Iza Correll, an internationally-acclaimed social entrepreneur, CEO + Founder of OVI Healthcare, a dually licensed US Physician Assistant, and Kenyan Clinical Officer, received the Champion in Global Humanitarian Service Award in Dubai. The ceremony saw the attendance of Her Highness Jawaher Bint Khalifa Al Khalif of Dubai, who also presented Correll with her award.
Correll, also a best-selling author, is the youngest ever recipient of the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for Global Citizenship, an honor she shares with fellow laureates US President Jimmy Carter and Christina Aguilera.
“While this was not my first international humanitarian award, it was among the most special to me as it was my first time awarded in the UAE,” said Correll. “My heart longs to find a deeper connection within this country, and I am thrilled for the unexpected honor.”
Recognizing the shortcomings of humanitarian aid to transform children’s health, happiness, and security, Correll has made it her mission to create a world where no child is alone.
Correll named her company OVI Healthcare after her late nephew Ovidio, (known as Ovi), who passed away when he was four years old. He was an orphan in Guatemala in the process of being adopted by Correll’s sister. This tragedy was the catalyst that inspired Correll to start the charity in his name, an organization aimed at providing free, life-saving treatment to children in dire need and preventing children from becoming institutionalized orphans.
“1 in 26 children die before age five, and we are on a mission to change that, forever,” said Correll. “OVI Healthcare exists to make critical healthcare and advocacy services accessible to every child on the planet—with a particular emphasis on reaching orphaned, abandoned, and medically vulnerable children.”
From her base in Kenya, Correll and her team are pioneering a new way of treating and caring for vulnerable children. Unlike orphanages that can cause the separation they seek to solve, OVI Healthcare helps loving families stay together. Correll plans to introduce this approach across Africa and Asia.
Treatment: Provide free, life-saving treatment to children who need it now. Through medical camps and rescue services, the OVI Healthcare team travels to remote regions and provides urgent medication and ongoing care plans. Where patients require hospital treatment, OVI Healthcare transports them to our locally staffed facilities. Additionally, the organization provides outpatient hospital services to children who walk in or are referred for evaluation and care.
Complete Care: OVI Healthcare transformative hospital stays combine critical healthcare with holistic services that go way beyond physical health. Counseling, education, and play empower patients and support them to health and happiness.
Keeping Families Together: By understanding why abandonment happens, the OVI Healthcare team can intervene when support is most needed and help loving families stay together. OVI Healthcare offers bereaved fathers stability and support so they don’t give up their children in despair. OVI Healthcare provides temporary care for the children of child brides, orphaned girls, and other vulnerable mothers who want their children but can’t provide for them yet.