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2009 News Archive
Accordia Global Health Foundation Condemns Uganda's Draft Anti-Homosexuality Bill

December 23, 2009, Washington, DC: For over two decades, Uganda has led sub-Saharan African nations in the fight against HIV/AIDS and has been recognized by the international community as a model of success and progress. This success has been attributed to many factors, not the least of which has been strong political leadership and commitment. However, draft legislation introduced in October in Uganda's parliament will reduce Uganda's ability to successfully fight HIV/AIDS and may jeopardize the gains that have been made. The legislation should be withdrawn immediately.

Existing Ugandan law outlaws homosexuality; the proposed legislation would require anyone who knows of people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender to report them within 24 hours to the police or face prison terms and fines of up to three years themselves. Further, groups convicted of discussing homosexuality would also face fines and prison sentences for their members. The death penalty would be required for an HIV-positive man who is proven to have had sex with another man.

Further criminalizing the homosexual population and imposing a reporting burden on healthcare workers and other citizens will not reduce the risk of HIV/AIDS; it will intensify it. The proposed law is likely to increase already prevalent stigma and may create a disincentive for Ugandans to be tested for the disease, learn about effective strategies to avoid contracting it, and access treatment.

Accordia Global Health Foundation strongly urges the Ugandan parliament to withdraw this bill from consideration immediately, for the benefit of all of Uganda's citizens.

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To read an article in the Huffington Post on this issue authored by Accordia board member Ambassador Mark Dybul, click here.

UPDATE - May 10, 2010: Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni convened a special committee to examine the anti-homosexuality bill. The committee has recommended that the bill should be withdrawn from Parliament. Click here to read more.

Accordia Observes World AIDS Day

December 1, 2009, Washington, DC: On World AIDS Day, Accordia Global Health Foundation would like to acknowledge the incredible commitment and dedication of the thousands of healthcare workers, community advocates, and patient volunteers that are on the front lines – fighting a pandemic that has resulted in more than 25 million deaths and infected 60 million people worldwide.

Every day, we hear about the severe shortage of qualified healthcare workers in Africa, where an estimated 23 million people are currently living with HIV/AIDS. Less often do we celebrate those who have dedicated their lives to this cause – many of whom have been personally impacted by the disease.

We would like to take this opportunity to share a few of their stories. These stories originate from Accordia's flagship program, the Infectious Diseases Institute in Kampala, Uganda, where over 5,000 healthcare workers from 27 different African countries have been trained, where patient volunteers are empowered to spread messages of prevention and hope, and where advances in research, training methods, and clinical care are developed and tested for broad impact across the region.

There are thousands of stories such as these that bring inspiration and hope to a situation that is improving, but remains one of the most serious issues of our time.

On World AIDS day, Accordia renews its commitment to providing the tools, the environment, and the opportunity for individuals like these to succeed in their life's mission. Our experience has been that this investment is leveraged several times over as those that we touch return to their home communities and teach, treat, and inspire others.

We salute our many colleagues and ask you to join us in supporting their efforts to be a part of the solution.

IDI physician Dr. Alex Muganzi Muganga has seen first-hand the devastation that AIDS can cause and was inspired to make a difference for his fellow Ugandans.

Alex lost his father, mother, and younger sister to AIDS. Orphaned at age nineteen, it seemed as though all the doors to Alex's future had been closed. However, Alex's determination and outstanding performance in school led him down a more fortunate path. He received a scholarship from the district administration to pay the necessary fees to continue his education at the high school level. He was then awarded a government scholarship to attend Makerere University, where he studied medicine.

Alex wanted to use his medical skills and knowledge to join in the global fight against the deadly pandemic of HIV/AIDS. After attending the HIV/AIDS training course at IDI, he decided that IDI was the best place for him to contribute.

