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Danielle Butin

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 1996–2007 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.

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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Founder of the Afya Foundation, Danielle Butin.

Photograph by TJ Allan.

Date of Birth

New York, NY
United States

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Danielle Butin." (Viewed on June 26, 2019) <>.


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