Our Story

Dr. Mehret Mandefro sitting in a chair in her primary care clinic in the South Bronx

Our story begins 20 years ago at the Comprehensive Health Care Center that is part of Montefiore Medical Center in the South Bronx. A the time, this clinic was situated in the poorest urban congressional district in America, as was our Founder's, Dr. Mehret Mandefro, primary care clinic during her medical residency. Dr. Mandefro was part of a special residency program that focused on the social determinants health and required community-based research as part of the training curriculum.

Montefiore Primary Care and Social Medicine Program

Montefiore Medical Center, located in the Bronx, New York, is an academic medical center and the university hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Its history reflects a commitment to healthcare innovation, education, and community service that spans over a century.

Founded in 1884 by leaders of New York's Jewish community, Montefiore was initially established as a home for chronic invalids, regardless of their race or religion, following the philosophy of Sir Moses Montefiore, after whom it was named. The institution was built on the principles of respect for the individual and a dedication to healing those in need.

Over the years, Montefiore expanded its services and facilities to meet the growing healthcare needs of its community. By the early 20th century, it had evolved from a home for the chronically ill to a comprehensive hospital offering a wide range of medical services. In the 1960s, Montefiore established a partnership with the newly founded Albert Einstein College of Medicine, enhancing its role in medical education and research. This collaboration has led to numerous advancements in medicine and has established Montefiore as a leader in patient care, community service, research, and education.

Montefiore has been at the forefront of many medical innovations, including the development of social medicine programs that address the social determinants of health, pioneering work in liver and kidney transplants, and significant contributions to the fields of cardiology, cancer treatment, and pediatrics. It has also been a leader in the fight against infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS and COVID-19, providing cutting-edge care and conducting vital research.

Throughout its history, Montefiore Medical Center has remained committed to its mission of providing excellent healthcare to the diverse communities it serves, with a focus on those in need. It continues to expand its facilities and services, embracing new technologies and treatments to improve patient care, while also maintaining its commitment to medical education and research.

Community-based Research Project: Beyond Individual Behavior

For Dr. Mandefro's residency research project she explored the role gender plays in placing black women disproportionately at risk for HIV/AIDS. This work planted the seeds for Truth Aid Impact to grow as a research enterprise and subsequently led to Dr. Mandefro's first research grant exploring the public health uses of media funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.