Since joining IDI four years ago, Alex has served as a senior medical officer and head of prevention activities. On average, he sees thirty patients a day and says he is "happy to be able to make a difference in the lives of the thousands of people… treated at IDI." Alex hopes his example will inspire millions of others around the world to join in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Charles Kaggwa Kasumba grew up in Makindye, a suburb of Kampala, with fourteen sisters and brothers and two loving parents. Charles lives with HIV today; four of his siblings have died from the disease. When Charles found out he was HIV positive he was sure he would die. He endured five years of self-stigma and isolation before being referred to IDI, where he received the physical and emotional care he needed.

After his health was restored, Charles became the Music, Dance and Drama Trainer at IDI. The Music, Dance, and Drama Group, which consists of twenty-five individuals under IDI's care, has a repertoire of songs and skits with messages of prevention and hope that they perform for schools, communities, and at the IDI clinic. Today, Charles is leading a series of education and advocacy campaigns throughout the Kampala community that have reached more than 6,000 people.

Dr. Olivia Kharono, a clinical officer at the Joint Clinical Research Center, completed training in advanced HIV/AIDS care and prevention at IDI. Clinical officers, nurses, and other mid-level practitioners outnumber doctors by 6:1 in resource-limited settings; therefore, they are increasingly taking on tasks conventionally assigned to doctors.

"At IDI, I learned to really take time with patients; to put down the pen and really listen. And I have used the training to pass on information to my colleagues. We are task-shifting what we know to others so we can manage more activities. In that way, the whole health center improves."

Of her patients, Olivia said, "There are many poor people here who survive on less than two dollars a day. We treat quite a few soldiers and most of our patients are women, widows, and children who fear disclosure. There remains a huge stigma in our community where women hide their medication underneath their baskets. We are their only hope."

Mark Dybul and Nick Hellmann Join Accordia's Leadership

November 3, 2009, Washington, DC: Accordia Global Health Foundation has expanded its leadership with the addition of Ambassador Mark Dybul to the Board of Directors and Dr. Nicholas Hellmann to Accordia's International Council.

Ambassador Dybul currently serves as the co-director of the Global Health Law Center at Georgetown University Law School's O'Neill Institute, where he holds the title of Distinguished Scholar. From 2006 to 2009, he served as the United States Global AIDS Coordinator, leading the implementation of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). There, he also oversaw U.S. government engagement in the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

In announcing his election, Board Chairman Hank McKinnell noted that "Mark's belief in Accordia's mission, coupled with his extensive experience with global health initiatives and efforts to fight infectious diseases, will be of great value in helping to guide Accordia's work over the next several years." Dr. McKinnell continued, "We are honored to have Mark as a member of our Board."

Dr. Hellmann is the Executive Vice President of Medical and Scientific Affairs at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, where he provides strategic direction for programs and research initiatives, ensuring that children are at the forefront of scientific breakthroughs. Earlier, he served as the program leader of the HIV/AIDS Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

"Nick Hellmann has been a long-term supporter of Accordia," said Accordia President Dr. Warner C. Greene. "His understanding of our work and his deep knowledge of the challenges and opportunities inherent in the global health arena will be tremendously useful as Accordia works to achieve its mission of overcoming the burden of infectious diseases by building healthcare capacity and strengthening medical institutions in Africa."

Infectious Diseases Institute Celebrates 5th Anniversary

IDI Celebrates Accomplishments, Continues Fight Against Infectious Disease in Africa

October 20, 2009, Washington, DC: On October 20, 2004, the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) officially opened its doors. Over the past five years, it has become a true center of excellence in sub-Saharan Africa, continuously expanding its services and outreach. Today, IDI continues to grow and innovate, serving the healthcare needs of the people of Kampala, Uganda, and Africa.

IDI was launched as a result of the visionary leadership of fourteen physician scientists from North America, Europe, and Africa. This "Academic Alliance" created Accordia Global Health Foundation, which, in partnership with Pfizer Inc and Makerere University, established IDI. The Institute builds healthcare capacity through training, mentoring, research, laboratory services, and prevention activities. To date, IDI has trained more than 4,500 African healthcare professionals from 27 African countries who have returned to their communities to train thousands more. Their efforts are saving lives and strengthening communities throughout Africa.

