World Health Run is a worldwide running and walking event to improve health equity in the U.S. and globally. It is produced by World Run, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that supports educational and fundraising activities co-sponsored by leading organizations in the field.  World Health Run aligns the energy and collective effort of partners who invite their chapters, clubs, or affiliate groups to join the collective effort. These groups are our Local Event Hosts (LEH), and they bring crucial energy and engagement at the local level to World Health Run.


World Health Run aligns partners to:

  1. Produce an annual single-day, World Health Run on the first Saturday in April (on or near the official World Health Day);

  2. Raise funds to benefit health equity-focused projects and advocacy efforts championed by our partners and LEH's, to improve access to health services and strengthen sustainable health systems globally; and

  3. Educate and engage individuals and communities about health equity.

Event Details

The annual single-day, World Health Run is held on the first Saturday in April. The Premier Event takes place in Chicago. In addition, there are other live Local Events around the US and world. In places where fewer than 100 runners register, physical runs are not possible. In this case, registrants have the opportunity to participate in a Virtual Run. Both in-person and virtual participants receive registration paperwork, a race bib, and a participant t-shirt. 

Through this event, World Run, Inc. raises funds to benefit health equity-focused projects championed by partners and LEH’s to improve access to health services in the U.S. and strengthen sustainable health systems in low resource settings globally. Registrants have the opportunity to select a specific project to benefit or have their registration fees benefit all projects equally. 

The impact from this global event, therefore, manifests through locally owned community-focused projects, and also collective global projects. World Health Run allows individuals and communities at local, national, and international levels to actively engage in the conversation of health equity. In this discussion, World Run, Inc emphasizes the topics of health disparities, health care access, and sustainable health systems. 

Mission, Vision, and Values

The mission of World Health Run is to bring communities together to run for health equity. World Health Run envisions a world where running is a manifestation of health equity within and among communities, worldwide. World Health Run values community, collaboration, commitment, health, education, and empowerment. 

Responsibility Pledge

World Run, Inc. is committed to upholding the highest degree of social accountability and responsibility. We are locally-focused, practice sustainability, seek responsible corporate sponsorship, conduct responsible business practices, are apolitical, non-religious, and financially transparent. You can read our entire Responsibility Pledge here.

We encourage donors to use World Health Run to support responsible and impactful projects. If you have any questions or concerns about where your donations are being directed, do not hesitate to contact us. We will put you in contact with the appropriate organization or impact project if more information is needed.

If you feel that we are not fulfilling our mission, vision, values or responsibility pledge, please drop us a line to let us know what you have observed, and how we can do better. Thank you!

The Team

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Andrew Dykens

Director of Executive Board

Andrew is an Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Director of Postgraduate Global Health Education across the College of Medicine at the UIC Center for Global Health. Andrew is a NIH Fogarty International Research Scientist Career Development Award (K01) recipient, a Fellow at the UIC Institute for Health Research and Policy, and a member of the CDC's Global Health and Territorial Research Network as a part of the Illinois Prevention Research Center. Since 2010, he has studied the implementation of sustainable cervical cancer screening programs in rural Senegal. He runs regularly, and maintains a highly competitive pace during the first and last 100 meters of an occasional triathlon.

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Toby Teeter

Board Member

Toby is the President and Co-Founder of LocalRaces. Toby served as President and Co-Founder of ValidClick, and Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Corporate Counsel for Inuvo. Toby was a business development manager and corporate attorney at Adknowledge, a pioneer in online behavioral marketing. He earned a B.S. in Finance from Missouri State University, and a J.D. from the University of Missouri School of Law. Toby competes in both triathlons and marathons, including the 2012 Chicago Triathlon, 2013 Chicago Marathon, 2014 Boston Marathon, and 2015 New York Marathon.

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Ashleigh Teeter

Board Member

Ashleigh is the owner of Starlit Running Co., LLC, and the National Director of Community Alliance Running Even Series, Inc. (CARES). She has been a race director for seven years. Ashleigh is also an experienced copywriter who authors articles about running and race directing. She earned her B.S. in Nursing from Missouri Southern State University. Ashleigh has competed in over 15 marathons, including three Boston Marathons (2006, 2013, 2014).

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Mary Owen

Social Media Manager

Mary is a writer, editor and social media expert who has worked in journalism for 15 years. She is a digital content producer for ABC7 News in Chicago. She has worked as a copyeditor for the Global Press Journal and a metro reporter for the Chicago Tribune and Detroit Free Press. She left journalism briefly to serve as Chicago program manager for the News Literacy Project, a non-profit which teaches youth to be smarter news consumers in the Digital Age. She is VP of the Chicago Area Peace Corps Association and serves on the National Peace Corps Association Board of Directors. She does not run unless it’s raining.

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Zola Collins

Board Member

Zola is a research associate for the University of Illinois-Chicago’s Institute for Health Research and Policy and the Department of Family Medicine. She collaborates with Andrew Dykens on the implementation of sustainable cervical cancer screening programs. Zola served as a Peace Corps Volunteer for two years in Senegal, West Africa--where she improved community health in the areas of malaria, food security, and nutrition. Zola also collaborated with Peace Care in building capacity for cervical cancer prevention. Zola developed a love of running as a student in Eugene, Oregon--also known as Track Town, USA.

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Annie Grossinger

Marketing and Communications Manager

Annie is a freelance photojournalist and writer. She is a regular contributor to the Chicago Tribune, as well as non-governmental organizations who focus on public health and community development. Before transitioning to photography, Annie worked in Marketing and Communications for LISC Chicago, Community Empowerment, and the Illinois Housing Council. She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism and History from Lehigh University. Annie was once a competitive swimmer, but she rarely runs more than a 5K. She prefers the 50-yard dash.

