2009 – Dr. Henry Perry

In by Marc Pitre

UPDATE We congratulate Dr. Henry Perry for receiving the $100,000 Ronald McDonald House Charities Medical Award of Excellence during Ronald McDonald House Charities Annual Awards of Excellence celebration on Saturday, November 9, 2013 in Rosemont, Ill. The RMHC Medical Awards of Excellence honors a member of the medical community and acknowledges his/her extraordinary work on behalf of children. Watch the full video from the awards ceremony here.

Read Henry’s Dory Storms Award acceptance speech.

Henry Perry has been instrumental in the founding, growth, and continuing success of Curamericas Global, originally known as Andean Rural Health Care. He has donated his award to this organization.

Henry’s early work in Bolivia as a solo medical missionary planted the seeds for Curamericas Global, as he envisioned making a larger impact on the devastating child survival rate among the Aymara people on the northern Altiplano beyond what he could do working alone.  He organized the Andean Rural Health Care upon his return to the United States, and over the next 10 years returned to Bolivia frequently to set up the approach now used in similar projects in developing countries: the Census-Based, Impact Oriented (CBIO) methodology.

His approach, which uses local assistance and strives for self-sustaining, measurable results, has proved successful: in Bolivia, child survival rates improved an astonishing average of 62% in areas where the approach had operated for more than five years.

The remarkable success of Henry’s work enabled Andean Rural Health Care to expand to Guatemala, which suffers from similar dismal child and maternal survival rates, and later into Africa.  Now marking its 30th year, Curamericas Global has reached more than 1 million people in Bolivia, Guatemala, Haiti, and Liberia. Henry has continued to work actively with Curamericas as he has expanded his work to other organizations and locations.

From 1995-1999, Henry worked with the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh: Centre for Health and Population Research and with BASICS, where he supported efforts to strengthen maternal and child health programs throughout Bangladesh. From 1999-2003, he provided support and leadership to the Hôpital Albert Schweitzer in Haiti, an integrated system of hospital, primary health care, and community development activities that serves 300,000 people in the Artibonite Valley.

Henry joined Future Generations in 2004 as the Carl Taylor Endowed Professor for Equity and Empowerment. He had responsibilities for teaching in its new master’s degree program, for promoting equity and empowerment, and applied research. He is currently heavily engaged in completing a systematic review of the effectiveness of community-based primary health care in improving child health in collaboration with the American Public Health Association, UNICEF, the World Health Organization, CORE Group, USAID, and the World Bank.

Henry is the author or co-author of over100 publications including 55 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, 11 books and monographs, and 23 book chapters. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Adjunct Professor in the Department of Global Health at Emory, and Associate in the Department of International Health at Johns Hopkins. He is a founding member of the Working Group on Community-Based Primary Health Care of the APHA and from 2001-2007 served as Chairperson of that Working Group. In addition, he has served as a consultant to the World Bank, UNICEF, a number of CORE Group member organizations, as well as other smaller organizations, working in numerous countries around the world. He teaches Introduction to International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to 200 students a year, and he also teaches Case Studies in Primary Health Care and Managing NGOs in the Health Sector. He teaches Health for All through Primary Health Care on the MOOC (massive open online course) sponsored by Coursera.

Henry was elected as Vice-Chair of the CORE Group Board of Directors in 2006.  During his tenure on the BOD, Henry served as the Chair of the CORE Group Polio Partners Project and the BOD Nominating Committee, and exerted leadership in several taskforces and BOD committees.  Henry is a tireless advocate of community-focused maternal and child health and a supporter of the important health and development role played by international NGOs.

Henry is a physician with advanced training in public health, the social sciences, and general surgery.  In addition to his technical credentials and expertise, Henry is appreciated for his compassion and mentorship to his peers, and commitment to a more equitable and just world that values lives of all women and children.