Our Story

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AHEAD Foundation is the result of a story.  A story about people. A story about a family’s heritage and legacy.  You are invited to discover Our Story as a now 4th generation family journey of making a difference in the world.  While our heritage is rooted in the magical draw of India; today AHEAD’s investments are initiatives with a broad, global appeal.

AHEAD is an acronym that stands for Advancing Health, Education and Development.

Asia Healthcare Issues and Opportunities, is an executive summary that introduces the issues that influenced AHEAD Foundation’s 2008 charter to develop, and fund a modernization plan for 12 hospitals in India and Nepal.  These issues and opportunities define our inception.  Observations that are the foundation of a proposition that investments in Indian healthcare today will pivotally shape the future security of existing healthcare institutional investments in North America; as well as global health within the next two decades.  It is a bold prediction.  You are invited to draw your own conclusions regarding the culminating impact of the global economic and population trends with the resulting interdependencies that support it.

CLICK HERE to open the full Paper as a PDF file.  Or you can select it above to read it in magazine format.

The Story of a Family Legacy

For AHEAD Foundation, the story is best understood as a decision in 1927.  Franklyn James Ashlock, and his new bride Marcella, left for India prepared to make a difference far from the hills of Kentucky where Frank had grown up.  His life’s dream to play baseball reached its apex when drafted to pitch for the Red Socks.  However, an unexpected, pivotal, life-choice of significance over baseball, unfolded into developing schools and health clinics in India.

For Frank, and his new bride, a lifetime investment in colonial India today bears fruit in the now, 125+ schools within the Ashlock Educational Trust schools located throughout India.  From these early seeds planted, there are small village schools which serve fresh new minds each year.  Schools that have grown into 6,000+ student campuses and US-accredited, graduate universities, offering thousands of diplomas each spring.  Two sister trusts serve through 12 operating hospitals and seven nursing schools.

Don Ashlock’s initial trip to India in 2008, to accompany his Mother attending multiple memorial services for his Father throughout the country, became a life-changing, family-roots tour across India for him.  That included visiting 25 schools in the Ashlock Educational Trust.  Visiting the New Generation School in the remote village of Hoomi, Manipur in 2008, marked the third (Don) and subsequently, fourth generation (his children) being drawn into Frank and Marcella’s original vision to make a difference in health and education

A Shared Story

Frank and Marcella Ashlock’s choice to leave the US to make a significance-over-success difference half a world away is more than a family story.  AHEAD Foundation’s initiatives in the US, expands the family legacy with a global vision and mission.

AHEAD is now a consortium of those drawn by the common desire to make a difference.  It is through Our Network of volunteers, staff, interns, partner organizations, board members, advisors whom, typically without recognition or compensation, reach out to invest their time, talent, and treasure, that our projects continue to move forward.  Each of whom shares in the fabric of our story with each choice to invest, sometimes in a small way and, in our opinion, always insignificantly.

The Story of an Investment in Health

When Ron Watts, then President of Southern Asia Division and Chair of the Ashlock Education Trust, in 2008 met with Don Ashlock, in Houser, India, a conversation exchange turned into a personal call to establish a North American based support organization for the work begun by his grandparents in India.  First a conversation about opportunities to make a difference in education became an invitation to assist in modernizing the Seventh Day Adventist health care in Southern Asia.  Don Ashlock accepted a request to join the Southern Asia Division leadership team as the Director of Development, Adventist Health Systems, Southern Asia Division.

A concept evolved of a North American based, private foundation that would take on the task of a new vision and development plan.  Secure capital resources to modernize the current twelve operating hospitals in India and Nepal and map a future for a total of 35 selected sites for expansion.  Following a proven structural precedent set by the Florida Hospital Foundation in stewarding the development side of the Florida Hospital mission; the AHEAD Foundation (an acronym for Asia Health Education and Development), was established as a U.S. based counterpart for the Ashlock Educational Trust and healthcare sister trusts in India.  AHEAD’s original purpose was to function as an entity dedicated to a stronger future for healthcare and education in Southern Asia.  A year later, following the AHEAD Foundation’s Vision Board delegation visiting key healthcare development opportunities in Bangalore, Puna, Delhi, and Surat; a key milestone was crossed with the identification of capital partners willing to invest 400 million US dollars to begin the modernization process with four (4) hospitals and a new medical school to move the Southern Asia Adventist healthcare mission forward.

This specific task benchmark success became the foundation for launching the new vision of healthcare and education reform.  The mission quickly morphed from an Asian focus to a global perspective and AHEAD’s board decided that AHEAD now stands for Advancing Health Education and Development with Don Ashlock as the Managing Director.  Now the foundation’s resources are directed at global and Western based initiatives.



AHEAD Foundation

April 30, 2011