Protecting health and saving lives through Rotary Fellowship

By Imelda Mercedes Medina, MD MPH Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Chair of the Rotarian Public Health Fellowship and President of Familias Unidas International, Inc.

“The future is made of us, of our encounters … Everyone’s existence is deeply tied to that of others:  Life is not time merely passing by, life is about interactions … A single individual is enough for Hope to exist, and that individual can be you.”

-Pope Francis

As Rotary members, supporting our areas of focus is helping protect health and save lives. Through the Rotarian Public Health Fellowship, we do this by putting people at the center of care, participating in and organizing conferences, hosting webinars, and developing other public health initiatives. We network, come together to help people in need, learn, and have fun. Learn more about what we have been doing and how you can join us.


Studies show that up to 88% of persons who suffer human trafficking see a healthcare provider during their time in captivity. In response, during National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, Dr. Medina organized and co-directed the educational webinar titled A Victim-Centered approach to health care for survivors of human trafficking, with the participation of a distinguished panel of colleagues whom are experts on person-centered care and human trafficking.  This project was done in partnership with The John J. Brunetti Human Trafficking Academy of St. Thomas University Law School, University of Miami Health Systems THRIVE Clinic, and Rotary District 6990. Continuing Medical Education (CME) Credits and Continuing Education Units (CEUs) were provided. The video recording is available here.

Empowering students

Sailasya Munamarty is a 16 year-old, shining star and RYLA graduate. Her mission is to help children around the world, and she is the CEO of End Exploitation, Inc. She was invited to visit the United States White House and has received multiple awards for her work. She has been working with Dr. Medina, with the support of her parents, for several years, giving educational presentations and contributing to community service projects. She completed her high school graduation community service-learning requirements through in-person and online health promotion and disease prevention activities done with the Rotarian Public Health Fellowship. 

Engaging Rotaractors  

We’ve also worked with Rotaractors to help promote and protect the rights of children through the campaign A treaty for good treatment.  Children, their parents, school staff, and community members were taught about children’s rights and how to actively promote and protect them daily and in a person-centered way. The goal was to create awareness about the Rights of the Child, which include the right to health, to a family, to education, to an identity, and the right to be protected from violence, among others.  The project was initially done in-person at children’s schools, and when the COVID-19 pandemic began, we decided to continue the campaign online using original videos and posters we created.  We also organized Zoom presentations working with Rotary clubs and leaders from Rotary Fellowships, Rotary Action Groups, and other programs. Read our blog post Rotaractors from Nicaragua upholding children’s rights amidst COVID-19 pandemic for more information.

Invitation: Geneva Conference

Come join us at the annual Geneva Conference which is open to the public.  The next conference will be held virtually 17-20 April 2022.  

Come share your public health project, network, learn, and have lots of fun!

Do not miss this great opportunity.

Get involved

Would you like to participate in the Rotarian Public Health Fellowship? Great! Here’s how you can get involved:

  • Come to the Geneva Conference.
  • Check out our blog. Send us information about your public health projects so that we can feature them.
  • Follow our Facebook page to stay up-to-date on our activities.
  • Check out our discussion group on My Rotary.
  • Become a member of our Fellowship. Membership application available here and on our Facebook page.

Contact us via Facebook Messenger or email with any questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you!

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