The Rebecca Onie speech on the American health care system takes the view that the system in place is geared towards managing disease rather than promoting health. In 1996 the speaker co-founded Health Leads, an organization that works to address all patients' basic resource needs as a standard part of health care. With Dr. Barry Zuckerman, she established Health Leads at Boston Medical Center when she was a sophomore at Harvard. In clinics where Health Leads is established, doctors are able to go beyond antibiotic prescriptions, and can also prescribe food, warmth and other resources. She currently acts as the chief executive officer.
The Rebecca Onie speech also mentions her time at law school. She received her JD from Harvard Law School, where she edited the Harvard Law Review. She also worked as a clerk for the Honorable Diane P. Wood of the US District Court of Appeals and as an associate at Miner, Barnhill & Galland PC.