Kimberly Green selected by Miami Sun Post as one of South Florida's “Women of Power 2006

The Sun Post

Miami Beach resident Kimberly Green is a vibrant woman whose response to life’s tragic elements is deep, sympathetic, and even sometimes funny. Through her work as president of the Green Family Foundation (GFF), she has tackled global health initiatives, extreme poverty in Haiti, and supported grass roots programs serving youth, education and HIV/AIDS prevention efforts.

The private philanthropic foundation was founded in 1991 by her father, Steven Green, the former U.S. Ambassador to Singapore. GFF provides seed money to organizations and programs that improve access to healthcare, combat extreme poverty, provide treatment of preventable diseases, support youth arts, and drive community education.

One of Green’s projects is a partnership with the University of Miami through the Green Family Health Initiative (GFHI) to help drive the school’s groundbreaking work in the fields of pediatric infectious diseases. She has also played a vital, hands-on role in helping to fund the University affiliated Project Medishare program to improve community healthcare in Haiti. Project Medishare has helped improve the lives of more than 72,000 Haitians while supporting the Haitian Ministry of Health and assisting in the construction of a modern medical center in Thomonde.

Green recently wrote, directed and produced the award-winning documentary Once There Was A Country. The film, narrated by noted poet Maya Angelou and Guy Johnson, documents the current healthcare crisis in Haiti and showcases the inspirational stories of the organizations and individuals who are working to improve the country’s healthcare structure.

In her life, Green has been a special events director for the United Way; a Head Start counselor on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota; a teacher of Religious Studies at the Baypoint Schools, Juvenile Correctional Facility; and an event coordinator for the Children’s Health Fund.

Recently, Green was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. Far from retreating into depression, Green responded with her trademark pluck and humor.
She took a planned trip to Africa to explore the foundation’s support of AIDS programs in Mozambique, and drafted famed academic Jeffrey Sachs to work on a new plan for Haiti.

Then she came home to Miami Beach and threw a party to say goodbye to her left breast, a wild and heartfelt affair in which some of her artistic friends read poems and made an art project out of her impending loss.

Just days after surgery, Green attended a Clinton Global Initiative function in New York to work the halls filled with wealthy moguls and world leaders in support of her foundation’s many projects. She felt out of sorts with newly short hair and in considerable pain, but the work helped her deal with that.

“It is a pretty harsh reality to face,” she wrote to friends. “Especially after coming back from a place and spending so much time in Haiti, where people have nothing at all. No basic health care or clean water, and here I am getting the best treatment on the planet just because I won in gene pool roulette. This is making me more committed to my work and see the value more in each and every life on the planet.”

Green’s treatment isn’t over. She’ll be spending a few months in New York, but plans to continue working with Columbia University’s Earth Institute. She’s also completing a short film on how development in Miami is affecting the poor.