Welcome to Nursing Heart / Corazón de Enfermería! My name is Ron Noecker, founder of the organization. Thank you for your interest.
Nursing Heart was founded with the desire to help myself and fellow nurses keep our hearts in the work of caring for others. I have found that if an “awakening” to this kind of care is needed, there is nothing like coming to Guatemala and receiving the kindness that can be found in this culture. The people we work with have little, yet they open their hearts to visitors with smiles, kindness and a deep appreciation for working together.
Cervical cancer is the number one cancer killer in Guatemala. It can be challenging for us to grapple with this reality. But we are trying to do our part to prevent this from happening to any woman we screen. While we help with screenings we also offer primary care to families. We love welcoming non-licensed students and introducing them to the work of non-governmental organizations and allowing them to help us in ways that are appropriate, such as primary school wellness checks and Chapina stove installations. Each year we open our groups to anyone who wants to offer service to foster community health.
My first 18 years of caring for others was in the Church of the Archdiocese of Omaha. Feeling called in mid-life to a wider world, I found myself in Guatemala trying to discern what that meant. When I decided to go to nursing school at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, I promised myself that I would return to Guatemala to offer what I could to help with the evident needs of its people.
I have been so blessed through these experiences. Though we are not a religious organization, I believe the forces of Divine Love continue to help our efforts to unfold. I hope you will join us in them.
Ron Noecker came to Guatemala in 2004 and found support and hope for that time in his life. When he returned to the U.S. in 2005, he promised himself that he would return someday. He then worked for six years as an oncology nurse at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore before finally returning to keep his promise.
Over more than seven years as Executive Director, Ron built NHI | ACE into a strong organization known both in Guatemala and the United States for its unwavering commitment to the people of Guatemala and U.S. nurses it serves.
Although Ron stepped down as Executive Director in 2019, he remains enthusiastic about his role as Founder and continues to share his life and work in Guatemala with the nurses who visit to learn with and from NHI/ACE partner communities. He supports Nursing Heart and other impactful organizations throughout the world, as a donor, mentor and accomplished non-profit consultant.