By Jenny Eaton Dyer

For years, Third Day has worked with me and the ONE Campaign promoting awareness and advocacy for global HIV/AIDS and extreme poverty. They are a shining example in the Music Community of how artists can educate and activate their fanbase to do good in the world.

Recently, I ran into them at Nashville4Africa concert in Nashville, Tennessee. It was so great to see them and to hear about their latest work.

A Conversation with Bill Frist

by Dorinda Elliott | Published April 2009 | See more Condé Nast Traveler articles

The Bio
Claim to Fame: Heart surgeon; Republican Senate majority leader, 2003-2007.
Activist: Works with the nonpartisan One Campaign to raise awareness of poverty.
Board Member: U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation, which provides aid to countries with good governance and economic freedom.around the world.
Obsession: Traveling the world—to Bangladesh, Mozambique, and Rwanda in recent months—for Save the Children.

CNT: Do you think global poverty will get more attention under the Obama administration?

Frist: I hope so. But with the financial crisis it will be hard to match the Bush administration's dramatic growth rates in expenditures for global poverty reduction.

CNT: How did you get so involved in international work?

Frist: I took my three boys to Africa on a safari in the mid-'90s, and my eyes really opened up. I've been back practically every year, traveling and doing medical-mission work.

CNT: What is it about Africa that grabs you?

Frist: There's a primal feeling, a oneness with nature and humanity that you experience when you are immersed in the beauty of the landscape and in the spirit of the people. I recall vividly being in the southern Sudan, in the middle of a civil war, launching a small clinic that now serves a 300-mile radius.

CNT: You took your kids to places few would even dare visit.

Frist: Travel provides life lessons. It's good to get out of your comfort zone. You learn that we're all created equal, that everyone has dignity. It makes my sons better people. I've taken my boys to the Sudan, to the Nuba Mountains, which were completely cut off from foreign aid, and to the Darfur region. I wanted to expose them to things they would never see otherwise. In the Nuba region, while I was meeting in a hut by the airstrip, my ten-year-old, Bryan, was wrestling with a young Nuba boy. Wrestling is a Nuba tradition. Thousands of people showed up. They had never seen a blond child before.

CNT: Do you think travelers want to be challenged like that?

Frist: Most people are looking for original experiences when they travel. They want to participate.

CNT: You work with Save the Children. Why this cause?

Frist: Some 27,000 children die every day—two-thirds of them needlessly. Their lives can be saved with inexpensive medicines and techniques that we know work.

CNT: You talk about the social benefits of medical work too.

Frist: Medicine and healing are a currency for peace. People don't go to war with people who save their children's lives. In the Sudan, I performed surgery in a schoolroom without running water. People came—good guys and bad guys, rebels and officials—out of trust. The clinic we built shows how peace can come to an area where health care is being delivered.

CNT: What's the best way to deal with AIDS?

Frist: I am a strong proponent of the use of anti-retroviral treatments, but you can't treat your way out of the crisis. Prevention is the key. The most important thing is education for young girls.

CNT: The U.S. AIDS initiative promotes abstinence. AIDS activists have criticized you for underestimating the role of condoms. Do you support their use?

Frist: Of course. As a physician and policymaker, I strongly support condom distribution as a means to prevent the spread of HIV. I have consistently supported legislation that includes prevention, care, and treatment.

CNT: Is the $15 billion AIDS initiative in Africa helping?

Frist: Absolutely. I met a mother in Nairobi whose husband had HIV/AIDS. Thanks to American HIV treatments, her little girl is living a full life. So she named her America.

Now Playing Nashville

Senator Bill and Karyn Frist invite you to join them for a Spring Reception fundraiser to celebrate the work of Hope Through Healing Hands, a nonprofit foundation whose mission is to promote improved quality of life for citizens and communities around the world using health as a currency for peace. This event will benefit Global Health Scholars Fellowships.

In 2009-2010, Hopoe Through Healing Hands will sponsor Global Health Scholars from Vanderbilt School of Medicine, Vanderbilt School of Nursing, Meharry Medical College and East Tennessee State University to travel to underserved areas to promote peace through health in communities and clinical settings. These students will spend a semester (or year) focusing on service and training to those in need in order to bolster health care in forgotten corners of the world.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                            Contact: Jenny Dyer

April 17, 2009                                                                            (615) 818-5579

Frist Global Health Scholars Program Offers Funding for

Students to do Service, Training Abroad

Nashville, Tenn. - Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, M.D. has committed to providing fellowships for students at Vanderbilt School of Nursing (2 students), Vanderbilt School of Medicine (1 student), and Meharry Medical College (1 student) to commit to providing health service and training in underserved communities for one semester during the 2009-2010 academic year.

