rescue Squad for many years. I have been a member of Rotary for about 10 years and was a board member for a short while before transferring to a different club. These experiences with not-for-proﬁt and for-proﬁt groups has given me extensive knowledge of funding, fundraising, team dynamics, decision making processes/techniques, and methods for enabling groups to work cohesively. Currently I am a real estate manager and developer of residential properties. Previously, I was a ﬁnancial advisor for a national investment company, a transportation manager and an owner of a small trucking company.
I am very honored that I was asked to serve on the board of Uplift Internationale. I have developed a very strong passion for the goals of the organization and therefore am pleased to be able to foster these goals not only by serving on the mission teams but also by serving on the board.
THOMAS WILLIAMS, DDS, MD – Oral Maxillo-facial Surgeon
Dr. Tom Williams is a graduate of the University of Illinois and completed a Residency in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at NYU/Bellevue Hospital in NYC. He practiced Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Dubuque, Iowa from 1973 to 2012. He is Board Certified in his specialty and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He was an Adjunct Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology at the University of Iowa from 1977 until 1994, Adjunct Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Texas at Houston from 2008 to the present. He has been Associate Editor of the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and the Triple O Journal.
Dr Williams has received numerous awards including the Presidential Achievement Award from the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the Humanitarian Award from Uplift Internationale, the Arnold K Maislen Award from NYU, and the William F Harrigan Award from the William F Harrigan Society. He served as a Director of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and was its President in 1997-1998. He has authored numerous literature reports, textbook chapters and served as Co Editor of several Textbooks. He has participated in Global Surgical Missions for 35 years and for the past 15 years participated in missions to the Philippines with Uplift Internationale. Dr Williams serves on the Board of Directors of Uplift Internationale and the AAOMS OMS Foundation. He has served in numerous volunteer activities in Dubuque and currently volunteers as a varsity coach for the Dubuque Senior High School Football team.
FRANK DeANGELIS – Development Committee
Frank DeAngelis, a Colorado native, was a staff member and subsequently principal at Columbine High School in Littleton Colorado between 1979-2014. Frank has his Master’s Degree in Secondary Education and Social Studies, his Principal’s License, and a Master’s Degree from the University of Phoenix, He was selected as Colorado High School Principal of the year and was one of the three finalists for National Principal of the Year. He recently received the Jefferson County Lifetime Achievement Award and the Gandhi, King, Ikeda Community Builders Award. He is presently serving as a consultant for safety and emergency management for the Jeffco School District and continues to deliver speeches around the country. Frank joined the Uplift Internationale Board of Directors in 2015. ” a truly honored and blessed to be a board member for Uplift Internationale. The members of the group are definitely impacting lives. My participation in this wonderful organization has been life changing.”
SALLY CAPOOT, RN, Taghoy Committee, Lead OR Nurse
I worked as an Operating Room Technician at Porter Memorial Hospital in Denver from 1977-1983, during which time I went back to school to earn my Registered Nurse degree. I continued to work in the operating room specializing on the cardiac surgical team until 1990. From 1990-2005 I worked as an office nurse and private scrub for Dr. Gerald Capoot. Most recently I have volunteered at the Dumb Friends League in Health Care/Surgery services. I had the opportunity to be a part of the surgical team on the 2011 Operation Taghoy Mission. It was such a rewarding experience that I plan on coming back for the 2012 mission. My favorite activities include skiing, golfing, bicycling, hiking and gardening.
GINA LUTTRELL, Taghoy Committee, Outreach Lead
Born and raised in Virginia. Colorado resident for 16 years. I work as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant at Saint Joseph’s Hospital. That is where I first heard about Uplift Internationale. I went on my first mission in 2009. I was so moved by this organizations caring spirit, commitment and ability to change children’s lives forever that I have been involved every year since.
It is a sincere privilege to be a part of such a life changing transformation that occurs for each recipient.
LARRY WOLK, M.D.
During his tenure, he has overseen flood recovery, a federal shutdown, and the promulgation of the nation’s first air quality rules specific to methane reduction for oil and gas operations. His new frontier is addressing the myriad issues surrounding medical and retail marijuana.
Dr. Larry Wolk is former Executive Director and Chief Medical Officer for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Since joining the department in September 2013, Dr. Wolk’s mission has been to simplify the health system for the citizens of Colorado and to position the department as the leader in providing evidence-based health and environmental information.
GURDEV “DEV” RAI, M.D., Anesthesia Lead
Dr. Gurdev Rai is a graduate of Chicago Medical School. He completed his residency at the University of Colorado.
He taught anesthesiology at the University of Colorado at Denver. Dr. Rai formerly served as the Chief of Anesthesia at the Denver VA Hospital for 10 years. Dr. Rai has participated in multiple missions with Uplift. Throughout his years of practice, he has served on a multitude of committees and task forces. In addition, Dr. Rai has various publications regarding anesthesiology. Dr. Rai strives to improve the quality of providing anesthesia to assure all patients receive state of the art care.
Martin Postma – Past Member
Martin Postma is an active leader in the nonprofit community contributing to a variety of projects for more than 20 years. A committed Rotarian since 1995, he was named Rotary District 5450 Rotarian of the Year in 2002. He was a guest speaker at United Nations Headquarters on the topic of NGO partnerships in education. In 2011, Martin was awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award in recognition of his dedication to the advancement of international humanitarian service.
Martin holds a Master’s of Public Administration from Drake University and is a Certified Economic Developer. He manages economic development and long-range planning projects for the City of Thornton. Martin joined the board of directors of Uplift Internationale in 2012. He participated in an assessment mission to the Philippines in February 2013, and a surgical mission to Honduras in October 2014. “Working with a diverse and committed group of professionals willing to donate their time and expertise to make a positive and enduring difference in the lives of needy children is extraordinary. “
James Bertz D.D.S., M.D. – Oral and Maxillo-Facial Surgeon