About Us

Our work began in Liberia’s remote, last mile communities, and is now growing globally. We’re partnering with countries to design and build community-based primary health systems. Together, we link community health workers with nurses, doctors, and midwives at community clinics. We train and support these teams of community and frontline health workers to bring life-saving services—from vaccines to maternal and neonatal care—to the doorsteps of people living far from care. And as a core partner in Africa Frontline First, we’re working in coalition to influence how $2 billion in sustainable funding is invested in community health programs across Africa.

Our Mission

Our mission is to save lives in the world’s most remote communities.

Our Vision

Our vision is a health worker within reach of everyone, everywhere.

Our History

2007

Founding Last Mile Health

Last Mile Health is founded by Liberian civil war survivors and American health workers under the name Tiyatien Health, which means “justice in health” in a local dialect.

2010

BRINGING CARE TO HIV/AIDS PATIENTS

Fueled by the belief that no patient should be out of reach, our founders launch Liberia’s first rural, public HIV treatment program with only $6,000, raised during Raj Panjabi and Amisha Raja’s wedding. In 2010, we partnered with the Government of Liberia and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria to replicate our HIV treatment model in 19 public clinics across 12 of Liberia’s 15 counties.

2012

GOING TO KONOBO DISTRICT

We realize that to reach patients living in remote communities, we need to serve them directly in their homes. We partner with the Government of Liberia to pilot a community health worker program in Konobo District—one of the poorest and hardest-to-reach regions in the country. In just one year, teams of community and frontline health workers achieve 100% coverage of the district, resulting in an increase in clinic-based skilled birth attendance from 55% to 84%.

2014

SCALING OUR WORK COUNTY-WIDE

Encouraged by the results of the program in Konobo District, Liberia’s Ministry of Health invites us to replicate our community health worker program across Rivercess County as a pilot for nationwide scale.

2015

RESPONDING TO THE EBOLA EPIDEMIC

In partnership with the Government of Liberia between 2014-2015, we train more than 1,300 health workers and community members to rapidly educate communities, refer patients to care, and contain the spread of Ebola. Primary health services, which had all but shut down across Liberia, are never disrupted in the communities where we work.

2016

LAUNCHING LIBERIA’S NATIONAL PROGRAM

In partnership with Liberia’s Ministry of Health and peer organizations, we design and launch the country’s first-ever national community health worker program, the National Community Health Assistant Program, to extend primary healthcare to 1.2 million people living at Liberia’s last mile through paid, professionalized community health workers. After the launch of the national program in Rivercess County, the proportion of children receiving care from a qualified provider increases substantially.

2017

TRAINING THE HEALTH WORKFORCE

Last Mile Health co-founder Dr. Raj Panjabi accepts the 2017 TED Prize and shares the story of Last Mile Health in a TED Talk. He announces plans to launch the Community Health Academy, which leverages open-source digital tools that improve the efficacy and efficiency of training. The Academy reflects Last Mile Health’s growing work in partnering with ministries of health to strengthen community health workers’ skills. As of October 2022, over 40,000 learners have accessed course content for health leaders from the Academy. 

Photo Credit: Bret Hartman/TED

2018

COALITION-BUILDING TO IMPROVE COMMUNITY HEALTH

Last Mile Health and like-minded organizations found the Community Health Impact Coalition, advocating for the professionalization and payment of community health workers. Together, we contribute to the World Health Organization’s first community health worker guidelines, calling for all community health workers to be fairly paid for their lifesaving work.

2019

EXPANDING OUR REACH

We launch a new three-year strategic plan, Within Reach, which outlines our commitment to deepen our work in Liberia while partnering with governments to strengthen three additional national community health programs to serve as global exemplars. Within Reach also reaffirms our commitment to sharing our best practices and lessons learned with the global health community. We launch a new partnership with the Malawi Ministry of Health to help ensure the National Community Health Strategy delivers essential primary health services to every person, no matter where they live.

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2020

RESPONDING TO COVID-19

We launch a comprehensive effort to support governments to deploy community and frontline health workers to prevent, detect, and respond to the coronavirus, while ensuring patients have uninterrupted access to primary healthcare. Our partnerships support the delivery of 6.2 million pieces of personal protective equipment, and over 14,000 health professionals download courses available through our COVID-19 applications in Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, and Uganda. We also advise global guidelines for community health workers responding to the pandemic with partners like the Africa CDC.  

2021

INNOVATING HOW HEALTH WORKERS LEARN

Building on the success of our COVID-19 applications for health workers, we partner with Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health to design and pilot an innovative blended learning training module for community health workers, combining in-person and digital training sessions to keep learning and engagement high while making training more affordable. Results demonstrate that blended training learners’ knowledge scores improve at least as much as in-person learners, while costs drop by 39%.

2021 cont.

DEEPENING OUR WORK IN OUR PARTNER COUNTRIES

Building on what we’ve learned through our flagship program in Liberia, we deepen our work in our partner countries, leveraging our Theory of Change to maximize impact by working across three levels: delivering care, upskilling health workers, and strengthening the community health system. We deepen our partnerships with the Ministries of Health in Ethiopia, Liberia, Malawi, and Sierra Leone to develop and scale community health worker programs at the national level. As of October 2022, we support 8,308 community and frontline health workers who provide care to more than 5.6 million people in rural and remote communities.

2022

A RENEWED FOCUS ON INCLUSIVITY AND EQUITY

We reinforce and build on our commitment to ensuring Last Mile Health is inclusive and equitable—both in our work and within our organization. We open a new global office in Accra, Ghana to move centers of power and decision-making closer to our programming, and to provide stronger technical assistance to our country programs. We also launch our new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) roadmap, which defines clear activities to advance DEI at Last Mile Health by changing our policies, systems, programs, and culture.

2022 cont.

LAUNCHING AFRICA FRONTLINE FIRST

Under the leadership of H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Last Mile Health, Financing Alliance for Health, Community Health Impact Coalition, and Community Health Acceleration Partnership launch Africa Frontline First. Founded on the belief that a robust community health infrastructure is essential to the delivery of effective, efficient, and equitable care, Africa Frontline First aims to professionalize 200,000 community health workers across 10 African countries by 2030. They will reach over 100 million patients in Africa’s most remote communities, a substantial step toward achieving universal health coverage.

2023

CLOSING THE DISTANCE

Building on the lessons learned from Within Reach, we launch a new five-year strategic plan, Closing the Distance. Over the next five years, we will deepen our impact in four to six national community health systems to bring essential primary care to last mile communities, and we will influence community health financing across Africa to improve how $2 billion in sustainable funding is invested for the greatest impact at the last mile.