April 26, 2019
Partners In Health Gets $15M to Aid Women and Children

August 14, 2018 — Partners In Health, a Boston-based nonprofit that provides health services to some of the poorest regions of the world and conducts research on diseases affecting those areas, recently received a $15 million grant to support new health programs.

The Wagner Foundation in Boston, which awarded the grant, the largest in its 13-year history, said the donation will enable Partners in Health (PIH) to improve the health of impoverished people, especially women and children, in 10 countries around the world.

“This visionary gift from the Wagner Foundation will have a remarkable and sustained effect on the patients we serve and the care that we provide,” said PIH CEO Gary Gottlieb. “It will undoubtedly help us to improve and save countless lives.”

The resources will enable expansions of PIH healthcare initiatives such as those aimed at ending maternal deaths in childbirth, and pioneering uses of data. It will also support hi-tech health care data collection, analysis, and decision-making in health facilities in remote Liberia, for example, where many records are currently kept in moldering handwritten ledgers.

“We’re extremely excited to support Partners In Health,” said Wagner Foundation founder and CEO Charlotte Wagner. “Our goal of health equity, honoring the potential of all people, aligns perfectly with PIH’s mission to bring the fruits of modern medicine to the world’s most vulnerable.”

By supporting data infrastructure and expertise, both organizations said they want to demonstrate that long-term investments in public healthcare systems, not just disaster or emergency responses, produce the best outcomes for patients, families, and communities.

The Wagner Foundation, a long-time supporter, noted that "PIH's remarkable success in some of the most challenging places is due to its community focus and holistic approach. Building healthcare systems requires long-term planning that encompasses education, economic development, and numerous issues unique to each community."

PIH was established in 1987 by Paul Farmer, chief strategist of the organization, Ophelia Dahl, board chair, and others who decided to work together to deliver health care to the destitute sick. To meet its mission, it builds hospitals and medical facilities, trains and hires local staff, and, working with local governments, seeks to remove barriers to good health and strengthen the rights of the poor. Although PIH provides direct care, it does not own and operate facilities.

In 2014, PIH, which ordinarily does not provide emergency response, joined the fight against an outbreak of Ebola in Liberia and Sierra Leone due to its unprecedented nature, hiring 2,000 locals and ultimately supporting 21 facilities, from hospitals to small health centers. It continues to work on those countries, as well as elsewhere in Africa, Russia, Latin America, and the Navajo Nation in the United States.

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