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Field Notes, Update

WGHA members rise to the response, eyes turn to UNGA, and Bill Foege reminds us that life plans are an illusion

The info hub for the hub of global health


Meet Olivia

After creating a successful career in financial leadership roles in the private sector, PATH’s CFO, Olivia Polius, turned to the nonprofit world where she now manages PATH’s finances, technology, and infrastructure during unprecedented, large-scale organizational change. One of the most challenging and rewarding moments to date was the day she led PATH offices across 20 countries through a migration from individual systems to a single, interconnected financial and accounting system. The migration was a success, and another piece of PATH’s transformation fell into place.


Rising to the challenge

WGHA members Bloodworks NorthwestMedical Teams International, and World Vision are responding to natural disasters locally and abroad with Hurricane Florence and Typhoon Mangkhut. These 13 pictures say what words can’t.

Meanwhile, University of Washington researchers are bringing power to the people in Puerto Rico a year after Hurricane Maria.


Sugar and spice

Welcome Jonathan SugarmanGlobal to Local’s new CEO. Improving health care for vulnerable populations has been a central theme in Jonathan’s career since his work as an Indian Health Service doctor with the Navajo Nation.

In other CEO news, the Triangle Global Health Consortium (WGHA’s sister alliance in North Carolina) welcomes new CEO Jacob Traverse, who didn’t traverse far from his former executive director role at Alexandria Real Estate Equities.


Literary libation

While your kids hit the books, you can curl up with one (actually 12) of your own. WGHA’s Pioneering Women have hand selected a craft literary experience for you: a 2019 library that comes complete with a book and bottle of wine for each month. Dive in at WGHA’s Pioneers of Global Health Awards Dinner and Auction to bid on this and other live auction experiences.


Weapons against TB

Next week, heads of state will gather for the UN’s first-ever high-level meeting on the global response to the tuberculosis epidemic. Meanwhile, WHO released its annual global TB report, showing slight progress in the fight.

While all eyes are on the UNGA TB meeting, the Pacific Science Center will host a local conversation with Peter Small on how current technology can help. Join his Science in the City lecture on October 9.


Move over, RBG

Make room for RBC (red blood cells) and Krystalyn Hudson, who studies them. This Bloodworks Northwest researcher was recognized as one of the 40 under 40leaders in Puget Sound for her work to understand how the immune system responds to antigens on RBCs. Krystalyn’s research sheds light on new ways to save pregnant moms.


Budget boost … maaaybe

The latest budget forecast from Capitol Hill could mean good news for global health. If the House approves the bill that the Senate cleared, the NIH would see a $2 billion boost from last year ($4 billion above the president’s request). The CDC would also see a slight increase above last year’s funding.


Look who Launched

WGHA’s fourth Launch cohort welcomed reps from 20 global health organizations who have taken diverse paths to global health, including stints at the Seahawks (Huy Nguyen, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), the Washington State Senate (Alicia Eyler, Fred Hutch), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Neal Parry, The Max Foundation). These new hires bring new perspective and talents to drive global health innovation.

If you’re a new hire at a WGHA member org, it’s not too soon to register for the next Launch (March 28 at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation).


Life plans are an illusion.

—Former CDC director and global health legend Bill Foege, encouraging young people to develop a life philosophy instead of a life plan to guide your career choices. (And every millennial exhales …)


Do you have a tip for Field Notes? Send it to Tiffany Cain, tcain@wghalliance.org

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