Hera Inc

HERA Digital Health

Boston, MA   |  www.heradigitalhealth.org

Mission

HERA helps forcibly displaced populations access vital healthcare in their host countries. As some of the world’s most medically vulnerable people, refugees frequently lack access to vital healthcare services due to linguistic, cultural, and socio-economic barriers to care. Our CEO, who provides direct care to the refugees as a clinician in Turkey identified a need and then created a solution. HERA (Health Digital Health App) is an open-sourced mobile health (mHealth) platform that, through a mobile app, enables users to access healthcare services in the host country. The app has seen favorable results in two pilot projects undertaken in Turkey to help refugee women access pregnancy care ,and young children receive vaccinations. Our app shows great promise for overcoming barriers in he

Notes from the nonprofit

Unlike most interventions that focus on providing a supply of medical services, HERA focuses on the increasing health demands among refugee populations, namely for maternal and child health. Refugee women and children are some of the most medically vulnerable populations on the planet. In turn, HERA empowers refugees to take ownership of their health decisions, while also affecting behavior change when seeking health services. The HERA solution does not multiply existing health interventions but instead increases the effectiveness of existing health services by focusing on the gap between healthcare access and refugee. HERA helps refugees proactively manage their healthcare and vital appointments, thus reducing the ill effects of disease and other health issues. Currently, no other equivalent to this type of service exists on the market.

Ruling year info

2022

Executive Director

Aral Surmeli

Main address

133 Clarendon St

Boston, MA 02116 USA

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EIN

84-2724125

NTEE code info

Public Health Program (E70)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

HERA Digital Health App

As an open-sourced mHealth platform, HERA incorporates digital technologies by providing a healthcare services app to target end users, namely refugees, a highly vulnerable population that has been traditionally overlooked by digital health technology developers. The majority of refugees today do own or have access to smartphones as well as non-smartphones, and these mobile technologies frequently serve as a lifeline to communicating with their families, communities, and when possible, to understand better the context of their host countries and seek services. HERA 2.0, the current app version, is available for use on both smartphones and non-smartphones.

Please watch our YouTube video about the app: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=BBiP-FHHeCs&feature=emb_title

Population(s) Served
People with diseases and illnesses
Pregnant people
Immigrants and migrants
Victims and oppressed people
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

MEDAK 2011

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of pregnant women beginning prenatal care in the first trimester

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Metric 2: Completeness of four recommended prenatal care appointments during pregnancy. Pregnant refugee women receive a delay in prenatal care, ending in fewer prenatal visits during pregnancy.

Number of pregnant women receiving early and adequate prenatal care

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Prenatal appointment completeness increases the chances of healthy natal and maternal outcomes. HERA helps refugee mothers find and schedule these pertinent appointments with our app.

Number of health outcomes improved

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

This comes from our global reach, those who use and logged data into the app to show that they utilized an app resource.

Number of health education trainings conducted

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

HERA Digital Health App

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

The number of prenatal/refugee women receiving educational classes through HERA, and our partners.

Number of sexually active females receiving reproductive health services

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

HERA Digital Health App

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Our scope is prenatal care and refugee women, the metric is indirect to total number of women receiving adequate sexual health services in 2021. This is app collected data from our calendar.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The target population goal for 2022-2025 is to reach 30,000 users within Turkey through field expansion,workshops and online campaigns. The primary goal is to reach 30,000 refugee women. In a given year, this number will roughly lead to 90,000 vaccines facilitated by HERA and 60,000 pregnancy check-up appointments completed.

Currently, the HERA app serves 3,000 refugees in Turkey as part of the expansion of our piloted project. Based on this initial success we have set some ambitious goals for the future .There are 850 thousand childbearing-age refugee women in Turkey. Considering the births each year and the mean number of children per family (2-3), we estimate our catchment population to be 200 thousand refugee women and children each coming year.

HERA Digital Health will use the funding to expand our current mobile and field outreach.Our mobile method requires expansion through scaling app usage, which in turn will capture better population data.There is a gap in refugee data, again with a larger gap in refugee women data, and this is not ideal when creating a outreach program. Running parallel to these goals, HERA will also allot a part of the received funds towards project expansion, and creating robust evidence of effectiveness. We will be using grants to increase Turkey's field capabilities, expand our online presence, and formalize the M&E procedures (including research protocols) for support staff.

To accomplish our expansion goals, we will need to hire more field staff in Turkey. Secondly, we will require a larger outreach budget (which includes marketing). We will also allocate some funding to help maintain our partnerships with community and government organizations that have our target populations within reach. Our expansion will bring us closer to an interoperable system, where the government healthcare systems and our app provide a seamless integration for refugees.

