March 18, 2010

by Bill Frist, M.D.

CSIS Releases Report on Smart Global Health Policy

I have served on the Board of Trustees at the Center for Strategic and International Studies since 2007.  The work they are doing has continued to live up to its mission, which is "finding ways for America to sustain its prominence and prosperity as a force for good in the world."  Earlier today, CSIS issued a report from their Commission on Smart Global Health Policy, and I think it is well worth the read if you are interested in the issue of Global Health. 

The report, entitled "A Healthier, Safer, and More Prosperous World," is the result of nearly a year's worth of work, which looked in detail at the long-term U.S. strategic approach to global health. 

The Commission on Smart Global Health Policy included public servants,  top leaders in business and finance, and some of the leading minds in philanthropy and non-profit work. Together we worked hard to reach a consensus for a long-term plan for the United States to address global health issues and potentially save millions of lives around the world.

In short, the conclusion of the report is, "[t]he United States can better the lives of the world's citizens and advance its own interests by investing strategically in global health-even at a time of global economic recession and exceptional domestic challenges."

I encourage everyone interested in global health to take a look at this report and let me know your thoughts.  Working together, we can really have an impact on millions of lives.

To read the report, please click here.

For Immediate Release

March 18, 2010

Contact: Jenny Dyer

(615) 386-0045

HTHH Receives $386,424 of Pharmaceutical Gifts from Purdue Pharma for Haiti Aid

Hope Through Healing Hands (HTHH), a Nashville-based organization dedicated to improving the health of individuals around the world and chaired by former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, announced today the receipt of over $386,000 of gifts for relief efforts in Haiti.  The donations came from Purdue Pharma L.P. and its associated U.S. companies, which are privately held pharmaceutical companies known for pioneering research on persistent pain.

"There is ongoing and continuous need in Haiti, and I thank Purdue Pharma for their generous contribution to the relief efforts.  Their gift will go a long way to help the many who continue to suffer from the devastating earthquake earlier this year," said Senator Frist.

Purdue Pharma, headquartered in Stamford, CT, is engaged in the research, development, production, and distribution of both prescription and over-the-counter medicines and hospital products. Since the January earthquake in Haiti, they have donated close to $5 million in pharmaceutical products to aid the victims.

Purdue Pharma's approximate value donation of $386,424.96  to Hope Through Healing Hands included donations of products such Ryzolt® (tramadol HCl extended-release tablets) and Betadine® (povidone-iodine) Solution and Betadine® Surgical Scrub antiseptics for usage in clinics and hospitals in Haiti.

Hope Through Healing Hands has partnered with Healing Hands International, a Christian humanitarian relief organization that seeks to empower those who are living in poverty around the world.  Through this partnership, HTHH will distribute the Ryzolt®, Betadine® Solution and Betadine® Surgical Scrub antiseptics in Haiti.

Hope Through Healing Hands is a Nashville-based 501(c) (3) that promotes improved quality of life for citizens and communities around the world using health as a currency for peace. For more information, go to www.hopethroughhealinghands.org.

Purdue Pharma L.P., a privately held pharmaceutical company founded by physicians, is focused on meeting the needs of healthcare providers and the patients in their care. Together with Purdue Products L.P. and other independent associated companies, Purdue* is dedicated to finding, developing, and bringing to market new medicines and related products that improve health outcomes. We are known for our pioneering research on persistent pain, a principal cause of human suffering. Additional information about Purdue can be found at www.purduepharma.com.

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 www.hopethroughhealinghands.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                             

March 18, 2010                                                                                  

Contact: Jenny Dyer

(615) 386-0045 

Frist Global Health Leaders Program Offers Funding for Student Service and Training Abroad

Nashville, Tenn. - Hope Through Healing Hands, a Nashville-based nonprofit organization chaired by former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, M.D., has committed to providing fellowships for four students in the coming year - two students at Vanderbilt School of Nursing, one student at the Vanderbilt School of Medicine, and one student at Meharry Medical College. These fellowships will provide health service and training in underserved communities for one semester during the 2010-2011 academic year. This is the second annual year of a partnership with Vanderbilt University and Meharry Medical College for this program.

