It is with great pride that I call this week’s Monday Muse a dear friend and constant source of inspiration – Barbara Bush. I’ve known Barbara for many years and have long admired her commitment to human rights lobbying, gay rights activism, and focus on abortion laws. Her dedication to her morals, beliefs, and dreams of improving global health are incredible.
In 2008, Bush and a group of close friends established Global Health Corps in an effort to bring together young millennials from professional backgrounds outside of medicine into the global health sphere internationally. Accepted Global Heath Corps fellows are paired up with an international partner, where two fellows (one from a host country and one foreign) work together for the duration of a year. Barbara has chosen to embrace her early passion in improving healthcare internationally by a both revolutionizing and ingenious way of allowing fellows to hone their skills within the partnerships. This includes exploration of policy and advocacy, architecture, fundraising, workforce training, communications, direct services, the list goes on.
Five years later, Global Heath Corps has recruited over 450 young leaders, aptly named ‘Fellows’, that have been paired up with over 90 health organizations across seven countries internationally. In the past five years, they’ve received over 15,000 applications. They’ve opened offices in Burundi, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia. In their latest cohort of fellows, they’ve welcomed 128 fellows from 22 countries working with 56 partner organizations in six countries in the US and East and Southern Africa. 29 languages are represented among the cohort. They have grown into a group of trailblazers within the dialogue of health equity.
There is a substantial divide between the super-powers and lower-tiered countries for accessibility and sustainability of healthcare. Barbara has taken a global stand. Global Health Corps now serves as a forerunner in minimizing that gap by assembling fellows internationally to assert the philosophy that health is a basic human right.
As a global citizen of many countries from all corners of the world, I find it both alarming and discerning that such a gap exists. I am proud of my dear friend for challenging these gaps while working toward a sustainable and impactful solution. I look forward to Global Health Corp’s continued success in the healthcare sector as we move toward international health equity.
Today, I am honored to name Barbara Bush this week’s Monday Muse.
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