The Henry Ford Health System was founded in 1915 by automobile pioneer Henry Ford. It is a non-profit corporation governed by a Board of Trustees and managed by CEO Nancy M. Schlichting. The non-profit is also guided by a volunteer team of affiliate and advisory boards for additional leadership.

Operating medical centers, hospitals, and one of the country’s biggest group practices, the Henry Ford Health System has over 1,200 physicians covering more than 40 specialties. Its flaship, Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital, is categorized as a Level 1 Trauma Center recognized for excellence in cardiology, neurology, neurosurgery, cardiovascular surgery, sports medicine, cancer treatment, orthopedics, and multi-organ transplants.

With over 23,000 employees in its fold, the Henry Ford Health System is ranked as the fifth largest employer within metro Detroit and also one of the most diverse. As one of its state’s anchor institutions, it proudly generates over $1.7 billion every year in revenues.


Cleveland Clinic, formerly called the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, is a non-profit multi-specialty academic medical center in Cleveland, Ohio, currently considered as one of the top four hospitals in the country according to the U.S. News & World Report. Established in 1921, the medical center was started by four physicians with the aim of providing patient care, medical education, and research in an ideal medical setting. Having grown to become one of the biggest private medical centers in the globe, the Cleveland Clinic saw over 3.2 million patients in 2009 alone, with close to 80,000 of those visits resulting into hospital admissions.

Patients come in from all over the US and the world, receiving care from about 2,800 staff scientists and physicians and 1,300 residents representing 120 specialties and subspecialties in the medical field. From 1994 to 2013, the Cleveland Clinic was ranked as the top destination for cardiac care in the US. In its efficiency, the medical center was dubbed as having the likeness of a car factory.

The Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute is where the medical center does all its translational, laboratory-based, and clinical research, receiving funding from the National Institutes of Health and other supporters. With over 1,300 residents and fellows, the graduate medical education program in the Cleveland Clinic is one of the biggest in the US. The medical center’s new medical school opened in 2004, called the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. The medical program’s curriculum was devised by Cleveland Clinic staff to provide proper mentoring and training to a new generation of physicians.

Aptly ranked as one of the best hospitals in the country for demanding and complex situations, the Cleveland Clinic boasts of 14 specialties, each one ranking among the best in their specific fields. These include: heart and cardiac surgery; urology; digestive disorders; rheumatology; nephrology; orthopedic surgery; neurology and neurosurgery; respiratory disorders; endocrinology; ophthalmology; gynecology; oncology; otolaryngology; and geriatrics.


With the leadership of Ralph Nader, Public Citizen was able to grow from a small organization into a trusted non-profit consumer rights advocacy group. Created in 1971, the group remains operational through the contributions and dues of its members and supporters.

It is in Washington, D.C. that they hold their company base. They also have their Austin, Texas branch that is still operational. The organization has five divisions, namely, Health Research Group, Global Trade Watch, Congress Watch, Energy and Public Citizen Litigation Group. These divisions advocate the public interest before the three branches of the US government. The organization exists to promote corporate accountability and strong government regulation. Their main focus areas are nuclear power, healthcare and transport.

Public Citizen is in not connected with any partisan political activity. The group remains to be neutral when it comes to providing support for running public officials. They remain true to their goal of “ensuring that all citizens are represented in the halls of power.”


Another environmental champion in the United States is Earthjustice, a non-profit public interest law organization that dedicates its cause to environmental issues. The group was once named as part of the 100 Best Charities in America by Worth Magazine. They have also received a four star rating from Charity Navigator for their transparency and in their dealings and dedication to their goals.

Founded in 1971, the group operates nine regional offices across the United States, communications team, a policy team and an international department. Their main office is located in San Franciso, California. The organization is best known for their tagline “Because the earth needs a good lawyer.” During an online contest in 2009, their tagline emerged as one of the best non-profit taglines out of a total of 1,702 competing entries.

Earthjustice was originally created as the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund. With their advocacy of providing legal representation, they changed their name to Earthjustice in 1997. More than 700 clients have been represented by the group as of January 2009. Among their clients are the American Lung Association, World Wildlife Fund, the Sierra Club, Friends of the Everglades and Maine Lobstermen’s Association. As a non-profit organization, they do not charge their clients and strongly relies on individual donations and from foundations to keep their cause running. They are also not tied up with any government institutions or any corporations.

Currently, the organization is involved in their three major program areas: climate and energy, The Wild and health and toxics. The promotion of a stable climate and advance clean energy are the cases involved in their climate and energy areas. The Wild is in charge of taking on cases of protecting wildlife and wild lands while their health and toxics promote healthy communities.

With the existence of this charitable institution, Mother Earth has found a champion that would preserve its existence.


The American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults (AAF) is an organization with the aim of providing blind individuals with the help they need that they can’t readily receive from government programs and other projects. Managed by a volunteer board, the organization is operated by volunteers and a full-time Executive Director. They help the AAF in acquiring reading matter, educating the public about blindness, providing special aid to blind individuals, and giving consultations to private and government agencies to help them better serve the blind population.

Some of the programs the AAF have in place include: The Kenneth Jernigan Lending Library (a library with more than 40,000 titles in its repository named after Kenneth Jernigan, longtime leader for the National Federation of the Blind) and The American Action Fund Free Braille Books program. Both programs lend out braille books free of charge.


