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WGHA announces the 2018 Pioneers of Global Health Awards Winners

Seattle, Washington—July 13, 2018— The Washington Global Health Alliance (WGHA) is honored to announce the 2018 Pioneers of Global Health Award winners, recognizing a few of the people and organizations working relentlessly to improve health equity around the world.

“The 2018 awardees include a woman who wouldn’t give up until cervical cancer in Africa was recognized and addressed. They include a young scientists whose research has changed the field of public health. And they include two non-profits with different capabilities, who are teaming up to reduce HIV among young women in Malawi.  Washington is home to these people and organizations, and WGHA could not be more proud of the work led by this region’s global health sector.” said Dena Morris, WGHA president and CEO.

Winners were selected by a panel of global health experts chaired by David Owens, Chief Development Officer and National Director for Foundation Engagement at World Vision and WGHA Board Member. WGHA invites you to join us in honoring winners on October 11, 2018, at the annual Pioneers of Global Health Awards Dinner & Auction presented by PwC. Limited individual tickets are available to the public for online purchase here.

Winners of the 2018 WGHA Pioneers of Global Health Awards

Pioneers Award for Impact: Dr. Vivien Tsu, PATH

WGHA’s fifth annual Pioneers Award for Impact recognizes Dr. Vivien Tsu, a pioneer in women’s cervical cancer prevention whose scientific contributions and relentless commitment to protecting women for more than 35 years has helped shift the dialogue from “if” to “when” we conquer cervical cancer.

Dr. Tsu began working in cervical cancer in 1991, when it was an understudied issue with few feasible solutions for low-resource settings. Vivien’s Fulbright scholarship and firsthand experience seeing women suffer in Zimbabwe grounded her dedication and career.

“Vivien’s work to connect women in low-resource settings with HPV vaccination, cervical cancer screening and diagnosis, and breast health services has helped to shift the balance of global health equity in the right direction and allowed thousands of disadvantaged people to lead fuller, healthier lives,” shared Steve Davis, president and CEO of PATH.

Speaking about the award and her career, Dr. Tsu said “I am honored by this award and by the opportunities I have had to make a real difference in women’s lives. Working with colleagues at PATH and others in our Washington state global health community, we have helped to guide a movement of technological and system innovation to reach a historic turning point, where the Director General of WHO recently called for the global elimination of cervical cancer.”

Pioneers Rising Leader: Dr. Laura Dwyer-Lindgren, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME)

WGHA’s 2018 Pioneers Rising Leader is Dr. Laura Dwyer-Lindgren, who brings an uncompromising commitment to understanding health data and health inequalities and the collaboration required to get them right. Dr. Dwyer-Lindgren’s research documents people living miles apart with health outcomes that are worlds apart.

Dr. Dwyer-Lindgren led research and analysis on one of IHME’s most widely read studies in 2017 that examined life expectancy in the United States by county and how different factors contribute to disparities. The study has been read by people on every continent and was ranked one of the most reviewed studies of 2017 by Altmetric.

“Dr. Dwyer-Lindgren combines diligence, ingenuity, and creativity in measuring conditions that affect people’s health and well-being, whether in King County, Washington State, nationally or globally,” noted Dr. Ali Mokdad, a professor of health metrics sciences at the University of Washington and Chief Strategy Officer for the University’s Population Health.

“This award is as inspiring as it is humbling,” said Dr. Laura Dwyer-Lindgren. “I am grateful to WGHA and the Pioneers judges for this honor. IHME has been recognized globally for its significant contributions to global health, and I am thankful for the opportunity to work alongside such dedicated faculty and researchers.”

Pioneers Outstanding Collaboration: VillageReach and Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands for the Chipatala Cha Pa Foni or “Health Center by Phone” for Adolescents Program

WGHA’s 2018 Pioneers Outstanding Collaboration award winners—VillageReach and Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands (PPGNHI)—are leveraging their unique strengths to decrease HIV rates with Chipatala Cha Pa Foni (CCPF) or “Health Center by Phone” for Adolescents. This Malawi-based program, in the Machinga and Zomba districts, targets sexual and reproductive health behaviors, care-seeking and social norms among adolescent girls and young women to increase secondary school retention and reduce HIV incidence.

“VillageReach’s long-term engagement in Malawi means they have last-mile service delivery expertise and strong relationships at all levels of the public health system.” said Diane Bushley, Global Programs Manager at PPGNHI. “PPGNHI has been able to focus on what we do best: developing and providing training for sexual and reproductive health education and services working with youth.”

Pioneers committee judges commented on how innovative the collaboration is for combining VillageReach’s supply chain expertise and existing infrastructure in Malawi with PPGNHI’s content and training expertise. Emily Bancroft, VillageReach President said, “As in any good partnership, we’ve taught each other to ask and answer questions in new ways, leading to new solutions that neither organization would have come up with on our own. The breadth and depth of this partnership has improved the lives of some of the hardest to reach young women and men in rural Malawi.”

About the Washington Global Health Alliance

WGHA is a membership organization of more than 80 global health organizations working to achieve health equity. WGHA connects and informs Washington’s global health community creating a culture of collaboration at home so our members can have more impact in the world. Learn more at www.wghalliance.org.

Contact: Tiffany Cain, Washington Global Health Alliance, 206.456.9612; tcain@wghalliance.org.