The Global HELP Organization (GHO), also commonly referred to as HELP (Health Education using Low-cost Publications), provides free health-care information to developing countries and is committed to making medical knowledge accessible worldwide. Thanks to advances in software and communication, we can now make these publications available to places and people throughout the world. HELP is a humanitarian organization that is nonpolitical and values racial, cultural and religious diversity. Click here for more information about Global HELP.
After observing the tragedy of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Drs. Lynn and Lana Staheli came to the conclusion that the best way to handle conflict in the world was to address the underlying causes. While recognizing that the origins of terrorism are complex and multiple, the Stahelis believed that the fundamental causes included poverty, despair, and poor health care. They concluded that improving health requires access to healthcare information and would lead to a more peaceful world.
While teaching in numerous countries, the Stahelis witnessed first-hand the need for information sharing in the medical world. Traditional sources of healthcare information in journals and medical books that are produced in the United States and Europe are unaffordable and sometimes unsuitable in other areas of the world. They saw hospitals whose entire medical libraries did not fill a single bookshelf. Given their backgrounds in medicine, academia, and publishing, providing access to health-education resources seemed a logical and powerful way to reduce conflict. This spawned the idea for Global HELP (Health Education using Low-cost Publications): the creation, distribution and broad access to free health-education materials for a worldwide audience.
In 2002, HELP developed its basic philosophy and mission. The organization’s infrastructure — including its legal entity status, trademark, boards, and business plan — was built in 2003.
Founding board members include Lana Staheli (co-founder) and Paul Merriman. The board has expanded to include Kent Stowell, George Hamilton and Suzette McClelland. Lynn Staheli has served as Founder and unpaid Executive Director of the organization.
How has the focus changed?
GHO was founded with the initial goal of providing general medical information worldwide, and has since narrowed its focus to offering pediatric medical information that is relevant to developing countries. From this revised focus, we have developed two Pediatric Orthopedic Academy (POA) sites in English and Spanish. We have also expanded our online collection to include medical history texts.
User Groups have become clarified
GHO has developed the following user classification to help:
1. Those with access to specialty trained doctors 1-2 billlon
2. Those with trained providers, but no doctors 2 billion
3. Those with only untrained providers such as shamans, bone setters, etc. (2 billion)
4. Those without any healthcare (about 1 billion)
5. Patients and families
Most medical information is created by and for group 1 users. The mission of GHO focuses groups 2-5, as this group encompasses the vast majority of the world’s population. Because most publications are created in Level 1 countries and are often not relevant or suitable for worldwide use, these groups lack access to medical information. Our publications are free and may be copied for non-commercial purposes. We only ask that GHO be credited.
We have become more focused on children because they are underserved, improving care lasts a lifetime, and the need is greatest in groups 2-5. GHO material is focused in pediatric orthopedics because of the background and contacts of the Founder.
Over the past decade, Global HELP has provided more than 16 million free downloads of in nearly every country, and in 35 languages. We have an increasing number of free books to download and over 250 educational videos to view on YouTube. We have established a new distribution sub-site www.pedorthoacademy.org in both English and Spanish languages
What accounts for GHO Success?
COTI/SLAOTI (Chilean and Latin American Pediatric Orthopaedic Societies)
COUR/POSNA (with the Committee on Underserved Regions)
SCH (Seattle Childrens Hospital Orthopaedic Department)
GHO is funded primarily by Board Members and friends. To minimize overhead, leadership is not salaried and staff members are motivated by the mission.
Vision for future
Donations to GHO are tax deductible, and used entirely for educational projects. Our minimal overhead is funded by donations from our Board members.