Jan 03 2016
By Kate Callaghan, Frist Global Health Leader“Namaste,” the young Bhutanese woman said opening the door of her and her family’s apartment for the medical assistant (MA) and me. As she and her in-laws warmly welcomed us into their living room/dining room space, another young woman and a little girl emerged from the bedroom. “How many of you are living here?” the MA asked the only gentleman in the room through the interpreter we had on the phone. “There are five of us,” he answered.
By Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Dec. 30, 2015 | The New York Times
There’s a little plaque by my computer at home that says, “Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try.” During 2012, I looked at it a lot — especially in the weeks leading up to one of the biggest speeches of my life.
To give you some background, I’m a practicing Catholic who grew up in Dallas and went to Catholic high school. I cherish quiet time and I’ve never loved being in the spotlight. In other words, I’m a pretty unlikely candidate to become an outspoken advocate for contraceptives.
Yet there I was on my way to Berlin to make the case to the world that we had to put family planning back on the global agenda.
Through my work with our foundation, I have met so many women in the world’s most impoverished places who tell me they lack access to contraceptives. Like parents everywhere, they want to make all of their children’s dreams come true. But without the ability to plan and space their births, they have more children than they can afford to feed or send to school — they feel helpless as their children become trapped in poverty, too. Once I heard their stories, I was determined to help them build a better future.
By Kate Callaghan, Frist Global Health Leader“I don’t need this test,” the pharmacist-trained, El Salvadorian gentleman told my preceptor and me, quickly dismissing our suggestion that his persistent malaise, fatigue, and chills could be secondary to an underlying thyroid condition. “I have no problems with my thyroid,” he followed, in an effort to reinforce his point. When we proposed a CBC to check for anemia, he similarly protested, pulling down his right eye-lid to remind us that he had no Conjunctival Pallor.
It’s Time for a Real Conversation: An Open Letter From Senator Bill Frist, Dr. Randy Wykoff And WK "Big Kenny" Alphin
Dec 27 2015
In 2014, Senator Bill Frist, “Big Kenny” Alphin, and I worked together to identify twelve issues that we believed needed to be addressed to make a lasting change on the quality of life in our country and around the world. While some of the data have changed, I think these issues remain as important today as they were when we posted them in early 2015. I hope everyone will take a few minutes to re-read these posts, and think about how each of us can engage in this “Essential Conversation.”
-Dean Randy Wykoff
There can be no doubt that compassion for those less fortunate is a long and strongly held part of our national character. While some might argue that we have, as a Nation, lost some of that compassion, the three of us believe that it is still firmly rooted in who we are, and how we engage with the world.We believe that this sense of compassion is something that still binds us together, and we call on people from all sectors and sections of our country and beyond to join us in a conversation to identify and address some of the greatest threats to our global community.
While the modern world presents many challenges, it also provides a unique opportunity to come together and change the lives of the world's least fortunate. As a starting point in this dialogue, we have identified twelve issues that we believe demand action to help ensure the world becomes a better place for future generations.
Perhaps you will agree with our list, or perhaps you will identify other areas where we should focus our attention. Perhaps you have further information about these twelve topics and how we can make lasting changes at the local level, or perhaps some of these are issues you haven't spent much time considering.
No matter where you stand today, in 2015, we challenge you to be part of the conversation.
All we ask is that you set aside any pre-conceived notions; that you open your mind to new ideas and challenges; and, most importantly, that you approach these issues, and the people they affect, with compassion and caring.
We look forward to hearing from you. #Conversation2015
Dr. Randy Wykoff, WK "Big Kenny" Alphin, and Senator Bill Frist
The authors would like to thank Ms. Katie Neel, MPH, for conducting initial fact-checking for this article. The authors would also like to thank Alli Proffitt, Kate Etue, Brad Lifford, and Dara Young for remarkably thoughtful and insightful editing and other invaluable contributions.
This article reflects the personal views of the authors and does not necessarily represent the views of their employers, co-workers, or others.