Gerard A. Engh, M.D., better known as Dr. Jerry, comes from a long line of surgeons. His father, brother and nephew are all orthopedic surgeons and his youngest son is a neurosurgeon. Dr. Jerry completed medical school at the University of Virginia in 1966 and completed his orthopedic residency in 1971 at Yale University. After serving in the United States Army as a medical officer, he joined his father and brother in practice at the Anderson Orthopedic Clinic in Arlington, Virginia in 1973. Dr Jerry’s proudest accomplishments relate to his extensive research with knee replacement surgery through the Anderson Orthopedic Research Institute and the enjoyment he has gained by training fellows for over 25 years. He has served as past president of the Knee Society, a national organization of specialist orthopedic surgeons, and cofounded Alexandria Research Technologies, a company that advances the design of total joint implants. In 2006, Dr Jerry started Operation Walk Virginia as a non-profit volunteer organization and hopes to leave this as a lasting legacy to helping others.


Dr. Bill Hamilton has been involved with Operation Walk Virginia since it’s inception. Involved in the planning, fund raising, and organization of each of the first two operation walk trips to Nicaragua have proved very rewarding. While the workload is significant during the one week stay in Managua, the need is so exceptional and the patients so thankful, that this far outweighs the fatigue. “Despite taking time away from the practice in Virginia and my family, there are so many rewarding aspects of the trip that I hope to make it an annual tradition. Because there are so few treatment options for patients in underdeveloped countries, the severity of disease is profound. This not only makes the surgery a life changing event for the patients, but exposes me to surgical complexities rarely seen in the United States. This makes it not only interesting, but sends me back home a better surgeon each time.”


Kevin B. Fricka, M.D., has been a member of the Anderson Orthopaedic Clinic since 2006 specializing in hip and knee replacement. He graduated from Harvard University in 1995 where he was a member of the varsity basketball team. Dr. Fricka completed medical school at George Washington University in 1999 and completed his orthopaedic residency training at University of California-San Diego in 2005. From there he finished a fellowship in hip and knee replacement at Rush University in Chicago, IL. Since joining the Anderson Orthopaedic Clinic, Dr. Fricka has developed a busy clinical practice combining the enjoyment of patient care, patient education, fellowship training and research.


Jeanine Garguilo is a board certified physician assistant for Dr. William Hamilton who specializes in joint replacement surgery. She has previous experience in general orthopedics and spine surgery. Ms. Garguilo attended Saint Francis University in Pennsylvania where she graduated with honors and received her Bachelor of Health Science and Master of Physician Assistant Science degrees.


Julie Warner served as a  team leader of Operation Walk Virginia from 2006-2014 and has loved every minute of it. She is the Patient Care Director of the Inova Joint Replacement Center and has worked on IJRC since 2001. She has a BA in Psychology from Hobart and William Smith Colleges and her BS in Nursing from George Mason University. She is 2 classes away from completing her Masters in Nursing Administration. Julie was a regional finalist for Nurse of the Year for her work with Operation Walk Virginia. Her work with Operation Walk is her biggest passion.


Ms. Vera Broecker hails from South Carolina, where she grew up and studied nursing. Upon graduation from Clemson University, she entered the U.S. Army as an officer and a nurse. In addition to her nursing degree from Clemson, Vera is a graduate of the U.S. Army Medical Officer Basic Course, Combat Casualty Care Course, and Airborne School. While on active duty Vera served in the 10th CASH (Combat Army Support Hospital). After eight years in uniform, Vera followed her husband and worked as a nurse in various states and overseas from 1995 to present. Ms. Broecker has served as an emergency room nurse; orthopedic; ear, nose and throat (ENT); and gynecological (GYN) nurse, and is presently serving in Mount Vernon Hospital’s post anesthesia care unit (PACU). Ms. Broecker is married and lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and two children.

Patty Engh was born in the tiny town of Rushford in western New York State and has been involved with health care since meeting her husband at Yale-New Haven Hospital. She has been rewarded by experiencing the joy of helping others on Operation Walk trips to Nicaragua in 2006 and 2007, and to Ecuador in 2009. Ms. Engh feels that giving back to those that have so little provides a special moment for all of us. She hopes that her 4 children and 11 grandchildren come to experience this joy. She is looking forward to upcoming trips with the anticipation of helping others regain their ability to walk without pain.


Alfred Mack has been a Surgical Technologist at Mount Vernon Hospital from 1990-2008, contribute to the success of the first trip to to Nicaragua and also a member of the US Army Reserves from 1990-2008. Successfully built a progressive career with the United States Army Reserve as a key team player in developing, integrating and supporting troop organizations. Served as an Senior NCO responsible for monitoring current combat and health service support operations in Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Iraq in support of the ongoing Global War on Terrorism.

Kevin Lingenfelter is a Certified Surgical Technologist, Surgical Assistant, and Nationally Registered EMT. He was trained at the Academy of Health Sciences in San Antonio, TX by the U.S. Army. Mr. Lingenfelter has worked as a surgical tech/surgical assistant at Mt. Vernon Hospital in northern Virginia for 12 years. He has been on several Operation Walk missions, and looks forward to helping and being part of the team on many more.


Connie Kohler, MSOT, Team Leader, President Connie graduated from Shenandoah University with an MS in Occupational Therapy in 1997 and from Virginia Tech with a BS in Biology in 1992. She became involved in Operation Walk Virginia in 2011 when she first joined the team on a medical mission trip to Nicaragua. Connie was touched by OpWalk’s powerful mission and the grateful and inspirational patients who, after benefiting from a new hip or knee replacement, were able to return to their lives, moving with ease and without pain. Connie quickly became more involved in Operation Walk Virginia, becoming a board member in 2013 and then being elected President. In 2015, she began serving as the team leader for the first time for our trip to Panama in October of 2015. Connie looks forward to continued growth and expansion for Operation Walk Virginia in the coming years with our wonderful team of volunteers!


Jennifer Welsh, MSPT COMT ATC Physical Therapist has been with Operation Walk since 2012. Jennifer enjoys the challenges that come with Operation Walk missions and the smiles from the patients. She is the Owner of Performance Physical Therapy,LLC and has been practicing in Northern Virginia since 2002. She received her Masters Degree from Marymount University in Arlington, VA and her undergraduate degree in Athletic Training from Gardner-Webb University in NC. Jennifer has her Maitland Certification which she received in 2007. Jennifer lives in Fairfax with her husband David, they enjoy spending time with Baron (German shepherd) and playing soccer in the numerous leagues in the area.


Laura McCormack graduated from The Catholic University of America with a Bachelor’s degree in financial management in 1993 and a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing in 1998.  Laura has been a member of the Operation Walk Virginia Team since 2008, participating in mission trips to Nicaragua, Panama, and Ecuador.  Laura has worked as a critical care nurse for most of her career.  With Operation Walk, Laura is a team leader in charge of coordinating care for pre operative and post operative patients.  Participating in a medical mission, has offered growth as both a person and a nurse.

“I’m amazed by the resiliency of the people who live with a poverty I could never grasp until I saw it with my own eyes.”