Frist states, "We are excited to launch this program right here in Nashville. We have stellar students who represent America's concern for the world's poorest. From my own experience on medical missions in Sudan and Congo, providing health to a community can mean establishing a foundation of peace. And where there is peace, commerce and society can begin to flourish. These students will not only transform the lives of those whom they will touch with their care, but they will also transform the way others see America."

Sten Vermund, Director of the Instutute for Global Health at Vanderbilt's School of Medicine notes, "The Frist Scholars fill 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 Frist Global Health Scholars program is an exceptional opportunity for Vanderbilt medical and nursing students to expand the scope of their training beyond traditional settings, while providing much needed care for underserved communities in resource limited countries. The mentored training affords students invaluable insight into healthcare delivery systems in challenging settings that can be applied around the world as well as here in the United States," reports Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs at Vanderbilt School of Medicine, Jeff Balser.

Susan DeReimer, associate professor of biomedical medicine and Director of the Center for Global Health at Meharry Medical College explains, "The Hope Through Healing Hands Global Scholars program is providing students, already dedicated to Meharry's mission of service to underserved communities, an invaluable opportunity to extend their vision beyond the borders of this country.  Their experience abroad will make them better doctors and better able to meet the health care challenges of an increasingly interconnected world, whether they are practicing in Tennessee or Tanzania."

Colleen Conway-Welch, Dean of Vanderbilt University's School of Nursing commends, "Hope through Healing Hands is an overwhelming example of health as an instrument of peace. I cannot think of a more effective tool of diplomacy."

The students selected this year will be traveling to Guatemala, Peru, Rwanda, and Tanzania working on issues of infant mortality/maternal health, child survival, diabetes, and infectious disease. 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.






A Healthy Populace Requires More Than Medical Care

April 9, 2009, 10:34 a.m.
By Bill Frist
Special to Roll Call

In the halls of Congress, most attention regarding our nation's health focuses on reforming our health care system. But health and health care are not the same, and health reform alone won't improve the health of all - or even most - Americans.

Consider this: For the first time in our history, the United States is raising a generation of children who may very well live shorter, sicker lives than their parents.

Shocking but true.

Across the board, Americans are not nearly as healthy as we could be. That's true of our children, too, regardless of their families' income, education and race or ethnicity. Nationally and in every state, even children in the most advantaged families could be much healthier.

That's why the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America just released a report urging citizens and leaders alike to incorporate health into all aspects of everyday life and decision-making - from education to child care to community planning to business practices.

The commission's charge was to find sensible solutions outside the medical care system that will help improve the health of all Americans. Because research demonstrates that early childhood has a tremendous impact on a person's health across a lifetime, our recommendations focus heavily on support for children and families. This is where our best investments lie, an important consideration given the nation's current financial problems.

And the sooner we make these investments, the better. We ask Congress to significantly increase support of early childhood development programs for very young children in low-income families. This is not just about how many dollars we spend; it's about doing what's best for our country's future.

One may ask: What do education and child care have to do with health? A lot, as it turns out. A good education will help lay the foundation for a healthy life.

As a doctor, I know firsthand that poor health rarely occurs in a vacuum. It is shaped by many factors, including education and family income and the resources and opportunities they provide, like access to nutritious food and adequate housing.

In other words, health has more to do with how and where we live than whether and how often we see a doctor. Generally, we see a doctor when we're sick. The ideal is not to get sick in the first place. Since medical care accounts for only an estimated 10 to 15 percent of preventable mortality, we need to focus on these other, more powerful social factors.

Take education, for example. Every child should have the opportunity to receive an excellent education. Poor education can lead to limited job options and lower income, which in turn can limit a family's chances to live in healthy homes and neighborhoods.

And guess what: People who have more education tend to live longer than people who don't. On average, college graduates can expect to live five years longer than people who haven't finished high school.

What distresses me most is the prospect of the lifetime of poor health, limited opportunities and lost potential that so many children face.

Health reform alone won't solve this problem. If we addressed education, child care and other social issues as part and parcel of health, we wouldn't have so much illness in this country. But instead of ensuring that our children are growing up healthy, we are pouring money into medical care for adults whose illness or disability might have been prevented. That makes no sense.

I challenge our nation's leaders - not only here in Washington, D.C., but in every sector across the country - to think outside the box. Yes, health care reform is critical. But let's not fool ourselves that it's the be-all and end-all to improving health for all Americans. Let's broaden our view of what health really means and all that we can do to achieve better health.