The IDI training and treatment model and its success have been widely recognized and celebrated, and aspects of it are being exported to and replicated in other settings in Uganda and other African countries. In a recent speech, the U.S. Global Aids Coordinator, Ambassador Eric Goosby, said:

"[IDI is one of the] leading regional HIV/AIDS training, research and infectious diseases clinics on the continent… The IDI provides high quality treatment for HIV/AIDS patients while simultaneously using the clinic as a platform for training physicians, nurses and other health care workers, conducting research, and developing models of integrated HIV/AIDS prevention and care that are widely applicable throughout Africa…. Today, it serves as a model of health systems strengthening and quality service delivery directed under complete local ownership and expertise."

Some of IDI's most recent accomplishments include launching a program to improve HIV/AIDS services in the rural Kiboga and Kibaale districts with plans to expand to three more rural districts in the next few months, and helping to create and implement a malaria training curriculum that has been adopted by Uganda's Ministry of Health and will expand to twenty additional sites in Uganda by the end of 2009. IDI is also improving care for its patients through separate clinics created to address the specific needs of HIV-positive adolescents, discordant couples, and people who have dual diagnoses of HIV and tuberculosis.

Accordia Global Health Foundation is proud of its history of involvement with this internationally respected and recognized center of healthcare excellence in Africa and looks forward to many more years of collaboration and partnership. 

President commends US for helping Uganda on AIDS fight

October 1, 2009: President Yoweri Museveni has expressed gratitude to the Government of the United States of America for the support it has been giving to Uganda, especially in the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

The President was today receiving visiting Ambassador Eric Goosby and his US delegation, who called on him at State House, Entebbe. Mr. Goosby is the new Global AIDS Co-ordinator for the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief – PEPFAR.

Mr. Museveni, who warmly welcomed the delegation to Uganda, urged Ambassador Goosby to pay special attention to the alarming increase in the spread of AIDS in Uganda today and noted that the situation requires new strategies and a lot of sensitization. He pledged to reactivate the sensitization campaign against the pandemic in an effort to curb the recent increase in the spread of the AIDS as people seem to have forgotten what happened in the early 1980s.

Ambassador Goosby told President Museveni that he and his delegation are in Uganda to acknowledge Uganda's historical role in the fight against AIDS and also to help re-invigorate the campaign against the fresh spread of the pandemic that has gone up to 130 new cases in Uganda alone [sic].

Ambassador Goosby expressed interest in further strengthening the relationship between Uganda and the United States of America and most especially in playing a more intimate role in solving challenges in the health sector in Uganda.

While in Uganda, Ambassador Goosby is expected to tour several PEPFAR-supported initiatives in Kampala including the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI), TASO, the Baylor – Pediatric Infectious Diseases Clinic and Meeting Point.

Through the PEPFAR, the Government of the United States of America is the leading provider of HIV and AIDS assistance to Uganda. Between 2004 and 2008, the Government of the United States of America provided US$ 1.2 billion to Uganda to support comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care programmes. This year, the US Government is investing an additional US$285 million.

PEPFAR – Uganda supports anti-retrival treatment for 120,000 patients who are receiving therapy nationally.

Health Minister, Dr. Steven Malinga, Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Uganda, Mr. John F. Hoover, the Director of the CDC – Uganda Virus Research Institute, Mr. K.. Mills McNeil, the Director of Uganda AIDS Commission, Dr. Kihumuro Apuuli, and the Principal Private Secretary to the President, Mrs. Amelia Kyambadde, attended the meeting.

Uganda: Adolescents Living With HIV/Aids Find Solace

October 1, 2009: The Transition Clinic, also called Young Adults Clinic, provides specialised HIV/Aids or psychosocial support to young adults living with HIV. Eunice Rukundo visited the clinic to find out about their activities and also spoke to two adolescents on how they are coping.

Wednesday is Transition Clinic day at Mulago Hospital's Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI). The majority of patients making the rounds in the institute corridors that day are the youth. A few sit forlornly and look really ill, but the majority eagerly cluster in groups, intimately chattering away. Occasionally, they break into suspicious giggles, just like normal children their age group.

