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Ben Kornfeind ’05: SEARCH (Stop Environmental Asthma. Restore Children’s Health), NYC
Ben Kornfeind, an Urban Studies/MBA dual degree student received a summer fellowship to work with SEARCH, a start-up nonprofit in New York City that seeks to decrease incidences of childhood asthma by raising public awareness and funds to advance an interdisciplinary research and remediation program. “Asthma is a huge medical problem in many of New York City’s most disenfranchised neighborhoods,” he says, “and I was looking for an opportunity to make a positive difference by helping people in underserved urban communities transform their neighborhoods into more livable and economically vibrant places.”
SEARCH partners with Mt.Sinai Hospital, which tracks and maps incidences of childhood asthma, the City University of New York, which designed and built a mobile unit to measure pollutants, and the Little Sisters of the Assumption Community Health Center, which works directly with families to remove pollutants and asthma triggers in their homes.
Kornfeind worked to strengthen SEARCH’s infrastructure and service-delivery capacity so that the best practices of its partners can be replicated in additional asthma-stricken neighborhoods. He conducted a needs assessment of NYC neighborhoods, researched and recruited potential funding partners, and helped rethink SEARCH’s business plan. “I used my MBA training in marketing, leadership, creating effective organizations, and cost accounting to get SEARCH in shape for future success,” he says.
Kornfeind has continued to work with SEARCH into his second year at the Business School. “I hope my work with the project will help lay the foundations for a well-funded nonprofit that is able to confront asthma in New York City for many years to come,” he says.