The TulaSalud Program really owes its existence to nurse educator Viola Duff. With the support of Christy Gombay, Viola, then with the Centre for Nursing Studies in Newfoundland, led the CIDA-funded program in the early years, and later worked with the Tula Foundation. Viola has since retired but she remains an inspiration to everyone in the program.
Previously Viola was a nurse educator in Canada and in Nicaragua. Viola received an award of recognition for outstanding service to national and international nursing from the Canadian Nurses Association in 2008.