Kevin Menard’s passion for health and wellbeing, along with his generous drive to do medical outreach work, is evident the minute you meet him! His multi-modality treatment approach fits perfectly with the GHF healthcare delivery model, so we are very glad he has joined the GHF team! Thanks Kevin for all your GREAT work! Read all about Kevin’s story with Global Healthworks Foundation below.
“A Giver Who Gets Things Done”: Kevin Menard’s Swift, Yet Sensitive Style of Treatment
Kevin Menard is almost always on the move. In his free time, he runs, hikes, bikes, skis, swims, dives, and practices martial arts. He also walks fast—very fast. In the treatment room at Global Healthworks Foundation (GHF)’s bi-annual jornadas (medical missions), the New York-based acupuncturist hardly ever sits down. Although he moves quickly, he treats thoroughly. Generous and empathetic, Kevin listens intently to each one of his patients, translators, and fellow practitioners, giving his full attention to ensuring the wellbeing of those around him.
The reason? “A. I love doing outreach work,” Kevin says. “To be able to be of service to people who really need healthcare—that really drives me. And B. I have an affinity for South and Central American culture. It’s just one of those things I’ve always been drawn to. It pulls me from a deeply energetic level, so it’s a privilege to come down here to Guatemala and volunteer with GHF.”
Though Chinese medicine is Kevin’s “second career”—he worked for years in advertising, fashion, and sales—the sports medicine acupuncturist operates like a seasoned professional. He received his first acupuncture treatment in 1999, and after just one session, he was “hooked.” “I loved it,” he says. “I went in for shoulder pain, but what I got out of it was so much more. The energetic experience for me was really powerful.” In 2009 Kevin decided to change careers and enrolled in New York City’s Tri-State College of Acupuncture shortly thereafter. He graduated in 2012 and now specializes in sports medicine acupuncture. After graduating, he dedicated himself to building his own practice and volunteering his services whenever possible.
Kevin met Dan Wunderlich, GHF Founder and Executive Director, in 2014 and volunteered on his first jornada in April of 2015. Dan asked Kevin to join the GHF team after learning of his previous outreach work on Navajo reservations with the Global Alternative Healthcare Project (GAHP), a charitable organization that also offers integrative health services to underserved communities. “Kevin is a giver who gets things done,” Dan says. “That’s a special combination. Not only is he generous with his time, but he’s also efficient. When we’re seeing hundreds of patients each jornada day, Kevin’s ability to treat multiple people at once is a huge help. He’s ready to treat first thing in the morning and doesn’t stop until the last patient has been seen.”
Like GHF, Kevin uses a multi-modality approach to healing. In addition to acupuncture and Tui Na medical massage, he incorporates suction cupping into his treatments and is a martial arts teacher. He arises early every jornada morning to practice martial arts as a way to set the tone for each day. That overall “passion for health,” says Peter Caron, acupuncturist and former GHF Central American Program Director, is evident in his interactions with both male and female patients. “Kevin reaches people in a way that is really unique,” Peter explains. “His passion is what drives him to come to Guatemala and work for free. And it’s that passion that allows him to connect with patients and make them feel safe, including women who have experienced trauma. He’s been an amazing addition to the GHF team, and his force of will is obvious to anyone who works with him.”
According to Kevin, it’s easy to feel passionate about treating the Mayan peoples of Guatemala. They’re loving, resilient, and “their power and light shine through. Even though they’re a people who have been marginalized and abused and experienced unspeakable acts of hate and violence, they still have this light in their eyes. It’s a hope that truly inspires me.”
Whether volunteering in Quiché, Guatemala or working out of his clinic in Sag Harbor, NY, Kevin seeks to provide his patients with that same powerful feeling he experienced during his first acupuncture session. It’s evident from the look on their faces that he’s able to do just that, as the “light” he describes so passionately seems to shine even brighter after just one of his treatments.