Saturday, January 10, 2008

We had a fantastic event on Saturday morning with the women of Grace Chapel Church here in Leipers Fork, TN. What an amazing bunch of women!

A few months ago, my good friend Reese Smith introduced the Knit One, Save One Campaign, a national grassroots effort launched by the global humanitarian organization Save the Children and the Warm Up America Foundation, to his wife, Emily, an avid knitter and member of the "Knitting with Grace" club at the church. The initiative aims to draw attention to the 4 million newborns that die each year in the first month of life in the developing world.  Participants are asked to make a baby cap, and are also encouraged to write a personal note to President-elect Barack Obama urging him to lead the way to save millions of babies globally.

Emily Smith, Beth Ann Bright, Mary Bit Mahaffey and a number of other women in the group committed to 100 caps. And, like the story of the loaves and the fishes, they just multiplied exponentially! Saturday, the "Knitting with Grace" club presented me with over 500 knitted caps and over 500 caps made by machine. Over 1000 caps!

These little caps will each be shipped, along with thousands from all 50 states to pregnant women and new moms and their babies in Save the Children's programs in Africa and Asia. Hypothermia is a contributing cause of death for newborns, especially small babies unable to maintain their body temperature. To keep infants safe and warm, these little caps will be given for them to wear along with helpful advice to moms about hygiene and breastfeeding. These little caps will be a key component of a life saving package.

It was so exciting to see the amazing work these women had done. Thank you Grace Chapel Church for your initiative, advocacy, awareness-raising, and hard work for the least of these.

To read more about the campaign, and see how many caps Americans have made, go here:  The deadline for the project has been extended to January 31st. Let us know if you would like to be involved!


Bill Frist


Staff and employees of the Amai Pakpak Medical Center; local citizens of the Marawi region; and several distinguished visitors, including Undersecretary of the Presidential Commission on the Visiting Forces Agreement, Edilberto Adan; Lanao del Sur First Lady to the Governor, Raifa Adiong; Professor Paladan Badron, Marawi City Administrator (on behalf of Mayor Fahad Salic, al Hadj); Dr. Amer Saber, Chief of APMC; Lt. Gen. Nelson Allaga, AFP WESMINCOM Commander; Brig. Gen. Magalso, AFP 1st Infantry Division Deputy Commander; Col. Rey Ardo, AFP 103rd Brigade Commander; Colonel Bill Coultrup, Commander of the JSOTF-P; and Mr. Harold Wolf, President and CEO of ENDEC, Inc.


With the cut of a ceremonial ribbon, leaders from across the Mindanao region inaugurated the new Amai Pakpak Medical Center (APMC)-just 8 months from when the U.S. Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines awarded a contract employing local workers to build the new Center. The U.S. provided $660,058 (US) to fill the void left by a 2006 fire that destroyed the former facility.

Government, medical, civic, and military leaders were on hand to celebrate the occasion with a crowd of about 100 Marawi citizens, including many doctors, nurses, and staff from the APMC.

Colonel Bill Coultrup, Commander of the JSOTF-P-who attended the ground-breaking ceremony last spring-gave keynote remarks. Additional speakers and distinguished guests included: Undersecretary of the Presidential Commission on the Visiting Forces Agreement, Edilberto Adan; Lanao del Sur First Lady to the Governor, Raifa Adiong; Professor Paladan Badron, Marawi City Administrator (on behalf of Mayor Fahad Salic, al Hadj); Dr. Amer Saber, Chief of APMC; Lt. Gen. Nelson Allaga, AFP WESMINCOM Commander; Brig. Gen. Magalso, AFP 1st Infantry Division Deputy Commander; Col. Rey Ardo, AFP 103rd Brigade Commander; and Mr. Harold Wolf, President and CEO of ENDEC, Inc.

"This will make a big difference in the lives of the people of Marawi and the people of Lanao," said Secretary Adan, who, on behalf of the people of the Philippines, thanked the U.S. for making the project a priority.

Professor Badron referred to the new Center and its medical staff under Dr. Saber, as "a ray of hope" for the people of the Lanao region.

In keynote remarks, Col. Coultrup spoke of the new building's genesis, following the fire of 2006. "The Marawi community incurred a great loss when the former Amai Pakpak Medical Center was destroyed by fire in 2006," he said. "One of the first things the Armed Forces of the Philippines did was to team up with medical professionals here in Marawi, as well as one of our liaison teams [from JSOTF-P] to conduct a Medical Civic Action Program."

Just two weeks after the fire, "The MEDCAP immediately provided free medical aid to people of the Marawi area," he said. Approximately 1,000 patients were seen.

