“Patients don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Dr. Antonia Novello, Commissioner of Health for the State of New York. U.S. Surgeon General (1990-1993)

About the Foundation 

Who We Are

Philanthropic Leadership

For more than 30 years, PAHEF has worked in partnership with inter-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, universities, industry, foundations, and caring individuals to reduce inequities in health status reduce maternal and child mortality, increase access to treatment and medicines for indigenous communities, and provide better health education for students entering the medical, dental and nursing professions. A healthy future for the people of the Americas depends on this joining of strengths.

The Foundation is a tax-exempt organization with public charity status. It is governed by a Board of Trustees comprised of health experts, business leaders and academics.

Independent of political or religious restrictions, the Pan American Health and Education Foundation is free to work on behalf of all of the segments of our hemispheric community. This is accomplished with the direct support of philanthropic partners world-wide who care about health inequities in the Americas and support our vision of Health for All.


Over the past six years, the Pan American Health and Education Foundation has made more than 64 grants to improve the health of children and families, to support medical and nursing education, to strengthen the capacities of health workers, and to advance research. For example, PAHEF has supported activities to:
  • Improve blood safety and establish quality control standards for laboratory workers;
  • Vaccinate thousands of children against life-threatening preventable diseases,
  • Train epidemiologists to use a world-wide database for early warning of disease outbreaks;
  • Test cost–effective methods for early cervical cancer diagnosis;
  • Make medical and nursing textbooks more affordable through a partnership-program with over 500 universities in 18-Spanish-speaking countries;
  • Develop distance-learning modules to train rural doctors;
  • Provide nursing scholarships for women from indigenous communities;
  • Work to eliminate intestinal parasites, the leading cause of morbidity in children in developing countries; and
  • Test a new method for the delivery of malaria drugs.
Through the generosity of donors, Foundation grants have saved lives and improved the quality of life for millions of people.

Foundation Strengths

  • PAHEF is independent, non-partisan and knowledgeable about the spectrum of public health needs.
  • In collaboration with our primary partner, the Pan American Health Organization, which serves as the World Health Organization office for the Region of the Americas (PAHO/WHO), and, with public health practitioners, non-profit agencies, business and industry, and governments, we identify and fund programs to act effectively for the common good.
  • We are a permanent home for private philanthropic funds, and have the grant-making expertise to distribute the income on those funds effectively.
  • Donors benefit from a range of services that enable them to achieve their philanthropic goals.
Learn about priority programs that you may wish to support and how to make a gift or establish an advised fund.