New Chair of Frontline Health Workers Coalition Encourages Focus on Women’s Empowerment, Economic Growth

Kate Greene of Abt Associates is the newest chair of the Frontline Health Workers Coalition’s member-led steering committee. IntraHealth International has led the coalition’s secretariat since 2012.

Greene, a health workforce specialist with a strong history of policy and advocacy work, will build on the coalition’s years of work to urge greater and more strategic US investment in frontline health workers around the world and solidify global policies that support these workers to provide high-quality health services to every community.

“We are now seeing the importance of frontline health workers reflected in a number of strategies and reports across the US government and global institutions,” Greene says. “We are now the go-to coalition for global health policymakers addressing human resources for health and for health systems. I think that’s a really great achievement.”

Since its inception in 2012, the coalition has advocated for greater and more strategic investment in frontline health workers in low- and middle-income countries as a cost-effective way to save lives and foster a healthier, safer, and more prosperous world. During that time, the first ever global strategy on the health workforce (Workforce 2030) was adopted, a specific target on strengthening the health workforce was included in the Sustainable Development Goals, the US government has made several new commitments across US global health programs, and new US legislative requirements have been passed requiring greater reporting by US government agencies on health workforce strengthening efforts.

"Kate’s insights—from working in Haiti to managing health workforce programs around the world—have been crucial to advancing the coalition’s mission," says Vince Blaser, Director of the Frontline Health Workers Coalition and senior advocacy and policy advisor for IntraHealth. "I am thrilled she is stepping into this role to help lead our collective efforts to ensure the momentum built for frontline health workforce strengthening results in concrete outcomes.”

As chair, Greene hopes to lead the coalition toward a focus on women’s empowerment and economic growth, leveraging the coalition’s broad membership of non- and for-profit entities to elevate women’s role in the health workforce.

“Women health workers face big gaps in pay equity,” she says. “In five years, I hope that we are talking about how we moved the needle on this issue, because I think that empowering the health workforce and empowering women go hand in hand.”

Read more: Five Questions for Kate Greene: New Chair of the Frontline Health Workers Coalition

Join the conversation during coalition-led World Health Worker Week, April 1-7, on social media. Follow @FHWCoalition and @intrahealth and use hashtags #WHWWeek and #HealthWorkersCount.