Helping Those with HIV/AIDS: Nurit Shein

By Wendy |

From 2009 – 2011, Our Bodies Ourselves honored the work of women’s health advocates worldwide by asking readers to nominate their favorite women’s health hero. View all nominees by year: 2009, 2010, 2011

Entrant: Amy Levi

Nominee: Nurit Shein, Executive Director, Mazzoni Center

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Nurit Shein

When Nurit Shein came to Philadelphia in 1993, the Mazzoni Clinic was a struggling nonprofit organization for those affected by HIV/AIDS.

Fourteen years later, she presided over the ribbon-cutting of the Mazzoni Center, a family practice clinic serving not just those affected by HIV/AIDS, but the whole LGBTI community of Philadelphia.

I can’t praise Nurit enough for the remarkable job she has done turning her organization into a leader in health care for all in Philadelphia. It might seem odd to have a women’s health hero whose organization first focused its resources on what was initially a health crisis affecting gay men. But Nurit quickly understood that HIV/AIDS was not just a gay men’s issue, and that sexual health needs of women were equally unattended by the health care community in Philadelphia.

Nurit is well respected by peers and colleagues, and is a shining example of what can be accomplished when passion is combined with commitment, courage, and managerial magic.

These paragraphs can hardly address her amazing accomplishment at transforming a besieged nonprofit into a national model for health care to an invisible and largely underserved population.  A peek at Mazzoni Center’s website (not to mention her infinite hits on Google!) speaks well to her role as the health care innovator I want to be when I grow up!


  1. Candice says:

    Nurit’s dedication, passion and enthusiasm are truly inspirational! I can not think of a more deserving candidate. Good luck!

  2. Rajnish says:

    This nomination validates Nurit’s extraordinary effort and dedication to LGBT healthcare in Philadelphia.

  3. Claire says:

    Nurit is truly a woman of valor! She has made it possible for a deserving, underserved population in the Philadelphia area to have the best possible testing, care and counseling. She is a real hero, and deserves this honor!

  4. Tom McCoy says:

    I can’t say enough about the amount of intelligence, compassion and leadership Nurit brings to the table surrounding HIV/AIDS issues in Philadelphia. As a 25 year survivor of this disease I am so thankful she has made Philadelphia her home and has turned the Mazzoni Center into a beacon for people of need in our community.