A Million Dollar Prize For A Doctor Who Goes The Extra Mile

Dr. Raj Panjabi has his blood pressure checked by a Liberian community health worker
Dr. Raj Panjabi has his blood pressure checked by a Liberian community health worker

It started with a poster he made at Kinko’s and displayed at his wedding in May 2007: Would guests donate to help start a new kind of health care program in Liberia?

He got $6,000.

Now he’s won a million dollar prize for his efforts.

Dr. Raj Panjabi is a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and the founder of Last Mile Health, which trains people from the community to provide health care in isolated parts of Liberia — a country where doctors are in short supply and some 1.2 million people live in rural areas far from any health clinic. LMH now has 300 community health workers who serve 50,000 patients in Rivercess and Grand Gedeh counties.

On Thursday, Panjabi was named the recipient of the 2017 TED Prize. “Dr. Panjabi and his team of community health workers have proven it possible to deliver world-class care in some of the most remote areas of the planet,” said TED Prize director Anna Verghese. The prize, funded by TED and the Sapling Foundation, a private nonprofit created by Chris Anderson, is to be used to fulfill “a wish.”

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SOURCE: News Now/NPR

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