Founded in Toronto, Bridge to Health Medical and Dental is comprised of a passionate group of medical and dental professionals brought together by a common desire to help provide healthcare to those in tremendous need. Bridge to Health’s aim is to provide sustainable healthcare in a cost effective manner to rural under-serviced populations in collaboration with local partners. Bridge to Health focuses on education and training for local healthcare providers and patients and create innovative solutions to complex problems.
Bridge to Health’s office is located in Toronto. Currently, they work in rural Kabale, Uganda and Kisumu, Kenya. Much of the team works remotely, spread across the United States (Los Angeles, Washington DC and elsewhere), Canada and elsewhere.
- Access to medical and dental services
- Public health education
- Training of local healthcare providers
- Research and infrastructure-building
Bridge to Health Projects
Medical and dental brigade to rural Kenya
In 2018, Bridge to Health launched their medical and dental brigade to rural Kisumu, Kenya. Before launching the new brigade, they partnered with local organizations, universities, and the government. In Kisumu, Bridge to Health has partnered with Africa Cancer Foundation, a non-profit that provides cancer education, screening and treatment, and also with the local Ministry of Health. This year, Bridge to Health is providing comprehensive services to 3631 patients and provided on-the-job training for close to 50 local healthcare providers. Their next brigade to Kenya will be February 2-19, 2019.
Improving diagnoses in rural Uganda
Bridge to Health is collaborating with local governmental, academic, and private sector partners to roll out portable point of care ultrasound (POCUS) and a scalable training program to teach local mid-level providers to make rapid, reliable diagnoses in rural areas. Their pilot program launched in July 2018 in Kabale, Uganda in collaboration with local not-for-profit organization Kigezi Healthcare Foundation (KIHEFO). This pilot taught 7 local healthcare providers diagnosis of palpable breast masses and of pediatric pneumonia – 2 common ailments that Bridge to Health identified through a needs assessment – over 5 days and using cutting-edge machines (the Fujifilm SonoSite M-Turbo and the Butterfly Network Butterfly iQ).
In order to assess knowledge transfer to trainees, Bridge to Health is currently evaluating this program through remote analysis of trainees’ post-program diagnostic accuracy. For 3 months post-program, trainees will upload each image they obtain, along with their diagnosis, to a cloud-based system for review by the Bridge to Health team. The hope is to launch this program in 1-2 rural communities every 1-2 years. Before launching at a new site, Bridge to Health will partner with the local government and at least 1 local healthcare organization to ensure continued program financing, help with provider recruitment, program implementation, and trainee follow-up.
- Remote work from anywhere in the world
- Staff and volunteers are encouraged to participate in conferences, and in Bridge to Health’s brigades
- As a small organization, the opportunity exists for staff to delve deep into the topics and programs that are most interesting to them, and to voice their opinions and have them be heard
Meet Some Team Members
Dr. Eben Stern, Co-Founder
As Medical Director, Dr. Stern’s role is to recruit the medical team for each of Bridge to Health’s brigades, which includes doctors, medical students, nurses and pharmacists. Dr. Stern is also responsible for collaborating with local partner organizations to determine their communities’ unique medical needs, and then developing relevant programming, and ordering medical supplies and medications, to meet those needs. Dr. Stern completed his medical degree at the University of Toronto and has been a family doctor in Scarborough since 1986. He is currently on staff at Rouge Valley Hospital’s Centenary Site in Scarborough. When asked what he enjoys most about working with Bridge to Health, Dr. Stern would say it’s being part of a passionate group of humanitarians who want to improve health care in under-serviced areas, and developing programs that are needed in these under-serviced areas. Dr. Stern also loves to travel on the brigades and meet all the volunteers, as they all share the same passion for making a difference in this world and giving back to society by helping those in need.
Genevieve Zimanyi, Executive Director
in 2019, bringing a wealth of business acumen along with her. Boasting a successful career in sales, marketing, and account management working with renowned household brands, she then found home at Henkel Consumer Goods. In her 16 years with the company she oversaw numerous successful product launches and partnerships and rose to GM of Henkel Beauty Care.
Taking her expertise in scaling businesses and brands strategically and sustainably, she is now a trusted consultant for companies ready to shake up their organization, make change, and take action.
Genevieve is passionate about travel, community, and contribution. She is an avid volunteer and supporter of non-profit organizations and is recently back from volunteering in Tanzania with the DARE Women’s Foundation. Having explored over 40 countries she brings a global perspective to all she does, and has fostered a deep appreciation for diversity, recognizing the importance of engagement and empathy cross-culturally.
How to get involved with Bridge to Health
How often does Bridge to Health hire people?
Bridge to Health relies on many volunteers to conduct their work. Every month, Bridge to Health brings on volunteers to help out on short-term projects throughout the year. Each year, approximately 50 volunteers can also participate in each of their brigade programs (one to Uganda and one to Kenya).
Bridge to Health brings on new interns every few months. Currently, they have fundraising, marketing, grant writing, research, brigade planning, and general interns. These interns help Bridge to Health with various tasks. Some of these include planning events, managing their social media and website, finding and applying for grants, conducting research on-the-ground at their brigade sites and remotely (for example, through literature reviews), and creating manuals and other content for their brigades. Different intern positions require different education levels, but all of Bridge to Health’s interns have at least a high school diploma.
Top Things Bridge to Health Looks For
Bridge to Health looks for people who:
- Organized and prompt
- Passionate about global health
- Superb communication with individuals from diverse cultural, ethnic, religious, political, social, and economic backgrounds
Advice for Candidates
Bridge to Health appreciates working with people who have innovative ideas for complex problems in global health. They welcome you to tell them more about your interests, and why you feel that you would be a great addition to their team. Before you contact them though, make sure you’ve researched Bridge to Health to learn more about their work and what makes them unique. Be prepared to help out on a project for a trial period before an offer of employment or internship.