Dr. Paul Farmer, Dr. Jim Yoon Kim, and Ophelia Dahl began Partners in Health in Haiti in 1987, extended its services to Peru and then Rwanda. Now its work against Antibiotic Resistant TB benefits the world. I learned about this great nonprofit through Tracy Kidder's book "Mountains Beyond Mountains". Kidder tells the beginnings of this organization--as Farmer, a young student at Harvard Medical School, turned an internship project into a lasting series of health clinics to provide a "preferential option for the poor in health care". PIH uses its resources frugally and still links its permanent staff with leading medical professionals. The website PIH.org states "At its root, our mission is both medical and moral. It is based on solidahttp://greatnonprofits.org/reviews/write/partners-in-health-a-nonprofit-corporation#rity, rather than charity alone".
After reading previous comments, I thought the "senior executive salaries" issue raised below warranted further explanation. According to Charity Navigator, the _top 4_ executives at Partners in Health earn _in aggregate_ less than $500K. The previous comment could reasonably be interpreted as suggesting that a single person earns $500K or more.
Having been been closely associated with businesses ranging from pure start-up to nearly half a billion in value, I can tell you that the senior team's compensation is well below market for an organization with $88 million in revenue last year. Every executive with, say, a Chief Financial Officer's skill set, has a set of job opportunities from which to choose. As a donor, I expect the organization to pay reasonable salaries in relation to the officers' alternatives, taking a host of factors into account (e.g., what are salaries like in the area in which the organization is based, for people with comparable skill sets)? Furthermore, can anyone seriously complain about Executive Director Ophelia Dahl-- the leader of the this $88 million a year organization--- earning $89,000 a year...? I am entirely satisfied with PIH's cost structure.
I was an intern last summer (2009) at PIH. I became a supporter of the organization several years ago upon reading a few of Paul Farmer's books. (I highly recommend "Infections and Inequalities".) In the past, I have volunteered and worked with several non-profit agencies in the U.S. but I can affirm this group of wonderfully talented people are among the best, if not the very best, in the field of health and social justice. Please find out more about them and I know you will become a strong supporter.
PIH truly lives up to their philosophy of 'whatever it takes'. This organization's response to Haiti's earthquake disaster has been quick, thorough, and steadfast. Within one week they had set up supply chains for all of their existing sites to deal with the massive influx of patients from Port-au-Prince. They also had coordinated with other organizations to set up a site in P-a-P at the General Hospital to triage patients who could not leave the city to find health care. Two weeks after the quake, PIH had sent 22 planes to Haiti filled with doctors, nurses, medical supplies, food, etc. Their Boston staff worked around the clock to coordinate this effort. And they are already starting to think about a long-term strategy. As for me, I'm on board to be a PIHer for life.
I lead an organization that helps children living with HIV/AIDS around the world. We have been working with Partners In Health formally for about 3 years as a funding partner and have been extremely pleased with the relationship. Their leadership is legendary, as are the locations where they seek to make a difference (and they do). We have no doubt that their expertise will play a significant role in the rescue and rebuilding efforts in Haiti.
I have had the fortune of interacting with hundreds of non-governmental organizations through my role in health policy and philanthropy. PIH (who i have worked with for over 10 years) stands out as one of the premier organizations staying true to a social justice mission and offering a high social return on investment. While keeping a low overhead, PIH is able to deliver sustainable top-quality care in several countries around the world. I have witnessed their growth from a handful of staff to hundreds across the world. Their approach to equitable treatment, community involvement and global health policy change demonstrates their expertise and strategic long-term approach to alleviate poverty.
Partners in Health has an extraordinary approach towards holistic healthcare through its programs and footprint in Haiti. PIH has in many ways transformed how healthcare is delivered in under-resourced settings with their clinical programs in Haiti. Importantly, PIH utilizes and supports local resources, recognizing the tremendous local talent at hand. PIH's outlook is long term and strategic, and the organization strives to recognize the dignity of each patient. It has been a privilege to support such a program over the years.
I and the firm where I am a partner, Sterling Stamos Capital, have been enthusiastic supporters of Partners in Health (PIH) for many years. In 2004 I visited PIH in Cange, about a three hours drive outside Port au Prince, and was fortunate to attend rounds with Dr. Paul Farmer. As a physician, I can attest to the superb quality of health care that PIH provides to the poorest of poor in some of the most challenging conditions imaginable. As a donor, I am confident that our money was well spent. In fact, I can't think of a better social investment.