Category Archives: News and Press

C2C and The Pfizer Foundation Partner to Fight Infectious Diseases in Haiti

For the second year in a row, C2C has been awarded one of The Pfizer Foundation’s Global Health Innovation Grants (GHIG) for our work to transform the healthcare system in Haiti. C2C is part of a cohort of 20 innovators focused on combatting infectious diseases through community-based initiatives.

The Pfizer Foundation works to address the challenges of a complex and evolving global health landscape. As evidenced by emerging infections like COVID-19, vulnerable populations, like our communities in Haiti, continue to be disproportionately impacted by infectious diseases. Within this evolving landscape, the needs of local communities are urgent, and partnerships are critical in making an impact through community-focused approaches. 

With support from The Pfizer Foundation, C2C will continue our work in combatting infectious diseases in Haiti, such as Covid-19.

This partnership will enable C2C to create meaningful and sustainable solutions to fight infectious diseases in Haiti, specifically pediatric acute respiratory infections and COVID-19, while also supporting the expansion of our clinic network, vaccination program, and conversion of our clinic buildings to solar power. 

You can read The Pfizer Foundation’s latest press release to learn more about the GHIG program and the 2020 cohort’s innovative initiatives. 

We are grateful to The Pfizer Foundation for its continued support and we look forward to continuing the progress made with our first GHIG award.

We are proud and honored to be a part of a cohort committed to making an impact on global health through community-based innovations.
This entry was posted on by Amanda Fata.

C2C RESPONDS TO CIVIL UNREST IN HAITI

Photo Courtesy of The New York Times

Today is the celebration of Carnival in Haiti. The Carnival of Haiti (otherwise known as “Mardi Gras” or “Kanaval” in Creole) is one of the most anticipated events in the country. This cultural event kicks off the day before Ash Wednesday to usher in the season of Lent, with colorful celebrations throughout Haiti. But, unfortunately, this year, Haiti’s Minister of Culture has announced that official carnival celebrations have been canceled in light of recent protests and unrest across the country.


Photo Courtesy of Associated Press News

As you may have heard from the news or from personal connections in Haiti, major demonstrations have been occurring across the country since February 5, when citizens and opposition politicians began to demand the resignation of President Jovenel Moise.

That same day, our clinic managers were leaving our Cap Haitien clinic to attend a staff meeting at our Acul-du-Nord clinic when they were stopped on National Road 1 due to political unrest demonstrations. They tried to urge the demonstrators to allow them to cross the road to get to the clinic but there was no way convince demonstrators to allow them to pass the road blocked with cement blocks. Our staff from other clinics also were forced to cross the roadblock zone on foot to get home. The following day, the road was cleared and the staff was able to get to work easily. Unfortunately, the demonstrators blocked the road again later in the day, and, again, the only way the staff could pass through closures was on foot.

On February 7, due to the rising unrest (protests, huge roadblocks and barricades, and burning tires), we were forced to close our clinic network to protect our staff and the patients. Our staff in Haiti stayed in communication at all times to evaluate the situation in order to make a decision regarding the opening or closure of the clinics. For two weeks, our HR manager would send a message to all the staff every morning to instruct them to stay home if the roads and conditions did not allow travel. For most of this time however, one of our more remote clinics remained open and continued to serve the community since it is located in an area away from the political unrest and most of the staff lives in the same community the clinic serves. We also made a conscious effort to try and keep our main clinic in the center of town (Cap Haitien) open to patients who needed timely access to care.

Beyond the demonstrations, another challenge has been lack of fuel, which has made traveling difficult not only for our staff but patients too. Transportation prices have more than doubled to account for the shortage of fuel options in the country.

Encouragingly, in the last week, things have started to return to normal, but the political and economic situation in Haiti is still delicate. There is no telling whether or not the protests will restart. So, there will certainly continue to be challenges but this is what encourages us to keep doing the work we do. We hold on to (and continue to be energized by) the fact that we are providing vital healthcare services to communities that need them desperately.

Thank you for your continued support and, as always, onward!

This entry was posted on by Joyce Bassil Zerka.

