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

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Spring. Can you believe that it’s almost May already?! As always, April was an exciting month for PQMD. We hosted three engaging and provocative roundtable knowledge-sharing sessions, comprising our 2022 Global Health Policy Forum Regional Roundtable Series. We were privileged to welcome regional experts who engaged in highly focused conversations, offered genuine perspective, and informed insightful dialogue on global health issues key to PQMD’s network. We have included a summary of the sessions and links to the recordings in the newsletter below, and we are thrilled to announce that dates have been confirmed for our LIVE 2023 Global Health Policy Forum, which will take place next April 24-27 in Paris, Francehosted by Tulipe. Please save the dates!

Aside from our Global Health Policy Forum series, we continue to move forward with the Global Alliance on Rare Diseases (GARD) initiative and will be holding an in-person strategic meeting in Annapolis in May. I am also excited to be joining esteemed speakers such as Ariana Huffington and PQMD member Julie Vaughese at the Americares Partner Summit on May 4th in New York. I plan to discuss the need for access to medicines and the need to insure accessibility, availability, affordability and acceptability. I will be addressing the importance of quality standards in crisis, the critical importance of trusted partners, and the priorities and imperatives to mitigate the impacts of medical insecurity in communities at risk. I am thrilled to be part of this exciting panel.

And finally, PQMD continues to be dedicated to addressing the multitude of challenges of one of the worst disasters we will see in our lifetime - the war in Ukraine.  While I know there are dramatic economic and social ripples around the world, I continue to think about the Ukrainian people as they flee their war-torn country and scatter around the world. The estimate as of today, is north of 8.5 million refugees in this crisis, as well as millions displaced within their home country.  Our members remain vigilant in responding to the humanitarian needs of this desperate situation and around Eastern Europe, while at the same time continuing their life saving work as a result of global spread of COVID, droughts in Africa, refugee crisis in the Middle East, and all the other humanitarian needs that still need our focus and attention.  As always, I am in awe of the incredible work our members do in responding to global health needs all around the world. Please stay safe.

PQMD 2022 Global Health Policy Virtual Roundtable Series- Recordings Now Available! 

In the month of April, PQMD hosted a virtual roundtable series designed to showcase the depth of our members’ cross-sector partnerships and participate in 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.

The first session on Latin America titled: Connecting, Convening, and Catalyzing through Regional Experience spotlighted the work of regional PQMD-network experts in Latin America who discussed the complex host of issues around IDPs, Migration, Refugees and populations on the move. Migration in South and Central America is at an all-time high and each panelist brought exceptional perspective and humility to the enormous and multifaceted task of caring for millions of refugees and migrants as they seek safety and security. View the recording here.

On April 19th, we spotlighted the work of PQMD-network experts in the Middle East. With decades of humanitarian and development experience, panelists discussed regional solutions on how to move health system strengthening forward despite operating under constant and long-standing challenges with widespread dimensions. Speakers considered the role medical donations play as well as donor fatigue. Attendees walked away with a better understanding of the current undertones of potential change – including growing perceptions of a rights-based approach to health, mainstreaming mental health, and the power of networks for better health outcomes in the Middle East. View the recording here.

On April 26th, PQMD held its final session titled: Expanding Resiliency: A hopeful story of creative leadership in responding to the compounding challenges of the pandemic. 

While the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic were felt globally, Africa experienced compounding challenges of inequity of vaccine access and pressure the pandemic asserted on an already stressed health system. Public health leaders across the continent responded with resilience, leading many solutions that addressed challenges while laying the foundation for an expanded public health response to future health crises.

During our Africa session, PQMD spotlighted the work of regional PQMD-network experts who discussed lesser-known issues affecting the response of communities throughout the continent and identified opportunities to leverage the innovation and progress these past two years have brought to the health ecosystem in Africa. View the recording here.

Building on our traditionally in-person event (which will return next April), our GHPF series highlighted the rich interests and expertise of our PQMD family at a regional level and generated new connections and a fresh appreciation for not only the complexity of the work we do but the compassion and competence of our global partners. Learn more on our website here.


Global Alliance for Rare Diseases (GARD) Update

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

Guidelines: Stakeholder interviews were presented to the Guidelines Workstream Committee. Following this presentation, individual meetings were organized in April with each of the committee volunteers to provide more details on the guidelines and plans for revisions. Revisions and a second draft will be completed by the end of May.