There is a feeling of being in family among these healthy looking youth, you wonder what they are doing at a hospital. What you would never suspect is that these adolescents are living the HIV/Aids nightmare in its ugliest state. Transition clinic, also called Young Adults Clinic (YAC), provides specialised HIV/Aids care and psychosocial support to adolescents or young adults living with HIV/Aids (YALWHIV). Wednesday is when they meet for medical reviews, free ART replenishments and counselling or peer support discussions and activities.

Currently registered to its full capacity of 480 youths, YAC was opened by the Infectious Disease Institute (IDI) in July 2008 with a Shs2m grant from Civil Society Fund (CSF). "Needs assessment surveys done continuously highlighted a need for specialised care for this age group that they don't get from the paediatric or adult HIV care centres," explains Dr Timothy Muwonge, one of the volunteering doctors at the clinic.

It is this specialised care that the clinic was meant to provide; it was meant to cater for the unique needs of the YALWHIV from their late adolescence through adulthood. Only 16-24 year olds are admitted to the clinic, most of them on reference from where they do the HIV tests. Here, these youth can feel at home with each other, united by a common problem, which is not the case when they have to share adult clinics.

The IDI surveys reveal that YALWHIVs don't for instance want to blend into the adult centres because they are ashamed of their status, or have kept their status secret. A 19-year-old YALWHIV also tells me he is so far the only one that knows his positive status and wouldn't go there in case he met a family friend or relative who would later disclose his secret.

Others say they feel stigmatised by the condemning looks from adults, some even openly asking how they come to be infected so young. "They also find the centres congested and will most likely miss out on appointments dodging their relatives and friends at the clinics," adds Dr Muwonge.

You can't help but notice that there are more females than males, actually 81.4 per cent females compared to 18.6 percent males of the total number of adolescents at the clinic. "It is a natural tendency for women to readily seek help unlike men who would rather keep to themselves until it is unbearable but there are more males also infected out there," the doctor says.

Activities at the clinic

According to Julius Nkurayija, the YAC project coordinator, the youth get advice and information material on family planning, get counselled and hold regular peer support group meetings to address issues like disclosure and stigmatisation or any other issues and problems.

"We also set aside every second Saturday after two months to address any social issues they may be facing," he adds. Of course sex-related issues are common, especially concerning sexual relations with uninfected partners, since most say they don't want to be engaged with fellow PLHAs. "I would like to know that when I die, my children will have at least one parent alive to care for them. You can't guarantee that with an infected partner," argues one 21-year-old at the clinic.

Finances are the next biggest problem, especially since most who come to this clinic are semi or illiterate adolescents without parents or decent means to fend for themselves, most depending on men. "You will not find the typical urban youth here because those don't need the free treatment; they can afford private treatment," explains Muwonge.

One of the girls, a 22-year-old with a three-year-old daughter, tells about how she sometimes fails to make it from Kisaasi, a Kampala suburb, to Mulago on Wednesday because she can't afford the transport fare. Nkurayija says to address this problem, the clinic has endeavoured to equip the adolescents with skills like carpentry and catering services, which would enable them to become financially independent.

The clinic uses the peer support and education approach for positive prevention. The young adults, other than being encouraged to play a role in limiting the spread of the virus, are taught to become peer educators. As the doctor explains, they will be better placed to reach their fellow youth.
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The clinic unfortunately complains about a shortage of internal capacity to train young adults as agents of Behavior Change Communication, alongside an increasing number of YALWHIVs. There is also a problem with continuity as there is nowhere specific to send the youth that outgrow the clinic, hence the few 25-year-olds still lurking about the place. "But we want them to move on so we can help others, since our maximum capacity is only 480 youth at a time. We hope to grow bigger though and maybe provide a continuity facility but it will take some time," says Muwonge.

In the meantime though, the clinic's achievements to the YALWHIVs are clearly expressed by one 19-year-old senior six vacist; "From here, I have gained the strength to move on. I know that I'm not the only one and the whole world is not against me because I'm sick; there are people who would actually genuinely like to help me."


