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

9:05pm

 

  • 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.

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  • 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

CNN

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. iReport.com: 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.

 

New Hope through Healing Hands website is Live!

Go to www.hopethroughhealinghands.org

Nov 10 2008

We are very excited to announce that the new website for Hope through Healing Hands is officially live!

Go to www.hopethroughhealinghands.org website today for updates on the latest news, interesting blogs, and informative articles on global health issues to deepen your interest and engagement in issues that affect "the bottom billion." We are working hard to create change through issues like clean water, maternal health/child survival, HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and sustainable development. Join us today to learn more about what you can do to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors.

We look forward to hearing from you,

Jenny Eaton Dyer, Ph.D.

 

 

Recently, we learned of the travels of Big Kenny and his wife, Christiev to Africa and their great work promoting awareness of the crisis in Darfur. Over the next five days, we will be following their journey in our blog.

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