Addressing the long-ignored connection between poverty and poor health, Health Leads proposes a new model of health care; one where basic resources such as food and adequate shelter are as important as prescriptions. Healthy Leads recruits college students to become “Advocates,” working to get patients the connected to the resources they need to prevent the non-medical root causes of many illnesses. Recognized by First Lady Michelle Obama as an exemplary model for social innovation and entrepreneurship, Health Leads proposes a holistic and realistic path for American health care.
International HIV/AIDS Alliance
Founded in the dark days of the AIDS crisis, when the international scope of the epidemic was becoming obvious, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance began with a mission to bring funding and support to community level programs around the world. As the epidemic and its treatments have evolved, so has IHAA’s global strategy to get support and education to people who need it most. Part of their work is identifying people and communities at risk and lobbying governments and donors to invest in prevention with their brilliantly targeted campaign “What is Preventing Prevention?” Caring for community means addressing issues that affect people living with HIV/AIDS, such as violence and discrimination against LGBT people in some African countries, or campaigning for early treatment for Tuberculosis, a common threat to immune weakened populations. The Alliance has clearly and directly laid out their the aim of their work on their well designed website, on their related Youtube chanel (home to a series of excellent short documentaries on the experiences of individuals living with HIV/AIDS), and in the many publications available for download that explore the ways and means of prevention.
John E. Fogarty International Center (FJC)
The Fogarty International Center, the international arm of the NIH, spearheads numerous programs to address global health challenges, including more than 200 specific diseases. The center takes a multi-pronged approach, offering research and training grants, fellowships, research support, and international awards. Scientists who visit the site can peruse synopses of available research and training grants, which include opportunities in the U.S. and abroad. The site also offers videocasts and podcasts of special NIH events, seminars, and lectures.
Lyon-Martin Health Services
Lyon-Martin Health Services was founded to serve San Francisco’s LGTBQ community and others that are often marginalized by the health care system. Lyon-Martin offers primary care, HIV, transgender health services, gynecological care and mental health services – and above all, understanding and respect – to its loyal clientele.
Medecins sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders)
The actions of this group of concerned doctors, volunteering their services to bring emergency care to those in need around the word, has given Medecins sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) well deserved international recognition. The group’s commitment is to serving those struck by famine war and disease, whoever and wherever they may be. The site’s international updates on humanitarian health crises often expose situations that are not covered by the mainstream media and reflect the MSF’s other mission: to help draw attention to the plight of the people they serve.
National Institute for Health (NIH)
The NIH has a daunting job - it is the main federal agency that is responsible for improving the nation’s health. Over the years, the Institute has conducted and funded important medical research, leading to better disease prevention, treatment, and even cures. Consumers will find a vast library of health and medical information on the NIH Web site, organized by general category. The site is information-rich, but as users dig down into subcategories, patience is key as the search can become a bit unfriendly. (Subcategory links are sometimes listed in alpha order, with English and Spanish entries interspersed, for example.) Besides health content, the NIH site includes a list of toll-free information lines by health condition and a link to a database of current clinical trials that are accepting volunteers. Anyone interested in staying current—patients, doctors, or researchers—can subscribe to any of numerous e-newsletters are available on various topics.
Open Society Institute - Public Health Program
Financier-philanthropist George Soros’ socially engaged grantmaking foundation, Open Society Institute, has noble and ambitious aims: to shape public policy to promote democratic governance, human rights, and economic, legal, and social reform. On a local level, OSI also implements a range of initiatives to support public health. As the Institute’s site specifies, they are looking to “promote health policies grounded in scientific evidence, social inclusion, human rights and justice,” paying particular attention to the factors that can be both the cause and effect of poor health. The Public Health Program pages of the site spell out exactly how OSI goes about achieving their goals.