"Last year was a successful year with the students from both Vanderbilt and Meharry Medical College," said Frist.  "In terms of patients who were seen and community health workers who were trained, the students did an outstanding job, and I am sure we will see similar positive results this year as well. We are excited for these new Global Health Leaders and for their work in the coming year."

Sten H. Vermund, M.D., Ph.D, Director of the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health notes, "The Frist Global Health Leaders program fills an important gap in opportunity for Vanderbilt and Meharry medical students and Vanderbilt nursing students, namely the opportunity to work overseas in a focused service capacity."

The students selected this year will be traveling to Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Africa. They will bolster health services in clinics needing additional support, and they will be offering training to local community health workers with a goal toward sustainable health care. 

Hope through Healing Hands is a 501(c)3 promoting improved quality of life for communities around the world using health as a currency for peace.

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  www.hopethroughhealinghands.org

Burden of Surgical Disease Working Group Announces New Name - ASAP TODAY -

to Advocate the Urgent Need for Safe Global Surgery and Anesthesia

Nashville, TN, March 17, 2010 (PR Web) -- The Burden of Surgical Disease Working Group (BoSD WG) www.burdenofsurgicaldisease.com held its 3rd annual global meeting at The Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health www.globalhealth.vanderbilt.edu/bosd on March 10-12, 2010 in Nashville, TN. The meeting focused on the global anesthesia crisis, raising the standard for surgical outcomes, the role of academic partnerships in the role of delivery of care and improving education and training, and the importance of decreasing maternal mortality through surgical intervention. The meeting also had a focus on the role of corporate relationships and improved communications to attract new members, build diversity and advocacy to advance the mission. The 300 member global group was well represented with participants from surgery, anesthesia, obstetrics, public health, corporate partners and i.e. healthcare.

Kelly McQueen, founder BoSD WG, commented: "The group focused on the global anesthesia crisis. There is a shortage of qualified providers, an inability to monitor patients during surgery (pulse oximetry), and limited access to necessary medications and blood products which makes the provision of anesthesia in low income countries a dangerous reality. Many preventable anesthesia deaths occur daily in many countries worldwide. The global community must recognize the crucial role of anesthesia in all surgical settings, and rally to improve anesthesia education and training, improved monitoring and better access to medications and blood products."

The meeting opened with a keynote from the Honorable Senator Bill Frist, M.D., ‘Lessons Learned in Haiti: Using Crisis to Highlight Surgical Need'. Senator Frist, a surgeon and humanitarian, and Chairman of Hope Through Healing Hands www.hopethroughhealinghands.org commented on the important role of surgery and anesthesia in the initial and on-going response to Haiti, and the continuing needs to address amputation revision, treatment of infection, and acute and chronic pain management.

Bob Isherwood, Chief Creative Dude and Co-CEO of i.e. healthcare www.iehealthcare.com delivered a keynote, „For crying out loud', to address the communication challenges facing the BoSD WG?s objectives and how they might overcome them. Bob Isherwood is the former Worldwide Creative Director of Saatchi and Saatchi, Clio Hall of Famer, and co-author of the book „World Changing Ideas?. During Isherwood?s keynote, he proposed the need for a new name for the organization, ASAP TODAY, to reach a broader audience with a compelling and understandable messsage. Isherwood said: "While the Burden of Surgical Disease (BoSD) is well understood within the organization?s peer group, it has little meaning to the world at large. ASAP TODAY stands for the Alliance for Surgical and Anesthesia Presence. It conveys in a memorable way the Group?s focus to be advocates that build awareness on the urgent need for safe global surgery and anesthesia facilities, and take action to solve this critical world health need. In the developing world, millions of people are dying unnecessarily in childbirth, road accidents and conditions that are commonly overcome in developed countries. We need to address this with all necessary resources - Today!"