Framework: The Framework draft has moved forward to include Mission, Vision, Strategies and Implementation approach for the new organization. Project leads are currently developing a proposal to establish the GARD secretariat and organizational structure. Additional networking continues to ensure that the initiative is making every effort to obtain input from a wide set of stakeholders.

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!
Measuring for Success

PQMD's Impact Pyramid Introductory Video 

PQMD’s Knowledge & Innovation Committee (K&I) is proud to unveil our latest tool within PQMD’s Measuring for Success Toolkit!

Are you looking for a fresh way for your team to link your organization's medical product donation activities to the results you are seeking to achieve through these donations? Take a peek at PQMD's Impact Pyramid Self-Paced Module and Worksheet.  Building on PQMD’s larger Measuring for Success Initiatives, this tool aims to facilitate collaborative articulation and practical employment of impact indicators across your medical product donations portfolio. This work centers on PQMD’s Impact Pyramid Framework, which we like to think of as an inclusive logic model that connects multiple avenues of product donation strategies (i.e. produce to give, excess donation, mission team support, disaster response and patient specific initiatives) to the outcomes and impact level changes these activates are meant to affect (i.e. improved population health, health systems strengthening, and access to medicines). In under 20-minutes, the video module will introduce our latest worksheet and a thoughtful process for team engagement to develop your indicators!

Created by our K&I committee, PQMD is so proud to continue to turn shared discovery into practical tools.

Share your Opportunities with PQMD's Global Health Community

Hiring? Offering a fellowship or looking for a summer intern?  Issuing a RFP or looking for a consultant specialist?  The "Opportunity" section on the CoP allows you to post your openings to a select section of the Global Health Community.   Feel free to click the "Post Here" button or email your opportunity to Jennifer Zolkos.  Let us help you spread the word!

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.

If you are interested in information and resource sharing related to the response to the Ukraine crisis, please contact Victoria Hammond who can give you access to the platform on the CoP. 

Supporting the Mental Health System in Jordan with a New Smart Phone App

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an extraordinary impact on economies and health systems around the world. But as people have struggled with the illness and death of loved ones, the loss of jobs and income, and the prospect of an uncertain future, a mental health crisis has also emerged that has overwhelmed mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) services in many countries. Physical distancing measures have further restricted communities’ access to key services, creating additional obstacles.

International Medical Corp (IMC)'s team in Jordan, led by Country Director Dr. Ahmad Bawaneh, began to investigate ways to meet increasing mental health needs while mitigating the disruption to MHPSS services. Supported by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the team designed the Relax app—a unique platform that improves access to MHPSS services in Jordan and facilitates their in-person and remote delivery. International Medical Corps worked in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ministry of Social Development (MoSD) to develop this innovative app, increase the capacity of those providing MHPSS services in Jordan and ensure that the platform and its messages are in line with the country’s COVID-19 strategies and objectives.

Using this app, International Medical Corps has already trained 50 non-specialist MoH staff about the Mental Health Gap Action Programme Intervention Guide (mhGAP-IG), which equips primary healthcare workers with the knowledge and skills they need to detect and manage clinical mental, neurological and substance-use disorders. We also have trained another 57 MoSD staff in mental health case management, early detection and intervention, enabling them to initiate proper cases management processes and referral if needed.

Although still in the early stages of implementation, with an iOS version also recently made available, the app has been celebrated by a number of key stakeholders in Jordan. In an interview with Al Ghad, a national newspaper, Director of the MoH’s Disability and Mental Health Directorate Dr. Malak Al-Ori said, “The application is a step forward in making mental health services available in Jordan. International Medical Corps is making leaps in improving mental health services, in cooperation with the ministry.”

To read the full article, visit IMC's website

Americares to Deliver 100 Tons of Medical Aid for Ukraine 

On April 26th, Americares announced it plans to have 100 tons of critically needed medicine and medical supplies delivered to Ukraine, or on the way, within the next 30 days.

The supplies, which include desperately needed antibiotics, life-saving medicines for conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, wound care products and first aid and hygiene supplies, will support health care providers treating children and adults in Ukraine caught in the mounting humanitarian crisis.

