March 2022
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Note from Elizabeth (EJ) Ashbourne, PQMD Executive Director

March was a very busy month for PQMD. On the forefront of all our minds is the crisis in Ukraine and our members are responding to the crisis by supplying cash, medicine (including insulin, COVID therapies, mental health medicines, etc.), first aid supplies, essential health packs, water, sanitation and hygiene supplies, PPE, syringes, and more. As highlighted in a recent press release, extraordinary and unprecedented partnerships are forming among our membership to address the urgent refugee crisis and support treatment of those traumatized within the country and throughout the region. These partnerships serve as a testament to how effective having a coalition of extraordinary organizations can be, all adhering to the highest quality standards for donations and combining their resources and expertise to impact the lives of those most in need. If you would like to connect with other members to learn more and coordinate your responses, please contact Victoria Hammond who can add you to our new Members-only Ukraine Response section on the CoP.

While the situation in Ukraine is a focus for PQMD, we made progress on several other initiatives in March, including highlighting Medical Missions month and our highly regarded Pillar Talk on ESG. The Pillar Talk included engaging speakers who discussed how ESG has evolved into its current state and what’s on the horizon regarding efforts to standardize ESG disclosures and enhanced investor expectations for corporations to take bold action. If you missed it, you can view the recording on our website.

Next month, we will begin our exciting Global Health Policy Forum Roundtable Series! Our first roundtable will be held on April 12th with a focus on Latin America. These talks will bring together regional experts from leading PQMD member healthcare companies, nonprofit and multilateral organizations to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing their regions. Registration is open and I urge you not to miss these events!

As I close, I know that all members of PQMD and our partners will join me in hoping that all those working on the front lines of the many crisis around the world will stay safe and healthy. 

Are you considering donating products to help in the Ukraine Crisis?

PQMD’s guidelines will help ensure that donation efforts are as effective as possible.

Learn more about PQMD’s Medical Donation Guidelines which provide best practices and the highest standards to address the sometimes-complicated practice of providing medical donations around the world.

PQMD 2022 Global Health Policy Virtual Roundtable Series- Registration Now Open! 

April 12, 19, 26 
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM (ET)

PQMD is proud to announce a virtual roundtable series designed to showcase the depth of our members’ cross-sector partnerships. Join PQMD regional experts for focused conversations, genuine perspective and informed dialogue on global health issues key to PQMD’s network, including: refugees and internally displaced persons; economic and security instability; access to populations at risk; quality programming in conflict regions; vaccine access and equity; and secondary impacts of the pandemic.

PQMD’s Global Health Policy Forum Regional Roundtable Series (GHPF RT): Connecting, Convening, and Catalyzing through Regional Experience

Building on our traditionally in-person event (which will return next April), this refreshing series will bring together regional experts from leading PQMD member healthcare companies, nonprofit and multilateral organizations to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing their regions.

Register now to join us for three Tuesdays in April for these important and dynamic 90-minute regional roundtables.

April 12 – Latin America Regional Roundtable

April 19 – Middle East Regional Roundtable

April 26 – Africa Regional Roundtable

Register Now!

Global Alliance for Rare Diseases (GARD) Update

PQMD continues to progress toward the goals of the GARD initiative. Our update includes:

  • Dr. Thalia (Talia) Arawi based in Beirut, Lebanon has agreed to be part of the Advisory Board for GARD representing the Medical Ethicist point of view
  • Dr. Narcyz Ghinea from Australia has identified several case studies that are of interest from a funding perspective for GARD.

The team is currently considering a face-to-face meeting the week of July 11th in Boston/Cambridge area aligned with the World Orphan Drug Congress.

In terms of the Framework, networking continues as the team is identifying areas that require further input from potential stakeholders particularly from a Ministry of Health perspective. Feedback to date has largely been positive with almost every stakeholder indicating the need to put a structure in place that allows for centralization of resources.