Kelly McQueen commented: "I was very pleased that the Group achieved consensus on the name change to ASAP TODAY, and purpose ‘Advocacy for Safe Global Surgery and Anesthesia', to

better communicate the absence of safe anesthesia and surgery in many low income countries, and the importance of advocating for surgical resources TODAY! We also believe ASAP TODAY will improve engagement with strategic business partners and the public sector to increase support and involvement. I would like to thank Bob Isherwood of i.e. healthcare for using his creative communications experience and passion for world changing ideas to help our Group better achieve our purpose. i.e. healthcare www.iehealthcare.com provided incredible insight on how to improve engagement with key stakeholders and the public to draw attention to the global surgical and anesthesia crisis. Bob Isherwood has become a permanent member of ASAP TODAY and will continue to collaborate with the Group."

Other ASAP TODAY members had similar comments.

? "The new name, ASAP TODAY, conveys well the emergency to address surgical disease, not only right now in Haiti, but in low income countries around the world. This new name will aid in stimulating interest and advocacy for safe surgery and anesthesia practices which will save the lives of thousands." Senator Bill Frist, M.D. www.hopethroughhealinghands.org

? "The annual ASAP TODAY forum promotes collaboration among a diverse group of individuals from NGOs, academic institutions, research, and industry all committed to the important role of surgery within global health. ASAP TODAY supports and informs the mission and message of the American College of Surgeons?Operation Giving Back initiative, and we are grateful for their on-going work, innovation and vision." Dr. Kathleen Casey, Director, Operation Giving Back, American College of Surgeons www.operationgivingback.facs.org

? "ASAP TODAY is an invigorating platform for advocacy and an incubator for ideas and networking. This group is leading the way in addressing the crisis of inadequate surgery and anesthesia on a worldwide scale. I look forward to involvement with ASAP TODAY for years to come." Medge Owen, M.D., President, Kybele, Inc www.kybeleworldwide.org

? "NuOrtho Surgical is supportive of the initiatives of ASAP TODAY. As a company focused on surgical instruments for Tissue Preservation in the orthopedic arena, we feel the core work being done by ASAP TODAY is critical to improving the quality of surgical delivery worldwide. We look forward to a mutually beneficial strategic partnership and urge other firms to support their Global efforts to improve surgical outcomes." Jeff W. Morrill, President and CEO, NuOrtho Surgical, Inc. www.nuorthosurgical.com

? "I found it a particularly stimulating day meeting with the Working Group, and felt that significant steps have been taken to move the ASAP TODAY organisation forward. This great initiative encourages partnerships to grow and improve global surgical capacity." Denis J Robson, Director, African Affairs, Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies www.jnj.com

? "We at Operation Smile International believe that no child anywhere should have to live with the stigma of a facial deformity. We applaud our ASAP TODAY colleagues for helping us with this goal." Michael Stabile, M.D., MBA, Anesthesia Board, Operation Smile International www.operationsmile.org

The ASAP TODAY meeting had an elite group of 145 participants from 10 countries with representatives from: World Health Organization, International Committee for the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, Operation Smile, Global Burden of Disease Project, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Vanderbilt University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, University of California at San Francisco, University of Washington. University of Utah, University of Toronto, University of California at San Diego, Society of Anesthesiologists, American College of Surgeons, International College of Surgeons, International Society of Surgeons, and World Federation of Societies of Anesthesiologists.

All the presentations from the ASAP TODAY (BoSD WG) meeting can be found at the www.burdenofsurgicaldisease.com

The current website www.burdenofsurgicaldisease.com will be the domain for ASAP TODAY until the new site www.asaptoday.org is launched in several weeks. A press release will be issued at the time of the new site launch, and other ASAP TODAY social media locations

