Laurie Green Keeps Retired Doctors Working With Health Clinics For Needy

By Erin Allday
San Francisco Chronicle

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Laurie Green’s nonprofit “Maven” allows doctors to hang on to their professional identities a while longer while helping patients who could benefit from their decades of experience.

San Francisco Chronicle

When Laurie Green was applying to medical school, one of the professors overseeing her application asked her, utterly serious: Why should you take this spot from a qualified male student?

Green, 22 and hungry and perfectly qualified, didn’t take offense. It was the early 1970s, and women were only just beginning to venture into medicine. Instead, she took the question as a challenge, and has been, in a way, earning that spot in the 40-plus years since.

It was that drive that compelled her to start a nonprofit organization focused on reducing health disparities. The Maven Project of San Francisco connects volunteer physicians, most of them retired or nearly so, with health clinics that serve patients who may not have access to expert specialty care. Green describes it as “Match.com meets the Peace Corps.”

“We want to be the organization that doctors go to when they’re retired or retiring, to be able to continue to make a contribution,” Green said. “We want to marshal this army of retired doctors.”

For her innovation, Green was nominated for a 2018 Visionary of the Year award, sponsored by The Chronicle. The award comes with a $25,000 grant, which the winner may use to fund his or her work or apply to a chosen cause.

Green, a full-time obstetrician and gynecologist who practices out of California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, founded Maven in 2014, at a time when widespread doctor shortages, especially in certain specialties and in impoverished communities, were colliding with a large market of patients newly insured under the Affordable Care Act.

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