Born in Kerala, South India, Sister Joan Chunkapura entered the Medical Mission Sisters (MMS) in 1963. Sister reflects, “My journey as an MMS in South India has been a meaningful, pleasant and fulfilling experience mainly because I found mission as the very essence of my life.” In 2015, she celebrated her Golden Jubilee.
After earning her B.Sc. in Nursing, Sister Joan was assigned to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Hospital School of Nursing in Kerala, then went to Nangina Hospital, Kenya, where she served as Assistant Matron. She also was Nursing Supervisor at St. Thomas Hospital School of Nursing, Chethipuzha. Sister received her Master of Arts and Ph.D. in Psychology in New Delhi in 1980.
Trained in de-addiction and family therapy in the United States, Sister Joan became a pioneer in the treatment of addicts by opening de-addiction centers in Kerala. Currently, she serves as director/principal of Total Response to Drug and Alcohol Abuse (TRADA) Institute in Kottayam. TRADA works at the grassroots level offering leadership training for dalit and tribal women; reproductive and child health programs; education for children in schools and colleges; information and guidance clinics on HIV/AIDS; and training programs in counseling, pastoral care and Alzheimer’s-related disorders.