Posted on September 3, 2015

Innovator in Health: Partners In Health

Partners In Health, one of NEHI’s 2015 Innovators in Health


Partners in Health

Accepted by Gary Gottlieb, MD, MBA, President and Chief Executive Officer

Partners In Health (PIH) is recognized as one of NEHI’s 2015 Innovators in Health for their innovative thinking around key public health issues and creative work in bringing health care to people with few resources and limited access to medicine.

PIH has contributed to improving the lives and health of people around the world, and here are 5 reasons (among many) that Partners in Health is a 2015 Innovator in Health:

  1. PIH takes an innovative approach to providing health care. They focus not only on providing medical services, but also on building a local health care delivery systems. PIH used this approach in the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa, by bolstering local skills and clinical expertise. Before the recent Ebola outbreak, there was a significant shortage of trained medical professional with just 136 doctors in Sierra Leone and barely 50 in Liberia. PIH trained people to identify Ebola and to treat illnesses with similar symptoms, such as malaria and tuberculosis. They also hired more than 600 Ebola survivors as full-time support staff, community health workers and orphan caregivers.
  2. And, PIH has not stopped and continues its work West Africa even after prevalence of Ebola has subsided from epidemic levels. As co-founder of PIH Paul Farmer has said, “You take care of Ebola patients as you build systems that solve other problems.”
  3. PIH’s work on Ebola also led to a groundbreaking medical device – a portable, fast-working Ebola test called ReEBOV. Partners In Health staff published a study that showed the effectiveness of ReBOV, which is the only point-of-care diagnostic test for Ebola.  
  4. PIH trains community health workers (CHWs) and believes they are integral to their work in building delivery systems and linking medical providers and the community. Learn more about PIH’s work with CHWs and mHealth Technology in a new NEHI resource here.
  5. PIH also works to address the social determinants of health, working with CHWs and local partner organizations to ensure better health by addressing everything from clean drinking water to safe housing.

Find out more about our Innovators in Health Awards Dinner, October 7, 2015 in Boston!

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