Our mission is to provide free medical/healthcare information — with a primary focus on children’s health — for anyone, anywhere, anytime. We aim to create, distribute, and compile information that is free, is relevant worldwide, prioritizes affordable and effective healthcare solutions, and is non-commercial. Our long-term goal is to create sustainable improvement in healthcare by helping people help themselves.
What is the story of Global HELP?
After experiencing the tragedy of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Drs. Lynn and Lana Staheli came to the conclusion that the best way to deal with conflict in the world was to address the underlying causes. While recognizing that the origins of terrorism are complex and multiple, the Stahelis believed the fundamental causes included poverty, despair, and poor health care. Improving health would lead to a more peaceful world, they concluded, and improving health requires access to healthcare information.
Given their backgrounds in medicine, academia, and publishing, providing access to health-education resources seemed a logical and powerful way to give something back. This spawned the idea for Global HELP (Health Education using Low-cost Publications): the creation, distribution and broad access to affordable health-education materials.
While teaching in numerous countries, the Stahelis witnessed first-hand the need for information sharing in the medical world. Traditional sources of healthcare information in journals and medical books that are traditionally produced in the United States and Europe were unaffordable and sometimes unsuitable in other areas of the world. They saw whole hospitals whose entire medical libraries did not fill a single bookshelf.
How could this healthcare information gap be closed in other countries at an affordable cost or for free? Based on the Stahelis’ personal experience in creating computer-generated textbooks, digital publications looked like an excellent solution. Digital publications are generally created at low cost and can be distributed without charge on the web or at a nominal cost in print or on compact discs.
In 2002, the Stahelis put the vision into action and created Global HELP, a not-for-profit organization.
Ever since, Global HELP has expanded its selection of free and low-cost publications — focused primarily on its website for PDF downloads and medical educational videos — finding different ways to distribute medical information to new countries and new people every day.
How did HELP develop?
In 2002, HELP developed its basic philosophy and mission. The organization’s infrastructure — including its legal entity status, trademark, boards and business plan — was built in 2003.
During this time, the Founding Board was created. The members of the Board volunteered their service and provided the funds that covered the operating expenses of the organization. This meant that all contributions from non-Board members were used to create and distribute publications, a model that remains to this day.
The Founding Board included Lynn and Lana Staheli, Susan Elliott, Lars Jonsson and Paul Merriman. Since the beginning, Lynn Staheli has served as the unpaid Executive Director of the organization.
What has HELP accomplished?
Over the past decade, Global HELP has provided 90 free publications, some of which have been translated into 35 languages, with new publications added all the time. More than 10 million PDF publications have been downloaded from our website to individuals in more than 150 countries. In addition, 30,000 printed publications have been distributed in more than 60 countries.
How is HELP funded?
Are HELP publications free?
Access and use of all PDF material on the web-site is free. Physical material such as books, posters, and DVD-Rom Libraries are available for free for use in developing countries for only the cost of mailing. A donation to HELP is requested.
Is my donation tax-deductible?
All donations are tax-deductible. HELP is officially registered as a not-for-profit entity with 501(c)3 status within the United States.
May HELP material be copied?
Yes. Unless otherwise stated, our objective is the widespread distribution of healthcare material. Copying the material is authorized for non-profit purposes only. Any “for profit” purpose is strictly forbidden and considered illegal.