Dr. Brian Lisse, the President and founder of Bridges to Malawi, is an Associate Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Lisse, who is board certified in Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine, was raised to believe that everyone should strive to leave the world a better place than he found it. He recently found a great quote from Voltaire, “Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do”. Brian has spent his life trying to help those less fortunate than he, working in community health centers (poor people’s clinics), inner city and rural emergency departments, among other places.
Dr. Lisse helped establish a community health center in Danielson, CT and the Sharewood Project, which is a Tufts medical student run free clinic which opened in February 1997. In 2003, he started a medical mission trip elective for Tufts 4th year medical students to provide free care to people in the rural villages surrounding Siuna, Nicaragua. As part of this program, in 2004, he developed a high school contest, which ultimately came to be known as Bridges to Nicaragua. This contest provided an opportunity for local high school juniors and seniors to attend lectures on tropical diseases and all things Nicaraguan (government, economy, history, etc.). Students were given a multiple choice test at the end of the lecture series and whoever got the highest score won a free trip with the medical mission team on its next trip.
When Dr. Lisse changed venues to Malawi in 2011, he continued the high school contest but changed its focus to Malawi. Brian is constantly finding ways to improve the effectiveness of Bridges to Malawi. He is committed to the idea that the nonprofit will never have any administrative costs from money donated by anyone; if such a cost occurs, he pays for it out of his own pocket.