About ASAP TODAY, formerly Burden of Surgical Disease Working Group

ASAP TODAY

is an international group of anesthesiologists, surgeons, economists and public health specialists committed to improving the infrastructure for and delivery of surgery in low and middle income countries, with the purpose of building Advocacy for Safe Global Surgery and Anesthesia. The Group formed in 2007 with 25 members and has grown to more than 300. Members of the group represent North American and European Academic Institutions, International Institutions and professional societies, non-governmental organizations and other non-profit organizations. ASAP TODAY has collectively published more than 20 articles in peer reviewed journals and remains committed to promoting the importance and cost effectiveness of surgical intervention in preventing disability and premature death. Recent efforts have focused on advocacy within the Global Health Community for increased commitment to and funding for surgical programs in low income countries. Information on ASAP TODAY can be found at www.burdenofsurgicaldisease.com To join the list serve, please send an email to bosdworkinggroup@gmail.com. You can also follow us at: www.facebook.com/pages/Burden-of-Surgical-Disease-Working-Group/111916378354

ASAP TODAY, formerly Burden of Surgical Disease Working Group, Media Contact:

Kelly McQueen, MD, MPH

ASAP TODAY

(BoSD WG) Founder

kamcqueen(at)gmail(dot)com

602-617-0907

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Clinton Bush Haiti Fund Appoints Board of Directors and CEO

New York, NY - The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund (CBHF), established by Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to raise money for Haiti relief and recovery efforts after the January earthquake, has appointed a Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer to manage the Fund's operations. The six-person board will provide policy guidance and oversee the Fund's strategy and processes, while monitoring fundraising and cash disbursements to relief organizations operating in Haiti to ensure full adherence to the Fund's mission and vision.

The CBHF board members are:

  • Laura Graham, a former Clinton administration official and Chief Operating Officer for the William J. Clinton Foundation, who will serve as a Board Co-Chair.
  • Joshua Bolten, former White House Chief of Staff to President Bush and currently a visiting professor at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School, who will serve as a Board Co-Chair.
  • Bruce Lindsey, a former Clinton administration official and currently Chief Executive Officer of the William J. Clinton Foundation.
  • Dr. Bill Frist, former U.S.Senate Majority Leader, a professor at Vanderbilt University, a partner at Cressey & Company in Chicago, and Chairman of Hope Through Healing Hands.
  • Henrietta Fore, former Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development under President Bush and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Holsman International, an investment and management company.
  • Alexis Herman, former Secretary of Labor during President Clinton's administration and currently Chief Executive Officer of New Ventures, LLC.

Gary Edson, who served as Deputy National Security Adviser in President Bush's administration, co-led the development of the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and led the establishment of the Millennium Challenge Corporation to fight global poverty, will serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the CBHF. He is currently Chief International Officer at The Case Foundation. "We are pleased to appoint a board of bipartisan, distinguished leaders whose experience in past disaster recovery and rebuilding efforts will ensure the effective operation of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund and the strategic allocation of its resources to have the greatest impact on the lives of the Haitian people," President Clinton said. "Their service and dedication will help President Bush and me continue to support the people of Haiti as they build back better in the months and years to come." "I am pleased that such a distinguished group of individuals has agreed to serve," said President Bush. "I thank them for donating their time and talents to this worthy cause. This group will ensure that our fundraising efforts remain strong, and that the money is spent on successful programs that build a better future for the Haitian people."

Board members will serve three-year terms, and will not receive salaries for their services to the Fund. The Board will hold regular meetings as well as an Annual Meeting as part of the management of the CBHF.

In the aftermath of the earthquake on January 12, President Barack Obama asked President Clinton and President Bush to raise funds for immediate, high-impact relief and long-term recovery efforts to help those who are most in need of assistance. In response, the two Presidents established the CBHF to respond to unmet needs in the country, foster economic opportunity, improve the quality of life over the long term for those affected, and assist the people of Haiti as they rebuild their lives and "build back better."