C2C IS SELECTED FOR INNOVATIONS IN HEALTHCARE 2019 COHORT

Dear Friends,

We are excited to kick off the new year with a announcement that C2C is selected as one of ten organizations to be part of the Innovations in Healthcare 2019 Cohort!

Innovations in Healthcare (IiH) is a nonprofit organization hosted by Duke University and founded in 2011 by Duke Health, McKinsey & Company, and the World Economic Forum. They aim to improve healthcare worldwide by supporting the scale and impact of promising innovations. Every year, they dedicate a substantial amount of time and resources to source, scout, and recruit the best healthcare organizations from around the world.

As members of this year’s select cohort, IiH will work to support and strengthen the work we do at C2C, and we couldn’t be more excited for a year of learning and increasing our impact through this collaboration!

Stay tuned to learn about how this partnership will help C2C to drive impactful work that ensures vulnerable communities have access to affordable, high-quality care.

 

This entry was posted on by Joyce Bassil Zerka.

C2C Wins Henry Schein Cares Silver Medal

Bill Barr, Vice President, Medical Marketing, Henry Schein, Inc.; Stanley Bergman, Chairman and CEO, Henry Schein, Inc.;
Dr. Samuel Bernard, C2C Chief Operating Officer; Racha Yehia, C2C Clinic Operations Manager; Jennifer Kim Field, Vice President,
Global Social Responsibility, Henry Schein, Inc.; Brad Connett, President, U.S. Medical Group, Henry Schein, Inc.

 

Dear Friends,

We are excited to share that C2C was awarded the Silver Medal in the Medical category of the third annual Henry Schein Cares Medal program, which took place at the Henry Schein Medical’s National Sales Meeting on April 12 in San Antonio, Texas.

C2C was recognized for its commitment to provide high-quality, low-cost health care to vulnerable families in northern Haiti. C2C clinics demonstrate that access to basic care, prevention education, and community support can be transformative and can save lives.

The Henry Schein Cares Program honors organizations from the fields of oral health, animal health, and medicine that demonstrate excellence in expanding access to care for the underserved. Stanley M. Bergman, Henry Schein’s Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, presented the medals to C2C and two other organizations, The Night Ministry (Chicago, Illinois) and Community Volunteers in Medicine, Inc. (West Chester, Pennsylvania). You can read the full press release here.

Thank you Henry Schein Cares for your commitment to helping C2C continue to provide access to care for vulnerable families in Haiti!

 

This entry was posted on by Joyce Bassil Zerka.

C2C Celebrates 20,000 Patients Served!

This past month, our 20,000th patient walked through the doors of a C2C clinic. From the entire C2C team, we want to say: THANK YOU!

We believe that poor families in Haiti deserve access to the highest quality medical care and health education to live healthy and productive lives. C2C was founded on a simple premise that access to healthcare is the foundation of all efforts to lift poor people out of poverty.

Today, C2C clinics are “one-stop-shop” community clinics that offer consultation with a physician, a fully-stocked pharmacy, and a diagnostic lab on-site. The C2C network of community clinics is expanding rapidly across northern Haiti: each clinic functioning as a community business, managed by local staff and clinicians, working within the larger healthcare ecosystem to demonstrate that access to basic care, prevention education, and community support can be transformative and can save lives.

We celebrate this important milestone with you and extend our renewed gratitude for all of our supporters and friends who make C2C’s vision for a healthier Haiti possible.

 

This entry was posted on by Joyce Bassil Zerka.

Innovation Prevents Noncommunicable Diseases

According to the WHO, noncommunicable diseases (NCD), primarily cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes, are responsible for 63% of all deaths worldwide. 80% of NCD deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. While the mortality rate remains high, NCDs are preventable through effective interventions that tackle shared risk factors.

Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Trustee of the Novartis Foundation, recently wrote:

“Health systems in [developing countries] are ill-equipped to address this emergency. They are stretched under the pressure of fighting infectious diseases like malaria and tuberculosis, which still make up a majority of deaths in much of the developing world. It will take decades before sufficient health coverage is achieved that can adequately address the scale of the NCD epidemic. We need a new approach hks1njv.

