Model & Strategy

HEAL Initiative aims to address the severe healthcare workforce shortage and health disparities in underserved communities in the United States and abroad by creating, scaling, and sustaining a pipeline of health professionals to care for the poorest communities, while simultaneously strengthening local health systems. HEAL’s two-year fellowship model is a unique approach that pairs a dedicated U.S. medical professional with health professionals living and working in low-resource communities.

During the two-year fellowship, both sets of fellows go through immersive training, receive ongoing mentorship focusing on skills essential for global health delivery, and obtain an online MPH. HEAL aims to create a new cadre of emerging health professionals with the skillset to continue providing high-quality care to underserved populations for years to come.

Logo
At a Glance
Founded: 2015
Health
Location of work: International, Africa, Latin America
HEAL Initiative
300 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza
Suite 520
Oakland, CA 94612
Making service to the poor a first choice
Meet Sri Shamasunder and Phuoc Le

Phuoc Le, MD, MPH, DTM&H is a refugee from Vietnam, where his family fled in the 1980s as part of the “boat people.”  Phuoc grew up in Kansas and California before graduating from Dartmouth College, Stanford Medical School, and UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health.  He completed his residency in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Global Health Equity at Harvard. During his residency, Phuoc worked to provide equitable health care in Rwanda, Lesotho, Malawi, post-earthquake Haiti, and most recently, Liberia.  Currently, Phuoc is on the faculty at UCSF and UC Berkeley, where he teaches and mentors students at all levels.

Sriram Shamasunder, MD, DTM&H grew up in the desert of California, a first generation immigrant. Before he became a doctor, Sri was first a poet, writing and teaching poetry during his undergrad.  Through poetry, Sri became interested in the power of narrative in literature, and in health.  He attended U.C. Berkeley for undergrad, NY for medical school, and completed his residency at Harbor UCLA Medical Center. Since 2009 he has split much of his time between UCSF and several countries around the world focusing on delivering high quality care to poor populations.  These experiences helped shape his desire to develop a program that leads with equity, as well as teaches and mentors health professionals to provide better global health care.

In 2015 Phuoc’s medical team was given the Humanitarian Service award by the Society of Hospital Medicine and Phuoc was named a “Top Doc” by the magazine ACP Hospitalist. In 2016, Sri gave a TEDx talk titled WhoseSuffering Matters Less and Why?  In 2017, Phuoc was named an Eisenhower Fellow.

 

IMPACT

In July 2015, HEAL launched its inaugural class of fellows. This first iteration included 22 fellows including physicians, social workers, dentists, and physician assistants from 6 countries and the Navajo Nation. Fellows have since dispatched to 6 international and 4 domestic partner sites.

In 2017 HEAL expects 54 fellows from 7 countries and 13 sites to join their movement.  In the years ahead, they expect to replicate their model around the country and world by creating a toolkit for other institutions to implement.

  • The magic of the HEAL Community: 41 fellows from 2 cohorts and 7 countries working toward #healthequity are current… https://t.co/1nk2qiLlpJ
  • Applications for the 2020-2022 Cohort of HEAL Rotating Fellows are NOW OPEN! If you're passionate about… https://t.co/XfOI07A9Aj
  • How healthcare can help heal communities and the planet https://t.co/kXgijdTODP
  • How healthcare can help heal communities and the planet https://t.co/kXgijdTODP
  • I just came off weekend of wards @UCSF. Becomes clear as we sit w/our patients listening to their stories of triump… https://t.co/zAKty7YR9B
  • RT @lastmilehealth: We are thrilled to announce that Rachel Saykpah, a Quality Assurance Officer from Rivercess County, Liberia, was recent…
  • RT @abhster: @aditivarshneya @missmayn @healinitiative fellows wrote about this crisis in India earlier this year. Have a read! https://t.c…
  • RT @srijeeva: In era of obsession with evidence and data, race based medicine stands on very little and often follows tradition of medicine…
  • Whether Standing Rock, or Palestine, empire is intersectional, learning from each other how to crush indigenous mov… https://t.co/xlzV8WEH3j
  • Closing keynote speaking of indigenous resistance @SocMedGlobal
  • “New racism is democratic and respectable, naming others as culturally different instead of biologically inferior”… https://t.co/ZJfykseGbf
  • Many of us @healinitiative are struggling to understand everything said in panels in Spanish @SocMedGlobal in Mexic… https://t.co/aJbruRJJOK
  • “Liberation medicine is the conscious, conscientious use of medicine to promote health, human dignity, and social j… https://t.co/pHpgOFMkml
  • RT @srijeeva: WHO starting to work on CHW guidelines for policy- launched in October- last week at the Annual world health assembly 193 cou…
  • RT @sophiarois: Dr. Didi Bertrand on community health workers: “We have always been considered the lower cost option, we are not recognized…
  • Excited to work with @mlipnick and much needed @healinitiative fellow specialists from anesthesia to surgery to psy… https://t.co/pKJfzFeXNn
  • Listening to Dr. Didi Bertrand Farmers talk on community health workers on necessary to professionalize and pay com… https://t.co/KzqbDt36Oh