Statements & Press Releases

Statements & Press Releases

Statements Press Release

JDC and Ruderman Family Foundation Launch New Last-Mile Health Initiative for Vulnerable People in Developing Countries

May 21, 2024

ImpactWell initiative deploys sustainable Israeli-pioneered mobile and telemedicine solutions, starting with a successful pilot program underway in Ghana

New York, May 21, 2024 —The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and the Ruderman Family Foundation today announced a new healthcare initiative, ImpactWell, which utilizes new Israeli medical technologies to reduce illness and improve life expectancy among outlying and underserved populations, especially women and children, in developing countries. Through the initiative, JDC and the Ruderman Family Foundation are also strengthening local healthcare systems by training local providers and establishing sustainable mobile and telemedicine options for last-mile care.


“Basic healthcare for all people is a fundamental human right. The Ruderman Foundation and JDC designed ImpactWell to advance this goal in developing countries by creating new ways of delivering lifesaving healthcare to people who have not had access, giving them both treatment and hope,” says Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “It’s especially gratifying to see how many lives we can improve by leveraging Israel’s medical tech innovations and the power of Jewish philanthropy, all for global good.”


For the past year, ImpactWell has been operating a pilot project in Ghana, where more than 40% of the country’s population lives in rural areas. ImpactWell’s mobile clinics and providers visit Ghanaian villages each week, bringing specialists and new medical technology tools that offer quicker testing and treatment, lowering barriers to effective care. Last-mile health services also include follow-up care for post-surgery patients, post-partum mothers, and pediatric care. A dedicated training center in Accra integrates the new technologies and modes of healthcare delivery into the curriculum of Ghanaian health professionals.


“Among the most urgent global humanitarian needs, access to healthcare is essential. Through our partnership with the Ruderman Family Foundation, ImpactWell harnesses new medical technologies and mobile health systems that make it possible for the most vulnerable people in far flung locations, especially mothers and children, to receive modern medical care and thrive,” says Ariel Zwang, CEO of JDC, the largest global Jewish humanitarian aid organization. “Together we are building bridges of compassion and care between people in developing countries, the Jewish world, and Israel.”


Last mile settings are often isolated with limited or no health professionals, pharmaceuticals and, in some places no running water, electricity or cellular connection. Traveling to modern hospitals, located in urban areas, requires a day of round-trip travel that is prohibitive in time and expense for many, including farmers who must tend their crops, people caring for children, and small business owners. ImpactWell’s local Ghanaian implementing partners include: Gye Nyame Mobile Clinics (GNMC), Forte Medical, and the National TB and Malaria Programs under Ghana Health Service (GHS). ImpactWell’s Israeli tech partners include Nanox, Minerva XR, Ewave MD, ZZapp Malaria, Nonagon, EFA and XR Health.


In Ghana, many children still die from treatable ailments and the mortality rate for children under five is 42.3 deaths per 1,000 live births (in the U.S, by comparison, it is 6.3 deaths per 1,000 live births). ImpactWell make it possible to provide maternal and child medical care in remote areas where parents often don’t know of nor have access to specialized care for their children.


For example, Joyce Onoma recently brought her four-year-old son to an ImpactWell-supported GNMC mobile clinic making its monthly visit to Ntoboroso, located in the Ashanti region, a three-hour drive to the nearest hospital in Kumasi. Ms. Onoma’s little boy had a fever, rash, and was vomiting heavily. The clinic’s medical staff examined her son, provided medication, and guidance if he did not improve. “They gave him medicine, and now he stopped vomiting. It won’t be necessary to admit him to the hospital. It’s here they’ll take care of him,” said Onoma.


With partners like the Ruderman Family Foundation, JDC leads the Jewish community response to disaster and international development crises worldwide. Most recently, JDC responded to earthquakes in Morocco and Turkey, flooding in Pakistan, the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa and Asia, as well as other natural disasters in Haiti, Mozambique, the Bahamas, Guatemala, Indonesia, and Mexico. JDC also leads the Jewish Coalition for Disaster Relief (JCDR), made up of 49 mostly North American Jewish organizations addressing disasters and development challenges worldwide.

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