Boston Private Perspectives wrote a feature on how BHI’s experience responding to the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake and the Ebola epidemic prepared us to approach COVID relief. Read the full article here.
“Our mission is to improve global health equity through high-quality, reliable infrastructure. Our team has been designing, building and equipping hospitals and health clinics across Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa for more than ten years,” says Co-founder and Executive Director, Jim Ansara.
Prior to starting Build Health International (BHI), Ansara founded Shawmut Design and Construction in the 1980s and grew it into a national company, becoming one of the top 25 construction companies in the U.S. After selling the company to the employees in 2006, Jim knew he wanted to use his time and resources to give back.
While Build Health International’s services are in engineering and architecture, they’re really in the business of helping address poverty by improving health outcomes. “Each year, 8.6 million people die from conditions that would be treatable if they had access to a high-quality health system. That shouldn’t happen, and that’s what we are working to change,” says Ansara.
Build Health International Has Done This Before
BHI was founded in 2014, but its journey really began in the wake of the 2010 Haiti earthquake when Ansara and co-founder Dr. David Walton led a team to design and build a new national teaching hospital in Mirebalais, Haiti. Just a few months into construction, a devastating cholera epidemic started half a mile from the hospital construction site. Cholera spread quickly through the country, which was still struggling to rebuild after the earthquake. It was an extremely difficult period for everyone in Haiti, but the rural poor bore the brunt of the impact from the disease. “Dr. Walton and I quickly shifted our efforts from supervising construction to supporting the medical relief efforts and building emergency cholera treatment centers. The lessons we learned during these overlapping crises shaped the organization that Build Health International is today,” says Ansara. This, combined with their experience responding to the Ebola epidemic, has informed BHI’s COVID-19 response.
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Read the rest of the article here.