To look at Mark Arnoldy now, you would never suspect his past. But he can’t forget. Men in white coats, endless lab tests and injections, aggressive skull surgery, a severe bout with pneumonia, a rare form of crippling arthritis and, clearest of all, his mother’s tearful words when he was pronounced free from cancer. ‘You’re going to be okay.’
“My whole life has been a series of healthcare experiences and every step of the way my conviction that healthcare is a right for all has grown stronger.”
Mark says he survived and thrives today because, unlike millions of others around the world, he has always had access to top quality medical care.
“Each incident has underscored for me how absolutely fundamental healthcare is to living a good human life, and how terrifyingly easy it is to slip through the cracks if the system is broken or just not there.”
Driven by that conviction, Mark has joined with other believers to become a “Possibilist.”
A Possibilist, Mark explains, is a person who believes it’s possible to deliver high-quality, low-cost health care to the world’s poor. And he is doing that as CEO of Possible.
“The way we design our healthcare systems speaks about our identity as a society. Can we design systems that meet our moral aspirations?”
Possible is currently implementing an innovative model to provide low-cost medical care to the most remote regions of Nepal. Even though Nepal’s constitution guarantees health care for all, reaching the people in the remote areas is impossible. Hundreds of thousands live 36 hours by bus from access to health care. So Possible accepted the challenge to work with the government on a model that would reach the people.
“The government finances and provides infrastructure, we bring management acumen and only get paid if we deliver outcomes.”
The model integrates government hospitals, clinics, community health workers and referral care. For under $50 per person, Possible commits to improving 6 health outcomes, including surgery access, family planning and safe birth which is sorely needed in Nepal where pregnancy is referred to as “a gamble with death.”
The hospital is the central hub for clinical care and medical education.
Clinics encircle the hospital hub bringing primary and follow-up care closer to home, community health workers move among homes. Mark says since 2008, they have treated more than 200-thousand patients.
And his hope is that a new rural hospital which is on the drawing board will be lifechanging for areas where there is very little water, electricity and waste management systems. The hospital will be 100% powered by solar energy, rainwater will be harvested and waste safely processed and thermal building materials will be used to moderate temperature naturally.
“What will emerge is a durable healthcare that does meet our moral aspirations; that honors the dignity of the poor and allows us to say to more patients what my mom said to me, ‘You’re going to be okay.’”