Grounds for Health was founded in 1996 by Dan Cox, the president of a U.S. coffee company, and his close friend Dr. Francis Fote, OB/GYN. They were visiting coffee cooperatives in Mexico when they learned that cervical cancer rates there were some of the highest in the world. Dr. Fote knew quite well that cervical cancer is preventable and—when caught early—one of the most treatable forms of cancer. Cox and Dr. Fote took action.
Working with a Mexican OB/GYN, they set out to improve cervical cancer screening in the Oaxaca region. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (later Keurig Green Mountain) and Ben & Jerry’s Homemade offered initial financial support, while volunteer cytologists and pathologists offered their skills, making regular trips to the area to provide on-site training and interpretation of Pap smears.
Grounds for Health has come a long way since those first campaigns.
Originally a volunteer-based endeavor focused on treating women in Oaxaca, Mexico, Grounds for Health has become an internationally recognized non-profit organization with programs in Latin America and Africa. As an established 501(c)(3) organization, Grounds for Health is focused on coverage of cervical cancer screening and preventive treatment in low and middle income countries.
To date Grounds for Health programs have resulted in 61,368 women screened, 4,177 women treated, as well as providing clinical training for more than 400 healthcare providers.
Since its founding, Grounds for Health has received significant support from the coffee industry with more than 250 donors from across the supply chain. Major contributors past and present include Coffee Enterprises, Caribou Coffee, Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee, Keurig Green Mountain, Peet’s Coffee, Royal Coffee Inc., Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee, among many others. Additionally, the organization has established partnerships with leading global health organizations such as PEPFAR, Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon and Marie Stopes International. Grounds for Health is a founding member of Cervical Cancer Action, a global coalition comprised of organizations such as the American Cancer Society and PATH.
Grounds for Health is a growing organization, continuously exploring possibilities for new sites, new technology, and new approaches. There is an overwhelming need for cervical cancer services all over the developing world. Grounds for Health is meeting this challenge head-on with quality, scalable and sustainable solutions.