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Accordia Calls on G8 Leaders to Invest in Strengthening Healthcare Systems

July 8, 2009: Today, world leaders have gathered in Italy for the G8 Summit. They will discuss some of the most pressing issues facing the world today, such as the economic and financial crisis, climate change, global security, and African development. For many years, the G8 leaders have shown a commitment to improving health outcomes in Africa—a commitment that Accordia Global Health Foundation hopes will expand even further as a result of this year's summit.

The G8 Research Group released a briefing book that features an article by Accordia Global Health Foundation (made possible through the generous support of the Fondation Bertarelli), which urges G8 leaders to focus on strengthening healthcare systems in Africa by investing in programs that will build a cadre of individual and institutional health leaders. The article states, in part:

 "Leadership at all levels within the health system is required to scale up effective interventions, to discontinue those that are not working, to align global funding streams for sustainable impact, and to motivate a health workforce that daily is faced with basic challenges and resource shortages. Success depends on adoption of a bold, sustained approach that includes an explicit emphasis on the development of leading individuals and institutions that will drive fundamental change."

As Africa continues to battle the burden of infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis, an investment in the future generation of healthcare leaders is critical. These individuals and institutions are necessary to drive the continent toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals and to ensure long-term progress.

In addition to this call to action for G8 leaders, the article features Accordia's flagship program, the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI), as a center of excellence in Africa. Highlighting some of IDI's successes—including the over 3,800 healthcare workers IDI has trained from 27 different African countries––demonstrates the potential impact of investing in programs that build healthcare leadership.

The G8 briefing book, published by a consortium of internationally recognized academic scholars based at Trinity College, Canada and Oxford University, England, is circulated to roughly 15,000 government officials, journalists, and other influential thought leaders who follow the summit. 

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Accordia Global Health Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) global health organization building Africa's capacity to fight infectious disease through training, research, care and prevention. Accordia works in partnership with individuals, corporations, foundations, NGOs, and governments from Africa, Europe, and North America to achieve our vision of a healthier Africa. For more information please visit 

Accordia Calls for Greater Investment to Build African Healthcare Leadership

June 18, 2009: To improve health outcomes in Africa over the long term, the continent's healthcare leadership must be strengthened and expanded at the individual, institutional, and network levels, Accordia Global Health Foundation's new report concludes.

Building Healthcare Leadership in Africa: A Call to Action notes that it is time to move from emergency responses to the infectious disease crisis to investment in Africa's long term capacity to address the health needs of its citizens. A key element in this capacity-building effort must be the development of a strong cadre of leaders and managers at all points along the healthcare continuum, and at all levels of responsibility. Although considerable progress has been made in improving Africa's health outcomes in recent decades, there is still much to be done. The report explains:

"Africa's healthcare structure and those who serve within it are faced with dynamic economic, policy, and political contexts as well as evolving forces of globalization that create a tremendously challenging environment. However, the opportunities also have never been greater. Leadership at all levels of the health system is required to scale up effective interventions, discontinue those that are not working, align global funding streams for sustainable impact, and motivate a health workforce that is faced each day with basic challenges and resource shortages.

"Success depends on adoption of a bold, sustained approach to improving health in Africa that includes an explicit emphasis on the development of leading individuals, institutions, and the networks that connect them, bringing together expertise from around the region and globe to drive fundamental change. This includes essential investment in leading African medical schools and regional Centers of Excellence that will build lasting institutional knowledge, as well as teach and nurture the next generation of health leaders.

The report is informed by the 2009 Infectious Diseases Summit, held in Kampala, Uganda in April, which brought together leading physicians, researchers, government officials, and non-profit organizations from around the world to discuss the need for healthcare leadership. The Summit produced a Call to Action that lays out roles for individuals, institutions, and the global community to play in advancing African healthcare leadership; it is included in the report.

Contributing authors to the report include Joseph Dwyer, Director of the Management and Leadership Program at Management Sciences for Health; Dr. Peter Ngatia, Director, Capacity Building for the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF); Dr. Nelson Sewankambo, Principal of Makerere University's College of Health Sciences in Kampala, Uganda; Theresa Riddle, Managing Director, The Crossland Group, Ltd.; and Kelly Willis, Senior Vice President, Program Development, Accordia Global Health Foundation. Ambassador Mark Dybul, former U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, authored the report's foreword.