Founded in 1965, the Autism Society of America was started by doctors Bernard Rimland and Ruth Sullivan with help from parents of children diagnosed with autism. Back when it all began though, the organization was known as the National Society for Autistic Children. The group’s name was changed because they want to emphasize that autistic children will grow up. Aside from simply being the oldest, the ASA is also the largest grassroots organization within the autism community. The organization has more than 50,000 members and supporters all connected through a network facilitated by almost 200 chapters within the country.

The ASA is fueled by the goal to boost public awareness about autism as a condition as well as the issues autistic individuals and their families face everyday. To achieve its goals, the organization advocates for services and programs in behalf of the autism community and boasts of being the foremost source of information about the condition. Not to mention the assistance the organization receives from volunteers every year. The ASA also publishes a print periodical called The Autism Advocate which is filled with information on legislation and research and tips on living with the condition, and a free bi-weekly newsletter called the ASA-Net.

While there is much to be done in advocating for individuals with autism, the ASA prides itself for having spearheaded numerous legislation in various states and localities, including the Combating Autism Act of 2006, the first autism-specific federal law. Operating out of a headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland, the ASA is also proud to be one of the few organizations in the country to actually have individuals on the autism spectrum as active board members and in other positions of leadership within the organization. The first of these impressive individuals was Temple Grandin who served on the organization’s Board of Directors in 1988.


As an international development and emergency relief organization, Concern Universal works with poorest of the poor across the world in order to find sustainable solutions to problems for local inequality and poverty. It was founded in 1976 by a group of volunteers who have experience working with developing countries so they’ve seen the extent of what needs to be done, seeing first-hand the suffering of many people and the hope in social movements that struggled to address the plight of the poor.

Today, Concern Universal has more than 570 employees and over 4,000 associate members alongside 15 business advocates and more than 60 locally based partners helping more than 2.5 million people each year, supporting a wide array of projects that are aimed at improving the lives of people in the poorest communities in the world. Some of the projects the organization in place include: safe water points in Kenya, and Bangladesh; sanitation improvement strategies in Nigeria; and basic education training for children in Brazil and Colombia.


The International Women’s Democracy Center is a non-profit organization established in 1995. When it began, the organization was aiming to strengthen leadership in women on a global scale by supporting training, education, networking, and research that is focused on boosting the level of participation that women have in politics and policy-making in their own governments. By making sure that women all over the world have the necessary skills, tools, and knowledge, the International Women’s Democracy Center paves the way for female participation in various areas of concern in a government.

To further their goals, the International Women’s Democracy Center works with non-government organizations around the world, allowing them to respond to specific needs that women leaders from a certain locality might have. Workshops are employed in partnership with host-country organizations so they can be carried out in the most effective way for women of the participating countries. Some of the these workshops touch on teaching women how to run for public office, how to become advocates for causes and issues, and how to take advantage of technology to facilitate communication in their goals, even the personal ones. The organization only works with experienced individuals in their fields to ensure optimum results in workshops, providing workshops for trainers themselves to guarantee everything will go accordingly. Some of the programs the organization has in place today include the United Nations Youth Delegate Program and the Pipeline Project.

The International Women’s Democracy Center was started by Barbara Ferris, a woman with more than 20 years of experience in senior policy and program design honed in more than 100 countries complemented by expertise in management, equity, finance, and economic development. Before founding the organization, Ferris also served in Morocco as a Peace Corps volunteer for two years and as the Peace Corps Women in Development Coordinator for five years.


Food & Water Watch is a non-profit group and consumer rights organization focused on making companies and the government accountable for issues regarding food, water, and fishing. The group is guided by a four-pronged approach that involves internet activism, media, lobbying, and policymaker and public education. Once a part of Public Citizen, Food & Water Watch became independent in 2005 when 12 members of the parent organization’s Energy and Environment Program left to start the non-profit. Since then, with support from members, private donors, and other foundations, Food & Water Watch has grown to a staff of more than 60 individuals.

Aside from being the first to break news of the salmonella threat in US chicken processing plants in 2006, the Food & Water Watch was also instrumental in bringing attention to the faults of the bottled water industry for its effects on the health of the people and the environment, as well as getting Starbucks to switch to rBGH-free milk for all its dairy products starting 2008.


The Center for Community Change (CCC) is a community building organization in the United States established in response to issues on civil rights prevalent in the 1960s. Founded in 1968, the CCC began with the aim of establishing and developing community organizations all over the country to bring attention to national issues connected to poverty, while at the same time helping ensure that the government has programs that are designed to respond to the needs of the community.

To facilitate the achievement of its goals, the CCC works in urban areas, establishing a presence most especially in communities of color while attempting to form independent citizen-based groups to tackle local issues and concerns. For example, some of the projects that the CCC has launched are in place in areas like New Orleans, Kentucky, and Columbus, Ohio. The organization also has what is called as a “Leadership Directory” which contains information that locals will find useful in the pursuit of a better future, like training programs on community organizing, union organizing, service learning, student organizing, and non-partisan electoral engagement, as well as career opportunities like internships.

In 2012, the CCC marked its 45th anniversary, looking back on more than four decades of work to uplift communities all over the country. Many, many years later, the organization is still focused on the same goal that inspired its establishment: empowering low-income people in various communities, most especially those of color, to make lasting change that will transcend their communities. The CCC is proud of the work it has done all these years and will continue to implement the programs that have proven to be successful in the past to continue its rich tradition of helping people. Some of the people working behind the CCC today include: Michael Anderson, Grecia Lima, Deepak Bhargava, Allegra Baider, Jeff Parcher, Kate Casa, and Tony Nam.