The Call to Help Communities Worldwide
In 2017, Jay, drew on his family support, their medical backgrounds, and their combined passion to found the Unified Healthcare for the Rural Underserved (UHRU). Through discussions with his wife, Gita, a microbiologist, and his two sons, Hitesh and Minesh, both physicians, they centered the organization on the mission to improve the health and well-being of rural and underserved communities. This would begin Jay’s journey to dedicating himself and his family to helping people in two very different geographic locations worldwide get access to health care.
Having lived and worked in both India and Georgia, Jay possessed a unique understanding that both had rural communities that shared a common health care challenge—limited access to health care, especially cancer screening. Therefore, the first two health care initiatives at UHRU focus on increasing awareness of and access to cancer screening. The Georgia Colon Cancer Prevention Project strives to eliminate barriers to colon cancer screening across the state of Georgia, and the Gujarat Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Project aims to raise awareness of and increase breast and cervical cancer screening among rural women living in India. In 2018, UHRU received IRS approval as a public charity under 501(c)(3).
When Jay retired, he knew that he wanted to give back to both his current home, Georgia (the United States), and his birth home, India. At age 67, Jay had retired from a successful 35-year long career in pharmaceuticals company with Johnson & Johnson and felt a calling to help people and communities get healthier and improve their quality of life. Jay also had a strong sense of family and support networks in both places that encouraged him to follow this desire to help others.
Jitendra “Jay” Mehta, Founder of Unified Healthcare for the Rural Underserved (UHRU) with his wife, Gita, traveling in Scotland