GHC Announcements

GHC in 2017: Our First 100 Days

This post was written by Loyce Pace, MPH, Global Health Council President & Executive Director

In global health, we know benchmarks matter. They’re the difference between whether a child reaches his or her 5th birthday or dies of a vaccine-preventable illness. They signal how a health system would respond to the next pandemic or humanitarian crisis. What gets measured gets done, and saves lives.

That’s why Global Health Council has been paying attention these first 100 days of 2017. We looked at what we’ve done to serve our members, and opportunities to make the greatest impact.

Here’s where things stand:

In January, I wrapped up my introductory “listening tour,” which started on Day One for me at Global Health Council. In the end, I met with over 50 of our member and partner organizations to learn how we could best support them this year, given the changing global health landscape. I shared a number of takeaways then that continue to inform our engagements and resources.

In February, Global Health Council launched its biennial Global Health Briefing Book, a publication of consensus recommendations and stories authored by leaders across our community. We shared this series of briefs with key policymakers, and hosted an event on Capitol Hill that brought together stakeholders from multiple sectors to celebrate our collective progress to-date. This effort set the stage for how we responded to the initial budget released by the White House for fiscal year 2018 and demonstrated the power of coordinated advocacy.

In March, Global Health Council co-convened our largest-ever The Future of Global Health event (#TFGH17), with over 400 attendees. Participants huddled to discuss everything from global health leadership trends to novel uses for Big Data and technology. More than networking among experienced and new professionals, TFGH helps build a movement of champions committed to improving health and wellbeing worldwide. As I said then, our future is bright.

In April, we finalized our new strategic plan, GHC Roadmap 2020. First, it focuses on GHC’s core function as an advocacy organization. Our primary goal is to push for robust funding and policies that ensure the success of global health programs. Second, it focuses on you – our awesome community. Our voice would mean nothing without all of us joining the chorus so we emphasize the importance of community mobilization as central to our advocacy agenda. Finally, it focuses on our overarching battle cry – global health works – and using its most influential messengers.

This spring, we’ll be hosting yet another delegation of advocates at the upcoming World Health Assembly. It’s a pivotal moment, given the agenda will include a vote on the agency’s next leader. We are grateful to have met with two of the three candidates to share our priorities for civil society.

We also will continue to staunchly defend the U.S. global health budget and its institutions from drastic cuts and policies that serve to undermine decade-long gains. Now is not the time to roll back funding.

Thank you to all of our members who have supported these efforts and continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in solidarity with other advocates for global health. We need each and every one of you. It’s important that we all stay engaged at such a critical time. Every call or letter matters. Every dollar or subscription counts. Global Health Council is more than one organization. Just like global health, it’s about all of us. I, for one, am happy to have you all alongside me in this fight. Onward and upward…

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GHC Hosts First WHA Policy Scrum of 2017

Global Health Council (GHC) hosted a WHA Policy Scrum at InterAction’s headquarters in Washington, DC (and via webinar) on April 5, 2017. GHC’s WHA Policy Scrums are an annual series of meetings leading up to the World Health Assembly each year. They provide a space for the global health community to share priorities and concerns around WHA policy issues.

The 70th World Health Assembly will take place in Geneva, Switzerland from May 22 – 31, 2017.

Our first policy scrum attracted a total of 64 participants across 20 countries, including representatives from governments, private sector, nonprofits, and development partners. It was led by GHC President and Executive Director Loyce Pace. Useful links and major highlights from the meeting are listed below.

Useful Links:

Major Highlights:

WHA 2017 Agenda Topics

The main topics of interest brought up by participants included: non-communicable diseases, global health security, and global strategies. More in-depth conversations about these issues will be held in our upcoming webinars.

U.S. Leadership and Funding

There was a brief discussion on U.S. government priorities and budget cuts. The general feedback from government officials to the global health community is that cuts are a reality and will happen across several programs; including programs that the U.S. government considers priority areas, such as; epidemic preparedness, health research and development, and global health security. The current administration’s position is therefore to identify key priorities, and to fund them at a level which they believe is the U.S.’s appropriate share and responsibility to the global community.

Participants around the room commented that they had heard of heavy discussions around reworking assessed and voluntary contributions from the U.S. government. It was suggested that a good strategy in arguing for discretionary spending on particular programs is to capitalize on their economic benefits to the United States as a selling point, as this is the language that the current administration responds to.

How Should CSOs Respond to Imminent Budget Cuts?