"Then, in concert with our AFP partners, we found funding for the project...and just eight months ago, I remember challenging the contractor to get the project done by December. And they came through and produced exactly what was needed. It's a job well done and shows the excellent work of the people of Marawi who helped to construct this beautiful building," said Coultrup, noting that this wouldn't be the last demonstration of teamwork between the people of the Lanao region, the AFP, and the US military.

To the tune of traditional music from the region, a troupe of APMC employees in cultural dress capped off the ceremony with a series of entertaining dances.


The new, two-story Center is approximately 11 meters by 51 meters. A regional hospital, it will serve the medical care and medical training needs of the region's communities.

The contract's statement-of-work for the contract included provisions for:

• Laboratory
• Radiology
• Intensive Care Unit Complex
• Central Supply & Sterilizing Room (CSSR)
• Private Rooms
• Connecting Link Bridge to the Operating Room Complex
• Connecting Link Bridge to Emergency Room Complex and Operating Room Complex
• Ramp to Laboratory & Radiology
• Main Stair of Laboratory/Radiology & Admin Building
• 2nd Story Waiting Lounge
• Hospital Bed Type Elevator
• Fire Alarm/Fire Protection System

6 December 2008.

Amai Pakpak Medical Center, Marawi, Lanao region of Central Mindanao.

A regional hospital, it will serve the medical care and medical training needs of the surrounding communities whose population is about 50,000.

1. Visitors arrive for the inauguration of the new Amai Pakpak Medical Center on 6 Dec 2008.
2. Distinguished guests, from left: Mr. Harold Wolf, President and CEO of ENDEC, Inc.; Brig. Gen. Magalso, AFP 1st Infantry Division Deputy Commander; Lanao del Sur First Lady to the Governor, Raifa Adiong; Undersecretary of the Presidential Commission on the Visiting Forces Agreement, Edilberto Adan; Colonel Bill Coultrup, Commander of the JSOTF-P; Lt. Gen. Nelson Allaga, AFP WESMINCOM Commander; Professor Paladan Badron, Marawi City Administrator; and Dr. Amer Saber, Chief of APMC.

Well, it's hard to believe that December is upon us, and that I've been here three months already. Africare--Sierra Leone recently welcomed Vicki Johnson to our office, who is joining us as our new Country Representative.

CCM Artist Sara Groves invites listeners of Christian Radio this Holiday season to "Share the Joy" of giving by supporting new mothers in developing nations to have safe deliveries and healthy, warm newborns. A gift of $10 will help provide newborn care kits for mothers so the chances of their newborns surviving the risky first month of life are improved. The kit contains items to improve hygiene at delivery and promote proper care of newborns, and will be paired with health worker counseling to support new moms on issues like exclusive breastfeeding. The kit’s contents vary by country and may contain items such as soap for hand washing, a new blade for cutting the umbilical cord and a clean string for tying the cord. Each kit will be coupled with a hand-made cap, knitted or crocheted by a caring person who took part in Save the Children's Knit One, Save One campaign, and will keep the baby warm during the first critical hours and days after birth.

Sara's radio spot reads as follows:

Hope through Healing Hands-A Better Beginning for Babies this Christmas

(To hear the spot, please click HERE.)

Hi, I'm Sara Groves.

During the Holiday season, we reflect upon the humble beginnings of a baby born in a manger over 2000 years ago.

But did you know that babies are still born in stables and on dirt floors in parts of Africa and Asia today?

Over 4 million newborns die each year; more than half from preventable or treatable causes.

That's why I am asking you to consider a simple gift for a new mother across the world: a NEWBORN CARE KIT.

This ten dollar kit, at HOPE THROUGH HEALING HANDS.ORG provides a new mother with the advice and supplies she needs to help her new baby survive.

Simple household practices that keep an infant clean and warm make for a better beginning for babies - even those born in the humblest of circumstances.

Go to HOPE THROUGH HEALING HANDS.ORG today and make a real difference this Christmas.


Please join us today in caring for a new mother and her precious newborn baby this holiday season. With the simple gift of $10, you can save a life.

Contribute here.

World AIDS Day

Dec 01 2008

Today is a day to celebrate. Since the inception of PEPFAR, over 2 million people have been treated in Sub-Saharan Africa, and over ten million have received care. We are fighting the battle to stop the spread of AIDS across the globe.

