After volunteering on several medical missions, Nina Yousefzadeh knew she wanted to do more to help.
“I wanted to start a non-profit and create new possibilities,” said Yousefzadeh.
And so she founded The Global Penicillingirl Project in February of this year, which provides U.S. hospital standard medications, nutritional supplements and health care from highly-trained medical and dental teams to rural populations in developing countries.
Yousefzadeh, who grew up in Queens and has been a Clinical Coordinator of Infectious Diseases for the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan since 2005, said the Project’s mission is to “help distribute the world’s abundance and bridge the health care and nutrition gap in resource-poor countries by both supporting short-term medical brigade programs as well as maintaining long-term/sustainable relationships.”
“As of now, we have eight board members, but we will most likely increase that number to 12, as more people have expressed interest in joining our board and helping our organization,” said Yousefzadeh.
She said she learned the value of international humanitarian work very early in her life as an Iranian immigrant. Throughout her career, she has had a special interest in global health and has volunteered for several medical missions in South and Central America.
“Our first mission was in October and was a huge success — we treated nearly 1,000 patients. We took a group of 20 volunteers from New York, Miami and Seville, Spain including five physicians, five dentists, three pharmacists, three nurses and four volunteers,” Yousefzadeh said. “Our goal is to create a permanent clinic starting in October 2012 in Panajachel, Guatemala, where we would have a presence all year and to have continuity in the care of the population we serve.”