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After Seven Years, Health eVillages Continues To Save Lives and Improve Global Health Outcomes

(December 21, 2017)

BOSTON, Dec. 21, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Health eVillages, now in its seventh year, continues to move the needle on improving global health abroad, while adding a new domestic focus on rural aging in the United States.  The organization, founded in 2011 by global healthcare activist and CEO of Tivity Health Inc. Donato Tramuto, provides mobile medical and training resources to healthcare professionals working in underserved communities, including in Haiti, East Africa, and the United States and addresses healthcare challenges, including infant and maternal mortality, tropical diseases, preventive healthcare and well-being improvement.

From continued work with partners like the Lwala Community Alliance (Kenya), Kijabe Hospital (Kenya), and Ste. Therese Hospital (Haiti) to new initiatives with Child Legacy International (Malawi), Village HopeCore (Kenya) and Wellshare International (Minnesota and Tanzania), Health eVillages continues to collaborate around the world to “Heal-the-Villages” and advance community health.

“Health eVillages was created after learning that one billion people will go to their graves in our lifetime due to never having seen a doctor or nurse - six million are children who die each year because they have no access to a medical professional, clean water, or medications.   It was not in my DNA to stand by and do nothing,” Tramuto said. “Hence, Health eVillages was my response to address this issue by helping people gain access to high quality healthcare both here in the US and in some of the poorest and most remote regions of the world. I recognize we will not be able to reduce one billion to zero, but I’d like to think that together we are moving the needle.”

Rural Aging

In June, Health eVillages partnered with Tivity Health, the Tramuto Foundation, the MIT Age Lab and Jefferson College of Population Health to convene more than 80 experts from business, government, academia, community and nonprofit organizations at the Connectivity Summit on Rural Aging in Portsmouth, NH.  Through provocative panel discussions and active engagement by all participants, attendees identified key issues and collaborated on potential community-focused solutions ranging from food security to education to mental health, to improve the health and well-being of those aging in rural areas.  Health eVillages is working with Tivity Health to activate several pilot programs that address issues identified at the Summit, and share outcomes at the 2018 Summit in August.

“The Connectivity Summit marked the beginning of a collaboration with the best and brightest in their respective fields,” said Robert Avinger, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Culture, Tivity Health. “As we said throughout the Summit, this initiative is a movement, not a moment, and we look forward to building on what we achieved this year on these important issues in 2018 and beyond.”

Nutrition Initiative

Building on six years of work with the Lwala Community Alliance, the Tramuto Foundation/Health eVillages Nutrition Initiative was launched this year to eliminate malnutrition, the primary cause of death to young children in this rural Kenyan community. Community Health Workers, equipped with Health eVillages mobile tablets, screen at-risk households, refer affected children for medical treatment, provide ongoing monitoring and support, educate families about nutrition, and assist residents in creating neighborhood gardens. Nearly 6,000 children and 726 families are enrolled in this community care to date and since this intense intervention began, not a single child has been lost due to malnutrition.

“Health eVillages has partnered with us as we’ve built a community-led model of healthcare that works,” according to Ash Rogers, Lwala Executive Director. “They’ve leveraged their experience, technology and resources and together we’ve cut under-5 mortality to 64 percent of the regional average. Now, we are doubling down on our approach, tackling a key cause of child death: chronic malnutrition.”

“Health eVillages and the Tramuto Foundation are rare partners,” Rogers added. “They leverage not only their resources, but also their expertise and technology. Their investments aren’t one-off injections, but long-term accompaniment. This type of collaboration is what is needed to move the needle on health outcomes globally. Health eVillages and the Tramuto Foundation’s five-year investment is long-term and visionary and will ensure we see this strategy through.”

South Sudan

Partners in Compassionate Care supports healthcare services at Memorial Christian Hospital in one of the poorest, most desperate nations on earth – South Sudan. One challenge in this rural community is transportation to the health facility.  War, poverty and famine have literally torn this country apart and severely impacted the population’s ability to travel to the hospital for care. Health eVillages provided a desperately needed ambulance to the hospital and, as a result, lives are being saved. Just this summer, a 7-year old girl named Aker was caring for her younger brothers while her mother walked a mile to get water. Armed men attacked the village and approached Aker and tried to kidnap her brothers, ages 1 and 3. She resisted and was shot. Her mother returned from the water pump to find her daughter bleeding to death. The ambulance arrived in time to save Aker’s life, transporting her to a state hospital for immediate care, then to Juba Teaching Hospital for complex surgeries and a 4-month recovery. Ambulance transport is vital to villages where healthcare is completely inaccessible. In South Sudan, more than 125 people have received ambulance transport and care in the last several months – people who would have no other way of accessing medical services if it weren’t for the ambulance.

Hurricane Relief

This August, Health eVillages partnered with Tivity Health, Silver Sneakers and the Tramuto Foundation to launch the Tivity Health Relief Fund to identify gaps in services and to support organizations that are helping older adults impacted by the recent hurricanes. All proceeds raised will help bring services and programs to people age 65 and older. The Tivity Health Hurricane Relief Fund is accepting donations at http://www.tivityhealth.com/hurricane-relief-fund/.  Funds collected to date have supported seniors in affected communities served by the local Area Agencies on Aging and the YMCA of Central Florida.

“The YMCA of Central Florida is so grateful for the kindness and generosity our partners have shown this Central Florida community,” said Executive Vice President John V. Cardone. “Our members at Wayne Densch YMCA and South Orlando YMCA were so blessed to receive gift cards providing them financial relief during their moments of need—many after Hurricane Irma left them with lasting damage.”

Refugee Crisis

In 2018, Health eVillages will partner with the Tramuto Foundation to support the RFK Flagship for Mediterranean Challenges. This initiative will promote a culture of social responsibility, integration, and inclusion by supporting projects of great impact in favor of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers by creating a connection between private and public corporate leaders.

Health eVillages operates with the generous support of four primary sponsors – Tivity Health, Sharecare, the Tramuto Foundation, and the support of its Board, individual contributors and in-kind mobile technology donations from PCS Wireless and Skyscape. “Health eVillages could not continue this critically important work both here in the United States and internationally without the generous contributions of our sponsors,” Tramuto said. “Their financial support allows Health eVillages to expand our efforts to better the lives of some of the most disenfranchised people in the world. Any success we have achieved would not be possible without their dedication to our mission to make the world more just and fair.”

About Health eVillages

Health eVillages collaborates to advance healthcare access and improve the quality of care by providing state-of-the-art mobile health technology including medical reference and clinical decision support tools, as well as other community-focused resources, to medical and public health professionals in the most challenging clinical environments around the world. Our partners include Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, Tivity Health, Sharecare, the Tramuto Foundation, Skyscape, PCS Wireless, Global Impact, the Maternity Foundation, Medical Aid Films, and more. You can find more information at http://www.healthevillages.org and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

CONTACT:  Jane Lane

617-543-6067


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