Field Notes, Update

WhatsApp in the DR, Washington’s SOS, and a new radical collaboration

The info hub for the hub of global health

WhatsApp doc

Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands (PPGNHI) created a support network where young moms can access it best—on their phones. Using WhatsApp, PPGNHI is engaging adolescent moms in the Dominican Republic with information and support to increase doctor visits, vaccine rates, and family planning. Another reason to keep your WhatsApp.


We’re sending out an SOS … for the next generation of global health dreamers and doers. The Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS) helps cover college tuition for students to study STEM and earn a shot at some sweet global health internships like this one at the Infectious Disease Research Institute. Answer this message in a bottle by hosting a WSOS intern or reviewing applicant essays.

Bottom(s) up

Possible and VillageReach are two of ten members in a newly launched, Mulago Foundation–backed radical collaboration of community health programs. Together, this team is using good design principles and old-fashioned sweat equity to scale up community-level success while building government engagement and sustainability.

“They’ve come together to create that outside momentum to bring the top down and the bottom up together,” says Kevin Starr, director of the Mulago Foundation.

Sounds like “chair-stee”

WGHA welcomes Seattle native Kjersti Stroup as its new programs manager. Kjersti grew up wanting to be two things: a Husky and a pathologist. But after passing out a few too many times around medical procedures, she decided that business and legal skills were her ticket to contribute. Now she’s designing events and leading projects to connect and inform Washington’s global health community. Welcome, Kjersti!

Looking for a good ROI?

Skip the mutual funds and invest in NCDs (that’s noncommunicable diseases), responsible for seven out of every ten fatalities worldwide. RTI International’s new report takes a global perspective and makes the economic case for investments to prevent and control NCDs.

Speaking of good ROI … the president just signed the last of the fiscal year 2019 spending bills, which include global health money for the State Department and USAID. The final numbers are at or above last year’s levels with some modest bumps for PEPFAR, tuberculosis, and nutrition. Better investments for better lives.


Congratulations to:

  • Venkat Bhamidipati, Providence St. Joseph Health’s CFO, who was named one of the Puget Sound Business Journal’s 2019 CFO of the Year honorees.
  • Steve Crane, founding board member and Rotarian Malaria Partners (RMP) champion is now RMP’s newest senior consultant in Strategic Engagement.
  • Joe Fain of WGHA member Coopersmith Law + Strategy, who was recently named new CEO of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce.
  • Dr. Shannon Hader, Washington native and former director of CDC’s Division of Global HIV and TB, was named Deputy Executive Director of Programme at UNAIDS.
  • Maria Thacker-Goethe, executive director of the Georgia Global Health Alliance, who added a new leadership title as Georgia Bio’s new CEO.

Because good news is infectious

Life Science Washington released a new report showing the strongest job growth in over a decade: 13%. A strong life science sector is good for global health (think talent and innovation), and that good economic news is the kind of contagion we can get excited about.

Around town

  • March 7: Celebrate International Women’s Day a day early with stories from the front lines of fighting for women’s rights.
  • March 8: Celebrate on International Women’s Day with Global Washington at SIFF Cinema Uptown for the premiere of Brave Girl Rising.
  • March 15: Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative journalist Sheri Fink talks with WGHA’s executive members at our Executive Roundtable.

Snowmaggedon second chances

The bright side to the many events that were canceled during Seattle’s Snowmageddon is that you can sign up for the redux:

  • WGHA’s STEM Global Public Engagement Training is rescheduled for March 13 at Seattle Children’s Research Institute to learn the secrets of talking to the public about your work.
  • SOCAP 365 PNW is rescheduled for March 25. Learn how impact investing can accelerate positive change, and hear from WGHA’s own Dena Morris in a breakout session featuring PATH and Amplio Network.
  • Science in the City, featuring The Max Foundation’s Pat Garcia-Gonzalez on global access to cancer treatment, is rescheduled for April 2.

“We feel the most important part of our legacy will be sharing our mistakes so others can do it better.”

– Audette Exel, reflecting on The Adara Group’s 20th anniversary and how its unique business and funding model has helped Adara save lives and share success and lessons learned with others

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

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