Global Citizen Movement Award winner working in Next Mile Project space
David Wilson, Media Lab intern, Emerson College
Between musical performances by Alicia Keys and John Mayer, Dr. Raj Panjabi, the CEO and co-founder of Last Mile Health, accepted a Global Citizen Movement Award at the Global Citizen Festival on September 28th.
The Global Citizen Festival is an event organized by the Global Poverty Project, and brings together people who are committed to eliminating global poverty. Last Mile Health’s mission is to combat the cynicism, indifference, and lack of creativity that plagues health care delivery in the most remote corners of Liberia.
Among the 60,000 spectators gathered in New York City’s Central Park for the Festival was Siobhan Kelley, the partnership and communications coordinator at Last Mile Health.
“To see [Raj] onstage, and to see our work being recognized, was really an amazing feeling,” Kelley said.
A total of four Global Citizen Movement Awards are presented at the Global Citizen Festival. Panjabi was the winner in the category of Health. Other winners included AEA Nigeria for the category of Global Partnerships, Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the president of Liberia, for the category of Women’s Equality, and Joseph Munyambanza, for the category of Education.
“The Global Citizen Movement Award is highlighting someone who is doing something innovative, they are creating a solution for global poverty, and in our case its in regards to health,“ Kelley said. “It’s highlighting stories that are positive. People’s lives are being changed, and that’s exciting.”
Randall Lane, the editor of Forbes magazine, nominated Panjabi for the award. The two met at the Forbes 400 summit for philanthropy on June 5th.
Panjabi learned that he had been selected as the winner of the Global Citizen Movement Award in early August, and was invited to the festival to accept the award.
Kelley said that she and several other members of the Last Mile Health team were already in New York City for the Clinton Global Initiative, so attending the festival was a no-brainer.
Describing the week surrounding the festival as jam-packed, Kelley said she has positive memories of the weekend.
Kelley said it was especially inspiring to spend time with Alice Johnson, Last Mile Health’s clinical mentor from the Konobo district of Liberia. It was Johnson’s first time in the United States, and she in the crowd as Panjabi received his award.
“It was a great end to a great week,” Kelley said.
Looking forward, Kelley said that Last Mile Health’s next goal is to expand their model to ten additional districts in Liberia, which will transform the lives of 150,000 more people through access to healthcare.