Community Empowerment, NFP, grew out of work started by Dr. Stephanie Crane of Rush University Medical Center, Dr. Jeffrey Freed of Mt. Sinai Medical Center and Dr. Soo Kwon of Rush University Medical Center.
Dr. Crane envisioned partnering with underserved communities that wanted to improve access to primary care for its residents. In 2002, she selected the rural community of Peralta in southwestern Dominican Republic because there was strong local leadership and great need.
In 2010, Dr. Crane and several Rush doctors and nurses provided emergency care in the immediate aftermath of the massive earthquake that struck Haiti. Afterwards, the decision was made to make a long-term commitment to working in Haiti using the same model that was successful in the Dominican Republic.
Drs. Freed and Kwon have been providing vital surgical services to underserved communities in Bolivia and Liberia since 2006. These efforts have developed into a sustainable community-based surgical model through the ongoing training of local nurses, students, residents, and doctors. In addition, Drs. Freed and Kwon treat women with obstetric fistulas in Liberia, Niger, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.