To this end, CBHF is working with and supporting the efforts of reputable 501(c)(3) nongovernmental and nonprofit organizations. To date, more than 200,000 individuals have donated over $36 million to CBHF, and in the first month, the Fund allocated $4 million to such organizations on the ground as Catholic Relief Services, Concern Worldwide US, Haitian NGO Gheskio, International Medical Corps, and Project Medishare, among others, to provide immediate relief and long-term assistance in the form of medical care and supplies, mobile clinics, water purification, hygiene kits, education assistance, and recovery supplies for hundreds of thousands of earthquake survivors in Port-au-Prince, Jacmel, Saint Martin and Martissant.

For more information, visit www.clintonbushhaitifund.org. Contact: Phone: (212) 348-0360 press@clintonfoundation.org

# # #

Burden of Surgical Disease Conference at Vanderbilt

Has Call to Action with Speeches by Senator William Frist and Bob Isherwood

Nashville, TN,  March 9, 2010 (PR Web) --  The Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health will host the annual meeting of the Burden of Surgical Disease Working Group (BoSD WG) in Nashville, TN on March 10-12, 2010.  www.globalhealth.vanderbilt.edu/bosd  BoSD WG mission is to advocate for the global delivery and improvement of surgical services, especially in low-income countries where the needs are great. www.burdenofsurgicaldisease.com 

According to the BoSD WG  founder Dr. K. A. Kelly McQueen, MD, MPH and Fellow, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative: "The BoSD WG has grown quickly and diversified in the 4 years since its grass root beginnings. While the group has made great strides in contributing peer-reviewed literature, to international collaboration and network building and to proactive academic discussion, we have yet to be broadly recognized by the global health community as an essential element of public health, contributing to decreased disability and premature death in a cost-effective and sustainable manner.  This year we hope to expand our focus and improve advocacy through increased communication and corporate collaboration, as well as continuing with our goals to improve surgical infrastructure in low income countries, invest in education and training, and improve surgical and anesthesia outcomes."

Speaking on behalf of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Douglas C. Heimburger, M.D., M.S. said: "Given the multidisciplinary missions of the BoSD WG and of the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health www.globalhealth.vanderbilt.edu , and the strength of Vanderbilt University faculty in many departments involved in  global health, it is a natural fit for Vanderbilt Institute of Global Health to lead in an interdepartmental effort on behalf of surgical needs in developing countries.  We are pleased and privileged to partner in this effort and host this conference."

The Honorable Senator William H. Frist MD will deliver a keynote address Lessons Learned in Haiti: Using Crisis to Highlight Surgical Need'.  Senator Frist, a surgeon and humanitarian, and Chairman of Hope Through Healing Hands www.hopethroughhealinghands.org has recently returned from Haiti where he performed surgery for five days at Baptist Haiti Mission Hospital. Dr. Frist said: "While surgery is taken for granted in the U.S., in developing countries many people die unnecessarily from lack of surgical and anesthesia presence. The disaster in Haiti has highlighted the desperate need for surgeons for those who did survive the earthquake, but were severely injured. We should seize this moment to draw attention to this need, not just for Haiti, but for low income countries around the world."

Bob Isherwood, Chief Creative Dude and Co-CEO of i.e. healthcare www.iehealthcare.com will also deliver a keynote ‘For crying out loud' to address the communication challenges facing the BoSD WG's objectives and how they might overcome them.   Bob Isherwood is the former Worldwide Creative Director of Saatchi and Saatchi, Clio Hall of Famer, and co-author of the book ‘World Changing Ideas'.  Isherwood also has an Honorary Doctorate in Communications.  Isherwood is using his consumer engagement and communications experience to bring attention and resources to needed healthcare issues.  In February 2010, Isherwood was a mHealth Alliance panelist as part of the GSMA Mobile World Congress  www.prweb.com/releases/2010/02/prweb3633584.htm where he talked about i.e. healthcare's work with the mHealth Alliance to bring healthcare solutions through the mobile phone to improve maternal and newborn health, particularly in Africa as part of the UN Foundation's Millennium Development Goals.

