one heart at a time
Patient-centered care for the whole person. Access and equity for a whole community.
The Rouse Foundation Story
Why We Must Go Forward
As the youngest of 18 children growing up in Waynesboro, Georgia,
I know what it means to be poor, and to see my parents forced to choose basic provisions over the “luxury” of medical care. We were all born at home, and seven of my siblings died at birth. Visiting the doctor was only for the direst emergencies.
As a young boy with fingers raw from picking everything from beans to potatoes under the scorching sun, I dreamed of a better life in which I would not have to make impossible choices for my family as my parents did. My mother always told me, “Son, when you make it out of here, always remember to give back to those who have less.” Her words went deep into my heart.
Now, as a cardiologist, I know the struggle so many of my patients face every day. I have seen mothers fall into tragedy after turning down life-saving treatment out of desperation to get back to their families who had no other caregiver. I have seen hardworking fathers lose their livelihoods after uncontrolled hypertension and diabetes quietly sank invisible claws into their lives, leading to debilitating kidney disease and double leg amputation. It is heartbreaking beyond words to see preventable conditions turn into stories like these.
Heart disease doesn’t just devastate households, it devastates generations, forcing families to face unimaginable choices between immediate needs and long-term health care costs.
I have kept my mother’s creed, and now my family is fully invested in breaking these disastrous generational cycles for those who need a helping hand.
For over 20 years, my wife Deirdre and I laid the groundwork for what would later become The Rouse Foundation, which strives to optimize health outcomes in marginalized communities around the globe through education, early detection, prevention, and treatment.
We have poured our lives into working face-to-face with people in need, partnering with service organizations on the ground to provide care, and helping build sustainable programs in the U.S., as well as abroad in Honduras, Mexico, Nevis, and Zambia. Now, we aim to bring our experience to bear against healthcare challenges where my roots are— right here in Georgia.
Dr. Charlie & Deirdre Rouse
Co-Founders, The Rouse Foundation
As many as 90,000 Georgians in our target region of Carroll, Douglas and Haralson counties may unknowingly show early indicators of preventable chronic heart disease, impacting local families, our workforce, and our economy with deep and ongoing costs.
The individual and societal costs of these healthcare challenges are too high to ignore. Let’s take action to break the grip of chronic heart disease in our region today, knowing the benefits reach far beyond us into the lives of generations to come.
Dr. Charlie Rouse
Co-Founder, The Rouse Foundation
PARTNER WITH US
Together, we can provide quality preventive wellness for all, especially the most vulnerable, in West Georgia.
Read the stories behind our recent community projects
Indiana County BHm Closing Program 2022
Watch our most recent virtual event