ReachAnother Foundation

Igniting change, Reaching further.

BEND, OR   |


Reach Another is an international non-profit 501(c)(3) organization of healthcare professionals saving the lives of children in Ethiopia. Our sole mission is to build the medical self-sufficiency and prevention awareness that the country so desperately needs to address the tragedy of neural tube defects. Our work so far has provided lifesaving surgery to more than 6,000 babies with spina bifida and hydrocephalus (neural tube defects or NTDs). Our Centers of Excellence in Pediatric Neurosurgery, aftercare services, and prevention awareness activism are seeding a powerful force for change that is gaining the support of government, hospitals, medical professionals and donors who want to make an impact, so that the children of Ethiopia and their families can live full and productive lives.

Ruling year info


Founder and Medical Director

Dr. Marinus Hendrikus Koning MD, FACS

Co Principal Officer

Dr. Patricia Owens O'Neill PhD

Main address

1900 NE 3RD ST STE 106 # 307

BEND, OR 97701 USA

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NTEE code info

Birth Defects (G20)

International Health Development (Q39)

Hospitals and Primary Medical Care Facilities (E20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Ethiopia is the second most populous nation in Africa and among the top three fastest growing economies in the world. Despite this positive outlook, the country has a tragic pediatric situation with 44,000+ spina bifida and hydrocephalus (SBH) pregnancies each year. Spina bifida and hydrocephalus are neural tube defects (NTDs) which damage the spinal cord, brain, and vital functions of the newly born. NTDs cause stillbirths, infant mortality and profound, lifelong disability. This tragedy is preventable with folic acid supplementation, food fortification, timely treatment, and aftercare. ReachAnother Foundation tirelessly works to reduce the incidence of this birth defect and help Ethiopia overcome one of its most devastating barriers to growth.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Food Fortification Campaign

ReachAnother works with nutritional experts, government officials, and international aid organizations to develop a food fortification solution for Ethiopia to drastically decrease the number pregnancies affected by neural tube defects over time.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers

ReachAnother partners with hospitals across Ethiopia to create coordinated, comprehensive, patient-centered, and integrated care for children with spina bifida and hydrocephalus.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers

ReachAnother provides critical equipment and supplies to the Centers of Excellence and also brings clinical expertise. To date, ReachAnother has contrubuted $1 million worth of equipment to Ethiopia.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers

ReachAnother provides training for neurosurgeons to surgically correct neural tube defects. ReachAnother has developed partnerships with six university hospitals and helped train over 40 neurosurgeons.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

ReachAnother makes a difference through prevention, treatment and aftercare.

1.Prevention through a national food fortification program
ReachAnother is part of an international coalition (Nutrition International, Food Fortification Initiative, Spina Bifida Institute of Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta , and the International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus), which supports the goal of food fortification of salt with folic acid to reach all women of childbearing age in Ethiopia. This solution was presented to the Ethiopian Ministry of Health in April 2019 during an expert conference held in conjunction with the Ministry of Health and the Society of Ethiopian Neurological Surgery Professionals. The coalition proposed to fortify the only staple used by all people in Ethiopia, salt. The proposal was accepted in May 2019 by the Ministry. ReachAnother supports the needed preliminary studies of the salt supply chain, the creation of doubly fortified salt, and its acceptance by Ethiopians. These studies are in progress and will be followed by an iodized salt with folic acid feeding study. After the completion of the feeding study, the national food fortification program will begin.

2. Building neurosurgical capacity and expanding care for SBH children
Since 2009, RAF has specialized in building neurosurgical capacity by training neurosurgeons and providing surgery for children with SBH. In 2009, there was only one neurosurgeon at Addis Ababa University. Today, 40 neurosurgeons have graduated and over 6,500 children with neural tube defects have received surgery. As these neurosurgeons spread to other universities in Ethiopia, ReachAnother helps them begin their practices by donating equipment and supplies. ReachAnother has selected six hospitals to become specialized pediatric neurosurgery, known as Centers of Excellence (CoE). The goal for each CoE is to provide 1,000 surgeries for children affected by NTDs each year by 2025. The current capacity of all six CoEs is 2,500 surgeries per year.

3. Aftercare and high-risk prevention
Care after surgery is scattered and scarce in Ethiopia. RAF addresses this issue by building specialized SBH teams at each CoE, where coordinated, cost-effective, multi-specialty care is provided by specially trained professionals. SBH-focused teams seamlessly work together to ensure patients have their needs met in a single visit. ReachAnother is coordinating communication lines with the patients’ primary care village health extension workers to keep track of and provide care for any complication that may arise. As part of the treatment, ReachAnother will strive to treat all mothers with folic acid, which reduces their risk of future SBH pregnancies. ReachAnother aims to provide necessary follow up treatment to children impacted by spina bifida and hydrocephalus, and make every attempt to give them a chance to live happy, healthy, and productive lives.

Prevention: ReachAnother works with coalition partners (Nutrition International, Food Fortification Initiative, Spina Bifida Institute of Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta , and the International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus) to raise money and implement the national food fortification program. ReachAnother is funding the initial studies, which have already started. Funding for the feeding studies is expected by the end of 2020. ReachAnother will work with Ethiopian ministries to pave the way for legislation, standards and implementation procedures to ensure effective implementation. A completed feeding study will be a major breakthrough, not just for Ethiopia, but also on a global scale. Fortification experts predict that salt is a vehicle that can reach 68% of the world population and prevent over 300,000 spina bifida related deaths annually.

