Danielle Butin

b. October 22, 1963

by JWA Staff
Our work to expand the Encyclopedia is ongoing. We are providing this brief biography for Danielle Butin until we are able to commission a full entry.

Founder of the Afya Foundation, Danielle Butin.

Photograph by TJ Allan.

Danielle Butin created the Afya Foundation to bring much-needed medical supplies to crisis-stricken communities, providing aid after the 2010 Haitian earthquake, the 2011 Japanese tsunami, 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, and the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. Butin earned a BS in occupational therapy from New York University in 1985 and an MS in public health from Columbia in 1991. After serving as an occupational therapist for several years, she worked from 1996 to 2007 overseeing Medicare services for 300,000 subscribers to United Health Care, a major health insurance company. Then, on vacation in Tanzania, she learned that medical supplies sent to communities in need were often incomplete and useless, such as IV meds with no IV starter kits, or EKG wires with no EKG machine. She started the Afya Foundation in 2008, taking medical equipment and supplies recovered and donated by hospitals and matching them with wish lists from health centers and hospitals in need. The Foundation provides disaster relief as well as ongoing medical aid, including birthing kits for rural communities to reduce maternal and newborn mortality. A believer in encouraging the next generation of social entrepreneurs, Butin also teaches at Columbia and speaks to high school and college students about ways they can contribute. She won the Clinton Global Citizen Award in 2015, the City of Yonkers NY Women of Distinction Award in 2017, and the New York University Alumni Changemaker of the Year Award in 2018. In 2023, Butin released her book, Wild Hope Now, which recounts highlights of Afya’s successes.  

Danielle Butin is a grantee of the Jewish Women’s Fund of New York (JWFNY), and is featured as part of a partnership between JWA and JWFNY spotlighting Jewish women social entrepreneurs.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Danielle Butin." (Viewed on April 21, 2024) <http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/butin-danielle>.