Direct Relief and Maven Project Join to Support Safety Net Clinics

Updated on February 7, 2023

Direct Relief, one of the world’s most impactful humanitarian assistance organizations, and MAVEN Project, a nonprofit connecting safety net health care providers to expert physician volunteers, are expanding their existing alliance to increase access to high-quality, specialty health care among those who need it most.

Thanks to a generous $500,000 investment from Direct Relief, MAVEN Project will measurably expand its impact in medically underserved communities. A portion of the funds will grant access to MAVEN Project’s services for select free and charitable clinics across the U.S.

Remaining dollars will allow MAVEN Project to develop innovative technology that will streamline the delivery of its services to safety net clinics and bolster the current community of collaboration between MAVEN Project’s expert volunteers and frontline providers.

“Specialty health care remains a daunting challenge in many communities, particularly among poor and marginalized populations,” noted David Segal, CEO of MAVEN Project. “Safety net clinics are serving one in 11 Americans, though few clinics are able to employ specialty physicians. Our ongoing collaboration with Direct Relief allows us to significantly grow our reach and ensure millions receive the expert health care they need, when and where they need it.”

MAVEN Project is addressing social, racial, and economic inequities in health care through rapid access to high-quality, specialty care. The nonprofit connects frontline providers with a network of expert physician volunteers who develop relationships with and empower primary care providers with the knowledge and confidence to treat complex patients in their medical home. MAVEN Project’s full suite of telehealth services includes medical specialty consultations, 1:1 mentoring and ongoing educational opportunities.

“Everyone deserves access to high-quality health care, regardless of where they live or how much they earn,” said Thomas Tighe, President and CEO, Direct Relief. “MAVEN Project’s unique solution affords swift access to world-class specialists who are delivering much-needed guidance, helping both patients and providers. We’re thrilled to expand on the years-long alignment already in place.”

MAVEN Project’s expert volunteers, who deliver guidance in more than 60 specialties, provided thousands of case consults last year. Three out of four of these consults eliminated the need for an outside referral, saving patients the long wait times and high costs associated with outside specialty care – particularly important for those patients who lack health insurance. Volunteer physicians draw on an average of 35+ years of experience; they also offer hundreds of hours of mentoring and countless more on continuing medical education annually.

“We’re committed to addressing health equity and ensuring that resource-poor communities can meet the growing challenges of diagnosing, treating and caring for their patients,” Tighe added. “MAVEN Project is an important partner in this work.”

About Direct Relief

Direct Relief is a humanitarian aid organization, active in all 52 states and U.S. Territories and more than 80 countries, with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies – without regard to politics, religion, or ability to pay. Learn more at

About MAVEN Project

MAVEN Project is addressing the social, racial, and economic inequities in health care by connecting frontline safety net clinic providers with expert physician volunteers for medical advice, mentorship, and education, giving patients rapid access to high-quality, specialty care locally. A nonprofit founded in 2014, MAVEN Project’s network of expert physician volunteers aid critical work being done in federally qualified health centers and free and charitable clinics in 20 states and Puerto Rico. Learn more

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