5 New Frist Global Health Leaders: Summer '10

Honduras, Peru, Rwanda, and the Appalachia Region

We are excited to report that 5 new Frist Global Health Leaders have traveled this summer and are beginning to report back their great work from around the globe. This includes public health education for hand washing, dental hygiene, HIV/AIDS prevention, and clean water.
Toledo proved to be a small but mighty show; though at one of the smaller venues on the tour, fans came out in force to support Water = Hope! We signed up hundreds of new supporters while also collecting donations for our very popular Water = Hope tee-shirts (you can soon buy them online as well - watch for updates!). We also got nice mentions in the local press, the Toledo Blade, and we were even featured on a local country radio station as well.

June 7, 2010

Politico

by Tom Daschle and Bill Frist

It is staggering to consider the myriad changes since we each entered Congress. Things like cell phones and the Internet were straight out of a science-fiction movie then. Now, our grandchildren are so technologically connected by Facebook and MySpace that a schoolchild in Rwanda can check in with a pen pal in South Dakota or Tennessee in seconds.

Life’s frenetic pace and growing global interdependence have had a profound impact on the way America must engage with the world.

Our greatest threats are no longer from another country, as was the case during the Cold War. Today, they are as likely to come from infectious diseases, failed states, economic despair, nonstate actors and terrorism — issues that cannot be addressed through military might alone.

This requires a new approach, drawing on a renewed commitment to development and diplomacy — as well as our military strength.

America’s military is still the world’s finest, but it must be matched by equally agile and robust diplomatic arms if we are to remain safe and secure.

We agree with Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who said about the war on terror: “We cannot kill or capture our way to victory.” Smart development investment translates to fewer U.S. boots on the ground.

What we must do is use our full complement of powers — defense, development and diplomacy — to help troubled nations build stable governments and address the needs of their people; not just for food, water and shelter but also for health, education and the opportunity to learn marketable skills.

To do this, we have to invest in our future by bolstering the nation’s international affairs budget. This is something the two of us — and Democrats and Republicans as a whole — agree on.

As the military does its job in stabilizing troubled states, vigorous humanitarian and diplomacy efforts can ensure that we build a lasting peace by strengthening communities and governments, reinforcing the foundations for growth and opportunity and neutralizing those who wish our country harm.

Our foreign assistance dollars pay strong dividends economically, as well. Americans’ security and prosperity are tied to the security and prosperity of people around the globe. In the past 40 years, trade has tripled and U.S. exports account for approximately one out of every five American jobs. 

Today, developing countries represent 40 percent of U.S. exports. Programs supported by the international affairs budget increase economic opportunities, promote our business interests around the world and create U.S. jobs through increased exports.

While helping the world’s poor brings the United States national security and economic benefits, it also demonstrates our commitment to alleviating poverty. Both of us have traveled many times to developing nations — not just as elected officials but also in our personal capacities to work with international charities and deliver humanitarian aid.

We know the value of American generosity and have witnessed the remarkable difference public and private aid can make in people’s lives.

Whether it’s a Peace Corps volunteer introducing a local farmer to a new crop that is more nutritious and marketable, or a women’s group receiving a small loan to start a basket-weaving business to provide for their families, America spreads a message to the people of the world that we are a valuable partner — and friend. Aid works. And it works best by putting tools in the hands of others to build their own better tomorrow.

Republicans and Democrats have long worked together to make a difference in the world through humanitarian efforts, and those investments have paid off. In the past 50 years, child deaths worldwide have been reduced by more than half; polio has been nearly eradicated.

Former President George W. Bush created the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief with bipartisan support — and millions of people in Africa are alive today as a result.

President Barack Obama is working with Republicans and Democrats in Congress to implement his plan to address global hunger and food security and to emphasize maternal and child health through the Global Health Initiative.

The international affairs budget is now before Congress, and we were gratified to see a growing consensus on its importance.

In recent months, 247 members of Congress — Democrats and Republicans — wrote the president to urge an increase in his fiscal year 2011 request. As we support robust investment in our tools of smart power, we also welcome executive branch and congressional initiatives to modernize those tools to ensure accountability, be responsive to in-country needs and achieve the impact our interest and ideals require.

We realize the deficit is soaring and money is tight in Washington. Few know better than the two of us that the budget is a balancing act of limited resources and many worthy priorities.

While we have disagreed in the past on what priorities should be, we see eye to eye on why rebuilding our civilian-led tools of development and diplomacy is important.

For a small fraction of slightly more than 1 percent of the federal budget, our investment in helping others to help themselves overseas is one of the most cost-effective ways our government can keep us both safe and prosperous.

South Dakota Democrat Tom Daschle served as Senate majority leader from 2001 to 2003. Tennessee Republican Bill Frist served as Senate majority leader from 2003 to 2007. Both are advisers to the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition.

