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PQMD Newsletter

Welcome! In this volume of the PQMD newsletter, you will find highlights from our membership and noteworthy articles from around the web. Please note the newsletter is best viewed in your browser. 

Does your organization have news to share? Contact Beth Haynes for placement in future newsletters. 

Note from Elizabeth (EJ) Ashbourne, Executive Director, PQMD
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As December and 2020 comes to an end, I want to reflect on all that PQMD has accomplished over the past year. The year 2020 has been very challenging, to say the least. PQMD and many other businesses and organizations were forced to change the way business is done. While some of our signature face-to-face programs will have to wait for next year, I'm extremely proud that PQMD was ready and able to rise to the challenges and expand our activities and continue to deliver valuable and relevant programming that we will be building on in 2021.

In January, we will be releasing our "Year in Review" and I'm thrilled to share the many accomplishments of PQMD and all its' members. You will read about our expanded webinars, workshops, courses and forums; our new and exciting partnerships, projects and alliances, our training programs, toolkits and guidelines modules; and, about our new strategic plan. PQMD's new strategic plan will chart our course for the next three years, a course that increasingly leverages the power of our extraordinary coalition of global health companies and NGOs, all who provide lifesaving medicines and services. 

Despite the hurdles of this year, we have collectively met the moment and thrived. We are lucky to be able to work from home with ease, spend more time with family than anyone would have guessed, probably cooked more than ever before, and learned a new normal that has required some agility and adaptability, particularly when it comes to technology. All that said, and despite our prolific use of Zoom, Meetings, Teams and other, I still miss being in the company of the most wonderful group of colleagues, partners and friends. I'm optimistic that 2021 will bring us back together in person to celebrate all that we were able to do during this crazy time.

In the meantime, PQMD will continue to work hard for our members and in support of global health. On behalf of the entire PQMD family, I wish you all a wonderful, safe and healthy holiday season with your family and friends.






PQMD Wishes Everyone Happy Holidays and a Safe and Happy New Year! 

PQMD Has a New Communications Platform!

Starting in January, PQMD is switching to a new communications platform. This platform will be used to send out our newsletter, emails, registration for webinars and all PQMD programs and products. Please make sure that the domain is included on your safe senders list so our emails do not get sent to your spam. For any questions regarding this change, please contact Samantha MacDonald.  

Global Health & Development Essentials Course- Registration is Open for Winter Session

PQMD has condensed key elements of a Master's In Public Health curriculum to create a comprehensive Executive Survey Course on global development essentials for professionals working with medical product donation programs or other means of international development assistance. PQMD is currently enrolling its winter session cohort of participants, which begins on January 13, 2021 and runs until February 24, 2021. To learn more and register, visit the PQMD website here



Community of Practice (CoP) 



PQMD Holds Coffee Chats for Members to Discuss Important Issues and Connect 

 On November 20th, PQMD held its first ever coffee chat to allow members to discuss important topics and find synergies between organizations. The Coffee Chat, led by Jen Bentzel from IMA World Health, asked members to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on their organizations' responses to other efforts, including other diseases and disasters. Members identified a number of operating challenges and some very encouraging opportunities. The challenges and opportunities discussed are included below.

  • The members discussed how COVID-19 has impacted their responses to disasters. They highlighted that the disease shifted how partners worked together to respond to disasters, for example, getting PPE to Lebanon.
  • There has been a shift in donor support from other initiatives that are not related to COVID-19, such as other disease specific initiatives.
  • There is a challenge related to the continuity of other health services and how to get medicine to people using new supply routes due to COVID-19.
  • The members discussed the opportunity to expand partnerships within the United States and throughout the world, including working more with foreign governments.
  • During COVID-19, many organizations began staff care programs which can hopefully continue after this crisis is over. This might include mental health programs, extra holidays and time off, and thinking about ways to connect people more. 
PQMD members will continue to hold coffee chats to discuss issues and more importantly connect during a time when we can't get together face-to-face. We will also continue to summarize the calls for those who are unable to attend. Additionally, if you would like to participate and continue with these conversations, please check out PQMD's Community of Practice here



PQMD Member News- COVID-19


PQMD Members Responding to COVID-19 Pandemic 

PQMD is continuing to monitor how members are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. All of our members are doing incredible work to assist with this crisis around the world. You can find updates on what PQMD members are doing on the CoP (members only) or the PQMD website. If you have an update you'd like us to include, please send an email to Sam MacDonald at  

Additionally, we can also include fundraising campaigns efforts. Please send to Beth Haynes at 


AbbVie Announces Partners in $50 Million Program to Promote Health and Education Equity in Underserved Black Communities 

This past June, PQMD member AbbVie announced a $55 million philanthropic commitment to address racial inequalities in the U.S. AbbVie begun with a $5 million donation to the Equal Justice Initiative and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational fund and began developing a 5-year plan to invest the remaining $50 in other community-based programs.

