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Global Health Council Receives Grants Totaling $475,000 From Gates, Kellogg, MacArthur Foundations

Start-Up Resources Aimed at Facilitating Transition

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
206-709-3400
Jim Palmer
Global Health Council
Phone: 202.833.5900

WASHINGTON -- The Global Health Council has been awarded grants totaling nearly a half a million dollars from the William H. Gates, W.R. Kellogg, and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur foundations to facilitate its evolution from NCIH to the Global Health Council.

"For nearly thirty years NCIH played an important role in helping shape international health policy," said Dr. Nils Daulaire, the Council's new president and CEO. "This financial support enables the Council to refocus its mission to elevating health as a key component of globalization."

Established in 1971 as the National Council for International Health (NCIH), the Global Health Council is a networking/advocacy organization that unites thousands of individuals, institutions and organizations from both within and outside the United States. Through the years NCIH has been an effective advocacy group on behalf of international health within the United States.

However, as the world moves increasingly toward a global society there is a need to refocus and revitalize the organization to address emerging health care needs around the world in new ways. Infectious diseases, health of women, and HIV/AIDS are examples of health issues without geographic boundaries. Meeting the challenges for the future will require that there be a global perspective on the management of such problems and that nations and international agencies work together in new collaborative arrangements.

In 1997, the NCIH Board decided to go through an extensive review process to determine how the organization should be refocused to meet the challenges of globalization. As a result, a committee of experts headed by former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop recommended a set of actions to revitalize the organization and prepare it for the 21st century. These key recommendations led to the recruitment of Dr. Nils Daulaire as president and CEO; the election of a new, streamlined board of directors with private sector involvement reflecting the realities in the globalization of health; a new focus on advocacy and education for the organizations including a far stronger presence as a source for information on the Internet; and a name change to better represent the organization in the 21st century. The grants support the implementation of Dr. Koop's recommendations.

The Gates Foundation's grant of $300,000 will enable the Council to obtain and house a state-of-the-art electronic communications system that will provide much-needed information on "best practices" to healthcare workers around the world via the Internet. By providing this service on the Council's website, public health professionals can access information on best practices in serving global health needs, as well as the latest information on recent disease outbreaks, urgent advocacy actions, and findings from health research in a timely and cost-effective fashion. Such efficiency is particularly important when dealing with many of the Council's members who live and work in far-flung and remote areas of the world. The Kellogg Foundation grant of $125,000 and MacArthur Foundation grant of $50,000 are for institutional development of the Council and strategic planning for its new global role.

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