Lani Ackerman, MD, FAAFP

Lani Ackerman is co-founder, and Director of Health Environmental Learning Program (H.E.L.P.) a non-profit international Christian community development organization working in the Himalayas of Asia. She also teaches at the Mary Burnett (TCU) School of Medicine as a Professor of Family Medicine and Medical Education and Director of Clinical Skills. 

Dr. Ackerman attended Texas A&M University and Texas A&M College of Medicine, after which she completed a Family Medicine residency at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas.  

After short-term work in the Amazon, and attending Southwestern Theological Seminary, she returned for 2 years to practice full-scope family medicine and teach residents at JPSH. She and her husband then went to the Kingdom of Bhutan, where she both cared for patients and trained nursing students, interns, and physicians. She returned to JPSH for 5 more years as faculty and physician among low income and refugee populations and began a global health track to train residents. With three (and later 4) children she and her husband returned to the Himalayas and lived in rural Nepal for 6 years where she provided patient care and medical training and was a founding faculty for a new medical school. During this time, she and her husband began the international Christian community development organization, Health Environmental and Learning Program (HELP) and a sister non-governmental organization in Nepal, to begin church-based literacy, agriculture, veterinary, and health programs. During the Maoist insurgency, she started an orphanage and stay-in-school community program. After HELP was fully turned over to national leadership, she (with her husband) continues to volunteer for, lead the non-profit organization, and visit Nepal regularly. 

After returning to the US, Dr. Ackerman has practiced full-scope family medicine (obstetrics, hospital, clinic) and taught as faculty, associate program director, and program director, improving training for family medicine doctors serving in under-served areas of Texas and Alaska, as well as has served on faculty in medical schools. After their youngest child was in university, Dr. Ackerman practiced medicine in China where she was Chair of Family Medicine and director of the family medicine training program for Chinese doctors for nearly 2 years until she returned to Texas due to COVID pandemic. She has since been leading the new TCU Burnett School of Medicine as Professor of Family Medicine and Medical Education, and Director of Clinical Skills. She has published many peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, as well as Ke Garne? Sustainable Christian Community Development.