John B. Grant was born in Ningbo, China to Canadian medical missionaries. After absorbing new concepts in the practice of public health at the University of Michigan and Johns Hopkins University, Grant became an associate professor of public health at Peking Union Medical College. In 1925, he persuaded Chinese officials to open the Beijing Health Demonstration Station, the first of its kind in China, which emphasized preventative and curative care in a community setting. Later, Grant was instrumental in the establishment of another health station in Ding Xian. This health station later became the model for the barefoot doctors program promoted by Mao Zedong. After many years of work in China, Grant spread his ideas of community-based health care to other countries throughout Asia and the world.