History

Seed Global Health has roots that extend back over more than half a century. The year 2011, for example, marked the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s signing of the Peace Corps Act and the creation of a new era of service.

We embrace the opportunity to help the U.S. tradition of service grow by helping to invest in sustainable health systems.

October 14, 1960

President Kennedy speaks at 2 AM to 10,000 students at the University of Michigan

“… I think Americans are willing to contribute. But the effort must be far greater than we have ever made in the past…How many of you, who are going to be doctors, are willing to spend your days in Ghana? Technicians or engineers, how many of you are willing to work in the Foreign Service…?” – President John F. Kennedy

March 1, 1961

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President Kennedy signs the Peace Corps Act

True to the challenge laid out in his impromptu speech at the University of Michigan several months earlier, President Kennedy signed Executive Order 10924 within mere weeks of his inauguration and established the Peace Corps.

September 12, 1978

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Declaration of Alma Ata

The Declaration of Alma-Ata called the world to protect health and health equity for all mankind. It boldly defined health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity…a fundamental human right.” The Declaration declared the inequity between developed and developing countries as politically, socially and economically unacceptable and called for economic and social development as a prerequisite to attaining health for all.

June 27, 1979

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International Health Act of 1979

On June 27th, Senator Jacob Javits with the support of Senators Bill Bradley, Edward Kennedy, Carl Levin and Harrison Williams Jr., sponsors the International Health Act of 1979. The Act proposed to establish within the Public Health Service an International Health Service program, as well as programs to support international health centers and international health in U.S. academic institutions.

January 28, 2003

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Announcement of President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)

The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) was announced by President Bush in his 2003 State of the Union address. The plan was introduced as a five-year, $15 billion initiative to combat global HIV/AIDS. Widely successfully, it was reauthorized in 2008 for $39 billion to fight HIV/AIDS and another $9 billion for tuberculosis and malaria. PEPFAR has supported care for more than 10.1 million people worldwide and is one of the largest international health initiatives in history. It has helped revolutionize the global understanding of tackling epidemics and health inequity. Learn More

April 2005

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Healers Abroad: Americans Responding to the Human Resource Crisis in HIV/AIDS

“The Global Health Service…would both symbolize the commitment of people of the United States and catalyze the movement of U.S. health personnel overseas to help in the global counterattack on HIV/AIDS. It would be a program of strategic humanitarianism, providing the support required by U.S. health professionals to assist people in need and to train counterpart health personnel abroad. The Global Health Service would help to stabilize societies at risk and demonstrate American compassion and civic spirit.”

Download Healers Abroad: Americans Responding to the Human Resource Crisis in HIV/AIDS

Download Responding to the Global HIV/AIDS Crisis: A Peace Corps for Health

December 6, 2005

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Global Health Corps Act of 2005

“Promoting democracy around the world, improving our image among the citizens of lower-income countries, and winning the Global War on Terror require a vigorous and creative effort, and I believe that a focused plan that combines diplomacy with public health can help us do that.” – Senator Bill Frist, Bill Sponsor

Download the Global Health Corps Act

May 5, 2009

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President Obama introduces his Global Health Initiative

“I recognize that we will not be successful in our efforts to end deaths from AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis unless we do more to improve health systems around the world, focus our efforts on child and maternal health, and ensure that best practices drive the funding for these programs.” – President Barack Obama

Learn More

March 15, 2010

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Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) Grants Announced 2010

In March 2010, the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) announced MEPI, designed to help strengthen medical education in Sub-Saharan Africa. Ambassador Eric Goosby, the head of PEPFAR noted, “As we transition from an emergency response to a more sustainable approach, we are supporting partner countries in leading the response to their epidemics. Shortages of trained doctors [and nurses] are a key constraint, and we are proud to support partner nations in expanding the number and quality of clinicians available and facilitate strong faculties of medicine so they can meet their people’s needs over the long term.” Ten U.S- sub-Saharan African collaborations are awarded grants. The Nursing Education Partnership Initiative (NEPI) is launched shortly after.

October 2010

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A new plea to create a Global Health Service Corps with a focus on education

On October 12, 2010 at a public forum in Boston, the founding members of Seed Global Health, (originally named Global Health Service Corps), Drs. Sara Auld and Vanessa Kerry, asked three former Peace Corps directors and then current director, Aaron Williams, to consider an idea. They asked if the Peace Corps would send doctors, nurses and other health professionals abroad as medical and health educators to build capacity and invest in sustainable health systems; to harness the long history of service in our country and the growing interest in global health at home. This question led to the development of the joint program, the Global Health Service Partnership.

Download “An International Service Corps For Health: An Unconventional Prescription For Diplomacy”

March 2, 2011

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50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps

“On its 50th anniversary, the United States Peace Corps remains an enduring symbol of our Nation’s commitment to encouraging progress, creating opportunity, and fostering mutual respect and understanding throughout the world. Over the past five decades, Peace Corps Volunteers have served in nearly 140 countries, bringing a wealth of practical assistance to those working to build better lives for themselves and their communities.  From the first group of volunteers to arrive in Ghana and Tanzania in August 1961, they have been emissaries of hope and goodwill to the far corners of our world, strengthening the ties of friendship between the people of the United States and those of other countries.” – President Barack Obama, Presidential Proclamation on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps

More Information

March 13, 2012

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Launch of the Global Health Service Partnership

After years of effort, the first international service program for medical professionals is launched, marking a new era of investment in global health and health equity. On March 13, 2012 in Washington D.C., the Peace Corps, PEPFAR, and the Global Health Service Corps, announces the Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP), a novel public-private partnership to send doctors, nurses and other health professionals abroad as medical educators. GHSP continues a long U.S. tradition of service and develops a new one of capacity building and partnership for sustainable health systems.

July 2013

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Inaugural Volunteers

In 2013 the Global Health Service Partnership offered inaugural Volunteer placements in Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda.

Also in 2013, Global Health Service Corps was renamed Seed Global Health recognizing a unique commitment to sowing the seeds of change and cultivating the next generation of providers where they are most needed.

July 2014

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The 2014- 2015 year, the second cohort of GHSP volunteers, 42 medical professionals were deployed to 13 sites in Tanzania, Malawi and Uganda.

Photo courtesy of Peace Corps