“The needs in Ukraine, as well as in Poland and other neighboring countries where millions of refugees have fled, are enormous,” said Americares Director of Complex Humanitarian Emergencies Adam Keehn. “We are committed to meeting these needs in both the short and long term, with the medicine and relief supplies we have already provided making a life-saving difference for those caught in the crisis.”

Already, Americares has shipped over 40 tons of emergency aid to hospitals and health centers in Ukraine, and another 65 tons are scheduled to depart from the organization’s global distribution center in Stamford, Conn., over the next 30 days.

The deliveries include more than 500,000 prescriptions to treat episodic and chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension; more than 100,000 urgently needed medical supplies, including wound care products, first aid items and hygiene kits; 17,000 liters of IV fluids and other life-saving items for health facilities providing care in Ukraine. The supplies will be distributed to more 20 partners organizations throughout the country.

Read the full article on Americares' website here.

Two Years into Pandemic, Project HOPE Recaps COVID-19 Response Efforts

On this second anniversary of the day the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a global pandemic, Project HOPE is recapping the reach of its programs and cautioning that the world’s response revealed new and existing inequities of the health system.

In 2021 alone, Project HOPE’s COVID-19 programs reached more than 791,000 people in 98 countries, distributing 18 million pieces of personal protective equipment across 15 countries, and training more than 63,000 people worldwide. Additionally, Project HOPE screened more than 40,000 people for COVID-19, implemented mental health trainings in 30 countries, and helped deliver COVID-19 vaccine trainings in 40 countries across Africa.

“Although the COVID-19 pandemic, which proved fatal for millions, remains one of the most serious public health challenges of all time, I am proud of our response efforts and how we grew as an organization,” said Rabih Torbay, president and chief executive officer of Project HOPE. “We developed creative solutions to connect overlooked, underserved, and marginalized communities to care, and managed to evolve as the threat of COVID-19 evolved. That said, I am cognizant of the inequities that our response to the novel virus revealed, whether that be the lack of capacity in developing countries, misinformation about vaccine efficacy, or ethnic and socio-economic disparities between those who had access to vaccines and treatments, and those who did not.”

To read the full press release, visit Project Hope's website here

Johnson & Johnson- 4 Questions about the Health Impacts of Climate Change

Johnson & Johnson is launching a new collaboration to advance health equity by building climate resilience in U.S. medical clinics that face floods, fires, heat waves and more. This initiative is just one of the ways the company is working to bolster healthcare in communities that are disproportionately impacted by climate change. 

Human health and environmental health are fundamentally linked. That’s something Johnson & Johnson has long understood. And that interdependence is becoming increasingly fraught by the effects of climate change—especially for people who live in historically marginalized communities most susceptible to its effects. They know firsthand that delivering and receiving healthcare can be sorely compromised when Mother Nature is compromised.

"Access to healthcare is a major determinant of health equity, with lesser access often falling along lines of race, ethnicity and income,” says Paulette Frank, Chief Sustainability Officer, Johnson & Johnson. “More than 40% of Americans live in counties that were hit by climate-related extreme weather last year; the impacts fall disproportionately on under-resourced communities. If a healthcare clinic has to close due to a climate-related weather event—a flood, fire, hurricane or heat wave, for example—people who rely on that clinic may have no other options for care when they need it most.”

Johnson & Johnson is looking to fortify the resilience of healthcare clinics serving those placed at increased risk to climate catastrophes through a new collaboration with Americares and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Center for Climate Change, Health and the Global Environment (Harvard Chan C-CHANGE, for short). The aim? Bolster both the operational resilience in clinics as well as the resilience of the healthcare workers so that when extreme weather events occur people will still be able to get the healthcare they need. The goal is to support up to 150 medical clinics across the U.S. by 2025.

Read the full interview with J&J's Chief Sustainability Officer, Paulette Frank, on J&J's website here.  

Upcoming Events

Americares Partner Summit
May 4, 2022; 9:30am-3:30pmET, New York and Virtual

International Medical Corps Annual Spring Luncheon
June 1, 2022; 12:00-2:00pm

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

Save the Date: Devex World 2022
July 12, 2022

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

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

PQMD Educational Forum (Members Only) 
October 17-19, 2022; Seattle, Washington

Development2030- Beyond Aid
November 16-17, 2022; Brussels, Belgium

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

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