Building neurosurgical capacity and provide surgery for SBH children: Moving forward, 10 new neurosurgeons will graduate per year, which will increase surgical capacity by 1,000 operations annually. ReachAnother will work with international neurosurgery organizations and funding agencies to continue to build expertise in pediatric neurosurgery in Ethiopia. ReachAnother expects to increase capacity to 5,000 operations per year by 2025 and that the CoE will mature to meet the growing needs of pediatric neurosurgery by that time.

Aftercare and high risk prevention: Aftercare means the care that patients receive after surgery and discharge from the hospital. To provide this care, a very specialized team of care givers is needed. At the request of the Ministry of Health, ReachAnother developed a training curriculum for Pediatric Neurosurgery Nursing Certification that was implemented in fall 2020. Aftercare starts with teaching mothers the knowledge and skills needed to provide optimal care. This currently is a huge problem in Ethiopia, where phone communications and internet frequently are interrupted and unreliable.

ReachAnother's position in the healthcare market is that of being a catalyst for social change. RAF's primary task is to network, build partnerships, encourage the development of new solutions and possibilities, and generate interest and support for continuous quality improvements of pediatric neurosurgery care in Ethiopia.

ReachAnother has successfully helped train all of Ethiopia's neurosurgeons in pediatric neurosurgery. There are now three training programs, which will steadily increase the supply of neurosurgeons to meet the growing need in Ethiopia.

ReachAnother will continue to build the capacity and specialization of the CoEs. ReachAnother has provided medical equipment (valued at over $1 million to date) and expertise (over 150 expert visiting consultants) to Ethiopia. These experts have traveled from the US, Canada, the Netherlands, Great Britain, and New Zealand to support ReachAnother's work. ReachAnother is currently working with established US and Dutch children's hospitals to create learning opportunities and bring new procedures to Ethiopia. Additionally, ReachAnother has provided a fellowship for endoscopic surgery for hydrocephalus and expects to provide two additional fellowships in 2020. This surgical fellowship will train the surgeons and provide them with the needed equipment to support neurosurgery at their prospective medical center.

ReachAnother works closely with its sister organization, ReachAnother Nederland, as well as with CURE Neuro and Child Help to accomplish its treatment goals. ReachAnother has helped found and fund the HOPE SBH parent organization in Ethiopia, while also building excellent relationships with Ethiopian neurosurgeons, the Ministry of Health, and local universities. RAF has attracted interest from international organizations, such as Rotary International, the Phillips Foundation, and the DSM chemical company. RAF works closely with Light for the World and the University of Nijmegen, Netherlands, to develop physical therapy and rehabilitation possibilities for Ethiopia. Additionally, RAF works closely with Rotary Clubs in Ethiopia and has strengthened its partnership with the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

ReachAnother has become an active participant in the Global Neurosurgery community. ReachAnother is currently working with Harvard University's Program for Global Surgery and Social Change and collaborating on the development of a World Health Organization (WHO) resolution to prioritize worldwide food fortification with folic acid. These partnerships have expanded ReachAnother's influence, reach, and fundraising capacity.

In 2009, there was only one neurosurgeon in Ethiopia and no possibility of treatment or care for children born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus--nearly all these children died as a result. ReachAnother has played a central role in changing the landscape of care. RAF's partnership with the neurosurgeons has grown and strengthened over the years. Thousands of children have received surgery and many are living healthy and happy lives because of ReachAnother’s dedication to care. ReachAnother's relationships with local hospitals, Ministry of Health, universities, individual physicians, and especially Ethiopia's neurosurgeons, are expanding.

The key to this progress is ReachAnother's ability to envision and create workable solutions, build capacity from the ground up, strategic collaboration with dozens of organizations and NGO's in the field, and engage a wide network of individuals, hospitals, Rotary Clubs, organizations, and institutions. ReachAnother has delivered critical instruments and technologies to Ethiopia and continued to build international partnerships to create capacity building opportunities within Ethiopian communities.

ReachAnother is establishing competent programs for aftercare that focus on high-risk prevention for mothers.

Success is can be defined as country-wide implementation of the folic acid food fortification program in Ethiopia, which will lead to a complete disappearance of folic acid sensitive spina bifida. Food fortification coupled with the continued improvement of care at ReachAnother's six CoEs, will provide more opportunities for complete, holistic care for the few children born with non-folic acid spina bifida, so that they can live healthy and productive lives. We expect this to happen before 2030.

We will work with our partners to expand food fortification programs worldwide to ultimately see the few remaining persons with "non folate sensitive" spina bifida as having an 'ordinary' medical condition that is accepted and treated with compassion and excellent, inclusive care that enables them to have full and productive lives. They can be ordinary scientists, social workers and even world class Paralympic athletes.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Children with neural tube defects and their families in Ethiopia.

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We did an out of pocket expense survey of the families with children afflicted with neural tube defects in Ethiopia. Based on that data, we have begun a strategy of providing more local access to needed medical care for them.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome


ReachAnother Foundation

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

ReachAnother Foundation

Board of directors
as of 12/21/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dr John Moseley

ReachAnother Foundation

Term: 2023 - 2024

John Moseley

Provost U Oregon, Retired

Joanne Mathews

Joanne Mathews Consulting

Lewis Sperber

Monica O'Neill

Sr Advisor Tristan Capital

Mark Sternfeld

Bend Memorial Clinic, Retired

David Morrissey

Oregon Department of Transportation

Patricia O'Neill

American University

Godfrey Oakley

Emory University

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/20/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 12/20/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.