Our Mission Statement
Our Founder, Gini Laurie
Saint Louis’ Gini Laurie worked to end institutionalization of people with disabilities. Born Virginia Grace Wilson in 1913, Gini was named after two older sisters who died of polio. As a hospital volunteer, she founded Rehabilitation Gazette, which became an internationally known advocacy journal. Known as the “grandmother” of the independent living movement, Laurie urged people with all kinds of disabilities to work together to end institutionalization and to support independence. In 1974, she helped found the American Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities. She died in 1989, not long before the Americans with Disabilities Act at last realized her goal of equal rights for people with disabilities.
Gini Laurie is remembered with a permanent exhibit in the Emerson Electric Center of the Missouri History Museum (MHS).
History of PHI
Gini Laurie becomes editor of Toomeyville Jr. Gazette, the mimeographed newsletter for Toomey Pavilion in Cleveland, Ohio, a respiratory center for poliomyelitis patients.
Incorporates as the International Iron Lung Polio Assistance, Inc.
Toomeyville Jr. Gazette changes name to Toomey j Gazette.
Changes name to Iron Lung Polios and Multiplegics, Inc.
Changes name to Rehabilitation Gazette, Inc.
Toomey j Gazette changes name to Rehabilitation Gazette.
Moves from Chagrin Falls, Ohio, to 4502 Maryland Avenue, Saint Louis, Missouri.
Gini Laurie writes Housing and Home Services for the Disabled, Elderly, and Retarded, published by Harper & Row.
Coordinates Second International Post-Polio Conference and Symposium on Living Independently with Severe Disability, Saint Louis, Missouri.
Changes name to Gazette International Networking Institute, Inc. (GINI).
Hires Judith Raymond as first executive director. Publishes Handbook on the Late Effects of Poliomyelitis for Physicians and Survivors, edited by Gini Laurie, Frederick M. Maynard, MD, D. Armin Fischer, MD, and Judith Raymond.
Joe Laurie, co-editor of the Rehabilitation Gazette and Gini's husband, dies.
Forms International Polio Network (IPN) and begins publication of Polio Network News.
Coordinates Third International Polio and Independent Living Conference, Saint Louis, Missouri. Proceedings
Begins publishing Post-Polio Directory, listing clinics, health professionals and support groups knowledgeable about the late effects of polio.
Sponsors Polio Support Group Leaders' Workshop.
Coordinates Fourth International Polio and Independent Living Conference, Saint Louis, Missouri.
Forms International Ventilator Users Network (IVUN) and begins publication of IVUN News.
Judith Raymond Fischer resigns as executive director.
Hires Joan L. Headley as director of International Polio Network.
Sponsors Support Group Leaders' Workshop.
Names Joan L. Headley as executive director.
Coordinates Fifth International Polio and Independent Living Conference, Saint Louis, Missouri.
Establishes The Gini Laurie Endowment after Gini Laurie dies on June 28th.
Begins publishing IVUN Resource Directory within the pages of IVUN News.
Discusses suspending operations.
Sale of 4502 Maryland property; office moves to 5100 Oakland Avenue, Saint Louis, Missouri.
Coordinates Sixth International Post-Polio and Independent Living Conference, Saint Louis, Missouri.
Office moves to 4207 Lindell Boulevard, #110, Saint Louis, Missouri.
Creates The GINI Research Fund with bequest from Thomas Rogers.
Hires full-time assistant.
Coordinates Seventh International Post-Polio and Independent Living Conference, Saint Louis, Missouri.
Hires second full-time assistant. Begins strategic planning.
IVUN Resource Directory published as separate document. Lists health professionals committed to home mechanical ventilation, ventilator users, ventilator equipment and aids with manufacturers' information, plus related organizations, associations and foundations.
Publishes revised edition of Handbook on the Late Effects of Poliomyelitis for Physicians and Survivors, edited by Frederick M. Maynard, MD, and Joan L. Headley, MS.
Co-sponsors Seventh International Conference on Home Mechanical Ventilation, Orlando, Florida.
Continues strategic planning and reaffirms mission.
Coordinates Eighth International Post-Polio and Independent Living Conference, Saint Louis, Missouri.
Awards first grant from The GINI Research Fund.
Co-sponsors Eighth International Conference on Home Mechanical Ventilation, Lyon, France.
Awards second grant from The GINI Research Fund.
Receives report from first grant from The GINI Research Fund.
Changes name to Post-Polio Health International (PHI) Including International Ventilator Users Network and structure to Membership.
The GINI Research Fund changes name to The Research Fund.
Polio Network News changes name to Post-Polio Health.
IVUN News changes name to Ventilator-Assisted Living.
IVUN Resource Directory changes name to Resource Directory for Ventilator-Assisted Living.
PHI Medical Advisory Committee writes Statement About Exercise for The Survivors of Polio.
Cooperates with the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in presenting American College of Chest Physician (ACCP)'s Ninth International Noninvasive Ventilation Conference: "From the ICU to Home," Orlando, Florida.
Joan L. Headley speaks in Osaka, part of the Japanese Ventilator Users Network's symposia in Japan to raise awareness about the need for improved independent living for ventilator users. While in Japan, Ms. Headley also meets with Japan Network for Polio Survivors (JNPS).
Works in conjunction with the John P. Murtha Neuroscience & Pain Institute at Conemaugh Health System in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, to provide monthly conference calls for the Post-Polio Clinic Directors.
Loans archival materials to The Smithsonian Institution for the "Whatever Happened to Polio?"exhibit at the National Museum of American History.
Supports the 10th International Conference on Home Mechanical Ventilation, hosted by Journées Internationales de Ventilation à Domicile (JIVD), Lyon, France.
Receives funds from Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation to create guide to assist ventilator users in surviving emergencies.
Completed project (click logo for information) (Spanish)
Compiles Home Ventilator Guide
Board of Directors meets in Saint Louis for strategic planning.
Board of Directors meets in Saint Louis for strategic planning.
Researches number of polio survivors in US.
Initiates WE'RE STILL HERE! October 14-20, 2007, a post-polio awareness campaign.
WE'RE STILL HERE! October 12-18, 2008
10th International Conference: Living with Polio in the 21st Century
Post-Polio Wellness Retreat
Launched Polio Place, a new website.
WE’RE STILL HERE! October 12-18, 2014 Post-Polio Experts Present (Video Series)
WE’RE STILL HERE! October 11-17, 2015 Show Me Accessibility! Photo Contest
Awards 9th grant of $100,000 (two years) for The Research Fund
Received final report from 7th grant
Received mid-study report from 8th grant
Improved the function and expanded content of the Living with Polio section in Polio Place
Added 11 videos (total 27) to its Post-Polio Experts Present (Video Series)
Received mid-study report from 9th grant.
Received final report from the 8th grant.
Joan L. Headley retires after 30 years.
Brian Tiburzi named Executive Director of PHI.
PHI awards its 10th grant.
WE'RE STILL HERE! October 7-13, 2018 Essay Contest
University of Massachusetts Amherst agrees to add PHI's archives to its special collections.
PHI adopts new mission.