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Inspiring inclusion, cancer screening potential, and expanding access

Inspiring inclusion


March 8 was International Women’s Day—dedicated to celebrating women’s achievements and raising awareness about the discrimination women face. This year’s theme #InspireInclusion emphasizes the importance of diversity and empowerment in all aspects of society. Here’s how organizations in the global health community commemorated the day: 


Adara Group celebrated by introducing the women of Adara who “champion the rights of women and girls every day by increasing access to quality health, education and other essential services.”


The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, along with the WTA Foundation, celebrated International Women’s Day by announcing the launch of the Women Change the Game campaign. This campaign aims to address the urgent issues surrounding women’s health and nutrition, leveraging the platform of women’s tennis to drive positive change globally.


WGHA’s Global Health Innovation XCHANGE held its third webinar, which focused on women’s health. For this important discussion, we were honored to be joined by Kasia Hein-Peters, founder and CEO of Abante Scientific; Paola Ayala, professor at Pontifical Javierian University; and Judy Monroe, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation. 


The World Health Organization shared their Fair Share for Health and Care report, addressing gendered challenges in health care. This report outlines the significance of gender-equitable investments in health and care work.


Want to #InspireInclusion yourself in 2024? Join Women in Global Health Seattle, a movement of professional women and allies working toward gender equity in global health, or find a WGH chapter near you. Follow Women in Global Health on social media to stay updated on gender equity initiatives, events, and advocacy opportunities.



Cancer screening potential


Researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center have identified a subtype of the microbe Fusobacterium nucleatum (Fna), commonly found in the mouth, present in colorectal cancer tumors. This microbe contributes to cancer progression and can worsen outcomes post-treatment. According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer ranks as the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths in the US. Analyzing 200 tumor samples, Fred Hutch researchers noted higher levels of this specific Fna subtype in more than half the cases, compared to healthy tissue. These findings suggest potential enhancements in early screening, prevention, and treatment approaches for colorectal cancer.


Updated guidance

The Washington State Department of Health released updated guidance for managing sickness from COVID-19, flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and other respiratory viruses. The guidance includes recommendations for preventing the spread of respiratory illnesses after infection, protecting vulnerable individuals, and revised isolation periods with emphasis on continued precautions even after symptoms improve. Specifically, individuals are advised to take extra precautions during the first five days of returning to normal activities, including wearing masks, improving ventilation, practicing hand hygiene, maintaining physical distance, and considering testing before being around others indoors. 


Expanding access


The Max Foundation, in collaboration with BeiGene and the BeiGene Foundation, announced the administration of the first doses of BRUKINSA® for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients in Armenia and Nepal. Treatment is provided free of charge to eligible patients as part of a three-year initiative aimed at expanding access to this medication in 29 low- and middle-income countries. This collaboration, facilitated by Max's Humanitarian Partnership for Access to Cancer Treatments (Humanitarian PACT), aims to accelerate health equity and increase global access to cancer care. 


Xchanging ideas


WGHA is proud to announce the launch of our new LinkedIn page dedicated solely to the Global Health Innovation XCHANGE! Check out our new page for announcements and info on upcoming webinars, events, and virtual gatherings focused on innovation in global health.


Additionally, we’re thrilled to share that we have two new members on the Global Health Innovation XCHANGE team: Kasia Hein-Peters and Ricardo Silva!

Kasia Hein-Peters is our new Director of Strategy and Programs. With over 30 years of experience in health care, Kasia brings expertise as both a physician and a leader in pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, and digital health startup companies. She believes that innovation in health care matters only if patients have equitable access to it, as a treatment won’t work if barriers prevent its prescribing, administration, or acceptance.


Ricardo Silva comes aboard as our new Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Ricardo is a globally recognized expert in clinical engineering and health information technology, fueled by a profound passion for education and innovation. With an extensive background in health care, information, innovation, technology, and business, Ricardo brings a unique breadth of knowledge and experience to the table.


Join us in extending a warm welcome to Kasia and Ricardo! Their experience, dedication, and innovative mindsets will undoubtedly propel the XCHANGE toward greater heights in global health.


The XCHANGE is a unique public-private membership platform with a mission to advance inclusive and equitable global health innovations by cultivating a dynamic and diverse community of private and public visionary organizations and innovators. Together, we collaborate to advance health solutions that meet the needs of all people. Learn more here.



Around the community

  • Mar. 31: Make sure to submit your application for the World Health Innovation Forum (WHIF) Fellowship 2024! The WHIF Fellowship, hosted at Andhra Pradesh MedTech Zone, empowers emerging leaders in health care through a structured program that immerses fellows in diverse settings, including scientific centers, innovation factories, and hospitals, fostering talent and innovative thinking to address real-world challenges.

  • Apr. 17–18: Join Life Science Washington for Life Science Innovation Northwest 2024—the Pacific Northwest’s largest annual life science conference—at the Seattle Convention Center. This one-and-a-half-day event will bring the life sciences community together to discuss and feature some of the most compelling breakthroughs of our time.

  • Apr. 24: Save the date for WGHA’s next XCHANGE webinar. Pre-register now to save your spot!


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