HERA is a global team: consisting of a CEO and field manager based in Turkey and additional board members in the United States. 50% of our board is female, whereas this ratio goes up to 80% for the field team. Moreover, HERA is mainly a volunteer-based organization. As an open-sourced collaborative project, more than 30 people from Turkey, the US, Brazil, Singapore, and Palestine have volunteered their energy and time to support our mission. We recently made our first refugee hire as a software developer.We also collaborate often with graduate and undergraduate students,many who have shared interest or want experience interning with our organization. Through leadership ,the board and volunteer hours, HERA operates like a fully staffed non-profit, which is reflective in our work to make a difference for refugee women.

We currently have two mobile applications live on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. They are separate mobile applications for two separate markets:
1) Refugees in the US, namely in the Nebraska refugee camp
2) Refugees in Turkey

3.)HERA's goal is to decrease death and disease among refugee populations by providing a mobile health platform that connects refugee populations with existing healthcare worldwide.
An outcome and output-oriented logical framework is used to create activities and key milestones (outputs) in order to achieve this goal.

Outcome 1: Within one year, increase by 20%, with the uptake of preventative health services for pregnant women and immunizations for children under two years of age among refugees in Turkey.
Output 1.1: 30,000 Syrian refugees enrolled in HERA by the end of 2022.
Output 1.2: 50,000 downloads of HERA by the end of 2022.
Output 1.3: At least 80,000 women were made aware of HERA.
Output 1.4: At least 10,000 men/heads of families were made aware of HERA

Outcome 2: By late 2023, scale up the HERA platform to be piloted in at least two countries that host refugees.
Output 2.1: To register HERA for use in at least two countries.
Output 2.2: To enroll 5,000 refugees to use HERA in at least two countries.
Outcome 3: By mid-2024, create a sustainable partnership with at least three international organizations (e.g WHO, UNICEF, MSF, UNHCR, IOM) willing to use the HERA app to support their humanitarian aid projects in Turkey and globally.
Output 3.1 – Create long-term relationships / active organization level users (at least two).
Output 3.2 – Receive sustainable funding with a runway of 1.5 years at any time.
Output 3.3 – Create and maintain tech infrastructure and team.

4.)As an open-sourced mHealth platform, HERA incorporates digital technologies by providing a healthcare services app to target end-users, namely refugees. Refugees are an increasingly vulnerable population, that traditionally, has been overlooked by digital health technology developers. The majority of refugees today have access to smartphones as well as non-smartphones. These smartphones frequently serve as

HERA's proof of concept phase helped 300 women and 476 children access critical immunizations and prenatal care. In the calendar year, 2021, 1000 refugee women were enrolled in HERA, 500 refugee women trained on the importance of vaccines and pregnancy care, and 300 refugees informed about COVID-19. Additionally, 5000 vaccine appointments and/or pregnancy check-up appointments were facilitated.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Refugee women and children seeking healthcare:.Refugees frequently lack access to vital healthcare services due to linguistic, cultural, and socio-economic barriers to care. Our CEO, who provides direct care to the refugees as a clinician in Turkey identified a need and then created a solution. HERA (Health Digital Health App) is an open-sourced mobile health (mHealth) platform that, through a mobile app, enables users to access healthcare services in the host country. The app has seen favorable results in two pilot projects undertaken in Turkey to help refugee women access pregnancy care ,and young children receive vaccinations. Our app shows great promise for overcoming barriers in healthcare access for refugees and other humanitarian crises globally.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Case management notes, Community meetings/Town halls, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Tech Updates: Now researchers can log onto the HERA admin dashboard to search and filter through anonymized, redacted user data and download a CSV file for further analysis. App users can now list their upcoming appointments in addition to viewing them from their calendar. Healthcare Updates: Healthcare regulations for refugees are constantly changing. To ensure that HERA provides the latest information, we designed a custom module for our field teams to modify locations of newer healthcare centers. This includes both current locations, and newer locations that provide additional services to refugees. We found that refugees use Facebook more frequently than any other social media platform, we've pivoted to increase communication through this platform to reach app users.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    HERA cannot be a stagnant organization, our population relies on our ability to evolve. So essentially we are in a constant stage of shifting to meet the needs of refugees, either directly or indirectly. Sometimes we find certain aspects of our app are not salient enough for refugees. This information is gathered from either field workers, refugees or other organizers working with the same population. Another direct way to seek feedback is through our app, which has the capabilities to take notes/questions from users, but also through analyzing app metrics. We can see how users experience our app. In the coming months we will publish these metrics , which will show how refugees interact with the app, where they spend most of their time and where they don't.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection,

Financials

Hera Inc
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Hera Inc

Board of directors
as of 08/15/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Neeru Narla ,PhD, MPH

Phoenix Children's Hosptial


Board co-chair

Aral Surmeli, MD MPH

HERA Digital Health

Mike Kautz

Righthand Capita

Kristyn Anderson

Rasky Partners

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 8/10/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Middle Eastern
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 07/23/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.