Our Story

BHAVYA REHANI, MD

INSPIRATION

Yellow fields, chirping of birds, hot weather, mosquitos playing buzzing music, children running around playing games, morning chants by priests with sounds of bells and then the muddy roads which lead to cozy houses in an Indian village. I knew it was my grandparent’s house when I saw the beautiful hand painted door. When you opened it, you could hear the laughter of the neighbors who had collected to welcome us. The large courtyard was a happy place which was bright and colorful with smiles everywhere. We used to race up the stairs to the roof as kids and play, flying vibrant kites and gazing at the stars in the night.

Every morning, the fragrance of freshly baked Indian bread woke us up. If that didn’t, the masala chai did. Early morning, my grand-dad used to ask us to join him in a thankfulness prayer and used to teach us the message of “seva”, which meant selfless service to help other people.

“In happiness or sadness,

In sickness or in health,

In good or bad times –

No matter what always do good for others”

He used to pick up his bike and go around to help the villagers. A tall Indian guy with white hair, white shirt, brown trousers and a broad smile. My grand-mom on the other hand was a short Indian lady and needed a ladder to get to the stove top. We loved helping her with cooking. Both had raised a family of six with values and love and my dad was the eldest son.

Little did I know that in that little home in a small village, would lie my inspiration to create Health4TheWorld one day.

 

“In happiness or sadness,

In sickness or in health,

In good or bad times –

No matter what always do good for others”

 

 

“We volunteered extensively and traveled to many countries to hold medical camps or provide free medications.”

 

 

 

In the subsequent years when I was in high school, both my grandparents suffered from severe strokes and cardiac events. I understood what lack of health access truly meant when I visited them. There was simply no medical care. They were driven to the nearest hospital 2 hours away during emergencies. There were no physicians to help them with routine care in the village. They never complained though their pain was undeniable. They laughed even through their illnesses, helped villagers, played games with us and got the favorite “halva” (Indian dessert) ready when we came to stay with them. They left a legacy of kindness, courage, hope and helping others.  Moreover, they left their beautiful teachings in our hearts.

My dad, Dr. Madan Rehani continued the tradition and took us to volunteer or donate food items every Tuesday evening. Those were my favorite evenings growing up and gave a sense of peace in a way which is hard to describe in words. One of the most kind-hearted and humble person you can meet, he led with an inspiring example of caring about most in need globally.   

During medical school and residency, I volunteered extensively and traveled to many countries to hold medical camps or provide free medications to those in remote areas. I also met my amazing husband Dr. Ankur Bharija at this time, who shared the same passion for giving back. There were many patients and doctors on these journeys who inspired me. Doctors who saved lives with minimal resources and patients who didn’t give up in their fight against diseases. Once while helping in a remote location, I remember resuscitating two patients without a pulse at one time as there were no others doctors available.

During these trips, there was a contentment of helping those in need who had nobody else to help them. However, when we left we realized that the impact was short-term. They still needed more doctors to help and more training. I remember the helplessness which always occurred after these trips. The question was: Is there a more sustainable solution to help?

There is no better joy

than “seva” or selfless

 service to help others.

Technology when used

with love to help others

can pave the path to a

beautiful future of

mankind

 

Beaming with history, red buildings, universities and schools, beautiful changing colors with seasons and surrounded by Massachusetts Bay and Charles river– Boston has a special place in my heart.

During my fellowship, at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard medical school, I had a chance to get involved in global health initiatives. These made me think more deeply about sustainable solutions.

Before moving to Bay Area, I made trips to volunteer and asked patients and doctors in under-resourced communities about the solutions which they hoped existed. Interestingly, many involved technology.

The move to Palo Alto helped shape the creation of these technological solutions. Filled with inspiration for innovation on every street, café intellectual chats, opportunities to learn coding, virtual reality & artificial intelligence-there was hope of creation of technological solutions to help people.

When I started working at UCSF, I met Dr. Bill Dillon who is a renowned leader in neuroradiology. Most of all, Bill has a heart of gold, is dedicated to education and giving back to make this world better. We started training medical professionals online in one country and the journey of Health4TheWorld began.  

Formation of Health4TheWorld

Health4theworld was formed as a California nonprofit in October 2016. We started with 3 board members and a couple of volunteers with work in one country. As of October 2017, we are in 22 countries and are a group of 40 passionate team members determined to give back to help as many people as possible.  The diverse team consists of doctors, nurses, therapists, software engineers, film-makers, movie editors, marketing professionals, translators and most importantly the doctors and patients in different countries. The renowned health experts from 15 leading academic institutions volunteer to teach through Health4TheWorld.

We believe that technology, when used with love to help others, can pave the path for the beautiful future of mankind. We have created a mobile application for empowering stroke patients, used virtual reality for education and machine learning for a chatbot which provides hope to patients. These are free of cost in languages including Swahili, French, Spanish, Nepali, Filipino, Chinese apart from English.

These have been designed with the help of doctors and patients in under-resourced communities and are updated regularly after feedback. These technologies based solutions help us create a sustainable positive impact on the lives of people.

Now we are on the way to create the largest free online open access education platform in medicine to help doctors, nurses and community health-care workers in villages.

Drs Ankur Bharija and Bill Dillon have played an immense role in shaping Health4TheWorld. Dr. Haile Debas, who is the previous Chancellor of UCSF and founder of UCSF Global Health Sciences has been an exceptional mentor in our global health projects. Other leading experts in Advisory Board including technology leaders like Avinash Kaushik & Jerry Cain.  Leaders like Dr. Dan Lowenstein have helped guide Health4TheWorld to have a larger positive impact.

Nothing makes our day better than seeing a doctor save a life of a patient because of our education.  Or a patient who had given up now feeling empowered with hope and knowledge to fight a disease in a remote corner of the world where no help existed. 

Though in our journey of selfless giving, we have come far- there is still great work to be done together.    

If you would like to volunteer- everyone has a talent to make lives of others better.

If you would like to donate, 100% of public donations go to our projects. 

You can join in our journey to make this world better! 

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Vision

Promoting health in resource-poor communities worldwide through education and technology

Health4TheWorld and H4TW are registered Trademarks of the Health4TheWorld Inc. A 501(c) (3) US Charity registered in the state of California (EIN: 81-4405671)