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When I joined the Global Health Council as its new executive director last November, I made one of my first priorities to meet and consult with global health stakeholders around the world. I wanted to get a sense of our community’s priorities and needs.
So for the past three months, I’ve been on what I call a listening tour.
It took me to eight US metropolitan areas—Seattle, Boston, Ann Arbor, Atlanta, the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, San Francisco, New York, and Washington DC—and abroad.Throughout the tour I met with global health stakeholders one-on-one, in large group meetings, and by participating in thought-provoking conferences such as Switchpoint and the Shared Value Leadership Summit.
The listening tour ended last month, fittingly enough, in Geneva at the 67th World Health Assembly. There the Global Health Council’s core staff met with global health stakeholders, advocates, and implementers.
It was fascinating to note the many similarities these global health hubs share, as well as the differences that set them apart.
We have a tendency to work in silos without linking our issues to the overall strategic umbrella of global health.
Here are just a few of the things that stood out to me and will shape the course of the Global Health Council’s activities in the coming months:
We all need to find common purpose and language to better coordinate and collaborate with one another.
As a unique neutral convener in the US global health space, the Global Health Council takes to heart these and other observations from the listening tour. We’re using them to refine and improve our action plan for this year and into next.
We’ll be working to raise the visibility of global health priorities at the upcoming US-Africa Leaders Summit and the United Nations General Assembly. And at an applied level, we’ll work with policymakers and advocates to strengthen evidence-based decision-making in favor of sound global health policies and increased investment.
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