March 2021
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Note from Elizabeth (EJ) Ashbourne, PQMD Executive Director

March has been an exciting month for PQMD! As you’ll see below, we hosted several engaging events such as our member Coffee Chats and the closing session of our Warming Up to Cold Chain Workshops. In addition, we are preparing to host our first virtual Global Health Policy Forum (GHPF) being held April 27-29th! We have assembled an amazing line up of esteemed speakers for this event, and the meeting’s theme is the Planet, Pandemic and Possibilities! Learn more and register here!

I really look forward to seeing everyone next month virtually at our Global Health Policy Forum! I encourage you to register as soon as possible so you can engage, learn, network and collaborate as we continue to move forward in our overarching goal to improve health access and outcomes for people all across our world.

As the vaccine roll-out begins to offer some hope of a return to normal, I am so proud of the work our members continue to do in the United States and globally to assist with vaccine development, diagnostics and distribution. We have included articles below that highlight important work from our members AbbVie and World Vision International to get the vaccine to the most vulnerable communities.

Stay safe!  

Finally the end is in sight... or is it? 

Robert Kanwagi, World Vision’s Director of Vaccine Deployment & External Engagements, reflects on vital next steps in the most vulnerable countries as hope begins to grow. Read the full article on World Vision's website here.

AbbVie Injecting Hope, One Vaccine at a Time 

From volunteering at a mass vaccination site to sponsoring a senior clinic, AbbVie is helping the most vulnerable get vaccinated. AbbVie is committed to supporting vaccine efforts in local communities around its headquarters, including launching a temporary vaccination clinic at the Greenbelt Cultural Center to vaccinate North Chicago and Waukegan seniors over 65 years old, a high-risk population. Read more on AbbVie's website here.

Mercy Ships and CURE International Announce Partnership Providing Surgery to Reach More Children Living with Disabilities 

Mercy Ships and CURE International announced a partnership to provide specialized surgical care to children living with disabilities across the continent of Africa. Both organizations provide hope and healing to children living with disabilities through surgical care in under-resourced countries. Read the full press release on Mercy Ships' website here.

International Health Partners Equips Teams with Essential Health Packs for Medical Missions

Almost from its inception, International Health Partners (IHP) has been equipping individuals and teams with supplies for medical missions. The year it was established (2005), it launched the Doctors’ Travel Pack programme, providing 50 pre-prepared packs of medicine enabling clinicians to deliver healthcare in challenging settings. That October, packs were used in Kashmir within 72 hours of an earthquake that displaced 3.5 million people. 

IHP went on to experiment with tailored packs for maternal health and medical electives. It collaborated on the latter with Cambridge University and has also consulted with the World Health Organization and British Medical Association on contents. In 2013, it sent more than 300 packs to 33 countries, and the following year it signed off its 1,700th pack. Refugees arriving in transit camps in Greece and Yazidi people who had fled to the Sinjar mountains were among those who received pack treatments.

A new partnership with logistics provider Alloga helped enlarge packing capacity, and in 2016 the programme was renamed Essential Health Packs (EHP) to reflect broader scope of use, from field clinics and government hospitals to refugee camps and crisis settings. Since then, more than 800 packs have been sent. The running total is now nearing 3,000.

Currently, IHP is reviewing its EHP programme to ensure it aligns with strategic vision in areas such as health system strengthening and sustainability. IHP also wants to build stronger relationships with those who take packs. “We want to fully understand the value, challenges and risks of operation,” explains Louise Hart, director of programmes. Her team is using tools such as PQMD’s standards on medical missions to consider and implement best practice and welcomes opportunities to share learning: “We are keen to talk to others who are (or have been) on a similar journey, reviewing their work around medical missions.”

Get in touch with Louise at To read the full article, visit PQMD's website here.

PQMD's Global Health Policy Forum: The Planet, Pandemics and Possibilities
April 27-29, 2021  •  Registration Now Open! 

Global Health Donations are a catalyst for inclusive development, stakeholder engagement and a contributor to access to medicines and health systems strengthening. This year’s PQMD Global Health Policy Forum theme: Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) is about the expanding integration of corporate responsibility, sustainability practices and responsibilities of global healthcare stakeholders.

This year’s Forum will feature focused sessions with expert panelists providing a broad spectrum of relevant content related to ESG, including the key risk and resiliency factors that impact the long-term sustainability of healthcare delivery and health system strengthening. Tailored to global and public health governance issues and topics, keynotes and panels discussing blended finance, innovation, access and equity, pandemics and global health in the new normal, will feature insights from leading organizations and trusted advisers. Join us to engage, beyond surface-level discussions and share real-world lessons that you can use to accelerate multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder action.

We are thrilled to be able to offer this virtual event free of charge.

To learn more and to register, visit our event website

Register & Learn More!

PQMD Holds Charitable Access Programming for Rare Diseases Workshop #1

PQMD held the first session of it's 3-part workshop on Charitable Access Programming for Rare Diseases: How to Design and Implement a Successful and Sustainable Program on March 23rd. The goal of this workshop series is to provide the industry with examples of best practices from around the world in charitable access programming.

These workshops are meant to be a collaborative effort across the rare disease industry and as a result, PQMD hopes to initiate and develop a set of guidelines, filling a gap that currently exists on how to appropriately donate rare disease therapies. The summary of the topics are included below:

Topic 1: What are the challenges specific to rare disease treatments when it comes to providing charitable access from an industry / company perspective? – Hartmann Wellhoefer, Retired, Former VP Medical Affairs Shire / Takeda

Topic 2: The digital opportunity – lessons from the “Global Commission” – Linn Parrish, R&D Center for Health Equity and Patient Affair, Takeda

Topic 3: Rare Disease Charitable Access Programs – The NGO Perspective – Bhupi Singh, Executive Vice-President & Senior Advisor Direct Relief

The next two workshops are being held on April 6th and 20th from 10am-12pm EST. If you have any questions or would like more information about the workshops, please contact Jennifer Zolkos.

PQMD Holds Medical Missions Coffee Talk Discussion

On March 16th, PQMD held a Coffee Chat for members to discuss PQMD's monthly theme of Medical Missions during and post COVID-19. 

Operation Smile’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Ruben Ayala, led a discussion around the impact COVID-19 has had on medical missions. Dr. Ayala shared the meaningful ways Operation Smile is continuing to support people and their health needs and the criteria they used to resume providing surgeries in select places. During the Coffee Chat, members were encouraged to share how COVID-19 has affected their operations and any efforts to document lessons learned.

Members emphasized the importance of flexibility in financing and focus to enable quick decisions and the difficulty of prioritizing so many acute needs. All agreed medical missions need to take the diagonal approach of addressing immediate needs while simultaneously empowering local capacity for long-term sustainability.

If you would like to contribute to the ongoing discussion or learn more, visit the CoP. 

GHPF Now Available on the CoP

Information on the Global Health Policy Forum: The Planet, Pandemics and Possibilities (GHPF) has been added to the Community of Practice Platform (CoP).

Now you can preview what’s to come including daily agendas, planned panel sessions, roundtable discussions, and provocative keynote addresses. In addition you can get to know the forum’s world-class speakers and add early insights to the discussion boards.

Once the GHPF kicks off, the CoP will also allow you to track daily progress, revisit key points, and best of all keep the discussion going.

We look forward to digging into key topics, sharing real-world lessons and best-practices, and “thinking together” to accelerate multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder action.

Visit the GHPF on the CoP using this link

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

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