© 2010 Capitol News Company, LLC

The hand washing campaign has continued with 78 high school students participating.

I was given a very challenging task of educating high school students at the local Kiruhura Christian College on health topics. This proved to be a challenge because of the language barrier and lack of resources- the students had no text books and there is a very limited supply of pens, paper, and chalk. Nonetheless, the task was accomplished successfully and I was asked to teach during Biology for the Senior 3, Senior 4A, Senior 4B, and Senior 5 classes. In these classes students range in age from 15 to 38 years of age. Biology class meets for two hours per week, one hour on Tuesdays, and one on Wednesdays. I chose to teach the Germ Theory of Disease with hand washing during the first two classes. To evaluate understanding and effectiveness, they took a quiz whereby six of the eight students scored perfectly, and two answered three out of five questions correctly. I believe that the students understood the topic well and their incorrect answers were due to language barrier.
Since my last report I wrapped up the dental health screening data collection and educational project because I simply ran out toothbrushes. By the end of this process 508 children were educated on the importance of dental health and 600 toothbrushes were given out. I have compiled my findings and the results are significant and should validate the request for funding continuation of this program. The local dentist’s hope is to receive funding to make it possible for him to put sealants on the children’s six year molar so they will be less likely to decay, which in turn, would prevent the extraction of this adult tooth. I will now be assisting him with the grant writing process. Hopefully, future screenings will reveal a positive change in the dental health of the children of Roatan.
My first week in Roatan, Honduras has been was quite an eye opening and educational experience.

The first day there I met with a dentist to discuss a dental hygiene educational program and I discovered there was basically "no such thing" as preventative measures regarding dental health here. As with many other countries, dental health is of no concern to the people. If you have to choose between eating rice for a couple of days or having your teeth cleaned, you would most likely pick eating.
Upon my arrival to the Cygera Faith and Hope Children’s Home I discussed the problems and what could be done about them with my preceptor, Elizabeth Nzakizwanimana, who the nurse for the children’s home, Ernest Batera, the administrator of the children’s home and the local church’s pastor, and John Mary Bemeyimana, the headmaster of the school.
Hope Through Healing Hands and Water = Hope were back out on the road with Brad Paisley this past weekend, making stops in Kansas City and St. Louis.

As always, we were joined by some amazing volunteers along the way. Jacqueline and Troy are a couple that live in Kansas City who are active volunteers in their community. They helped us have a great night, talking to fans about the campaign and getting many of their fellow KC residents involved! Our Kansas City set up was pretty fun; the ‘water world’ where our booth is situated each show was on a closed street outside of the Sprint Center in downtown KC, and we also had a table set up inside the arena as well. Kansas City also featured the debut of our PSA, which was exciting to see!

Brad Paisley's H20 World Tour Gets Senatorial Support

by Donna Hughes

The Boot

May 26, 2010

Brad Paisley's new H20 World Tour not only points out the fun aspects of water, but it also draws attention to the serious side of it as well. Brad partnered with the organization Hope Through Healing Hands to help raise funds and to bring awareness to the fact that millions of people around the world do not have access to safe drinking water.

How he came across the safe water initiative was nearly by accident. "I've become friends with [Senator] Bill Frist, and Bill and I went to Washington, D.C., to the Alfalfa Dinner," Brad explains to The Boot. "He took me as a guest to see and meet all these guys. It was the most insane room I've ever been in. Colin Powell comes up and says hello, and then he's talking to [California Sen.] Dianne Feinstein, and then there's [Mississippi Governor] Haley Barbour 'Hey Haley Barbour. How've you been?' I played an event for him. Then you've got [Vice President] Joe Biden."

"And everybody you see is walking around in this place," Brad continues. "On the airplane, [Sen. Frist] was asking about things that were going on, and I told him about that we were going to have the H20 tour and if he knew of any charities. And he said, 'Absolutely. Through the one I'm involved with.' He said it's the biggest problem in the world. It gets overshadowed by disease. It gets overshadowed by natural disasters and everything else -- the largest killer of both children, and I think people in general, is unclean water. I think one billion people are without it, or something like that. And his theory is this, 'If we can go in these places by digging a well or whatever, this is the biggest thing we could do for the world as the wealthiest nation.' So, we decided to pair that up and make that a part of the [tour] too, so we're not overlooking the fact that water is also very important as well as fun."

Senator Frist, his family and staff were on hand in Virginia Beach for the kickoff of the H20 tour. "It was so exciting to be there for the very first show," says the Tennessee senator, who helped to found Hope Through Healing Hands. "We have a great booth, and we signed up many interested activists and donors for this important campaign for clean water."

The show's headliner stopped by the booth to say hello and picked up one of the Water=Hope campaign t-shirts to help spread the word of the organization even further.

The next stop on Brad's H20 trek is in Kansas City, Mo., on Friday, May 28.

 

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