The Guidelines also continue to move forward. There was an overall acceptance and positive response to the Guidelines by the stakeholder participants. Some of the feedback included that the Guidelines cannot be “one size fits all” but there can still be general principles that apply across the rare disease spectrum. Stakeholders recommended that we always keep the patient as a central part of the conversation. There was also feedback that new charitable or humanitarian programs will not have to start from scratch.

Some emerging themes include: prevention and diagnosis in LMICs, collaboration and coordination with patient organizations, training and capacity building and access to critical medicines and supportive treatments.

If you are interested in learning more, please feel free to visit the CoP. If you have any questions about this initiative, please contact EJ Ashbourne or Harpeet Ram.

Global Health & Development Essentials Course

Now Enrolling for Summer and Fall

Summer: June 8 – July 20, 2022

Fall: September 14 – October 26, 2022

Each session includes seven weekly classes scheduled from 12:00-2:00pm (EST)

PQMD has condensed key elements of a Master’s in Public Health curriculum to create a comprehensive Executive Survey Course on global health, for professionals or students working in the space but lacking relevant formal education.

The course compresses much of the MPH curriculum with an emphasis on global concerns; participants gain an improved understanding of health disparities around the world and how they’re measured, health systems in low and lower-middle income countries, the global frameworks and key players providing sustained humanitarian assistance for global health development, and the dynamics and coordination of international disaster response.

Register Now!

PQMD Welcomes Two New NGO Members: Airlink and International Rescue Committee  

The Partnership for Quality Medical Donations (PQMD)is proud to announce the addition of Airlink and International Rescue Committee to their membership. The addition of these exceptional organizations brings PQMD’s membership to 47 member NGOs and Corporations.

Airlink is a global humanitarian organization delivering critical aid to communities in crisis by providing airlift and logistical solutions to nonprofit partners, changing the way the humanitarian community responds to disasters around the world.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) helps people affected by humanitarian crises—including the climate crisis—to survive, recover and rebuild their lives. Founded at the call of Albert Einstein in 1933, the IRC is now at work in over 40 crisis-affected countries as well as communities throughout Europe and the Americas. They deliver lasting impact by providing health care, helping children learn, and empowering individuals and communities to become self-reliant, always seeking to address the inequalities facing women and girls.

Read the full press release on PQMD's website here.

PQMD website is now easier to use! 

The PQMD website has recently been updated, streamlined and refreshed. For easy access, you can find our most popular pages as Quick Links" in the site footer. Quick Links include: Guidelines Module, Medical Missions Guidelines, Measuring for Success Toolkit, subscribing to the newsletter and joining the CoP. We have also made it easier to engage with buttons at the top where you are also able to subscribe to the newsletter and join the CoP. Take a look! You can access our refreshed website here

Pillar Talk Webinar: ESG's Evolution: How did we get here and where are we going? - Recording Now Available   

On March 22nd, PQMD held a pillar talk on the concept of Environmental, Social, & Governance (ESG). ESG encompasses non-financial data that has a short- and long-term financial impact on business operations, risk/return opportunities, and potential investments. Our panel of esteemed ESG professionals helped shed light on how ESG has evolved into its current state and what’s on the horizon regarding efforts to standardize ESG disclosures and enhanced investor expectations for corporations to take bold action. 

If you missed this excellent Pillar Talk, you can view the recording on PQMD's website. 

PQMD Holds Medical Missions Coffee Chat 

March is Medical Missions Month and to support this theme, PQMD held a members-only coffee chat on Medical Missions at the end of March. 

With global lockdowns and international travel halted during COVID-19, the medical volunteer mission model of providing care was completely disrupted.  Many organizations had to cease operations which was troubling for a sector that focuses on providing highly specialized care to large numbers of people around the globe. The pandemic presented a challenge to rethink the medical missions model and what could be achieved from a distance. We are seeing promising new changes to the old medical missions model including a surge in reliance on technology, a rise of task-sharing, a willingness to support partners in more consistent intervals, a deeper-dive into health system strengthening and a thoughtful re-examination of long-term efforts to maximize impact.

