Our mission is to provide a preferential option for the poor in health care. By establishing long-term relationships with sister organizations based in settings of poverty, Partners In Health strives to achieve two overarching goals: to bring the benefits of modern medical science to those most in need of them and to serve as an antidote to despair.
We draw on the resources of the world’s leading medical and academic institutions and on the lived experience of the world’s poorest and sickest communities. At its root, our mission is both medical and moral. It is based on solidarity, rather than charity alone.
When our patients are ill and have no access to care, our team of health professionals, scholars, and activists will do whatever it takes to make them well—just as we would do if a member of our own families or we ourselves were ill.
What Drives Us
We are a social justice organization that responds to the moral imperative to provide high-quality health care globally to those who need it most. We strive to ease suffering by providing a comprehensive model of care that includes access to food, transportation, housing, and other key components of healing. We bring the benefits of modern medicine to those who have suffered from the overt and subtle injustices of the world, in the past and in the present. We refuse to accept that any life is worth less than another.
Our Core Beliefs
- All human lives have the same value, and every human being has the inalienable right to be healthy to fulfill their potential.
- The right to health is not the only right held by our patients. Other fundamental human rights are interrelated and just as inalienable.
- All people need to stand in solidarity with those who find themselves at the margins of modern society.
- The playing field needs to be leveled for those individuals who are born at a disadvantage (equity vs equality).
- Injustice is not accidental but a direct result of structural violence and oppression. We can fight injustice and have an impact by changing those dynamics.
- It is our moral call to action to expose social injustice and to work toward correcting those systemic forces that create inequalities, no matter how impossible or challenging this task might look.
Partners In Health (PIH) was founded in 1987 to support a one-room health clinic serving a destitute squatter settlement in rural Haiti. PIH’s founders believed the conditions in the settlement — the crushing poverty, absence of modern health care and pervasive poor health — were not inevitable. These were social conditions subject to human intervention and so could be changed — in Haiti or anywhere in the world.
In the more than three decades since, having served millions of patients across four continents, created thousands of jobs and transformed global health, the work of PIH has proved our founders right.
PIH Canada opened our offices in 2011 to strengthen the work and add our voice to the Canadian movement for health as a human right.
Discover How PIH Started
More than 30 years ago, a movement began that would change global health forever with the co-founding of Partners In Health. ‘Bending the Arc’ tells the story.