By focusing on children and their families, we can help ensure that today's healthy youngsters are tomorrow's healthy adults. We must give children the support they need in their most formative years - not just access to medical care but also high-quality early education and child care. Let's alter our current course and give our children better lives.

Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) is a member of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America.

2009 © Roll Call Inc. All rights reserved.

Nashville4Africa Benefit Concert


Nashville, Tennessee -

People from every corner of the music industry will come together April 22 for the inaugural Nashville4Africa benefit concert with the critically acclaimed African Children's Choir at 7 p.m. at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

Hosted by Big Kenny (of Big & Rich) and Damien Horne, the music event will also include performances by Faith Hill, Dierks Bentley, Martina McBride, Brad Arnold (3 Doors Down), Ashley Cleveland, The SteelDrivers, Michael Rhodes, and a starstudded line-up of very special guests to be announced.

Tickets go on sale Monday, March 30 at 10:00am and may be purchased at or by calling the Symphony Center box office at 615-687-6400.

For More Information, Click HERE.

For Press Release, Click HERE.






Apr 07, 2009]
Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report
      The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief has helped prevent more than one million AIDS-related deaths and reduced AIDS-related mortality by an average of 10.5% annually in 12 African focus countries as more people gained access to antiretroviral drugs, according to a study published online Tuesday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, Bloomberg reports. According to the study, the program did not have any effect on overall HIV prevalence. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality provided funding for the study.

Eran Bendavid, an infectious diseases and health policy fellow at Stanford University, and Jayanta Bhattacharya, associate professor of medicine at Stanford, used data compiled by UNAIDS to examine HIV/AIDS data in sub-Saharan Africa (Chase, Bloomberg, 4/6). They examined the period prior to PEPFAR's launch -- 1997 to 2002 -- and the period during PEPFAR's implementation -- from 2004 to 2007. The researchers compared HIV/AIDS-related mortality and prevalence among residents of 12 PEPFAR focus countries with residents of 29 other sub-Saharan African countries that did not receive PEPFAR funds (Steenhuysen, Reuters, 4/6). The PEPFAR countries examined were Botswana, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. The researchers did not include Guyana, Haiti and Vietnam -- three non-African countries receiving PEPFAR funds -- in their analysis (Bloomberg, 4/6).

According to the study, both the countries receiving and those not receiving PEPFAR funding had similar HIV/AIDS-related mortality rates during the period prior to PEPFAR's launch. After the target countries began receiving PEPFAR funds, the researchers found that mortality rates decreased by about 10.5% in the PEPFAR countries, compared with the non-focus countries. The researchers also estimated that the program helped prevent about 1.1 million AIDS-related deaths (Reuters, 4/6). According to the New York Times, antiretroviral treatment provision accounts for about half of PEPFAR funding (McNeil, New York Times, 4/6). The study also found that PEPFAR's cost per death averted was $2,450 between 2004 and 2007.

According to Bendavid, the study demonstrates that PEPFAR has allocated "a lot on treatment and treatment has worked" (Bloomberg, 4/6). Mark Dybul, former U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and PEPFAR administrator, said that it is "great news that even in the first three years [of PEPFAR], the American people supported the saving of more than a million lives" (Dinan, Washington Times, 4/7). Peter Piot, former executive director of UNAIDS, added that the program "is changing the course of the AIDS epidemic." Piot said, "People are not dying. That is spectacular." However, he added, "The irony -- and it is a positive irony -- is that the more people are staying alive, the higher the percentage" of people living with HIV will be. According to Bendavid, any increase in HIV prevalence "probably reflects the decreasing death rate and may have several public health spillover benefits." For example, HIV-positive adults who live longer lives "may be able to support their children and dependent elderly family members, reducing the burden of orphans and elderly care" (Bloomberg, 4/6).

Despite the study's promising findings, challenges remain for reducing HIV/AIDS prevalence in high-burden countries, the researchers said. For example, as increased treatment distribution allows more HIV-positive people to live longer, the cost of providing treatment to the affected population will increase. According to the study authors, "The gap between the available funds and those needed will continue to increase unless the incidence of HIV in Africa is substantially reduced" by "striking the right balance between treatment and prevention."

