HEAL Initiative

Investigator: Phuoc V. Le, MD, MPH, DTM+H

Location(s): Kenya; Malawi; Rwanda; Uganda; Tanzania; Liberia; Nepal; Philippines; Mexico; Haiti


HEAL (Health, Equity, Action, and Leadership) trains and transforms front line health professionals through building a community dedicated to serving the underserved as their life long choice.

Unmet Passion: American Health Professionals

Over the last decade, interest in global health has reached 90% among medical students and residents. Never before has a generation of American health professionals been committed to tackling health disparities on such a global scale. Unfortunately, many of the current opportunities in global health are sporadic, incoherent, and fail to have lasting benefit for the most vulnerable populations.

Unmet Need Abroad: Developing Countries

From Haiti’s Central Plateau, to India’s vast rural poor, to Liberia’s urban slums, the communities that suffer the most from death and diseases are precisely those that lack trained health professionals. The World Health Organization estimates that 57 developing countries have severe shortages of health professionals. Many of these countries are in Africa, where the WHO estimates a shortage of 818,000 doctors, nurses, and midwives.

Unmet Need at Home: United States

Underserved communities in the United States have difficulty recruiting and retaining qualified health professionals. For example, 20% of the United States population lives in rural areas; yet only 9% of physicians work in these areas. Often, despite significant funds at their disposal, large institutions like the Indian Health Service and the Federally Qualified Health Center system face challenges in securing a workforce to care for their communities.