Jeff W. Morrill, President and CEO, NuOrtho Surgical, Inc. www.nuorthosurgical.com added: "NuOrtho Surgical is pleased to recognize the immeasurable contributions of the Global Burden of Surgical Disease Working Group in changing the face of surgical care globally.  However, a tremendous need still exists in areas such as mobility and basic orthopedic surgical procedures. NuOrtho looks forward to assisting the BoSD WG in building sustainable relationships for global health and expanding their efforts to preserve healthy tissue and enhance mobility." 

The BoSD WG March 10-12, 2010 meeting will have an elite group of 145 participants from 10 countries with representatives from: World Health Organization, International Committee for the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, Operation Smile, Global Burden of Disease Project, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Vanderbilt University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, University of California at San Francisco, University of Washington. University of Utah, University of Toronto, University of California at San Diego, Society of Anesthesiologists, American College of Surgeons, International College of Surgeons, International Society of Surgeons, and World Federation of Societies of Anesthesiologists.

About Burden of Surgical Disease Working Group

The Burden of Surgical Disease Working Group (BoSD WG)  is an international group of anesthesiologists, surgeons, economists and public health specialists committed to improving the infrastructure for and delivery of surgery in low and middle income countries.  The Group formed in 2007 with 25 members and has grown to more than 300.  Members of the group represent North American and European Academic Institutions, International Institutions and professional societies, non-governmental organizations and other non-profit organizations.  The BoSD WG has collectively published more than 20 articles in peer reviewed journals and remains committed to promoting the importance and cost effectiveness of surgical intervention in preventing disability and premature death.  Recent efforts have focused on advocacy within the Global Health Community for increased commitment to and funding for surgical programs in low income countries.  Information on the BoSD WG can be found at www.burdenofsurgicaldisease.com  To join the list serve, please send an email to bosdworkinggroup@gmail.com.  You can also follow us at: www.facebook.com/pages/Burden-of-Surgical-Disease-Working-Group/111916378354

Burden of Surgical Disease Working Group Media Contact:

Kelly McQueen, MD, MPH

BoSD WG Founder

kamcqueen(at)gmail(dot)com

602-617-0907

        http://www.prweb.com/releases/2010/03/prweb3696134.htm

 

March 5, 2010

by Bill Frist, M.D.

The Leading Child Killers No One Is Talking About

Which two diseases kill the most children worldwide? If you guessed AIDS, malaria, or measles, you're wrong.  Pneumonia and diarrhea claim the lives of more children under age 5 than those three diseases combined and account for over 30% of child deaths worldwide.

Pneumonia and diarrhea kill more children than any other disease - yet most people are unaware that this common illness has such a profound impact on the world's children.  Every day, 10,000 children die from pneumonia and diarrhea despite the fact that affordable prevention and treatment options exist. For millions of children around the world, these diseases could be prevented with vaccines and medicines that cost less than $10.

The real tragedy is that we have the tools to prevent most of these deaths but lack the political will to make their use a priority.  That's why Save the Children and GAVI have teamed up to continue raising the visibility of the biggest killers of children.

If the U.S. Government were to lead a global campaign to get pneumonia and diarrhea treatment to children living in just six countries - India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo - we would see the single biggest reduction in child mortality of our lifetime - and we would be that much closer to achieving Millennium Development Goal 4 - to reduce child mortality by 2/3 by 2015.

You can help fight the leading killers of children and make a real difference in the lives of children around the world - here is how:

  • Vote for Save the Children and Gavi's life-saving idea:

     Fight the Leading Killers of Children - Urge U.S. to Invest in Child Health
     http://bit.ly/c0nD1j

Two-month-old Damon is one example of how basic health services can save children's lives.  Damon lives in a small impoverished village in Malawi, nine miles away from the nearest health facility. When Damon was 5 days old, he suddenly stopped breastfeeding and started crying.  He was weak, had a high fever, a fast pulse and short breaths. Fortunately, his mother Zione, did not have to carry Damon miles to get medical care, because a trained community health worker was right there in her community to evaluate the little boy's condition and provide antibiotics. Prompt attention from this health worker, who then referred the baby to a hospital, very likely saved Damon from a tragic death.

