Publicity spurs a name change for Project Health

Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Prompted by recent national publicity, the group formerly known as Project Health changed its name to Health Leads Nov. 8 to better represent its core mission.

Health Leads at Brown, one of six national chapters, works at Hasbro Children’s Hospital. Volunteers are required to work seven hours a week, interacting with patients and conducting research to better allocate resources for families in need. Resources offered include transportation assistance, food stamps and baby supplies, Jacob Murray ’12, the group’s resource coordinator, said.

Michelle Obama mentioned Health Leads in a May 5 speech as “the kind of social innovation and entrepreneurship we should be encouraging all across this country,” according to a press release from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Several national newspapers have featured the group, according to Murray. Health Lead’s CEO and founder Rebecca Onie was also recently awarded the McArthur Genius Grant.

According to Inaki Arbeloa ’12, the national leadership of Health Leads changed the name because it felt the old name made the group’s aim sound too “temporal,” when really its goal is to create long-term systemic change in national health care. Now that the group has garnered national recognition, Arebeloa said, it is “becoming a player in the health care debate.”

Less thought went into the old name, said Sara Guevara ’11, program coordinator of Health Leads.

“We were all really enthusiastic with the new name because it did represent what we do,” Guevara said.

“We’re not really a project,” said Amy Traver ’12. Instead, Health Leads works to effect significant health care change, she said. “We wanted to have a name that reflects who we are.”

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