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    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.

    Olivier-Hugues Terreault is preparing Brazilian society to be able to care for their growing elderly population. Through an innovative clowning therapy, he is equipping caregivers and seniors themselves with tools for communication, meanwhile his work with decision makers and the general population creates policies and social norms that will ensure seniors’ wellbeing in society.

    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.

    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.

    Committed to working with senior citizens, Maria de Lourdes Bráz has found a simple way to transform the standard assistance-based model, to which all government agencies and members of society conform, into an effective integration model.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    In a pilot center in a small town in northeastern Brazil, Renata Arantes Villela is creating a caring and nurturing environment for the disabled. With strong links to the broader community in which it is based, the pilot center will serve as a model for the development of much-needed services for the disabled and as a vehicle for combating misconceptions about disabled individuals and what they can offer to their communities.

    Wellington Nogueira created an organization devoted to bringing happiness into the lives of children in hospitals through the dramatic art of clowning. Through his program he strives to give this form of artistic expression a predominantly social character in an effort to humanize Brazilian hospitals.