Show your support for the world's children and vote for US leadership against the leading killers of children. Vote today and help ensure this issue is presented to the Obama Administration and Change.org's one million supporters. Help children who cannot vote for themselves.

 

‘Big Kenny' Alphin, Culpeper's country music superstar
"I don't believe in getting off the playing field"
By Audrey T. Hingley

"Big Kenny" Alphin's energy puts most people half his age to shame. Alphin, 46, cheerfully admits to having "eight jobs," including overseeing his new Nashville-based music company and releasing a new solo CD, The Quiet Times of a Rock and Roll Farm Boy. The kinetic singer/songwriter and self-proclaimed company CIO ("chief imagination officer") wears multiple hats onstage - and in real life.

"I don't believe in getting off the playing field," he says. "I think you do all you can till you can't do it anymore."

The Culpeper native burst onto the music scene in 2004 as one-half of the eclectic duo Big & Rich. He and musical partner John Rich took the music world by storm with their "country music without prejudice" fusing of country, rap and rock. Their success has produced four albums, sold-out concerts and a slew of awards.
In March, Rich released a solo CD, Son of a Preacher Man, on Warner Brothers, but Alphin has taken a different route.

"I got out of Warner completely as a solo artist and put my whole team together. I was at a place in my life where I didn't want to ask permission," he says. "Now I run my own show. If I'm sitting in L.A. and decide to cut a video tomorrow, I'll cut a video. You could never work like that in the normal label system, where everything had to go through some committee."

The video illustration is an apt one: That's just what Alphin did. In Los Angeles for meetings last May, he "decided to catch a perfect spring day in Virginia" and returned to his parents' large working cattle farm to film the video for Long After I'm Gone, his new single.
"No matter where I go, Virginia is still home. There's just something real comforting about being on the farm. I made the decision one day and did it the next," he says of the video featuring breathtaking vistas of his parents' lush farm and shots of Alphin with wife Christiev, son Lincoln, and parents Bill and Mary Alphin. "We wrote it, directed it and filmed it right there on the spot with no plan."

Alphin adds: "Farming has its ups and downs, but, boy, when I go back there and see it as everyone does in the video, I think it looks pretty doggone close to heaven. It really was quite an idyllic way to grow up."
The seeds of Alphin's success were sown as he was growing up with siblings Charleene, Robert and Wallace, overseen by parents who emphasized Christian faith, family and hard work.

"I never saw anybody around me with dust growing on them," Alphin admits. "My dad still works as hard as he can go."

Longtime farm employee George Ellis observes: "Kenny was determined not to be outdone. If somebody was lifting a bale of hay, he would roll 'em if he couldn't lift 'em."
By the time Alphin finished high school, he'd operated a variety of businesses. When he was in his early 20s, he ran a construction/development business until a real estate recession sent him into bankruptcy. Steve Southard, senior vice president with Virginia Community Bank in Culpeper, worked with Alphin then and recalls, "If you want to succeed, you can't be afraid to fail, and Ken was not afraid to fail. He always focused on the positive."

Close friend Paul Bates, who owns Bates Body & Repair, says, "Ken has always been the type of person who would go after what he set his mind to ... he would get these big ideas and not let up."

Bates remembers Alphin making a prosthetic arm for a high school physics project: "It had fingers on it, a motor to let the fingers move, and we fiberglassed it. ... His mind was just on a different level than most people."
Alphin's music career started after he was dared to sing at a Northern Virginia club. Afterward, a stranger asked if he wanted to join a band, and the die was cast. He moved to Nashville in 1994 and in 1995 inked a songwriting/music publishing deal. A 1998 recording deal with Hollywood Records ultimately fizzled, but when Alphin met Rich something clicked.

Mary Alphin admits there were times she and Bill wondered if Kenny was fooling himself: "We heard he was living off credit cards. John later said Kenny had $140,000 in credit card debt, and he wasn't far behind [when Big & Rich hit]. But Ken never said anything to us about it [money problems]."