We can draw some useful lessons from how HIV/AIDS patients were empowered to manage their condition. AIDS was the first experience of managing a ‘chronic’ condition that many low-and middle-income countries had. With the introduction of antiretroviral therapy from the mid-1990s the life expectancy of many AIDS patients increased. Many were able to return to their lives and families instead of being hospital-bound.

Faced with the prospect of having to care for these patients for potentially a very long time, public health systems mobilised to empower AIDS patients to self-manage their condition with appropriate support from their physicians. This shift to a patient-centered approach – taking chronic care outside of the formal healthcare system and hospitals, and into the community and families – has eased the burden of tackling the epidemic and led to precious resources reaching more people.”

This is where innovation in healthcare can contribute to solving the NCD problem. C2C has developed a health care delivery system that is built around patients. Our patient-centered care model is often the point-of-entry to the care system for vulnerable people and families. We respond to local health needs by drawing on communication between the community and the clinic. At C2C, we believe that this approach is fundamental to effective primary care as we help Haitian families get well and stay healthy.

This entry was posted on by elizabeth.

Disruption in Healthcare Doesn’t Work

Entrepreneurs love the concept of disruption in the market. Silicon Valley defines “disruption” as a simpler, cheaper or more convenient alternative to an existing system or product. When it comes to delivering quality healthcare in the developing world, disruption simply isn’t the answer.

Dr. Caroline Buckee said it best in her Boston Globe Op-ed: “When it comes to addressing epidemics — and a lot of other global challenges — the Silicon Valley startup mentality doesn’t work.” Disruption has become a trend in many spaces among innovators. As for the global health care space, we see more grant guidelines calling for this sort of mentality and problem-solving. While it’s important to encourage innovation in healthcare, we should keep in mind that health care delivery, when supported, is an effective solution to saving lives.

As Dr. Margaret Chan, World Health Organization Director-General once said, “a primary health care approach is the most effective way to organize a health system.” At Care 2 Communities, we believe that primary care works. When patients have access to high-quality, affordable, reliable healthcare, it means that mothers are able to care for their children, children can stay in school, and the entire community benefits economically from a healthy workforce.

This entry was posted on by elizabeth.

C2C Founder, Elizabeth Sheehan, Featured by Ellevate Women's Network

C2C is delighted to share that Founder Elizabeth Sheehan was recently featured by Ellevate Network in this week’s Member Spotlight.  Ellevate is a global, professional network of women dedicated to the economic engagement of women worldwide.

Enjoy the full Spotlight below!

We are pleased to spotlight Elizabeth Sheehan. Elizabeth has two decades of experience delivering medical care in the US and abroad. She began her career in healthcare working in emergency rooms in the US as a Physician’s Assistant. After a year-long journey to 19 developing countries to investigate health care delivery systems, Elizabeth became the medical director of The HALO Trust, an organization committed to village-based mine clearance.

Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.

As a founder of an international non-profit called Care 2 Communities (C2C) I am passionate about building a sustainable primary health care model that will increase health access for vulnerable populations in developing countries. Trained as an emergency medicine Physician’s Assistant, I worked in urban and rural settings in the US for a decade followed by another decade in Cambodia and Africa delivering health care to the poor. I felt most alive when my sleeves were rolled up—in a minefield or rural clinic as well as when building a new model to deliver sustainable health care via shipping containers. Five years ago I founded C2C, whose mission is to save lives by bringing primary health care to communities in the developing world. We currently operate in Haiti and Africa.

What’s been the biggest challenge in your career to date?

We all face naysayers, and I feel like my biggest challenges have been my greatest victories. When the earthquake rocked Haiti in January 2010, it rocked me to the core. The C2C prototype clinic fabrication was complete and within months it was deployed, installed and operational at the site of a destroyed children’s hospital in Port-Au-Prince. Four years later, thousands of pregnant women and infants have been treated, had lab tests performed and medicines dispensed from an on site pharmacy. Partnerships were formed and amplified our mission. Presently we are setting out to prove that sustainable community-run health clinics are possible—and we are tracking close to our sustainability goal years earlier than expected. With integrity, grit and local engagement we are defining a new paradigm for health care. We constantly face funding challenges due to the plethora of organizations delivering health care in the developing world, but very few can truly say they are sustainable.

