Field Notes, Update

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The info hub for the hub of global health

As seen on TV, episode 1

Bloodworks Northwest, the Institute for Health Metrics and EvaluationUniversity of Washington (UW), and Providence St. Joseph Health were spotlighted in this PBS episode of Frontline.

The show highlighted Washington’s COVID-19 response and successes—from treating the first patient in the United States to the ongoing innovative research and testing.

As seen on TV, episode 2

Dena Morris, our former (by one day) WGHA president, was a special guest on Inside Olympia with Austin Jenkins.

Through the lens of her past lives at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and on Capitol Hill, Dena shared insights on the local and national COVID-19 response, what it will take to reopen economies, and her thoughts on a new normal after COVID-19.

Spoiler alert, it’s not like the old normal. Hopefully.

Going for broke in Pleebo

Partners In Health broke ground on a new emergency room facility at Pleebo Health Center in Liberia. The health center serves not only the 55,000 residents in Pleebo District, but also the residents in nearby counties and even the neighboring country of Côte d’Ivoire.

When it’s finished, the facility will have a trauma bay, an isolation room, an inpatient ward, a noncommunicable disease clinic with three consultation rooms, and more.

NCDs (non-COVID diseases)

Other diseases aren’t taking a break during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they are getting less attention and funding. The World Health Organization, PATH, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s recent analysis predicts disruption in routine health services and deliveries for other disease prevention supplies and treatments.

Malaria No More joined global partners in urging countries to continue delivering lifesaving malaria prevention efforts to the half of the world still living at risk of malaria, particularly high-burden countries in West Africa and India whose rainy seasons will likely coincide with COVID-19. Maintaining anti-malaria programs in the face of COVID-19 could save as many as 400,000 lives this year alone.


For your next virtual meeting, check out this conference call Bingo card to keep things interesting. WGHA members jumped on the Bingo trend too, and you can play along.

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In parts of India, one in five women don’t have access to family planning supplies because of gaps in the supply chain. PATH is working with state systems to strengthen supply chains to eight states in India so that more women have access to the contraceptives they want and need. Order confirmed.

Giving bigly

It takes continued, large-scale efforts to stop a global pandemic. These organizations are making big moves—from funding to facemasks.

  • The Gates Foundation announced an additional $150 million for the COVID-19 response to support research for treatments and vaccines, accelerating detection and containment of the virus, and supporting vulnerable communities both locally and globally.
  • Americares provided 39 tons of protective gear, including 1.6 million facemasks, to medical facilities in 42 states and delivered protective supplies to the Bahamas, Haiti, Honduras, India, Lebanon, the Philippines, and Tanzania.
  • The Pandemic Action Network was launched last week by Panorama, PATH, the Gates Foundation, and others to advocate for pandemic preparedness and to promote behavior change around COVID-19. Join the #MaskingForAFriend campaign to share who you mask for.

Hero hour

We’d like to hear from you about the extraordinary leaders and organizations who are stepping up to the unprecedented global health challenges, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nominate your health hero for the 2020 Pioneers of Global Health awards by Friday, May 22.

Then, save the date to celebrate the awardees with us on October 28.

Who made that?

While many of us are wondering when a COVID-19 vaccine will be available, Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) is tracking United States government R&D efforts. The tracker shows potential vaccine, therapeutic, and diagnostic candidates and where they are in trial stages.

Wanted: volunteers

WGHA research organizations are seeking volunteers (people and pets) to participate in COVID-19 studies. Sign up or share with a friend to help researchers learn more about the virus.

  • CovidWatch, a Fred Hutch study, aims to track workers at high risk for COVID-19, such as medical workers, bus drivers, and grocery store workers, to understand infection and reinfection rates.
  • The UW Center for One Health Research and Washington State University are launching COVID-19 and Pets Study (CAPS), a pilot study for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their four-legged friends, to research the effect on household pets.
  • UW is conducting the COVID-19 Treatment Study for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 but aren’t sick enough to be in a hospital and the COVID-19 PEP Study for close contacts of those who have tested positive for the virus and are pending their diagnosis.

Around town

“In these three years as president of WGHA, I’ve seen this community’s breadth of expertise and depth of commitment to health equity. And in the COVID-19 response, at home and abroad, it’s on display as never before. Thank you for saving and improving lives of vulnerable people—and for doubling down when it’s hard.”

—Dena Morris, former WGHA president


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

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