“Doc” Fote (left) on one of the early trips to Mexico.

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. Keurig Green Mountain (formerly Green Mountain Coffee Roasters) 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.

To date, Grounds for Health has treated 3,955 women and screened 58,780.

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Launch of Grounds for Health Ethiopia.

Launch of Grounds for Health Ethiopia.

Grounds for Health has come a long way since those first campaigns. Today, as an established 501(c)(3) organization, Grounds for Health is focused on coverage of cervical cancer screening and preventative treatment in low and middle income countries. We leverage resources and expertise from partners across multiple sectors and continents – engaging with local and national governments, private industry partners, and community groups like coffee cooperatives, all of whom share our commitment to keeping women healthy. With the goal of increasing the number of women treated, we build local capacity to deliver services, and ensure that the systems and resources needed to sustain scale and quality of services remain in place over the long-term.

Since 1996, Grounds for Health has established cervical cancer prevention programs in Mexico, Central America, South America and East Africa and is 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.

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