Cross Cultural Solutions Fellow Blog

Bangkok, Thailand

Nov 29 2008

by Kelly Madigan 

November 29, 2008

kelly madigan 2 kelly madigan 3

Although I have been back in the states from Bangkok for six months now, there is rarely a day that goes by without a reminder of my month spent there. Especially around the holidays, I am so grateful not only for my own family, but also for the opportunities I have had to make a difference in the lives of others. While teaching the alphabet, colors, and numbers to toddlers may seem inconsequential, the impact our presence had on the kids was clear. After missing just one day at Kudee Khaa Preschool to observe at a hospital, the students were overjoyed upon my return, exemplifying the influence I had on their daily lives. It is extremely difficult to return to our fortunately privileged lives and leave a Cross Cultural Solutions site behind, knowing some children were getting their only meal of the day at the school. However, it is empowering to know that the legacy of CCS will continue on with a constant flow of volunteers, enriching the lives of people worldwide.

Global Health Forum for Middle Tennessee

Save the Date: February 27, 2009

Nov 19 2008

Would you like to learn more about the global health projects taking place through the work of organizations in Tennessee?

Join the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health (VIGH) on February 27th, 2009 for their first annual Global Health Forum for Middle Tennessee.

Sustainable projects involve many factors that overlap and affect one another. Teamwork and a strategic approach can make the difference in success. The 2009 Tennessee Global Health Forum is an opportunity for organizations from throughout the region to come together in an effort to combine forces and share our current projects.

Join Vanderbilt in learning effective approaches toward sustainability and exploring the potential for new partnerships.

Program specifics coming soon!

Go to Vanderbilt University Middle Tennessee Global Health Forum site for more details soon.

Washington, D.C.

November 12, 2008



  • Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.
  • Thank you, Dr. Frazer and Representative Payne.
  • And Thank you, Julius and Africare for putting together such a memorable evening.


  • It’s an honor to be here tonight to celebrate what will be the legacy of President George W. Bush: his historic and unprecedented commitment to the people of Africa.



  • For more than twenty years, I’ve traveled to underserved areas in the developing world, often conflict nations, with World Medical Missions – not as a senator, not as an official representing the U.S. – but as a single volunteer equipped with the tools of medicine and surgery, with a goal to touch individual lives.


  • My own interest in HIV began as a surgical resident in Boston, who in 1981, when AIDS was first observed in the U.S., really could not fathom that a single virus could so easily devastate one’s immune system and ability to fight infections.


  • I went on to become a transplant specialist where we had to become experts in immune system depression and infectious disease – and over the next 20 years in medicine I watched this single virus, spread to become what is now a pandemic of biblical proportions.


  • What bothered me – as the first physician elected to the Senate since 1928 – was that the U.S gave some lip service to global HIV, but in reality we as a nation remained on the sidelines, as societies around the world were hollowed out.


  • But this changed because of the leadership of one man.  President Bush – yes, a Repbulican, who had never been to Africa -- said that we Americans will act in a way that is bigger and better than any country had acted against a single disease in history.


  • He said we will lead the world – and we did.


  • I remember in the year 2000 going to the Cabinet room in the White House for a regular Senate leadership meeting with the President.  I had just been elected as the most junior member in leadership … so my time for comment around that big oval table would always come last. 


  • We had covered taxation, Afghanistan, prescription drugs, the Middle East, and domestic economic policy.  So, with a picture in my pocket of a young woman who was suffering from HIV, I mentioned what I had seen and treated on my mission trips.


  • The President came alive.  Sitting on the edge of his seat, he spoke with passion about what he had learned; he knew the magnitude of the problem, he knew the names of the ARVs, he described how Nivirapine could save the lives of newborns -- he made it clear that he would act.


  • And act he did.


  • President Bush hosted a very small dinner in early-January 2003 in the Red Room at the White House. He invited Karyn and me, Kofi Annan, and  four others for a very special occasion: he announced privately what he would  reveal to the nation the next week: his Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.


  • In the 2003 State of the Union address, President Bush asked “Congress to commit $15 billion dollars over the next five years to turn the tide against AIDS in the most afflicted nations of Africa and the Caribbean.”


  • I was blown away.


  • After his speech that night, I was interviewed by the media, as a Senator, and I told a reporter, “Five years from now, all anyone will remember will be President Bush’s historic announcement to combat HIV/AIDS in Africa.”


  • And here we are, five years from that moment, celebrating this momentous commitment to Africa, including --  

--the lives of 1.6 million Africans who are now receiving treatment because of PEPFAR

-- another 2 million through our contributions to the Global Fund

--the 12.7 million pregnancies in which mother-to-infant transmission was prevented

--and the care of over 6.6 million people with HIV/AIDS.


