Oct. 21, 2015 | AL.com

Jenny Dyer, a 1999 Samford University graduate, has become an important voice in promoting worldwide family planning.

Dyer, who has a Ph.D. in religious studies from Vanderbilt University and teaches health policy in the medical school there, serves as the executive director of Hope Through Healing Hands, a global health organization founded by physician and former U.S. Sen. Bill Frist.

With funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Hope Through Healing Hands advocates for continued and increased U.S. government support of family planning worldwide.

The U.S. government currently provides about $680 million in funding to FP2020, an international program to extend family planning to 120 million women worldwide by 2020 with support from governments. The world population now stands at more than 7 billion.

"We contribute more money to family planning than any other nation," Dyer said in a visit to Samford University on Tuesday, where she met with Vestavia Hills Baptist Church Pastor Gary Furr and several community leaders to discuss programs to assist women. Hope Through Healing Hands also works with UAB's Sparkman Center for Global Health to host events on global maternal and child health.

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