Who We Are

We are Uniting for Health Innovation (formerly PAHO Foundation), an independent, nonprofit organization that unites government, industry, and local communities to advance innovation in public health. We have decades of experience working to improve the health and well-being of people in the Americas. In 2018, we will celebrate 50 years of dedication to this mission. Explore our history and milestones.

In 1968, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) created PAHO Foundation, previously the Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF). PAHO Foundation’s mission was to identify and mobilize resources in support of public health for the region. In 2018, we became UfHI.

Public health challenges today are different than they were 40 years ago. Not only are issues more intertwined, but resources are more constrained. Governments struggle to manage health threats and chronic diseases, leading to tradeoffs. Responding to these new challenges, we’ve refocused our organization strategically to build bridges between diverse partners and stakeholders. As an independent 501(c)(3), we are nimble – and bring together nontraditional and traditional voices to improve public health outcomes. Leveraging an inclusive and collaborative framework, UfHI seeks to craft and test more agile, effective programs to challenges requiring multidisciplinary thinking.

How We Are Different

Today’s public health responses require solutions that leverage access to technology while considering social and cultural determinants of health. In fact, the many variables that influence health outcomes include behavioral, cultural socio-economic, environmental and access to healthcare systems – and they’re all intertwined. Accessing technologies fosters responses to hard to reach populations and reduce the burden on centralized health delivery systems.

For that reason, we work to bring industries, communities, and governments together to untangle public health challenges and identify innovative solutions as a trusted partner, we look beyond simple fixes to address the root causes of health inequities, surface new ideas, and devise creative solutions leading to tangible outcomes that can be scaled. Through the process of uniting these voices, and leveraging their diverse assets, UfHI brings much-needed innovation to public health.

Read more about our approach to addressing complex health challenges

Our Impact To Date

We’re proud of our legacy. For 50 years, we’ve partnered to develop integrated solutions that reflect the dynamic, complex nature of the public health landscape.

From striving to eliminate onchocerciasis (river blindness) to assessing critical gaps and mapping effective responses to the Zika virus and antimicrobial resistance, our work is helping to save lives and create more sustainable futures for people across the Americas.  

Initiatives and impact include UfHI’s work in:

  • Women’s Cancer which led to Peru’s 2017 National Plan to Address Cervical Cancer
  • Strategic partnerships with The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), Association of American Chambers of Commerce in Latin America and the Caribbean (AACCLA) and American Chamber of Commerce Trinidad and Tobago (AMCHAM T&T)
  • Our work in Diabetes, addressing the urgent need for better education, awareness and prevention

Read more about our initiatives and impact

Our Focus Going Forward

2016 - 2017 was a pivot point for our organization. Recognizing the changing needs of the region, we signed memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with industry partners, health ministries, academic institutions, and NGOs to support this expansion.

These MOUs and strategic partnerships help us to create long-term, sustainable programming that bridges the gap between public and private stakeholders.

Program Areas

We’ve sharpened our focus based on our successes to date, in line with the region’s most pressing health priorities and most promising opportunities through partnerships that:

  • Promote prevention to address the economic and social cultural value of prevention in tackling non-communicable diseases.
  • Leverage technologies to address communicable diseases to prevent epidemics and prepare sustainable solutions that can be scaled.
  • Identify best practices and solutions of new models of health solutions that consider technology, access to care, economic opportunities and vitality for families and the regions…from community to nation.

Priority Countries

We will concentrate our efforts in countries where health systems readiness and political will exist, and work with partners eager to innovate and leverage private/public partnerships to find solutions. We have launched these ideas in: