Riders For Health Wins the $125,000 Lipman Family Prize of the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton School

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Prize celebrates leadership and innovation among organizations creating positive social impact.

Philadelphia, PA, April 8, 2015 –
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania announced Riders for Health as the winner of the fourth annual Barry & Marie Lipman Family Prize. Riders for Health is an international social enterprise that enables public health care services to reach rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa in predictable, reliable, and cost-effective ways.  Chosen from over 75 organizations worldwide that devote themselves to social impact and building sustainable solutions for social and economic challenges, Riders for Health will receive $125,000 and official recognition at an award ceremony to be held April 30, 2015 at the University of Pennsylvania.

Along with Riders for Health, the other Prize finalists are: CareMessage, a social enterprise that empowers healthcare organizations with mobile technologies to improve health literacy and self-health management: and Innovation: Africa, an organization bringing Israeli innovation to African villages by engaging in top-quality, sustainable, scalable, and renewable infrastructure projects in sub-Saharan Africa. All three finalists will benefit from synergistic opportunities with Wharton and Penn. These opportunities take the form of student projects and site visits to each of the finalists organizations (to be held at the end of May), partnerships with faculty researchers, educational offerings at Wharton’s Aresty Institute of Executive Education, and many occasions to network within the larger Penn and Wharton academic and alumni communities.

“Riders for Health is a stellar example of thoughtful and innovative leadership battling a global issue that carries enormous social impact: providing truly equitable healthcare to the world,” said Geoff Garrett, Dean of the Wharton School. “The group’s accomplishments, including providing access to regular health care for millions of people to working with ministries of health, international and African NGOs and private sector organizations to improving access to life saving health care for over 14 million people, are a testament to Riders’ organizational strength and dedication to affecting real change in attitudes and behaviors. At Wharton, we celebrate all finalists, congratulate the principals of Riders for Health, and look forward to helping them to advance their laudable missions.”

“The entire Riders team is deeply honored to receive the 2015 Lipman Family Prize,” said Andrea Coleman, co-founder and CEO of Riders for Health. “We are thrilled to receive this opportunity to create innovative new partnerships and engage with new audiences to realize our mission. Together we can work towards a world in which health care reaches everyone, everywhere.”

“Our Prize Committee was inspired and excited by the work of all of three finalists. Riders for Health has crafted an innovative solution that addresses the lack of reliable, well maintained transport common in Africa to offer essential health services,” said Umi Howard, Director of the Lipman Family Prize. “It’s a low-tech approach at its most powerful – one that can be adapted elsewhere around the globe.”

“The strides that Riders for Health have made in creating, showing, and sharing truly equitable health care solutions exemplify the founding spirit of the Barry & Marie Lipman Prize,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann. It is an honor to work with an organization so deeply committed to the ideal of universal healthcare rights.”

About the 2015 Lipman Family Prize Winner:

Riders for Health is a social enterprise established 25 years ago to address one of the greatest challenges facing health care workers in sub-Saharan Africa: a lack of reliable transport preventing health care from reaching remote communities. Riders’ manages transport in harsh conditions with little infrastructure, connecting vital health care with rural areas unreachable except on foot. Their expertise in transport management enables health workers to deliver vital health care to rural communities on a reliable and cost-effective basis.

Millions are spent every year on drugs and technologies for Africa, but a crucial factor is neglected: ensuring their reliable delivery. Health vehicles are abandoned in various states of disrepair, often needing just a single, inexpensive part to get them moving again. Without transportation, and its regular, planned maintenance, a huge portion of the millions poured into health care in Africa is, simply, wasted. This represents a barrier to health care that can be the difference between life and death. Riders for Health ensures that the “last mile” is the most important mile: creating, showing and sharing the solutions for achieving truly equitable health care. The organization embodies the criterion set for the Lipman Family Prize: Its extraordinary leadership and innovative solution is a sustainable solution and is cost-effective and can be easily adapted to create a positive impact elsewhere around the globe. For more information about Riders for Health contact Emily Meikle, Communications Officer.

About the Lipman Family Prize:

Currently in its fourth year, the Lipman Family Prize has been made possible by an $8 million gift from Wharton alumnus Barry R. Lipman and his wife, Marie. Administered by the University of Pennsylvania through the Wharton School, the Lipman Family Prize is governed by an interdisciplinary Steering Committee comprised of faculty, and staff from across the University of Pennsylvania, with support, expertise and partnership from entities such as the Wharton Social Impact Initiative, the Center for High Impact Philanthropy, Wharton’s Center for Leadership and Change Management, the Netter Center for Community Partnerships, and the School of Social Policy and Practice. The selection of Prize finalists involves a group of student fellows that review initial submissions and conduct the due diligence process under staff guidance, and a Prize Committee that selects the finalists and chose the winner. Through this real-world work student fellows receive leadership development opportunities and educational exposure to the social sector and philanthropy.

For more information on the 2015 Lipman Family Prize, visit http://lipmanfamilyprize.wharton.upenn.edu/.

About the Wharton School:

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania—founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school—is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. The most comprehensive source of business knowledge in the world, Wharton bridges research and practice through its broad engagement with the global business community. The School has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 annual participants in executive education programs; and an alumni network of 93,000 graduates.