What is the vision and mission of Opa Health?

Our vision is to see a world free of preventable diseases. Our mission is to bridge the knowing-doing gap, empowering everyone, everywhere, to lead their healthiest lives. Our focus is on “Promoting Health. Preventing Disease.”

What do you mean by “Bridging the Knowing-Doing Gap”?

While existing knowledge and technological advances provide unprecedented opportunities for people to lead healthier lives and to prevent many diseases, we have found this scientific, evidence-based knowledge is often not accessible, not locally relevant, nor is it actionable. Further, our observation and evidence shows the gap between what we know and what we are doing is widening instead of closing.

The world’s leading health organizations and public officials tell us they welcome new, trusted and more comprehensive platforms to curate and amplify the ever-growing reservoir of knowledge. Our goal is to significantly expand existing efforts rather than replace what is currently out there.

Those of us working to launch Opa Health are convinced of the critical need for a scalable global health platform to “bridge this knowing-doing gap” and the measurable impact and meaningful difference it will make. This new platform will accelerate and amplify community-based approaches to both significantly improve population health and reduce the number of preventable diseases.

What does Opa Health bring to the global healthcare table that doesn’t already exist?

There is science-based evidence, as well as strategies and policies to bridge the knowing-doing gap and help prevent disease. Through our plans, we can help young people make better choices today increasing the quality of their health and longevity in life.

Disease and poor health is becoming a greater issue in the world, and we need to do something radical to change this. It starts by not waiting until a disease is present to treat it – but rather in our trying to prevent the disease in the first place. This is done by better educating our youth so they can acquire good habits and improve their choices and behaviors.

We envision communities where everyone has the opportunity to be healthy and to thrive. In collaboration with partners, Opa Health’s novel approach (the BRIDGE) will provide innovative health tools, processes and services that address common health barriers to entry around the world, especially in underserved geographies where lack of resources and capacity, insufficient access, and difficulty in collecting data are prevalent.

We are a group of seasoned social entrepreneurs spanning the fields of global health, technology, education, public affairs and policy, public/private partnerships, and youth development. The leadership team has built several organizations now operating in 100+ countries – changing the odds for millions of young people

Why an initial focus on youth?

Opa Health supports a recent WHO-UNICEF Lancet Commission report that emphasized the goal of a healthier world must begin with the care of our youth.  We believe the promotion of healthier lives will ultimately lead to a world free of preventable disease.  Thus, our initial efforts will focus on engaging and empowering young people to become the first to benefit from what we are doing to help change and improve their health outcomes. Over time the effort will be broadene to reach all individuals of all ages to lead healthier lives.

What are the success indicators for your pilot programs in Baltimore and Atlanta?

By December 2021 the Bridge will have been beta-tested in 3-5 diverse locations in the United States and one additional country (TBD).  Specially designed tools will allow each community to track its progress towards the goals it has established, provide real-time operational results, identify areas for improvement, and incorporate lessons learned from other participating communities.  We also will launch a series of “last mile” data collection tools and anticipate putting an early-stage machine learning feature in place.

What does your organization mean when you talk about “Health” and “Disease”?

From our perspective, “health” is a state of physical, mental and social well-being that begins with the absence of disease followed by strong mental health and reduced stress. When we refer to “disease,” our focus is on any non-communicable disease (e.g. cancer, diabetes, heart disease) that is attributable to specific unhealthy behaviors. With better, healthier behavior, policies and choices made especially during childhood and adolescence, these diseases can be prevented that often occur later in life and with advancing age. Some of these unhealthy behaviors and choices include lack of childhood vaccination, tobacco use, poor nutrition, lack of exercise, obesity, sun damage, and the environment.  

What is the history of the Opa Health organization?

  • Opa Health (spin off from Unite to Prevent Cancer) is the most recent initiative of ImagineNations Group (ING), a U.S. 501(c)(3) public charity.
  • ING was established in 2002 with early support from the International Youth Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Omidyar Network, and others. ING continues to fulfill one of its original purposes – serving as a platform to incubate high-impact charitable initiatives and then spinning them off into new, independent charitable organizations.  Since its inception, ING has incubated and helped to launch many such initiatives.
  • The idea and need for what Opa Health can bring to the table was first discussed in late 2018 by a seasoned group of social entrepreneurs and global healthcare leaders spanning medicine, science, research, technology, education, public policy, public/private partnerships, youth development, and public affairs.
  • Opa Health is currently in its start-up phase securing seed funding to continue efforts in developing both our proprietary platform and operational and organizational readiness. Our founding partners and Board of Directors are committed to the need for this type of platform and the solution we envision that will dramatically transform and shift the healthcare landscape to a more proactive approach emphasizing health and wellness as opposed to a system that focuses on disease care.
  • Opa Health is in the process of becoming its own independent 501(c)(3) public charitable organization at which time we will officially and publicly launch this new global initiative.

How can you help?

Participate as a strategic partner and join an uncommon table.

Share advice and collective experiences to help us drive the desired change and shared goals.

Leverage your influence and help us build relationships with stakeholders as we work to empower youth and communities to achieve healthier lives.

Leverage your influence and help us build relationships with stakeholders as we work to empower youth and communities to achieve healthier lives.

What are Opa Health’s immediate funding needs?

In early 2020, Opa Health set a goal to raise $2M to build and launch this exciting new initiative.  In early 2021, following the successful launch of the initial pilot locations, an additional $10M will be needed through the end of 2022. Initially, seed capital will be raised through philanthropy, followed by corporate and organizational support, government grants and sustainable IP for long-term success.  To date, we have been funded through individual contributions, corporations, organizations, and family foundations. Opa Health will continue to keep donors and partners informed of activities and progress in achieving our mileposts.

How do I make a charitable contribution to support this worthy endeavor?

Under IRS rules, Opa Health is treated as a wholly-controlled division or branch of its sole parent ImagineNations Group (ING). As such, Opa Health currently shares ING’s tax-exempt status and all contributions to Opa Health, whether made directly to Opa Health or to “ING for Opa Health”, are tax-deductible to the fullest extent permitted by the IRC. (e.g., IRS Guidance re Disregarded LLCs and IRS Notice 12-52 re Donations to Disregarded LLCs). For simplicity, we suggest your contributions be made to “ING for Opa Health.”  Gifts can be made by check, wire transfer or with marketable securities.  Once a contribution is made, you will receive a letter from us for tax-deductible purposes.

Please contact us for more information regarding Opa Health and how you can help.