Collaborating with Partners In Health & Harvard Medical School, the Abundance Project for Global Health supported research and training initiatives aimed at alleviating health care disparities and strengthening healthcare systems across the globe.
NEW YORK – Stephen Kahn, M.D., President of the Abundance Foundation, reported the successful completion of their 2010 Global Health Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action at the 2016 CGI Annual Meeting. “The Abundance Foundation is a small, nimble philanthropic catalyst for global health systems change, ” said Dr. Kahn. “CGI has provided opportunities that allowed us to develop partnerships that extended our reach and profoundly impacted global health education, training, and delivery.”
The multi-faceted Abundance Project for Global Health helped build on-the-ground capacity to respond to emergencies, and treat and prevent disease through medical education and health system strengthening around the globe. The Project increased opportunities for the training of global health professionals, supported breakthrough research, and increased accessibility to information for medical professionals worldwide.
Over the past six years, the Abundance Foundation has identified gaps in global health care delivery and funded innovative solutions to closing them while working to empower a new generation of health care leaders who will be able to implement solutions and deliver better care. The foundation supported research into the containment of epidemics such as cholera and Ebola, programs to provide advanced training for global medical professionals and interventions to reduce disparities in healthcare. Its programmatic successes include:
- Crucial Early Support for Ebola Research: Early in the Ebola crisis, Abundance Foundation partnered with the Harvard Medical School Global Health Research Core, ensuring funding for research, published in The Lancet, that showed how to accurately diagnose Ebola patients within minutes. With bedside diagnostics as easy to use as a pregnancy test, this finding has had a major impact on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of Ebola.
- Cholera Vaccinations in Haiti: After the devastating earthquake in Haiti created the perfect storm for a cholera epidemic, Dr. Louise Ivers successfully vaccinated 100, 000 Haitians against the disease and changed the way the infectious disease community looks at cholera control with her research published in The Lancet.
- Creating World-class Health Education in Rwanda: The Rwanda Human Resources for Health program (HRH) program created a sustainable, world-class health education structure for training and retaining highly skilled and diverse medical professionals in Rwanda. When President Clinton announced the Rwanda Human Resources for Health Program (HRH) at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in 2012, he honored Chief Abundance Partner Corrado Cancedda, M.D. Ph.D. among others, for his role in the development of this program. Of the HRH program President Clinton said, “I think it is one of the most important commitments ever announced at CGI.”
- Global Mental Health: Giuseppe Raviola, M.D. Director of Mental Health for Partners In Health, said: “The Abundance Foundation’s investment in global mental health care delivery and research led to an infinite number of positive developments in terms of fostering new, major, government-run national mental health initiatives in a number of countries and the development of over 50 careers in mental health service delivery and research for implementers working in low income countries. All of this work, taken together, led to needed, lifesaving mental health services for more than 20, 000 people in Haiti, Rwanda, and elsewhere.”
- Innovative Harvard Medical School Master’s Programs: In order to build local capacity and leadership in resource-limited countries, Abundance Foundation partnered with Harvard Medical School to develop a Masters of Medical Science in Global Health Delivery (MMSc-GHD). A rigorous cross-university curriculum focused on social and delivery science and policy research in resource-limited settings, the program contributes to global health scholarship while enhancing the quality of health care delivery and training available in countries including Haiti, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone.
- Emergency Medicine Residency in Haiti: Emergency and Family Medicine Residency programs built capacity and local leadership by training physicians and nurses with especially robust programs in the emergency department at the new Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais.
- Free Access to Life-Saving Medical Reference Tools: Investment in the Global Health Delivery Project at Harvard University (GHD) has helped create the premier online space, GHDonline, where health professionals throughout the world can connect. With over 20, 000 participants representing 168 countries, GHDonline plays an essential role in health care delivery knowledge dissemination, learning and training. Furthermore, in partnership with UpToDate, the Global Health Delivery Project provided free access to world-class evidence-based clinical resources to 20, 000+ clinicians in 20+ institutions in 60+ countries, caring for more than 25 million patients per year. This program has led to an ongoing pilot that aims to provide every medical school in Africa with these essential digital medical training tools.
- Unique Partnerships between Harvard Graduate Students and Community Health Centers: The Agents of Change program was designed to address health inequities by challenging students across Harvard’s graduate schools to create cross-disciplinary teams and develop partnerships with community health centers in order to develop out-of-the-box solutions for empowering marginalized and economically disadvantaged communities.
“At the very heart of the success of this commitment are exceptional individuals with a relentless dedication to improving the world around them, ” said Dr. Kahn. “Please join me, in continuing to support these same individuals to end the ongoing transmission of cholera in Haiti, and to ensure that Ebola, Zika and other emerging disease are confronted where and when they emerge.”
According to Chief Abundance Partner Corrado Cancedda, M.D. Ph.D. “The Abundance Foundation gave me the freedom to dare, be creative, think, and most importantly, act outside the box to change the status quo and to focus on being a change agent in Rwanda and Sierra Leone.”
“The Abundance Foundation is continuing to develop innovative partnerships to advance Global Health Education.” said Dr. Kahn. “Our new Costa Rica Initiative, in cooperation with the Interamerican Center for Global Health, will identify and train the next generation of global health leaders and advance the knowledge of medical professionals who can develop creative solutions to today’s most pressing global health issues.”
The Abundance Foundation believes that it is not only important to find new ways to address global health needs, but equally important to develop medical education programs that are sustainable and provide opportunities for training future generations of doctors, nurses, mental health providers, and public health experts.
About the Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together 190 sitting and former heads of state, more than 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, members of the CGI community have made more than 3, 500 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries.