Power of One

By assembling a corps of college volunteers, Rebecca Onie is helping physicians address the connection between health and poverty

Jason Grow for TIME

Rebecca Onie

It started with a simple question: "If you had unlimited resources, what would you give your patients?" For Rebecca Onie, who asked this of physicians during her weekly visits to Boston Medical Center as a Harvard sophomore, the answers were illuminating. "I have a kid who comes in with an ear infection, and I prescribe antibiotics," says Onie, paraphrasing one of the doctors. "Meanwhile, the real issue is that there's no food at home, or the family is living in a car." It is that connection between health and poverty, all too often unaddressed, that pushed Onie to found Project Health.

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