Bates recalls, "He always had an optimistic outlook. Sometimes I'd think he just doesn't want to accept the fact that he's a little too old to go to Nashville. The odds were against him. But Ken has the gift of gab and charisma; he could strike up a conversation with anybody. I think that has a lot to do with his success."
His father also modeled later-life career success, beginning a 20-year insurance career in his mid-40s while continuing to farm.

Alphin, whose first marriage ended in divorce, married stylist Christiev Carothers in 2005, becoming a stepfather to her two sons from a previous marriage. Friends say the birth of son Lincoln, now 4, has "grounded" Alphin.

Asked if parenthood has changed his perception of his own parents, Alphin replies with a hearty laugh: "Heck, yeah. I gave my parents hell! I was a kid; I didn't know. I love my wife completely, and Lincoln ... it's a crazy kind of love I've never experienced and can't explain. It [parenthood] has made me stronger and more enlightened to the world around me."

He's joined musicians such as Sheryl Crow in Music Saves Mountains, an effort to end mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia and is helping fund doctors in Appalachia via a nonprofit called Hope Through Healing Hands. Moved by the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan, Alphin is also involved with My Sister's Keeper, a nonprofit whose projects include a Sudanese school for girls and medical clinic.

Alphin says to fellow boomers, "I'm sure everybody goes through discouragement; I'm not saying I haven't. But the way you deal with it is the choices you make. If someone wants to talk themselves out of something, they'll find a reason. But if someone wants to go after their life's passion, and that passion can also be their life's work, that's a pretty good thing. I firmly believe that anyone is capable of finding that place in life."

Audrey T. Hingley is a Richmond-based freelance writer.

BGA Donates over $1800 to HTHH Haiti Disaster Relief Fund

by Jenny Dyer, Ph.D.

Battleground Academy's Middle School, Grades 5-8, collected over $1,800 from their students as a fundraiser for Haiti Relief efforts. The students gave a minimum donation of $5 for the privilege of wearing blue jeans to school (in exchange for their typical uniform attire).

Jonathan Reiss and Harris Jones, seventh graders at BGA Middle School seen in the photo above, presented the check this week to Senator Frist.

Sen. Frist told the young men that this money would be used for tetanus vaccines (via Mobile Medical Disaster Relief) and fuel for helicopters (via Samaritan Air), to name a couple of ways the money is being spent right now.

The BGA Haiti Fundraiser was led by Keli Kennedy the Community Service Coordinator.

February 23, 2010

by Bill Frist, M.D.

Haiti Fund Update 

            As of this week, we've been able to donate over $115,000 of your generous gifts to provide immediate assistance for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. Most recently, beneficiaries have included Missionary Flights International, which has provided air transport during this time of crisis in Haiti, and Mobile Medical Disaster Relief, which will be purchasing tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis vaccinations for over 6500 children in Port au Prince.

            Below are three great photos of how our monies have been spent already. Love Everybody has used our gift to purchase a water purification machine, Samaritan Air has provided transport for mothers and children to clinics to receive immediate aid, and Promise for Haiti has purchased an autoclave or sterilizer for their clinic in Pignon. We will continue to demonstrate exactly how your dollars have been used as our beneficiaries report back with photographs of how your gift has been spent. 

     

Annual Report 2009 

            Our Annual Report 2009 will be published this month! We are excited to showcase our programmatic efforts from last year with measureable results from your investment. Over 2200 patients were seen, 175 community health workers/medical personnel/leaders were trained, and 20 training courses were provided to clinics in Guatemala, Kenya, and Rwanda. We are proud of our first class of Global Health Leaders.

Giving

            For 2010, we will be supporting 13 Global Health Leaders. We are looking forward to working with new schools and new students including those from Lipscomb University and Belmont University. Our leaders are standing in the gap of the critical need for health workers in developing communities. They are bravely going into clinics, caring for patients, and training health workers to enhance and sustain the health care of children, women, and families.

Support these Global Health Leaders' work today.

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