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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
 ej headshot

Although August is usually a slower month, PQMD has been working hard on numerous important projects that will greatly enhance our effectiveness to share knowledge and information. First, I am very excited to announce that we will be launching a new guideline module, a user-friendly version of PQMD's Medical Donation Guidelines, that will be easily accessible from anywhere in the world. PQMD has partnered with Disaster Ready, a leader in online education for humanitarian and development professionals, to create an interactive version of our guidelines. Please look out for an announcement soon and exciting opportunities to learn more about this tool.

Second, I wanted to highlight our lively webinar held on August 26th titled Vaccine Promises and Realities. This two-panel event was held in collaboration with the World Economic Forum. The webinar provided meaningful dialogue with top experts on the challenges related to the manufacturing, distribution, equity and administration of a COVID-19 vaccine. If you missed it, you can access the webinar recording here. Please be on the lookout for future Pillar Talk webinars with topics that include health security (scheduled for September 17th), therapeutics and the supply chain. 

Along with the guideline module and Pillar Talk webinars, we continue to broaden the scope of our Community of Practice and have plans to include future information "coffee chats," facilitated discussions online and via video, curated materials related to monthly themes, and other publications. More information is included below under the CoP section of the newsletter. 

As summer closes, I want to thank the members for all the contributions they make to PQMD and the hard work they are doing to address the continued impact of COVID-19. Along with their responses to the coronavirus, we also have members who responded to the deadly blast in Beirut, and to Hurricane Laura currently impacting the gulf states in the United States. I'm so proud of all that our members do! Please stay safe everyone and enjoy the last few weeks of summer. 





PQMD's People of PQMD Video Series  

PQMD has initiated a series titled "People of PQMD" where members share how they are leading in response to Covid-19 and discuss how PQMD adds value to the work they do. In August, PQMD Executive Director, Elizabeth Ashbourne (EJ), had the privilege of interviewing Kavita Sood- Isaacs, Manager of Global Community Giving and Engagement at Baxter International, Inc. Kavita discussed her background, role at Baxter International Inc., and how she came to be part of PQMD. She also talked about how her company has adapted to Covid-19 and continues to move forward with its long-term commitments. You can view the video here

If you are interested in being part of the People of PQMD series, please contact Sam MacDonald. 

PQMD Members are Responding to Beirut Explosion

On August 10th, PQMD held an all-call to discuss members' response to the explosion in Beirut. On August 4th, a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored at the port of the city of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, exploded, causing at least 181 deaths, 6,000 injuries, and billions in property damage leaving an estimated 300,000 people homeless. 

PQMD members are responding by donating medicines and medical supplies, providing shelter and food security with in-country partners and sending hygiene kits. Many of our members are working with partners in Lebanon, including Project Hope, which is working with the Rene Moawad Foundation (RMF) Lebanon, a well-established NGO that has mobilized medical teams in Beirut to provide immediate trauma care and psychosocial support. International Medical Corps launched an emergency response to as many as 20 primary health care centers and hospitals to provide medical supplies, mediines, hygiene kits and PPE. 

Anera has been already working in Lebanon and had 80 staff and 6 offices in the region. They have been putting together shipments of medicines, medical supplies, PPE and hygiene kits. They have also been delivering food and water, grains to deliver and make meals, and engaging youth to contribute to the humanitarian relief. World Vision has also been providing for basic needs and temporary shelter for people who had their houses damaged by the blast.

Many of our members are also contributing with cash donations and mental health support. We appreciate all the hard work our members do to provide assistance in crisis situations throughout the world. 


PQMD Seeks Resources for Mental Health Month 

October is Mental Health Month at PQMD and we need your help! We want to highlight the work our members are already doing in mental health and any trainings and resources you have already developed. These resources can focus on internal programs you have created for employee welfare, resources you have shared with global partners, or trainings that you perform anywhere on the globe. These resources will be kept on the CoP (available only to PQMD members) unless you indicate otherwise. To do this, we ask that you fill out the form by September 9th. Those who wish to share their organization's resources more widely may be able to do so via our October webinar. 


Community of Practice (CoP) 


Community of Practice Special COVID-19 Pillar Talk Series 

PQMD successfully hosts an interactive webinar and discussion series-- the PQMD Pillar talks on our online Community of Practice (CoP). In response to COVID-19, PQMD began a special COVID-19 Pillar Talk Series. PQMD thanks Pfizer for its generous support of the Pillar Talk webinars.

PQMD is currently planning the following additional webinars in the coming months:
  • Forces that Contribute to Health Security- September 17, 2020; 12-1PM EST 
  • Two additional webinars are being planned on the topic of therapeutics and the supply chain (Dates TBD)
You can register on the CoP.

PQMD COVID-19 Pillar Talk on SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Promises and Realities- Recording Now Available 

It seems that everyone has their hopes pinned on a COVID vaccine to be developed, administered, and delivered in a way that will allow life to return to some semblance of "normal" shortly afterward. As the Special COVID-19 PQMD Pillar Talk: Vaccine Promises and Realities, held on August 26, 2020 illuminated, the reality is much more complex than that. This webinar was produced in collaboration with the World Economic Forum with generous support from Pfizer. 