Building Healthcare Leadership in Africa: A Call to Action will be released at an event in Washington, D.C. at 3 p.m today. 


Accordia Global Health Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) global health organization building Africa's capacity to fight infectious disease through training, research, care and prevention. Accordia works in partnership with individuals, corporations, foundations, NGOs, and governments from Africa, Europe, and North America to achieve our vision of a healthier Africa. For more information please visit 

New Report Highlights Accordia and IDI

May 22, 2009: The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has released a major new report on the United States' role in global health. It includes a number of recommendations that encourage the U.S. to reaffirm and increase its commitment to improving the health of developing nations to fulfill humanitarian obligations and to support U.S. health, economic, and national security interests. The report reflects findings of the Committee on the U.S. Commitment to Global Health, an expert group convened by the IOM that includes Accordia Board of Directors member and Principal of Makerere University's College of Health Sciences, Dr. Nelson Sewankambo. Dr. Warner Greene, President of the Accordia Global Health Foundation, also was invited to present at one of the committee's hearings.

The report calls for U.S. agencies, foundations, universities, NGOs, and for-profit entities to help build the capacity of the health and research institutions in low and middle-income countries by supporting the development of capable local leaders, researchers, and practitioners to identify problems and solutions that are effective and sustainable in their home countries. It further recommends that the United States increase existing efforts to achieve health gains; educate disadvantaged countries on prevalent health problems; increase and improve financial commitment to global health; and utilize respectful partnerships to improve global health.

As an example, the report highlights the ongoing collaboration between Accordia Global Health Foundation, the Infectious Diseases Institute, and Makerere University. Calling IDI "a preeminent center for infectious disease research, training, and treatment," the committee notes the success of the IDI model and the broad applications it could have in other parts of Africa. The IDI-based Sewankambo Scholarship Program is also highlighted in the report as a promising practice for building healthcare capacity in Africa.

To download The U.S. Commitment to Global Health: Recommendations for the Public and Private Sectors which is available free of charge on the IOM website, please click here.

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Accordia Global Health Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) global health organization building Africa's capacity to fight infectious disease through training, research, care and prevention. Accordia works in partnership with individuals, corporations, foundations, NGOs, and governments from Africa, Europe, and North America to achieve our vision of a healthier Africa. For more information please visit  

Accordia Expands Board and International Council

May 13, 2009: At the April 2009 Board of Directors meeting in Kampala, Uganda, Dr. Julie Gerberding and Hiromitsu Ogawa were elected to the Accordia Global Health Foundation Board. At the same meeting, Gary Bridge, Robert Norton, and Steven Phillips were ratified as new members of Accordia's International Council. These new members will bring great expertise and leadership to Accordia as it moves forward in its mission to fight infectious diseases in Africa.

Dr. Julie Gerberding, former Director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, is an accomplished public health scientist, innovator, and communicator and a long-time expert in infectious disease research and care. During her tenure at the CDC, Gerberding also served as Director of the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion and the Acting Deputy Director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases, and led extensive disease prevention efforts, while guiding the organization through an era of rapid growth, globalization, and innovative transformation. Gerberding is currently an Clinical Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) at Emory University and an Associate Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

Accordia also welcomes Hiromitsu "Hiro" Ogawa to the Board of Directors. Ogawa is a Managing Partner and founder of Quest Venture Partners, where he evaluates investment opportunities and uses his specialized skills in financial leasing, shipping, fundraising, and entrepreneurial management. Previously, Ogawa spent over thirty years in the container leasing industry, nineteen of which were with CAI International Inc., which he helped to found; he continues to preside as the company's Executive Chairman of the Board.

