MedServe is Teach for America for healthcare. It aims to create a generation of passionate advocates for health equity in every zip code. To do so, it operates a two-year community service fellowship in rural and underserved community primary care for young people between college and medical school. MedServe Fellows are selected for having a spark of interest and high potential for future primary care service. Our Fellows are more likely to come from medically underserved communities than average medical school applicant. During their two years in MedServe, this spark of interest is ignited through a dual role where Fellows spend half of their time gaining vital clinical experience for their future application to graduate school and half of their time conducting community-facing work that shows the impact of high-quality primary care on entire communities. Our organization supports this experience through up-front Fellow training and ongoing professional development support.

Point-of-Care Early Diagnostic Test for Preeclampsia

The goal of this project is to develop a safe, inexpensive, and reliable self-diagnostic tool for the early detection of preeclampsia that can be accessible to pregnant women in low-resource settings, thereby reducing the detrimental health impacts of undiagnosed preeclampsia and eclampsia. The earliest indicators for developing preeclampsia are dramatically increased levels of biomarkers activin A and inhibin A in a woman’s urine. The self-diagnostic tool will be a urine strip created by adapting lateral flow assay technology to detect the levels of activin A and inhibin A in the urine of pregnant women. The test will inform the woman if she is developing preeclampsia and needs to seek medical care before her symptoms become severe and endanger the life of her and her unborn child.

Bug Ideas: Feeding the World With Insects Without Ever Eating Insects

Big Ideas LogoAccording to the UN Environment Programme, roughly one third of the food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted. Simultaneously, forage fish stocks, which are a key component of the oceanic lifecycle, are declining due to overfishing. They are being harvested to be processed into fishmeal, which feed the aquaculture boom and livestock. Black soldier fly larvae are capable of feeding on waste and efficiently creating both the protein and fat necessary to meet nutritional requirements of feed operations. If a mere 6% of the food waste were converted into bug protein, it would offset 100% of the need for forage fish. The potential for impact is massive. Bug Ideas aims to centralize currently disjointed efforts and expedite FDA approval of insects as feed. The team will accomplish this objective by building a coalition of experts, founding a trade association of companies, and submitting an application for FDA approval.