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Lauren Slive: Changing Health Care in Africa, One Suitcase at a Time

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012 by Chris Landers

And to think, it all started with a couple of suitcases.

When Lauren Slive first began her dream to improve health care in Ghana in 2007, she was just a 19-year-old girl dragging as many supplies as she could carry through airport customs. But from those humble beginnings sprang Project HEAL, an organization connecting medical supplies and knowledge to hospitals and communities in Northwest Ghana.

Lauren Slive: Two suitcases to 100 tons

The determination of Lauren and her friend, Emma Lawrence, ensured that their dream would grow. In that first summer, the group distributed 450 medical kits and informational pamphlets to families and health leaders. By the time they graduated in 2009 — with the help of over 50 volunteers along the way— Project HEAL was responsible for a children’s library, a playground and thousands of pounds of first aid materials.

But Lauren wasn’t content to stop there. She had witnessed firsthand local hospitals that were without medical gloves but were receiving expensive x-ray machines and other equipment they couldn’t use. There had to be a more efficient way to connect donated goods with the places that needed them the most, and so Lauren and Emma began MedPLUS Connect.

MedPLUS Connect works directly with hospitals in Ghana to create a list of needs, ensuring that donated medical goods go where they can really be used. Those two suitcases have become over 170,000 pounds of medical supplies, with plenty more sure to come.

Taking on the Giant recently got the chance to sit down with Lauren to discuss her time in Ghana, over coming the challenge of her parents concern and her advice to young people who dream of changing the world.

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MedPLUS Connect works directly with hospitals in Ghana to create a list of needs, ensuring that donated medical goods go where they can really be used. Those two suitcases have become over 170,000 pounds of medical supplies, with plenty more sure to come.

Taking on the Giant recently got the chance to sit down with Lauren to discuss her time in Ghana, over coming the challenge of her parents concern and her advice to young people who dream of changing the world.

Additional information:

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