What do you invest when investing money alone isn’t enough?
In between kidney and liver transplants, I sat down with Jaymie Ang Henry– gifted surgeon, founder of the G4 Alliance, founding member of Forbes Impact, and an investor in the Vatican’s Laudato Si Challenge – who’s on a mission to make sure at least 80% of the world has access to essential medical services by 2030.
She’s shaking up the global public health scene from the Masai Mara in Kenya to the halls of United Nations, and I’m grateful to call her a close friend.
As part of Forbes Impact x Miami, we sat down together in her Wynwood loft to talk about growing up in the Philippines, her gift in combining real impact with real investment, her partnership and marriage to an accomplished tech entrepreneur, and what she thinks about Pope Francis.
Jaymie Ang Henry, surgeon and impact investor
Jaymie Ang Henry
Brendan Doherty: First off, I'm just so grateful that you walked into my life. You're such an inspiring human and manage to balance so much at once. And all for what I would consider really impactful things in the world. And it would be wonderful if you could just start telling me, what was it about your own childhood that made you into this person who today fights for so many incredible causes?
Jaymie Ang Henry: I always start by saying, growing up in the Philippines taught me a lot. Even at a young age, I looked around and saw that there's a lot of inequalities that didn't sit well with me. I kind of grew up grappling with those issues. Why are people living on the streets? Why are children not given the opportunity to have an education? And I joined a lot of missions — even from grade school, high school, in medicine — meaning I would join NGOs and go to the urban areas. We'd call them the “urban poor” and we would go and distribute food, or even money sometimes. All throughout medical school, we go give free medicine and then free surgery. I noticed that every time we would get there, the people were waiting for us with their hands open. We’d go every year but nothing's changed. I noticed there's a dance, or a practice. People wait for us to be there to give them help and we had a role in giving them that. And they had a kind of role in being the needy person. I just felt that there was something wrong with that and started asking the question, “Are we really helping them or are we actually creating these legacies of dependence? What is real impact? Is it really giving money or food away? Or is it trying to look into the deeper issues that are causing poverty, causing a lack of education, or causing lack of access to health,