  • Other Initiatives in Africa led by President Bush include the following:

1.      Malaria:  His five-year, $1.2 billion effort to combat malaria has provided 4 million insecticide-treated bed nets and 7 million drug therapies to vulnerable people


2.      Sudan.  In Sudan, the United States played a central role as peacemaker in ending a 20-year civil war between the Arab north and African south, which killed 2 million people.


3.      Genocide.  It was the Bush administration that first raised the alarm about the atrocities in Darfur.


4.      Trade:  The Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, approved in 2000 and reauthorized in expanded form in 2004, provides trade benefits with the United States for 40 African countries that have implemented reforms to encourage economic growth.


5.      MCC: Africa has received $3.5 billion in additional funds from Bush's Millennium Challenge Corporation initiative, which rewards poor countries that encourage economic growth, govern well, and provide social services for their people.


  • America is spreading peace through health. It is medicine as a currency for peace.  It is health diplomacy at its best.


  • We pay tribute tonight to President George W. Bush who has proven to be the world’s leader in the crisis of AIDS in Africa.


  • He launched an amazing beginning, but we still have a long way to go.


  • Because for every 1 person we treat, 4 more are newly infected. And only 1 in 10 with HIV actually knows that they are infected.


  • There is much work to be done. And that is why your support of Africare and its missions is so vital.


  • Please join me tonight in pledging our continued support for Africare to lead us in the fight against global disease and extreme poverty.


  • Thank You and God Bless.

Commentary: Why it's good to have former senators in charge


By William H. Frist

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (CNN) -- Now is the time for a new beginning. And how it is approached may well turn on the often overlooked fact that both the president-elect and the vice president-elect are products of the U. S. Senate.

America shines at her best in times of challenge, and never in my adult life have we seen more challenge coming from more dimensions. I encourage Republicans to rally behind this president-elect and openly express support for the call for change throughout our legislative and executive branches.

I encourage Democrats not to repeat the missteps made by Republicans by excluding thoughtful debate. And I encourage the American people to stay involved with the intensity manifested by heightened participation in the democratic process.

My teaching on the Princeton campus last year revealed to me an explosion of energizing interest in "the system" and how to make it better from within -- very different from when I was there 38 years ago and the same activism was channeled toward tearing it down.

The wounds of the campaign are not as deep or angry as the media portray. For many, there is disappointment, and this must be consoled with time and discussion; for more, there is a sense of hope and quiet optimism that fresh ideas and new faces and commitment to collaboration can, if handled with care and grace, nurture a new prosperity.

Having served in the U.S. Senate, I am proud that that body, historically avoided as a source of presidential leadership, produced three of the four candidates and now the president and vice president.

The Senate is a strange animal. Unlike the House, it is weighted to give the minority party exceptional power. And that's why we have these super-majority (and, to the public, usually hard to fathom!) thresholds like cloture and the filibuster.

Both of our new leaders are creatures of this body, a body that our founding fathers deliberately elevated to one of deliberation and discussion and unlimited debate and enhanced minority power.

That unique Senate legislative experience of the president- and vice-president-elect -- with the understanding it brings both to lead on principle but govern with compromise and to respect uniquely the minority's participation -- stations them ideally for a time when the American people expect their government to work together to aggressively attack the problems that face us.

My former colleague John McCain returns to the Senate to participate with a style that fits the time. What made my life tough at times as leader -- his working on his own agenda, working almost obsessively across the aisle, putting principle before party and defending through passionate debate his conservative views -- is what can make him an effective force in shaping the change that these elections spoke so loudly to.

And to the president-elect, what an opportunity! Times are tough, but the people have rallied to your call. You have the followers; you have the believers; even your loudest critics recognize that you are endowed with leadership talents that are precious.

To move the nation forward, keep listening to the American people. Be straight with them, and don't over-promise. Fill the gaps where you lack experience with the brightest minds with the highest values. Share your message for Obama

And finally, though this may appear a bit self-serving, the doctor in me is shouting out not to forget an issue that has been driven to the background by the credit markets, job losses and threats overseas: health care.

Ever-rising health costs drive people to the ranks of uninsured. The 15 million hard-core uninsured need your immediate attention. There is nothing more intimate or more personal to any of us than the health of our loved ones. Don't let it slip to the back burner.

So, even in these tough and depressing times defined by an economic crisis that will -- yes, will -- have an end, I am pretty excited about the future. Let's all play our part as citizens of the greatest and freest country in the world.

The opinions expressed in the commentary are solely those of William Frist.


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