As part of the eighth annual Skoll World Forum, on March 31 the Skoll Foundation presented four recipients with its 2011 Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship, including an award of $1.2 million for Health Leads and its co-founder and CEO, Rebecca Onie.
Each year, the Skoll Foundation honors a group of social entrepreneurs and their organizations working around the world in the areas of tolerance and human rights, health, environmental sustainability, peace and security and economic and social equity. Recipients receive a three-year grant and join the global network of 85 Skoll social entrepreneurs from 70 organizations who are tackling the world’s most pressing social and economic challenges.
Past recipients of the award include leading organizations like Partners in Health, College Summit, Health Care Without Harm, Citizen Schools and Kiva.
“Rebecca Onie recognized that poverty was among the most intractable causes of recurrent illness and she acted,” said Skoll Foundation President and CEO Sally Osberg. “Health Leads works with clinics and health care institutions in the U.S. to redefine health care delivery, connecting patients with food, housing and other vital services that move patients out of poverty and into good health.”
Responding to the award announcement, Onie said, “Health Leads is honored to receive this award on behalf of our entire team of volunteers, clinical partners, staff and board and to join the community of visionaries working to address issues of poverty, health and education throughout the world.”
Health Leads helps patients and families take action to improve their health by strengthening their social supports. At Health Leads sites, doctors write actual prescriptions for non-medical essentials that influence health in critical ways–job training, transportation or legal aid to access safe housing. Trained college volunteers then help clients navigate the often complex rules of accessing available city, state and federal resources.
The other 2011 Skoll Awardees are Ned Breslin of Water For People, Ellen Moir with the New Teacher Center and Madhav Chavan of Pratham.