Gary Bridge, Robert Norton, and Steven Phillips are all newly elected members of Accordia's International Council, marking a large expansion of the group, which was established toward the end of 2008. Gary Bridge is currently serving as Managing Director for Horsley Bridge Partners (HBP), a private equity investment manager with which he has worked for almost twenty-five years. Before joining HBP, Bridge was a partner with Cowen & Company in Boston, where he was a nationally recognized security analyst for more than ten years, and served as Vice President of G. S. Grumman & Associates, an investment research firm.

Retired Senior Vice President for Corporate Human Resources for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Group, Robert Norton is a committed member of the global health community. During his almost forty year tenure with Pfizer, Norton held several domestic and international human resources positions, including serving as Pfizer's Senior International Human Resources Executive. Since his retirement in 2004, Norton has continued to share his knowledge by working with organizations like Fisk University and now Accordia Global Health Foundation.

Dr. Steven Phillips, the Medical Director of Global Issues and Projects for ExxonMobil Corporation, is a long-time advocate of infectious disease treatment and prevention. In his current capacity, Phillips helps foster public-private relationships to address global health needs. Prior to joining ExxonMobil, Dr. Phillips served in the U.S. Public Health Service and was assigned to the Epidemic Intelligence Service of the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. He has shown continued commitment to philanthropic causes and global health issues through involvement with programs like Roll Back Malaria Partnership, Malaria NO MORE, Net Impact, and the World Economic Forum's Global Health Initiative.

Accordia looks forward to working with each of these individuals, all of whom will make major contributions to Accordia as the organization continues its work to overcome the burden of infectious diseases by building healthcare capacity and strengthening academic medical institutions in Africa.

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Accordia Global Health Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) global health organization building Africa's capacity to fight infectious disease through training, research, care and prevention. Accordia works in partnership with individuals, corporations, foundations, NGOs, and governments from Africa, Europe, and North America to achieve our vision of a healthier Africa. For more information please visit 

May 7, 2009: Accordia Board Member Susan Desmond-Hellmann was approved is the next Chancellor of the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) today by the UC Board of Regents. Desmond-Hellmann served as President of Product Development for Genetech until her resignation from that post earlier this week; she will join the university in her new position on August 3, 2009.

Reacting to the appointment, Accordia Global Health Foundation President Dr. Warner C. Greene said:

"Sue Hellmann was a founding member of the Accordia Global Health Foundation board of directors, and has served in that capacity with distinction since 2003. Her remarkable talents, skills, and intellect, honed over her career in private medical practice and then as an executive at two major pharmaceutical companies, are internationally respected and have served the global community well for decades.

"The University of California, San Francisco will benefit from Sue's leadership and background as a creative thinker and strong leader. Accordia applauds the UCSF board of regents' decision to make this appointment."

Dr. Desmond-Hellmann has been long associated with UCSF, which is a world leader in training healthcare personnel and in health research. After finishing medical school at the University of Nevada at Reno, she completed her clinical training at UCSF and has served as an Assistant and Adjunct Professor of hematology-oncology. Of her new role, Desmond-Hellmann says, "I began my career at UCSF, and my heart has never left it… As the health needs of the world continue to change, UCSF will continue to play a pivotal role in developing solutions through its research, teaching and clinical care across all the health disciplines."

Desmond-Hellmann leaves Genetech after fourteen years of serving in several capacities: as Clinical Scientist, Chief Medical Officer, Executive Vice President, and, most recently, as President of Product Development. Prior to moving to Genetech, she worked with Bristol-Myers Squibb's Pharmaceutical Research Institute as Associate Director of Clinical Cancer Research. Earlier, during her nine years of training in internal medicine and oncology, Desmond-Hellmann spent two years as visiting faculty at the Uganda Cancer Institute studying AIDS and cancer.

To the university, Desmond-Hellmann's background provides strong clinical, research, and executive perspectives, as well as a deep commitment to quality care for patients. She will also be the first woman to serve as Chancellor for UCSF.


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Accordia Global Health Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) global health organization building Africa's capacity to fight infectious disease through training, research, care and prevention. Accordia works in partnership with individuals, corporations, foundations, NGOs, and governments from Africa, Europe, and North America to achieve our vision of a healthier Africa. For more information please visit  


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