Barbara Bush Is Making Health Care Personal, Not Political

Barbara Bush Is Making Health Care Personal, Not Political

barbara bush
(Image credit: Peter Hapak)

Who: Barbara BushCofounder and CEO, Global Health Corps (GHC)

How She Got Hooked: On a trip to Africa with her parents in 2003, Barbara Bush, now 32, witnessed the continent's staggering health challenges. Long after they'd returned, she continued to bring the subject up with her family. "My mom said: 'You're talking about this more than anything else. Do you really want this to just sit on your to-do list?'"

Passion Project: In 2009, Bush launched GHC to recruit young people—450 to date—from varied backgrounds and fields of study to serve as fellows at nearly 100 leading health organizations in seven countries with public health crises worldwide. "We open up global health to people who would never have thought of themselves as global health actors," she says.

Case in Point: Ann Marie Brouillette, a 2011–12 GHC Fellow, left a finance job to work with the Clinton Health Access Initiative in Uganda on improving testing and treatment for HIV/AIDS drugs.

Home Front: GHC isn't advancing health just on foreign shores. "In the U.S., health has become pretty politicized," Bush says. "I don't see it that way at all. It's about dignity and possibility."

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Related: 19 Other Women Who Are Changing the World

Photo via Peter Hapak