On March 31st, Anera’s President & CEO, Sean Carroll, guided a discussion to explore ideas and efforts into how organizations are reshaping the future of medical missions and work together to ensure that PQMD’s Medical Mission Guidelines continue to offer best practices in this "new normal". Learn more about PQMD's Medical Missions Guidelines on PQMD's website. You can also access our Medical Missions Module which provides essential guidelines for those involved in planning medical missions. The module identifies best practice guidance for both sending and host organizations. 

Connect with Other Members Responding to the Ukraine Crisis

PQMD created an information and resource sharing platform for PQMD members and their colleagues responding to the Ukraine crisis. Created as a space to brainstorm, collaborate, and work together on potential solutions to expedite medical product donations. If you would like to invite a colleague to join this working CoP platform, please contact Victoria Hammond.  

Four PQMD members- International Health Partners, Project HOPE, International Medical Corps and Medical Teams International- respond to the Ukraine crisis 

International Health Partners (IHP) is responding with other PQMD members, Project HOPE, International Medical Corps and Medical Teams International, to the escalating conflict in Ukraine with multiple shipments of essential medicines.

As part of the first wave of response IHP is shipping Essential Health Packs (EHPs), which are prepacked, portable kits filled with a range of essential medicines such as antibiotics and analgesics and enable the swift delivery of critical, reliable medicines in places where people wouldn’t otherwise be able to obtain them. The packs include a number of products donated by fellow PQMD corporate partners, without whom, these relief efforts would not be possible

Project HOPE: Project HOPE is on the ground actively delivering medical supplies and other urgent assistance in Ukraine and surrounding countries. IHP sent an initial shipment of 45 EHPs to Project HOPE which arrived in Ukraine on 23 March and will be used to support the emergency response team in providing health and humanitarian relief. Additional shipments to Project HOPE are expected to follow.

International Medical Corps: International Medical Corps is currently supporting mobile medical and mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) services for those living in areas affected by the war. International Medical Corps is working closely with the Ukraine Ministry of Health to help contain the spread of infectious disease, including COVID-19, providing critical infection prevention and control (IPC) training for healthcare facility staff and promoting proper hygiene among community members. The team already operated in Ukraine before the conflict began and has deployed additional staff to Poland and Romania to provide critical supplies and programmes at Ukraine’s borders. IHP is sending an initial shipment of 27 EHPs to International Medical Corps which departed the UK on 25 March. Further shipments are expected to follow.

Medical Teams International: When the conflict began, Medical Teams immediately coordinated with multiple partners to deliver aid to Ukrainians in need. Currently, Medical Teams is responding to the influx of Ukrainian refugees in Moldova and is deploying teams of doctors and nurses to provide health care to Ukrainian families at refugee accommodation centres and border crossings. It is also training a team of local volunteers to provide psychological first aid and wider mental health support.

IHP will be supporting Medical Teams’ efforts in Moldova with a shipment of 14 EHPs, due to be sent very shortly.

All four PQMD members have been able to respond rapidly together to the developing crisis in part, because of their shared values and adherence to industry practices like those laid out in the PQMD guidelines.

“Working with fellow PQMD members, who adhere to the same guidelines as we do, gives us an extra level of assurance that all our medicines will be handled safely and securely,” says Adele Paterson, CEO at International Health Partners.

Read the full press release here.

76 Tons of Donated Medicines, Supplies for Ukraine Arrive in Poland Via Fedex Charter 

Direct Relief and FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) announced the safe arrival of a FedEx humanitarian relief flight into Warsaw, Poland, delivering 76 tons of critical medical aid for Ukraine on Sunday, March 27, 2022.

