Our journey started with a trip to Perú in the early 1990’s. Husband-and-wife Dr. Wayne Centrone and Navy officer Lee Centrone were invited to a pilgrimage with their in-laws and their church in Florida. After building meaningful friendships in Perú, they soon started hosting these trips themselves: taking friends, parishioners from their church, and other volunteers to learn and work with communities in the country. On one trip, while talking with a team of doctors, Wayne mentioned he thought there was a place for a nonprofit that could operate differently – one that wasn’t trying to be the name on the marquee but instead supports other organizations to be successful. He envisioned a team that would help communities tap into available assets to solve problems affecting children and families. Encouraged by partners in Perú, Wayne registered Health Bridges International as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit in 2006.
For over 20 years, we at HBI have worked in Perú’s child welfare sector through key partnerships with academic institutions, subject matter experts, hospitals, youth ambassadors, and government agencies in the country. Over many years, our focus shifted from delivering services to training and providing assistance for many organizations working on child abandonment, homelessness, and child welfare services.
From those who were part of the initial trip, to the thousands we have worked with and supported, we are proud of the partnerships and friendships that have made Health Bridges the organization we are today – focused on creating models and approaches that change the way children and families access services they need to reshape their lives and overall well-being.