This two-hour, two-panel event invited top leaders in the first panel who are engaged in creating an architecture for global vaccine distribution to discuss the realities of inefficient or insufficient health systems in low- and middle-income countries, the intersection of COVID with comorbid diseases, vaccine hesitancy, vaccine nationalism, vaccine access and equity, etc.

The second panel engaged those in manufacturing and development of a vaccine who are trying to balance quality, safety, and speed in getting a vaccine to the world while facing the realities of cost and economic risk. There are also challenges in working with individual government regulators, manufacturing to scale, transferring technology to regional units to streamline production and speed up the process of getting vaccines to the people. 

If one or more of the vaccine candidates are approved before the end of 2020, it will remain years before the entire world is immunized and innovation will continue in an iterative process. "COVID-19 has made evident that the global health security and innovation preparedness eco-system needs a lot of work", opined Dr. Julia Spencer, Associate Vice President, Global Vaccines Public Policy, Partnerships & Government Affairs at Merck. The unmet needs in the world are too great for any one company unilaterally to take on the risk. Therefore, new pathways need to be created for innovation and sustained manufacturing in future pandemic situations.

To view the recording of this webinar, click here.


CoP Updates Opportunities to Advance Discussion and Learning

PQMD staff is working with the Programs Management Committee (PMC) to increase the offerings available on the CoP site to advance discussion and learning. Some of the opportunities under development include: 
  • Developing quarterly plans in cooperation with the PMC surrounding monthly themes that will repeat annually. The monthly themes can be found in the chart below.
  • Creating opportunities for:
    • Informal "coffee chats" among members on a selected topic
    • Monthly (minimum) webinars
    • Facilitated sectoral discussions online and via video
    • Curation of materials related to the theme for members
    • Publication of events, webinars, courses, recordings relevant to the theme 
  • Engaging PMC members to work alongside PQMD staff in the development and implementation of these activities to leverage the membership's expertise
  • Establishing the need for more members to join the PMC
CoP Monthly Themes
January Year in Review & Looking into the Next
February Measuring for Success
March Medical Missions
April Global Cooperation
May Health Systems Strengthening
June Refugees & Displaced Persons
July Donation Guidelines
August PQMD Picnic Basket
September Disaster Response, Preparedness & Resilience
October Mental Health
November Diseases
December Humanitarian Assistance

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 



Agility and Experience: Responding to COVID-19 and Other Epidemics with Sustainable Solutions 

The Partnership for Supply Chain Management  (PFSCM) was established to help fight one of the world's most serious and ongoing epidemics, HIV. 

When PFSCM set up shop in 2005, it was to develop, implement and manage one of the world's largest health supply chains to deliver lifesaving HIV diagnostic, treatment and prevention products to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) around the world. Since then, PFSCM has expanded its expertise to help reduce the impact of other epidemics such as malaria and tuberculosis. 

Now, 15 years later, PFSCM is responding to yet another pandemic, COVID-19. This time around, equipped with deep experience and better processes and systems. 

Since May this year, PFSCM has procured $32 million worth of COVID-19 diagnosis products and delivered 71 shipments to 33 countries.*

To execute these procurements and shipments, PFSCM had to quickly adapt to a new way of working with simultaneously onboarding COVID-19 experts, navigating new products on the market, and overcoming logistical challenges. 

Read more about PFSCM's COVID-19 response, and discover what supply chain activities will play a key role in helping organizations transform their emergency responses into sustainable streamlined solutions for the long-term delivery of COVID-19 commodities.

* May 1, 2020 to August 24, 2020 

Americares Ready to Respond to Gulf Storms 

As of August 26th, Americares was  preparing to respond to back-to-back storms along the gulf coast of the United States. 

Americares has offered medicine and relief supplies to 48 partner clinics in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas in the path of Tropical Storm Marco and Hurricane Laura.  

Americares has an emergency pharmacy stocked with essential medicines, vaccines and medical supplies that can be delivered quickly in times of crisis. The health-focused relief and development organization is also prepared to assist safety net health centers that sustain damage in the storms. 

Tropical Storm Marco brought gusty winds, heavy rainfall and coastal flooding to portions of the Gulf Coast. Hurricane Laura posed a double challenge for coastal communities throughout the region. As of August 26th, it was on track to being a Category 3 hurricane, brining dangerous storm surges, wind and heavy rainfall. Isolated areas of southeastern Texas, Louisiana and part of the lower Mississippi Valley could see up to 12 inches of rain.

To read more about Americares response, visit its website here. 

Johnson & Johnson Works with Anera to Donate Hygiene Kits in Lebanon 

On August 4th, a huge explosion in Beirut killed at least 150 people and injured another 5,000. Anera is working hard to help those affected and with the port inoperable, expensive air shipments are currently the only way to get humanitarian relief into the country. 

One way Anera has been providing assistance included a day of action to mobilize youth volunteers in service to communities most affected by the explosion. They delivered food parcels and hygiene kits, generously donated by Johnson & Johnson, to refugees, and Lebanese and migrant community workers.  

