New biography highlights David Gaus ND'84 who transformed Latin American healthcare

Author: Notre Dame Press News

HissLong Road from Quito

Tony Hiss's new book, Long Road from Quito: Transforming Health Care in Rural Latin America, tells the fascinating story of David Gaus, Notre Dame Class of '84, who has been working for decades to improve health care accessibility in impoverished communities. Gaus is co-founder, with his mentor Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., of Andean Health and Development (AHD), an organization dedicated to supporting health initiatives in South America. Their work has led to the construction of two top-of-the-line hospitals in Pedro Vicente Maldonado and Santo Domingo, Ecuador. The hospitals, staffed only by Ecuadorians, train local doctors through a Family Medicine residency program, and are financially self-sustaining. Gaus's work with AHD is recognized as a model for the rest of Latin America, and AHD has grown into a major player in global health, frequently partnering with the World Health Organization and other international agencies.

Tony Hiss traces the trajectory of Gaus's life from an accounting undergraduate at Notre Dame to a medical doctor committed to bringing modern medicine to rural communities in Ecuador. In his time at Notre Dame, Gaus developed a close friendship with then-university president Father Ted Hesburgh, who helped Gaus through medical school and beyond, eventually co-founding AHD. Father Hesburgh and the University's commitment to service is embodied by Gaus's influential healthcare project in Latin America. 

Gaus' former classmate at Notre Dame, and current Vice President of University Relations, Lou Nanni, writes in the foreword, "If you are lucky, a few times in life you will come across a person who is able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. It is even rarer still to find in such a leader a genuine sense of humility and a depth of soul that radiates joy and laughter. I know you will enjoy and be inspired by this story of a modern-day man who is as holy as he is innovative, who is as determined as he is fun, and who is both visionary and focused on the set of eyes before him at any given moment."

Advance Praise for Long Road from Quito

"Creating health for underprivileged populations through education of family physicians, promotion of healthy behaviors, control of risk factors, disease prevention, and delivery of compassionate and comprehensive care: that is what Long Road from Quito: Transforming Health Care in Rural Latin America is all about, the captivating story of David Gaus and the Andean Health and Development Initiative. A must read for all those interested in health development around the world." —Julio Frenk, president of the University of Miami, former minister of health of Mexico

"Celebrated writer Tony Hiss has used David Gaus's personal and professional life's journey to Ecuador to explore global health in a fresh and intellectually probing manner. Students entering this burgeoning but ill-defined field should read it carefully, as should others who harbor a concern for social justice and equitable access to quality health care." —Barnett L. Cline, professor emeritus, Tulane University; past president, the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

David Gaus will have a book signing, June 1, 2019, 11:30am, at the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore.

Long Road from Quito

Transforming Health Care in Rural Latin America

Tony Hiss

224 pages

ISBN 978-0-268-10533-4

$28 cloth

March 30, 2019 Release 


For more information, or a review copy, contact: Kathryn Pitts at or 574.631.3267.