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    Renê Patriota is a physician who empowers consumers to demand and receive better health care from both the public health system and private health insurance and health plans. Her association resolves immediate problems that threaten patients' access to urgently needed medical attention and seeks long-term solutions to guarantee patients' access to quality health services. Renê's work enables individuals to become active citizens as they exercise their right to quality health care.

    For Suely Carvalho, the solution to healthier and happier births, especially among the underprivileged, lies in using natural procedures with the help of well-trained midwives. Suely, a nursing midwife herself, plans to revitalize this dying profession by creating a strong network of these professionals and creating birth centers designed to provide appropriate services for women in labor.

    Dr. Pierre Foldes is developing an unprecedented holistic approach in a unique, free and accessible center, to efficiently overcome the issues these women are confronted with – medical, psychological, legal, and social – when they are ready to break the cycle of domestic violence. His solution is conceived as an ecosystem of cooperation between the (doctors, police, justice, small shops) to design and scale new ways of detecting and supporting these women until they are totally out of danger.

    Luiz de Barros (Brazil 1997) is implementing Brazil's first nationwide network of self-help groups for the mentally disabled, while challenging Brazilian society to recognize, understand, and address the needs and rights of the mentally disabled population in their midst.

    Dr. Roberto Kikawa has developed an affordable and sustainable system that is bringing teams of medical professionals to offer healthcare and health education services to low-income rural communities in Brazil.

    Joao Claudio has long sought the most effective way to serve the poor: first as a Jesuit, then as a social activist, and now as a doctor developing novel ways of providing first-class health care to Brazil's slum dwellers.

    Jose Marmo da Silva (Brazil 1996) is a dentist working in the public health system in Rio de Janeiro, and an "oga," or initiate of the African Brazilian religion of Candomble. Jose believes that Western style AIDS-prevention campaigns do not work in the Afro-Brazilian context. Therefore he is designing a customized campaign for AIDS prevention/education in the Afro-Brazilian community.

    Merula Steagall has thalassemia—a rare hereditary blood disease—but has always led a normal life. Aware of the low quality of life for the majority of thalassemia patients in Brazil, she has used her knowledge of business to communicate with diverse partners about the democratization of access to health information and quality treatments. Through her work, Merula has doubled the life expectancy of patients, and is beginning to work on a broader range of blood diseases.

    Through her organization Instituto Oncoguia, Luciana empowers cancer patients with information and personalized support, enabling them to take an active role in their treatment and recovery, while at the same leading changes in how society and health institutions view and treat the disease in Brazil.

    Vera Gaensly Cordeiro is a pediatrician who could not stand to see terribly or terminally ill children obtain treatment in her hospital only to be released to such poverty that they could not recover or have hope of comfort.