When Suzie Welsh was 16, she begged her parents to let her travel to Malawi for a mission trip with GAIA, an organization that creates and implements healthcare programs in areas affected by AIDS. She insisted she’d be fine, and they begrudgingly obliged.
She returned several weeks later having observed deep poverty, witnessed woman after woman be diagnosed with HIV, met toddlers left orphaned by the AIDS crisis and, to her parents’ chagrin, survived malaria. Her encounter with the women of Malawi and the disease that kills 405,000 people in Africa each year, as well as her own relatively easy recovery, opened Welsh’s eyes to the importance of women’s health, both in her own country and globally.
“In Malawi, women are the backbones of their communities. They’re the caretakers. They’re driving the economic growth,” she says. “If they’re not healthy, how can the country move forward?”
Fast forward to 2018, and Welsh now has a master’s degree in nursing for health leadership from the University of Pennsylvania, and is an adjunct nursing professor at Villanova. And she has used her experience in Malawi to devote her life to women’s health.
In 2016, Welsh founded BINTO, a tele-health and subscription box company that focuses on women’s reproductive health. Women who sign up receive vitamins, supplements, probiotics, and menstrual products each month that match their specific needs, as well as the option to talk to a nurse about health concerns.
Currently, the company only operates in the United States. But Welsh hopes, eventually, to make a broader impact—even as far away as Malawi, where it all began. “Our guiding star is how can we change health outcomes for women in the United States, and eventually globally,” she says.
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