What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?
PHC began in 2000 in response to the enormous gap between the health care systems in the United States and elsewhere. Interested in looking at sustainable preventative health care strategies, PHC’s founders learned that micronutrient health was the basic building block on which rests everything from a child’s ability to resist HIV to a country’s ability to migrate from economic dependency to independence. Yet the most vulnerable people would never see vitamins and minerals in their lifetime, no matter what happened. Few health initiatives, such supplementation and nutrition programming would be able to reach them. The solution became clear: a strategy that would reach these most at-risk populations and provide them with the benefits of critically missing vitamins and minerals that other populations had access to. Making this solution a reality would have an enormous impact.
Food fortification, which exists in the United States through the cereal we eat and the salt we season our food with, is the least expensive most reliable method for improving micronutrient health. For the cost of between $0.02-0.80 per person per year, funded not by charity but with the day-to-day purchasing of basic commodities, it is within a country’s power to prevent a child from becoming blind, a mother from hemorrhaging to death during childbirth, or a baby being born with a debilitating birth defect.
Six years later, building on successful work in Central America, PHC’s mission became designing and implementing comprehensive micronutrient strategies in seven developing countries covering a total population of seventy million people over a seven-year period. Upon completion, PHC’s work will lead to a profound impact in areas such as: HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, diarrhea, measles, blindness, birth defects, death during childbirth, and mental retardation.
Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.
David Dodson founded PHC with his wife in 2000 while he was pursuing his career as an entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur he held the positions of CEO or Chairman of five companies and has served on the board of directors of thirteen businesses. In 2007 Mr. Dodson made the decision to devote his full time efforts to managing PHC. He holds a BA in economics from Stanford University and an MBA from Stanford University and formally worked with McKinsey & Company.
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