Aid aboard the FedEx Boeing 777 cargo aircraft included an emergency field hospital donated by the State of California and substantial quantities of emergency medicines and supplies, including trauma and wound care medications, chronic disease medications, oxygen concentrators, and Covid-19 antiviral tablets. Direct Relief team members were on site for the offload and final-mile distribution to Ukraine.

All items were provided at the request of, and approved by, Ukraine’s Ministry of Health.

Supplies on the flight were donated by companies including 3M, AmerisourceBergen, Baxter, Boehringer Ingelheim Cares Foundation, Inc., Hikma Pharmaceuticals, McKesson, Merck & Co., Inc., Pfizer Inc., TEVA, Unilever, and Viatris, among others. 

Read the full article on Direct Relief's website here.

Operation Smile- See These Women Brighten Futures and Empower Lasting Change

Courageously leaving the comfort and familiarity of their local communities, more than 100 patients and their families traveled countless miles to arrive in Marrakesh, Morocco, seeking cleft care.

Taking place two years after Operation Smile Morocco’s final surgical program before the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the country and around the world, the second Women in Medicine program and its all-female team of volunteers welcomed these families with a promise of providing high-quality surgery to as many as possible.

Similarly to the Women in Medicine: Inspiring a Generation program back in March 2020, this program celebrated International Women’s Day by bringing together a volunteer team comprised entirely of women. These medical professionals from all around the world donate their passion, time and skills, serving pivotal roles in delivering surgical and multidisciplinary cleft care.

More than 80 women from over 15 countries including Guatemala, Morocco, Peru, Brazil, Sweden, the UK, Norway and many others joined together to form one team ready to provide expert-level cleft care to children who — without it — may never have been given the brighter and healthier futures they deserve.

"We believe that investing in women in health care, especially those from low- and middle-income countries where the need is great, is critical. Our Women in Medicine programs seek to provide mentorship and training opportunities so we can cultivate this and future generations of female medical leaders." Patricia Bacuros, Vice President Gifts-In-Kind and Corporate Partnerships. 

Read the full article on Operation Smile's website here.  

PQMD members are responding to the Ukraine crisis

On February 24th, Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in the biggest state-against-state attack since World War II. As of March 22nd, more than 3.6 million refugees have left Ukraine. PQMD’s members are responding to the crisis by supplying medicine (including insulin, COVID therapies, mental health medicines, etc.), first aid supplies, Essential Health Packs, water, sanitation and hygiene supplies, PPE syringes, etc. Members are also providing cash and many are partnering together to address the refugee crisis.

As the situation evolves, PQMD will continue to lead the effort of supporting our members in their important work providing medical donations to refugees who are being forced to leave Ukraine due to Russia’s invasion. Our members’ work is critical to the mission of providing support and much needed supplies to the millions of people who have left Ukraine.

To stay up to date on PQMD members' response to the Ukraine crisis, visit PQMD's website here

World Vision: Calling the shots: Empowering communities during Covid-19

World Vision has released their second anniversary report since the WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic in March 2020. 

This report reflects on the impact of World Vision's global COVID-19 Response over the last two years and looks forward as they consider how the indirect impacts of COVID-19 will continue to evolve and affect vulnerable children and their families for years to come. World Vision recognises that their continuing response to both the current and lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic is more essential than ever and are committed to continuing to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the most vulnerable children and their families.

Learn more and download the report on World Vision's website.

Upcoming Events

PQMD GHPF Regional Roundtables
April 12, 19, 26, 2022; 11am-12:30pm ET- Virtual

Unite for Sight: Global Health & Innovation Conference
April 21-22, 2022; Virtual

Collective Impact Action Summit
April 26-28, 2022; Virtual

Medical Teams International Event- Field of Dreams
Seattle, Washington; June 4, 2022

Devex World 2022
July 12, 2022

Concordia Annual Summit
September 19-21. 2022; New York & Virtual

COR-NTD Meeting
October 4-5, 2022; Virtual

Does your organization have news to share?
 Beth Haynes for placement in future newsletters.
Next Month's Theme: Global Cooperation

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