According to the authors, about 20% of PEPFAR funding was allocated to prevention under the Bush administration, with about one-third earmarked for abstinence-only efforts (Reuters, 4/6). When Congress reauthorized the program in 2008, the abstinence provision was removed. Bendavid said that the challenge will be to make prevention a "serious component of the program in the next five years" (Bloomberg, 4/6). Smita Baruah, government relations director for the Global Health Council, said that although PEPFAR initially focused on treatment, it should now expand its focus to prevention. She said, "As you move from emergency to sustainability, it's not going to work just to treat your way out of the infection. You now need to figure out how do we prevent new infections" (Washington Times, 4/7). According to Bendavid, "You need to reduce the number of new people infected by at least as many as the number of people you're keeping alive" (Bloomberg, 4/6).
The study is available online.

April 7, 2009

By Bill Frist and Colleen Conway-Welch

Tennessee Voices

Quick quiz: What kills the most children under 5? HIV/AIDS, malaria or pneumonia?

If you are like most Tennesseans, you said HIV/AIDS or malaria. That is what 3 out of 5 Americans answered when asked by a pollster commissioned by the U.S. Coalition for Child Survival.

The correct answer is pneumonia, which kills more than 2 million children each year, making it the largest single killer of children under 5 worldwide, although HIV/AIDS and malaria are also enormous public health problems.

Almost four children die from pneumonia every minute. Many deaths take place at home in crowded living conditions where bacteria can flourish or in remote neighborhoods in poor countries, where doctors and nurses are out of reach and antibiotics are hard to come by.

The good news is change is coming.

Consider 3-year-old Sweety, who lives in an extremely poor and rural area of western Bangladesh - to reach her home, you need to travel down a narrow dirt path and then walk across several bamboo logs spanning the water below. Sweety fell ill with extreme pneumonia at age 2. Can you imagine the fear her parents felt at seeing their child struggling to breathe, and being so far away from the nearest health clinic?

Thanks to a pilot health program put in place by local non-profit clinics with U.S. government assistance, Sweety was cured with antibiotics, costing less than $1, due to being treated without delay at home by a community health worker trained by Save the Children.

Save the Children has helped pioneer treatment of children with pneumonia at home with medicines, and recent global research shows that such treatment is just as effective as treating children in hospitals with antibiotic injections. This important work could help change the way life-threatening childhood illnesses are managed in developing countries.

Indeed, the World Health Organization is now on record as saying the potential of these results is enormous in helping improve child survival. As a result, the World Health Organization recommends that severe childhood pneumonia after being assessed and diagnosed at a health facility can be treated at home with oral amoxicillin in low HIV settings. When every breath counts, it's critical that children like Sweety get the help they need nearby and not hours away on foot or by bicycle.

Treating pneumonia, though, is only part of the equation. We have to stop it from occurring in the first place through preventative measures like childhood immunization and breastfeeding. We need to train and equip community health workers and get proper medicines to hard-to-reach communities. And, we need to inform parents that when their young infant or child has fast or labored breathing, she needs immediate treatment.

But, first, as we see from the polling results, we need to get the word out that this neglected disease claims more young lives than AIDS, malaria and measles combined every year. That's why some of the top child health leaders and advocates in the nation, including Save the Children, PneumoADIP at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Hedge Funds vs. Malaria & Pneumonia, and the GAVI Alliance, are calling to establish Nov. 2 as World Pneumonia Day.

The idea is to inform and unite communities around the globe to fight the disease in simple ways. Whether you're a high school student in Nashville creating a new cause page on pneumonia on Facebook, or you're a mother in Nepal helping to educate other moms in your village about ways to prevent childhood pneumonia, every action counts. Won't you join us?

Go to

Bill Frist, M.D., is chair of Save the Children's Survive to 5 campaign, and Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., C.N.M., is dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. She is also involved in Save the Children's Survive to 5 campaign – an effort to reduce child mortality globally.


By Michael Gerson

Friday, April 3, 2009; A19

The broad American belief that foreign aid is stuffed down tropical rat holes has been recently reinforced by a young Zambian, Oxford-trained economist named Dambisa Moyo. Her book, "Dead Aid," has launched her as a conservative celebrity, feted by Steve Forbes and embraced by the Cato Institute.

And the book is something of a marvel: Seldom have so many sound economic arguments been employed to justify such disastrously wrongheaded conclusions.

For More, Click HERE.

America Has Gone Quiet on HIV/AIDS

Kaiser Family Foundation

Apr 03 2009

April 2, 2009

by Drew Altman

Kaiser has had a focus on HIV/AIDS since we remade the Foundation in the early nineties. It cuts across all of our program activities, from policy analysis, to our large scale media campaigns in the U.S. and around the world, to our web initiatives, to our public opinion research program. We have just completed a major survey of the American people on HIV/AIDS and global health. As new health priorities take shape in Washington, one set of findings deserves early attention while we continue to analyze the overall survey for release.



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