AbbVie recently announced the nonprofit organizations they are funding, aiming to bolster efforts to support underserved Black communities across the United States. They include University of Chicago Medicine's Urban Health Initiative, PQMD member Direct Relief, United Negro College Fund (UNCF), Year Up, Providence St. Mel School, and National Urban League. Each of these organizations does incredible work addressing the needs of underserved Black communities at the local, state, and national levels.

Read the full announcement on AbbVie's website here.

How the DREAMS Program is Helping Young Women in South Africa 

Johnson & Johnson is a proud partners in the DREAMS initiative. DREAMS is an ambitious partnership to reduce HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women in 10 sub-Saharan African countries. The goal of DREAMS is to help girls develop into Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe women.

To watch a video that shows how the DREAMS program is helping women in South Africa, click on this link.


Q&A: Investing Now in Preparation for COVID-19's Successor 

Warning that COVID-19 won't be the last pandemic, Dr. Martin Fitchet, head of global public health at Johnson & Johnson, says now is the time for an increased investment into pandemic science.

Ahead of Universal Health Coverage Day, the physician-- who took over leadership of the health care company's dedicated unit for global public health, or GPH, earlier this year-- said a lesson to take from the novel coronavirus is that we should be better prepared for the next pandemic. 

Health system strengthening, investing in our front-line health workers, harmonization of regulatory rules, and advancing innovative platform technologies for vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics are other areas that should be further invested in based on the lessons learned so far, he added. 

Read the full interview with Dr. Martin Fitchet of Johnson & Johnson at Devex here

Highlights From Around the Web


Global Progress Report on WASH in Health Care Facilities  

The global progress report on water, sanitation, hygiene, waste management and cleaning (WASH) in health care facilities comes at an unprecedented moment, when COVID-19 is exposing key vulnerabilities in health systems, such as inadequate infection prevention and control. WASH services in health care facilities, so often taken for granted- or as this report highlights, outright neglected- are needed more than ever to protect vulnerable health workers and patients.

The report identifies major global gaps in WASH services: one third of health care facilities do not have what is needed to clean hands were care is provided; one in four facilities lack basic water services, and one in 10 have no sanitation services. 

Read the full report here.


U.N. Says Pandemic will Likely Cause Surge in Humanitarian Needs in 2021 

The U.N humanitarian office says needs for assistance have ballooned to unprecedented levels this year because of Covid-19, projecting that a staggering 235 million people will require help in 2021.

This comes as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and global challenges including conflicts, forced migration and the impact of global warming.

The U.N Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or OCHA, expects a 40 percent increase in the number of people in need of such assistance in 2021 compared to this year-- a sign that pain, suffering and torment brought by the coronavirus outbreak and other problems could get worse even if hopes of a vaccine are rising.

Read the full article at PBS here.


America's Eviction Crisis is a Public Health Disaster Waiting to Happen  

America is on the verge of an unprecedented eviction crisis. On Dec. 31, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's nationwide eviction moratorium will expire. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, somewhere between 12 million and 17 million households-- up to 40 million people-- have little or no confidence that they can pay their rent and avoid eviction if they don't get relief. 

The looming eviction crisis is not only a moral failing and a financial catastrophe, but an unprecedented public health disaster. A large body of evidence has found links between evictions and health outcomes ranging from homelessness to domestic violence to chronic stress. 

Read the full article on Huffington Post here.  

Upcoming Events

International Day of Epidemic Preparedness
December 27, 2020

Examining the Long-term Health and Economic Effects of Antimicrobial Resistance in the United States: Meeting 3
January 5-8, 2021

ICT4D Partnership Conference
January 12, 2020

From Displacement to Development: Challenges and Opportunities to the Economic Inclusion of Venezuelans in Colombia
 January 27, 2020; 10:00AM- 11:30AM EST

PQMD Webinar: Measuring for Success Toolkit Launch
 January 28, 2020; 11am-12pm EST




Connect with other PQMD members attending these conferences on our Community of Practice



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