SwitchPoint, the Intersection of Great Ideas and Real Impact

March 19, 2012, Chapel Hill, NC—IntraHealth International is launching SwitchPoint, an annual conference, retreat and benefit concert, in Saxapahaw, North Carolina, on April 20. The conference will assemble industry leaders and representatives from more than 20 countries to focus on how the latest inventions, entrepreneurial ideas and real-world experiences can be applied to address global health challenges. Michael Tiemann, Red Hat’s vice president of open source affairs, is the featured keynote speaker and Eric Hodge of WUNC, North Carolina Public Radio, will serve as the conference emcee.

“SwitchPoint brings together innovators we admire across a number of industries and disciplines working here in the Triangle, in the Triad, and around the world,” said Pape Gaye, IntraHealth’s president and CEO. “Our business community is increasingly seeking greater alignment between bottom-line business interests and doing good in the world. SwitchPoint will create an opportunity to launch partnerships that can bring forth creative and long-lasting global health solutions.”

The SwitchPoint lineup includes six company founders and CEOs, two TED fellows, a Champion of Change awarded by President Obama, three under-40 top leaders selected by Forbes and Business Daily, and several regular contributors to leading news outlets including CNN, The Guardian and NPR.  Speakers have worked for a variety of organizations, including Google, GOOD, Cisco, Intel Social Business, Grameen, Medic Mobile, USAID, the World Bank, the UN Foundation, Development Seed, MapBox, New Kind, iHub, Ashoka, the Buckminster Fuller Challenge, Project Diaspora and Embrace, as well as Red Hat and IntraHealth.

SwitchPoint will be held in Saxapahaw’s Haw River Ballroom, an award-winning venue recently featured in The New York Times and The Washington Post. The daylong conference will include interactive presentations, music, visual art displays, networking opportunities, riverside lunch sessions and post-conference canoe and kayaking breakouts on the Haw River.

The evening’s benefit concert will feature an array of artists presenting songs in the spirit of collaboration, remix and innovation. Anders Parker of the collaborative band New Multitudes, currently #1 on Billboard's Heatseekers, will perform an intimate interpretation of American idol and musical legend Woody Guthrie's previously unrecorded lyrics, as well as original songs from his catalog spanning 15 years of solo and band recordings. Other performers include Django Haskins of The Old Ceremony and the band Birds and Arrows; additional bands are continuing to be added to the bill. Kairaba, a West African collaborative group, will perform a lunchtime concert at the river amphitheater.

The SwitchPoint host committee is co-chaired by Marcia Angle, MD, MPH, Ambassador Brenda B. Schoonover, and Louise Winstanly, LLB, MS.

Sponsorship packages are available. To learn more and to purchase tickets to SwitchPoint, visit

To learn more about SwitchPoint and global health, see a blog from Pape Gaye, president and CEO of IntraHealth International, on the importance of creating “aha moments” and opportunities for innovation in global health and development.

IntraHealth International is a global health nonprofit that champions the critical role of health workers in health and development. For over 30 years, IntraHealth has empowered health workers to better serve communities in need, fostering local solutions to health care challenges by improving health worker performance, strengthening health systems, harnessing technology, and leveraging partnerships. The nonprofit’s work is supported and funded by the US Agency for International Development, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, private foundations, corporations and individuals.

Contact: Laura Hoemeke
IntraHealth International
+1 919-360-7799

Heather LaGarde
IntraHealth International
+1 919-259-9765