David Rutstein ’74 Works to Eliminate Health Inequities

David Rutstein '74 with with the Gambia Red Cross Society leadership in The Gambia. (Photo courtesy of SolHEALTH)

David Rutstein ’74 is founder and president of SolHEALTH, an organization that works to eliminate health inequities so people, communities, and economies can thrive.

SolHEALTH assists organizations to implement services using evidence-based modalities that promote health and prevent disease. In June 2016, SolHEALTH was invited to assist the Shenzhen Health Bureau in Guangdong Province, China to establish a city-wide health promotion and disease prevention campaign. Within eighteen months the project was completed, and outcome measures taken every six months conveyed a drastic reduction in hospitalizations, motor vehicle accidents, and STDs, and a drastic increase in immunization rates in both children and adults.

The organization’s current project is focused on The Gambia in West Africa, as nearly half of The Gambia’s population lives below the poverty line. SolHEALTH partnered with the UB-ONE Foundation, a humanitarian nonprofit based in Germany, and The Gambia Red Cross Society to collaborate on, Healthcare Support and Strengthening in The Gambia (HSSG). The five-year, multilateral plan offers a comprehensive approach to the development, implementation, and oversight of a range of prevention strategies and activities designed to support and strengthen the health and wellbeing of the Gambian people.

“SolHEALTH is fortunate to have a small, but dedicated staff that enable us to function with very little administrative overhead, so that nearly all of the funds we receive as donations go to supporting our projects in the field,” said David. “I’m especially grateful that my daughter, Lauren (Rutstein) Anvari ’03, agreed to serve as Operations Manager. In addition to the technical expertise she provides, she keeps the complicated inner-workings of SolHEALTH running smoothly so that the organization directs most of its energy to the field.”

David has been a leader in innovative clinical, administrative, management, and emergency response throughout his thirty-five year career. Prior to founding SolHEALTH, David served as vice president for medical affairs at United Family Healthcare in China and in many roles for the United States government, including acting deputy surgeon general, chief medical officer, and director of the Office of Force Readiness and Deployment.

David received his medical degree from Brown University and his Master of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. He is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine, maintains current medical licenses in California, Maine, and Beijing, and has received numerous honors and awards from both the public and private sectors.

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