To read more about the incredible work Anera is doing in Beirut and its partnership with Johnson & Johnson, visit Anera's blog here

BD and BD Foundation Commit $7.8 Million to Helping Community Centers Expand Innovative Care to Patients  

On August 10th, Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) together with the BD Foundation, its charitable affiliate announced the commitment of $7.8 million in monetary grants and product donations over the next three years to support the continued expansion of the BD Helping Build Healthy Communities initiative- a unique public-private partnership launched in 2013 and implemented jointly by Direct Relief and the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC). 

The BD Helping Build Healthy Communities initiative issues grants to community health centers that are implementing innovative, successful approaches to providing quality healthcare to underserved populations in the United States. BD has invested nearly $15.7 million in cash and product donations to this initiative since 2013. The newest financial commitment from BD and the BD Foundation will bring their total combined investment to $22.6 million, through the year 2022.

At the end of August, BD, the BD Foundation, Direct Relief and NACHC will invite health centers in the U.S. to apply for the initiative's next round of grant funding. The awards will recognize innovative approaches to delivering medical therapy management (MTM) services, which can enable better chronic disease management among patients who are facing additional challenges and constraints due to the impacts of the COVID pandemic.  

Read the full press release on BD's website here


Direct Relief Supports Coalition Providing $100 Million PPE for Africa's Community Health Workers 

On August 10th, a new 30-plus member coalition announced it has begun delivering nearly 60 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to countries across sub-Saharan Africa in the initiative's first round. 

The COVID-19 Action Fund for Africa is working in partnership with Ministries of Health to meet the essential PPE needs (including surgical masks, gloves, eye protection, etc.) of up to one million community health workers serving over 400 million people during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the only known effort to date that pools resources for PPE for community health workers in Africa. 

The Fund is anchored by a $10 million commitment from Direct Relief, with additional support from Crown Family Philanthropies, and in-kind contributions from over thirty collaborating partners. In partnership with the Fund, the World Food Programme has committed to provide donated freight and logistics worth more than $1 million. The Fund seeks to raise up to $100 million to supply PPE to community health workers in as many as 24 African countries for approximately one year. 

To read the entire article, please visit Direct Relief's website here.  


Highlights From Around the Web



Hurricane Laura Hits the Louisiana Coastline with Strong Intensity

On August 27th, a very powerful Hurricane Laura hit portions of Louisiana and eastern Texas, initially as a Category 4 storm. This hurricane is the region's strongest storm to hit the region in over a century, with sustained winders of 150 mph. The strong was then downgraded to a Category 2, with winds reaching 100mph. 

The winds has causes widespread destruction in Louisiana, including Lake Charles city. Damage includes broken roofs, trees breaking, bent steel poles and lampposts, and torn street signs. More than 547,000 people in Texas and Louisiana are without power. Forecasters warned of storm surges up to 20 feet, but fortunately, the surges were not as high as feared. 

Read more updates on Hurricane Laura at CNN


California Wildfires Affect Air Quality; Tens of Thousands Evacuated 

As of August 20th, wildfires caused by lightening strikes in Central and Northern California expanded, with the grouping of fires in Napa and Sonoma counties more than doubling in area to 124,100 acres.

The fires were causing poor air quality in the areas around San Francisco and tens of thousands of people were forced to evacuate. Air quality alerts were in effect in parts of California where the particles caused respiratory problems and worsened preexisting health conditions. 

The fires were a result of a recording-breaking heat wave along with an unusual thunderstorm outbreak, which lit up the skies above San Francisco, where lightening struck trees and grasses at a time when the vegetation was very dry. 

California's fire-fighting resources were over-extended and the coronavirus limited firefighting operations due to not being able to put as many firefighters next to each other on the line.

Read more about California's wildfires at the Washington Post.


Beirut Reels from Huge Blast; Death Toll Climbed to 177 

On August 4th, a massive warehouse explosion in Beirut, Lebanon sent a devastating blast killing 177 people. The cause of the blast was negligence of a huge stockpile of highly explosive material stored in unsafe conditions at the port. 

The explosion was the most powerful ever in Beirut, a city still recovering from their civil war and dealing with economic problems and Covid-19. 

The World Bank Group is working with Lebanon's partners to mobilize public and private financing for reconstruction and recovery. The port district was destroyed, causing problems in the country's main route for food imports. Lebanon has already been struggling with the needs of refugees fleeing Syria.

Read the full article here.


Upcoming Events

Meeting the Challenge of COVID-19 in Africa: A Virtual Symposium
 September 1-4, 2020; 9-11am EST 

Project Hope- Hope for Life: Transforming Lives on the Front Lines of Crisis Webinar
 September 16, 2020; 12PM EST 

PQMD Pillar Talk Webinar: Forces that Contribute to Health Security
 September 17, 2020; 12-1 PM EST 

International Day of Peace
September 21, 2020

Medical Teams International: Healthy Women Healthy World Virtual Luncheon
 September 30, 2020; 12 PM PST

12th Annual Health and Humanitarian Logistic Conference
 Virtual- September 29- October 1, 2020





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



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326 First Street, Suite 32, Annapolis, MD 21403


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