April was a busy month for C2C! With preparations underway to open the newest clinic in our network, it was all hands on deck. At the same time, C2C staff was thrilled to participate in the following conferences last month:
Innovations in Healthcare Annual Forum:
Allison Howard-Berry, C2C Executive Director & Co-Founder, attended the 2018 Innovations in Healthcare (IiH) Annual Forum in Washington, DC. This two-day annual gathering brings together innovators and leaders in the social, private, and public sector to collaborate and exchange ideas and insights to support the scale and impact of promising healthcare innovations.
IiH introduced their new 2018 cohort who focus on care delivery, as they shared their strategies to ensure that the diverse populations they work with have access to affordable, high-quality healthcare. Congratulations to Biofourmis, Living Goods, OneWorld Health, and Reina Madre!
The Global Health & Innovation Conference:
Unite for Sight’s 2018 Global Health & Innovation Conference is the leading global health conference held at Yale University in New Haven, CT. This thought-leading conference convenes leaders, changemakers, and participants from all sectors of global health, international development, and social entrepreneurship.Catherine Guillou-Ouellette, C2C Program Manager in Haiti, flew in to participate and hear from various panels such as one by Jeffrey Sachs, Economist and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, titled “How Health For All Is Within Our Grasp”. He gave a powerful presentation about prioritizing the strengthening of national public health systems in poor countries. We are happy to hear that Mr. Sacks is making a compelling case for what C2C is doing on the ground in Haiti through our strategic Public-Private Partnership with Haiti’s Health Ministry.
As C2C’s newest clinic gears up for the grand opening, we are grateful for the opportunity to keep learning and applying successful and effective strategies to continue expanding access to health services for vulnerable communities in Haiti!
The local Steering Committee is a central part of C2C’s approach to sustainable health care services. In Camp Coq, 11 community members regularly advise C2C on everything from local health needs and priorities to clinic hours and pricing. C2C relies on all of the local Steering Committee members in Camp Coq, but especially Father Delva, who is the parish priest for the church near the C2C clinic in Camp Coq.
He has worked in Camp Coq for several years, and is extremely involved in the community. He is seen as a resource for everyone – not just his own parishioners. Father Delva is an extraordinary ambassador to the community, and he goes above and beyond even what other Steering Committee members do. He ensures we get a good price for fuel for the generators and other supplies we purchase from the community; he visibly supports the clinic and encourages others to do the same.
Father Delva has observed the need for a clinic first-hand, and he said, “We waited for this clinic for a very long time. I know the community is excited useful content. As a priest, I go where they send me, but I know the work I am doing here with C2C will continue even if I have to go.” Other Steering Committee members all contribute in different ways, and we are grateful. As part of our most recent clinic assessment, one of our Steering Committee members said, “The way you ask people their ideas, the way you organize things and collaborate with us – it’s a positive thing.”
This past fall, C2C began a new project: Kits for Kids and Moms. Our aim is to create item drives to be held at middle schools and high schools so we can provide basic toiletry and medical supplies for Mothers and their children when they visit our clinics in Haiti.
The items we are collecting range from simple children’s toys to personal hygiene items, such as toothbrushes and soap. We will also be collecting items for new mothers, such as baby powder and swaddling clothes. Our clinic staff will hand out these kits to our waiting patients, improving the experience.
Leah and Kailah, community-minded cousins serving as C2C interns since last fall, have put together a list of approved items as well as instructions for completing a drive of your own. This packet will be mailed to schools in the surrounding area, so that students interested in helping have the opportunity to do so. If you or someone you know is interested, please contact C2C at 617-559-1032 or info[at]care2communities[dot]org.
So far, Charles River School and the Needham High School French Club are collecting items and assembling Kits for Kids and Moms. We look forward to working with many other groups in the coming months.
Last Thursday, I was in Ixtapa, Mexico. The difference between this Thursday and last is pretty enormous. Today in New England, we’re watching the final orange, red and yellow leaves drop from the trees and spending long yet exciting hours in strategic planning meetings for 2013 and crafting the end of year appeal. But last Thursday, I was among about 200 folks who gathered for the annual “non conference” called Opportunity Collaboration looking over the gorgeous pacific coast beaches of Ixtapa. I had my reservations—how was the week going to be productive with “no agenda,” with 200 people to get to know and too much to do back home?
It’s hard to put it into words, but it was a phenomenal week of where I shared our passionate work with other non profit practitioners and learned from thought leaders in the fields of social impact investing and micro-finance. I met the Executive Producer of “Half the Sky” –the 4-hour documentary film that had the C2C team in tears the week before. I learned about new ways of measuring impact from really smart university think tank folks. And I also heard from global funders who struggled with being sought after and how hard it was to say no to so many great projects and ideas that always needed more funding. I flew from Mexico City to Ixtapa with a 26-year old Pakistani woman who has been advocating for girl’s education in her country for 10 years and knew the young woman who had been shot in the face as she rode her bus to school the week before.
I came away more certain that ever that the C2C model is critically needed to build capacity to deliver primary health care to women and children. At OC, I learned about and hope to create partnerships with many other great organizations and individuals who want to leverage each other’s core competencies, resources and collective energy to eradicate global poverty through thoughtful action. Never before have I felt so certain about our direction. Please join us as we grow and expand.