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Dr. Ronald Hershow

Infectious Disease Epidemiologist and Clinician

Dr. Ronald Hershow is an infectious disease epidemiologist and clinician who has been at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) since 1987. As a clinician, he provided outpatient care for HIV-infected persons for nearly three decades. As an epidemiologist, his research has focused on the epidemiology of HIV in women and substance users, hepatitis C virus infection, and nosocomial infections. In the global arena, he was the principal investigator for an investigation into the key factors influencing antiretroviral adherence among injection drug users in Bali and Jakarta. He has been a UIC School of Public Health Faculty Member throughout his tenure at UIC and has served as the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics Division Director for the last 7 years. He has guided the career development of young faculty and graduate students during his tenure at the School of Public Health. He has also served as a faculty member/mentor for the UIC-AIDS International Training and Research Program (AITRP). In that capacity, he advised and served on the thesis and dissertation committees of numerous AITRP doctoral trainees. In addition, he has participated in its AIDS training activities in both China and Indonesia. It is also noteworthy that he co-directed the Developmental Core of the Chicago Developmental Center for AIDS Research. Under his leadership, the Core helped to advise early investigators in successfully applying for research support, offered monthly meetings where they could present and receive feedback on their research, and also obtain guidance in developing as independent researchers.   

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Nicole Aspros

Board Member

Nicole Aspros is an MPH graduate from George Washington University currently working in the Washington DC area. During 2014-2017, she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal, West Africa working on social and behavior, monitoring and evaluation, malaria prevention, and mercury risk reduction. Additionally, during her service, she was involved with the nonprofit Peace Care on cervical cancer health care quality improvement. Nicole makes up every excuse not to run but always feels content after a good sunset run. 

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Grace Park

Board Member

Grace loves writing as an outlet for learning, meeting people, and sharing narratives that engage people in realities that extend beyond their own. Her interest in global communications and community health has been shaped by her experience as a journalist for Global Link Afrika, an indigenous community development organization based in Uganda, and as a clinical operations assistant for Lawndale Christian Health Center on the West Side of Chicago. Grace earned a B.A. in Biology from University of Chicago and an MPH in Health Policy from Yale University. She is presently studying medicine at University of Illinois Chicago. Grace is usually a walker, not a runner.

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Poonam Arora

Project Manager (Advertising & Marketing)

Poonam has a wealth of global experience and expertise in advertising and marketing in US, Canada and India. With a high level of project management leadership, years of experience in design and production, she has a complete understanding of the creative process and resources involved. She has facilitated workflow and deliverables of several projects in a timely and fluid manner across multiple platforms in traditional and digital media across many complex integrated campaigns for accounts ranging from automobile, education, banking, healthcare and tourism industries. Poonam is not much of a runner, but loves to walk and swim and has participated in a 25k ride for the Canadian Heart & Stroke Foundation.

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Bhavik Gajjar

Creative Director

Bhavik has been an advertising and marketing creative for over 15 years. He has worked on a range of global accounts and helped create compelling advertising and branding which have garnered recognition both nationally and internationally at Cannes, Clio’s, One Show, Applied Arts and other global award shows. Bhavik is currently a Creative Director at DDB Chicago, prior to which he worked in reputed ad agencies like Leo Burnett, Taxi Toronto, Ogilvy, Zulu Alpha Kilo, J.Walter Thompson to name a few. Growing up in Mumbai, working in Toronto and now in Chicago, Bhavik feels fortunate not only to be able to create but also judge work with a global mindset. Something he feels is becoming relevant by the day, with ground breaking work crossing borders almost instantly. Once in a while he likes to run by the lake with his headphones on, while new creative ideas are running across his mind!

Financial Reports

World Health Run will report all revenue, expenses and profits in our annual report which is freely downloadable from our website upon completion at the end of our fiscal year. Please check back on May 31, 2018.

We are financially transparent

We report all revenue, expenses and profits in our annual report which will be free to download from our website upon completion of our fiscal year. We direct as much revenue as possible toward our impact projects. However, we do not define what portion of donated funds be directed toward “administrative” versus “on the ground” costs in the individual projects. We don’t believe that fewer dollars spent on administration always yields greater impact on the ground. We ask our registrants and donors to consider that reasonable administrative and evaluation costs are necessary for certain projects. Sustainable interventions require long-term commitments, strategic planning, and close communication between partners. Therefore, funding governance, oversight, and training is critical for responsible development. We publish our annual report because we are proud that we have a long term vision for this initiative. We already know that a higher percentage of funds will be needed to establish administrative structures and processes in our initial years. This is necessary to grow our impact projects responsibly, and ensure we win the fight for health equity.

Health Equity Awareness

What is health equity?

The Health Equity Institute defines health equity as the “attainment of the highest level of health for all people.”

There are many challenges keeping us from achieving health equity, ranging from economic, to domestic, to academic. Without quality employment, safe homes, and excellent education, prolonged health equity is impossible. The list goes on: interpersonal conflict, environmental safety, and emotional intelligence all must be addressed to someday achieve health equity. Because health is embedded in every facet of our lives, pursuing health equity helps to reveal and define our global health challenges. Once defined, these challenges can be conquered.

World Health Run and its partners believe health as a human right. When we run, we advance health personally and locally. But when we run together, we create conversation and charity that can ripple into international equity.

Accessing Equity

Accessing Equity is a reference blog which can educate all audiences about global health topics. From health disparities, to health care access, to sustainable health systems, Accessing Equity is a powerful educational tool. After reading a brief article, readers are encouraged to join a live discussion called Real Voices.

The goal of Accessing Equity is to use social media to educate, and to initiate thought-provoking discussion about global health issues.