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GERGEN & VANOUREK: Making good on a promise
Furthermore, Mr. Park and his wife are looking at ways of supporting the expansion of a breakthrough birthing center enterprise in India named LifeSpring that is taking a comprehensive approach to dramatically improving the healthy outcomes of childbirth in a country that suffers one-third of all maternal mortality cases worldwide.
LifeSpring’s success rates rival those of most developed countries - but LifeSpring delivers this care for less than $40 per birth. (The U.S. average is $8,000 per birth.) The goal is to serve 5,000 low-income patients every year and to provide outpatient services to more than 1 million people over five years.
Another project they have gotten behind is VisionSpring, a social enterprise started by Dr. Jordan Kassalow, an optometrist who has figured out how to provide affordable eyeglasses to people across the developing world who make less than $4 per day and is training teams of local “vision entrepreneurs” to evaluate and provide the appropriate prescriptions.
The impact each of these projects has is noteworthy. Taken together, they represent a major advance in health care. Mr. Park recognizes the challenge of pursuing each of these initiatives while staying true to his family and spiritual values - but he is determined to try. It’s a promise he’s not taking lightly, and we all stand to benefit from his success.
Christopher Gergen and Gregg Vanourek are the co-authors of “Life Entrepreneurs: Ordinary People Creating Extraordinary Lives” and the founding partners of New Mountain Ventures, an entrepreneurial leadership development firm. They can be reached at authors@lifeentre preneurs.com.
By Bob Dole
The industrious island has proved itself worthy of U.S. inclusion
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