Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Global Health Corps

Global Health Corps (GHC) aims to mobilize a global community of young leaders to build a movement for health equity.

GHC believes that a global movement of individuals and organizations fighting for improved health outcomes and access to healthcare for the poor is necessary in order to change the unacceptable status quo of extreme inequity. hey are working to build this movement by recruiting, training, and supporting the movement's future leaders and by diversifying the pool of young people working in global health. As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle:
When first daughter Jenna Bush attended a Bay Area AIDS summit hosted by Google.org two years ago, some skeptics doubted it would amount to more than a photo op.
But they were wrong. In a conversation with a Google staffer and a Stanford AIDS activist at one session, she helped come up with a big idea: A plan to improve health care access in the poorest parts of the United States and the world. What may have seemed like a pie-in-the-sky plan has morphed into a nongovernmental organization with an impressive roster of donors and more than $1 million in funding. Few may have heard of the Global Health Corps, but as its influence grows, that is likely to change.
"So many ideas come up in group conversations that never get realized," said corps founding director Dave Ryan, who at the time was the executive director for Face AIDS, a nonprofit group that helps Rwandans living with HIV. "But when we all got together, we saw there was something special that could happen."
Having watched friends transition from college into careers through organizations like Teach for America, they wondered whether they could create a similar organization dedicated to health care.
"We felt like there should be a similar program for public health," said Charlie Hale, who works in Google's direct ad sales division and is one of the group's co-founders.
They enlisted an eager group of socially conscious friends and secured $250,000 in seed money from Google.org. Jenna's sister, Barbara Bush, became the president of the organization, after spending time working in Africa with UNICEF and the U.N. World Food Program

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com

Barbara Bush appeared on CNN June 1, 2010 to discuss the organization:

 
One of former President George W. Bush's daughters is aiming to change the face of global public health and she intends to use members of her generation to do it.

Former first daughter Barbara Bush's new non-profit, Global Health Corps, was inspired by a 2003 trip that she took with her parents to five African countries. The Bush family was in Africa at the time promoting the Bush administration's anti-AIDS initiative.

A visit to a health clinic for people battling HIV opened Barbara Bush's eyes to how she might make a difference in the health field.

"I think that was the first time that – I was not pre-med; I hadn't studied health – that was the first time that I thought well maybe, what am I doing? Maybe I should focus on this," the Bush daughter said in an interview Tuesday on CNN's American Morning. "And I can. You really can work in the health field even if you're not a doctor or a nurse."

Bush decided to take that premise and use it as the foundation of Global Health Corps, a non-profit that recruits young professionals who are age 30 or younger to work for a year in health organizations.

"They're not doctors or nurses. They're filling any needs that the organizations have. And what we've found is all of our partners want people with technology skills. They want program management skills. They want monitoring and evaluation support. They just want general program support – which are skills that tons of people have. They just don't know they can use them in the health field."
For example, Bush said one participant in the non-profit's first crop of fellows is a former Google employee with a background in product management who is now working on health management information systems in Tanzania.

more at politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com