Field Notes, Update

Early nerd gets the worm, Ebola on the ropes, and global storming

The info hub for the hub of global health

Pass the Chicago mix

Thank you to our fearless leader, mentor, and friend—Dena Morris—who is passing the baton on April 30 after three years of exceptional leadership as WGHA’s president. Dena brought diverse perspectives to our board, thoughtful conversations to our community, a formative voice to this publication, and the brains behind the Love Train lip sync, all while supporting the next generation of leaders from Washington to Africa.

But what we’ll miss most about Dena is how she starts every staff meeting with gratitude, passes on the office candy but never passes up Chicago mix popcorn, and always says yes to a cup of joe when someone needs to talk.

Now it’s your turn to help us find our next president by sharing the job description with the inspiring connectors in your networks!

Ebola on the ropes

Breakthrough news from the Democratic Republic of the Congo: The last Ebola patient was discharged from a medical facility on March 3. Kudos to the many organizations, leaders, and front-line workers who stayed in the ring to bring down the second-largest Ebola outbreak in history.

Global storming

Extreme weather does more than just mess up your weekend plans—it causes deadly mosquito-borne illnesses. Forecasting Healthy Futures will use weather data to build heat maps and dashboards to help governments and partners to get ahead of potential weather-related, mosquito-borne outbreaks.

Malaria No More, PATH, the Tableau Foundation, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Court initiative Reaching the Last Mile, and IBM’s The Weather Company are working together to predict where the next disease hotspots will be.

Early nerd gets the worm

Some interesting health tech innovations are up for GeekWire awards, including Fred Hutch’s nomination for Health Innovation of the YearTableau’s for Deal of the Year; the University of Washington for Geeks Give Back Award; 98point6 for UX Design of the Year; and Possible’s Tony Huang for Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Vote today for your favorite.

Swipe right

Global Impact and Skills4Good have increased your odds of swiping right by matching people ready to volunteer with nonprofits that align with their skills, expertise, and interests. Organizations looking for passionate and diverse board members should look no further.

Women’s rights are human rights

WGHA members are marking International Women’s Day to celebrate women and advance women’s rights. You can join in.

  • Follow #ScienceSHEroes as PATH and Global Health Technologies Coalition highlight women around the world making an impact through science.
  • Advocate for women’s rights through the #WomenEqual campaign, launched through a collaboration of Global Impact and CARE.
  • Join Women in Global Health Seattle, a movement of professional women in global health and their allies working to build gender-balanced leadership in the sector.

From fear to hope

At the Kutupalong Refugee Camp in Bangladesh, Medical Teams International built a clinic and has been providing much-needed medical care to Rohingya refugees from Myanmar. But getting pregnant women to come and deliver their babies at the clinic hasn’t been easy. The terrain is harsh and tradition is strong. Community health workers got involved and are bridging gaps between the women and clinics, changing perceptions from fear to hope—a critical step toward improving birth outcomes.

Diamonds are forever

Diamonds may be forever, but so is herpes. A team at Washington State University has identified the protein that signals the oral herpes virus to attack a cell, a critical step toward creating a vaccine. We’re moving closer to a day when people can keep their diamonds and say goodbye to cold sores.

Fake news

Garlic and sesame oil are amazing on broccoli, but contrary to some rumors out there, they do nothing to prevent being infected by a coronavirus. Eating garlic won’t prevent COVID-19, and neither will putting sesame oilbleach, or UV lights on your skin.

Real news

Public health officials remind us to stick to the facts: wash your hands often, stay home if you’re sick, and keep away from other people who are sick. Good advice even without COVID-19.

Let’s make a deal

The White House asked Congress to authorize $1.5 billion in new funding for the federal response to COVID-19. Many in Congress were underwhelmed. After several days of work on both sides of the aisle and both branches of government, the brokered outcome is an $8.3 billion legislative package to support vaccine development, access to care, diagnostics, and medical supplies.

Awards and accolades

  • King Holmes has been named Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington. The new status acknowledges his leadership as founding Chair of the Department of Global Health, his groundbreaking work in sexually transmitted disease, and his career-long reputation for collaboration and mentoring.
  • Loyce Pace, president and executive director of Global Health Council, was featured by IntraHealth as one of the top 10 African Americans Who Have Shaped Public Health for her policy and advocacy work in increasing access to medical care and medicine.

Around town

In this space, we typically highlight events of interest to Washington’s global health community. Consistent with recent guidance from Public Health – Seattle & King County encouraging residents to avoid large gatherings, March events are appropriately disappearing. What’s Around Town for this month is a necessary and collective effort to prevent transmission of COVID-19.

Alas, WGHA is not immune. Please note that the March 18 Women in Global Health Seattle event and March 24 Launch are being rescheduled.

Check our website and social media for updates as the situation continues to evolve.

“For me, global health is public health without boundaries and borders.”

Ahoua KonéHealth Alliance International,
speaking at the Q2 gathering of Women in Global Health Seattle

Do you have a tip for Field Notes? Send it to Jayanna Thompson, jayanna.thompson@wghalliance.org

Copyright © 2019 Washington Global Health Alliance, All rights reserved.