What was your biggest career breakthrough moment?

My career has evolved over the past 20 years, from front line health worker, health economist and now founder, funder and board member of C2C. When I stopped trying to label myself and focused more on continuing to pursue my passion of health equity for all, I was able to get into the flow. My horizontal career moves have allowed me to learn and contribute in each field in a way that I could not have had I just stayed on one track.

Finish this sentence, “I knew I had ‘made it’ when….”

I knew I made it when C2C made it. With a dynamic team of women employees, we have been able to expand the funding base of C2C to include individuals, family foundations, and emerging institutional support (and always need more of all of these!). The measurable impact made in communities where C2C clinics operate has been significant. In 2 clinics in Haiti more than 15,000 patients have been treated, 20,000+ life-saving medicines have been dispensed, 900+ ultrasounds have been performed, 3,500+ home health visits have been conducted by community health workers, 5,000+ women have enrolled in free family planning programs and 99% of patients say the quality of care they receive is excellent or good.

If you could go back and talk to your younger self (before your career really began), what professional advice would you give her?

It has been said so many times and ways—but I am a firm believer in following your passion. Once found, position yourself amid fertile soil, find mentors and allies, celebrate success more than setbacks and constantly iterate.

Share your two cents about money. What lessons have you learned about money along the way?

My family of origin was very frugal and my father spent time with every one of his 8 children teaching us about money management and his story of success, which was all about razor focus and very hard work. My approach to money as an adult is that it has far more power and transformative qualities when it is out in the world and not piling up in a bank account. Be honest about what you need to live and retire on and what your children need to get launched – then loosen the strings and watch it really transform lives.

What’s your secret to success?

Although I have had many external successes—as a nationally ranked junior equestrian show jumper, a fulfilling medical career and humanitarian service—the most lasting success I am realizing is when I am in stillness. When I am not always doing, going, achieving. It’s about listening in to the stillness, listening to myself, others and to all that is becoming. This is part discipline, part practice and part support network (a great coach has been life changing for me). Regardless of the season, I unplug daily, reconnect to nature and strive to be fully present with my 2 amazing children and partner.

Why are you a member of Ellevate?

It is a wonderful local and international women’s network that I feel has the perfect combination of intelligence, passion and heart. Women helping other women to be fully expressed. I am also interested in connecting with anyone who is interested in serving on our board of directors or supporting our work through their networks.

This entry was posted on by Allison Howard-Berry.

C2C’s Clinic in Namibia Receives Presidential Visit!

Namibian President, Hifikepunye Pohamba, recently visited C2C’s clinic in Namibia’s Democratic Resettlement Community (DRC) near the city of Swakopmund.

The President enjoyed spending time with Sister Elago, C2C’s Community Education Program Coordinator, as well as with Ministry of Health clinical staff members and clinic patients, too!

C2C is delighted to have President Pohamba’s support and looks forward to a strong partnership with the Namibian government for years to come! C2C especially thanks the Izumi Foundation for generous support that makes this partnership possible.

This entry was posted on by Allison Howard-Berry.

Ugandan Women Protest Maternal Mortality

At C2C, we regularly see news stories, blog posts, and personal narratives that remind us how important basic health care to ensure safe childbirth.  Recently, the Boston Globe reported on a story that has been circulating around the world of international development.  Ugandan women, fed up with their country’s staggering maternal mortality rate, have petitioned the Supreme Court “to declare that women’s rights are violated  when they die in childbirth”.  If successful, this tactic would put pressure on the government to address the dire health statistics facing young women.  According to the article, 16 Ugandan women die each day in childbirth, creating tremendous fear for pregnant women during a time in their lives which should be full of joy.  We’ll be following this story closely, and hope the news coverage creates a push toward greater access to health care for all Ugandans.

This entry was posted on by Allison Howard-Berry.