The loss of funding will undermine progress in across several critical issue areas, and there are major concerns about how budget cuts will particularly impact WHO.

Loyce cited our need to work together as a global health community and develop a community advocacy message – something that we have already been working on. Loyce also highlighted the urgent need to broker more focused dialogue, on how to stay strong as a community. How do we prepare for the impact of severe budget cuts to our work and how can we move forward positively?

U.S. WHA 2017 Delegation

There were several questions in the room and online, about who would make up the U.S. delegation at WHA 2017. Some participants were able to confirm that Irene Koek from USAID; Price, Mitchell Wolfe, and Peter Mamacos from HHS; and Tracy Carson, U.S. Health Attache, would be a part of the U.S. contingent. There was a debate about whether there would be any representative from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as CDC currently does not have a main lead at this time.

Loyce gave a quick summary of some of the main issues that the U.S. delegation would take a keen interest in. These include the WHO Director-General Election, Global Health Security, Epidemic Preparedness, the debate around the High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines, and U.S. leadership at the multilateral level.

Events and Coordination

Several participants shared details about a number of WHA side-events that their organizations will be hosting in Geneva, Switzerland. Common themes of side events include non-communicable diseases, maternal and child health, global health security, research and development, and gender equality.

GHC is compiling a complete calendar of all public WHA side events on our website, and we will be updating it regularly as details are made available. A special events update will also be sent out to our subscriber list (sign-up: http://tinyurl.com/ghcnewsletter) a week before WHA to facilitate your planning. Please forward details of any events that you would like to have featured on our calendar and in our events update to us at events@globalhealth.org.

Resolutions and Statements

A Cancer Prevention Resolution is on the WHA 2017 Agenda. There will be more details on this and other possible resolutions in our upcoming webinars.

There will be a flexible timeline for submission of statements by GHC member organizations (see statement guidelines: http://globalhealth.org/what-we-do/member-engagement/wha70). 

GHC Delegates and Logistics

With over 70 participants, GHC will host ones of the largest delegations at WHA. WHA Delegate positions for GHC individual members are currently filled up, but there are still spots left for our organizational members. More information about our delegation can be found on GHC’s website: http://globalhealth.org/what-we-do/member-engagement/wha70. For inquiries regarding logistics for WHA 2017, please contact Liz Kohlway, GHC Communications and Member Engagement Manager at ekohlway@globalhealth.org.

Please save the date for our next WHA Policy Scrum Webinar on April 25, 2017. More details will be made available soon.

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2017 GLOBAL HEALTH BRIEFING BOOK LAUNCH: PHOTO GALLERY

On February 15, 2017, GHC launched the Global Health Briefing Book on Capitol Hill.  Global Health Works: Maximizing U.S. Investments for Healthier and Stronger Communities is an online resource for members of U.S. Congress and their staff. This biennial publication provides a comprehensive set of statistics and impact stories illustrating how the United States has been a leader in global health over the past decade. There are 18 briefs in total that address some of the most pressing global health issues, from maternal and child health to global health security. This resource builds the case for global health across multiple priorities and stakeholders. To learn more about the briefing book, read the press release.

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Certification of the 2015 Global Health Council Board of Directors Ratification

Certification of the 2015 Global Health Council Board of Directors Ratification

For the ratification of candidates for the Global Health Council’s Board of Directors:

The published response deadline was January 15, 2016. At the close of the ratification, 37 ballots were received. All 37 ballots were received electronically via SurveyMonkey. There were 0 duplicate or invalid ballots.

The 37 valid ballots received exceeded the quorum of 10% of the January 1, 2015 voting member population of 309 organizational and individual members.

The following is the tally of responses for all candidates placed on the ballot to fill seats on the Board of Directors:

CANDIDATES 
Paurvi Bhatt
Simon Bland
Elizabeth Creel
Pat Daly
Akudo Ikemba
Jonathan Quick
Leonard Rubenstein

*Boards terms expire December 31, 2018

Letter of Certification can be made available upon request. Please contact membership@globalhealth.org. A majority of valid ballots having been cast for the candidates listed, they are hereby certified as elected.

Certified by: Management Sciences for Health 02/10/2016

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GHC Submits Statements to the Sixty-Eighth World Health Assembly (WHA)

This year, GHC submitted seven statements to the WHA in collaboration with a member organizations. These statements can be found below (corresponding to their agenda items). All submitted statements will be recorded in the WHA’s final record.

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